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107 Reviews
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92 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Textbook & Reference
Oh, I love this book. If you're shopping for a beginning web design book, get this one first. You'll end up using it until it's dog-eared, and waiting eagerly for a new edition in a few years!

I teach introductory Web Page Design to design students at Madison College in Madison, WI. This is the textbook I require my students to buy.

Learning Web...
Published 22 months ago by Ann Foley

versus
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good content, Kindle edition has problems
In terms of content, this book is as advertised and a good basic introduction to web design. Content wise I'd give it a 4.5 rating.
However, the Kindle edition, has several flaws:
1) The table of contents only references Sections, not individual chapters.
2) The section intros show only "Chapter n" with no chapter title. These two defects make navigating...
Published 13 months ago by Robert L Keck


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92 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Textbook & Reference, October 19, 2012
By 
Ann Foley (Prairie du Sac, WI) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Learning Web Design: A Beginner's Guide to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Web Graphics (Paperback)
Oh, I love this book. If you're shopping for a beginning web design book, get this one first. You'll end up using it until it's dog-eared, and waiting eagerly for a new edition in a few years!

I teach introductory Web Page Design to design students at Madison College in Madison, WI. This is the textbook I require my students to buy.

Learning Web Design has a friendly style and great explanations of what web pages are, how they work and how to make them. It drills deeply into HTML, CSS and web images. And it touches on javascript and other topics you'll need to know if you continue to work in web design/development.

More important to me and my very visual students, the book is well designed (a rarity in books about web design/development). The page layout and images used make the book's information easier to understand and make the book fun to sit down and read.

Learning Web Design is a great tool for my students, and I'm sure it serves them as a great reference as they enter their careers.
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It tells you not only how to do stuff, it tells you why and when it is right to do so, October 9, 2012
This review is from: Learning Web Design: A Beginner's Guide to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Web Graphics (Paperback)
The book tells you not only how to do stuff, it tells you why and when it is right to do so. Proportionally speaking, if the book were 11 pages, you get 1 page for introduction, 3 for HTML, 5 for CSS and 2 for javascript. The book focuses on the important stuff, and says what is good on each. You can always learn the material online via web search, copying examples, etc, but it will take a while to grasp the 'why' of its intended usage.

If you already know some of the material and want a refresher on the latest (such as HTML5), simply go to the 'test yourself' section at the end of each chapter. The core of the book is the HTML and CSS content. It nicely explains what it's new in HTML5.

HTML5: the book tells you what to do for browsers that do not support HTML5. It is to the point in just what you need to know. It includes enough for the video tag but not too much. If you need to go deep into canvas tag, get another book.

CSS: the book gives you strategies for page layout, and covers nice stuff such as round corners, transitions, transformations, animations. Finally I was able to fully understand a number of CSS techniques that I have used in my sites.

JavaScript: the book covers enough to practically know what it is and why you may have to learn it in the future. If you need to go deep in JavaScript, get another book. Lastly, a small chapter on web graphics is what I consider 'filler' content for people that know nothing about image formats.

The book is big and pretty, in the same way that you can learn genetics online, we all know that the best is to get a genetics book and read through it. Similarly here, you wont regret getting the hard-copy, it is similar to a traditional college book (definitely less pricey than a genetics book). The reader can be a newbie or skilled person in web page design. Newbie will learn in a 'clean' way, the skilled person will refresh/learn how to correctly use HTML5 tags and CSS.

Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of the book from O'Reilly for review.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning Web Design? This is the only book you'll need!, November 13, 2012
By 
Leslie Harback (Portland, OR United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Learning Web Design: A Beginner's Guide to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Web Graphics (Paperback)
Trying to learn how to write a Web site from scratch? If you're just looking around online for how to do it, good luck! It's not as simple as it might seem to learn about HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

That's where Jennifer Niederst Robbins's book, Learning Web Design: A Beginner's Guide to HTML, CSS, Javascript, and Web Graphics comes in. A lot of resources that purport to explain the beginnings of anything either involve dry lists of features (in the case of HTML most involve listing and explaining tags one by one). This book does something no other book has, at least not that I've found: it tells you at the beginning what you need to learn and what hardware and software you need. If you've never written any HTML before, these kinds of things are completely indispensable, and yet somehow you'll have to scour dozens of sometimes completely contradictory Web sites to find the same information. After searching for quite some time, you'll often find online something you think is an answer, only to discover that the page you're reading has been up and has remained un-updated since the late 1990's. With this excellently written volume, you can see that it's been written in 2012 and know that it's (at least as of this review) completely up to date, and everything is here in this one book.

I picked the book up primarily to come up to speed on modern HTML, since I often take the Wordpress route of Web design, and it had been quite a while since I wrote a bunch of HTML from scratch. I had a weekend to build a Web site from nothing, and I found pretty much everything I needed, right here.

Jennifer Niederst Robbins has done a great job of explaining the anatomy, theory, and best practices of Web Design, so that coming from knowing nothing at all on the subject, you should by the end not only be able to create your own site, but also be able to do it the right way, with well marked-up HTML and sensible, at least reasonably search engine-optimized structure. I've reviewed quite a few other books on this subject, and it's rare that everything comes together as well as it does here. As a beginner, you'll love this book; you'll be taken through, step by step, in aspects of HTML5, CSS, and Javascript in sections that build in complexity. Robbins doesn't dumb anything down-- she simply build slowly on simpler subjects, but always explains things accurately and understandably.

If you're familiar with the basics of Web design, like me, you'll also find a lot of help here. I learned HTML, CSS, and Javascript in scraps over the years, almost always lacking a fundamental understanding of why I was doing something the way I did; let's face it, if you're like me, you did a search for what you needed to do, found a snippet of code somewhere, and copied and pasted it. Now you can finally find out why something is the way it is and do it the right way. I was relieved that I could scan the table of contents to find the subject I needed, skip past the bits I didn't need at the moment, and read an accurate and succinct explanation of the topic I was interested in.

Typically this is the point where I would find some tiny thing that maybe fell flat or that I didn't care for, or that could have been done more to my liking. Well, not this time. This book would be an excellent resource for both beginners and intermediate folks. If you're looking for an advanced guide to HTML, or something more in-depth about Javascript, you probably want to choose a book that doesn't have 'Beginner' in the title, right?
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good foundation book, September 20, 2012
This review is from: Learning Web Design: A Beginner's Guide to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Web Graphics (Paperback)
I received this book as a part of O'Reilly User Groups program, although I'm interesed in many other topics, I was searching for a book that could help to eliminate the "ugly GUI" culture that I've noticed in my own developments and development for others, specially when the technology is Java.

In my developer phase I've noticed that the average developer becomes astonished by the Java GUI framework of the season and jumps from University to the work field with a little knowledge about HTML, CSS and JavaScript repeating always the sentence "let the designers design, I'm here for the hard work". In real world soon or later is necessary to match both roles or act as powerfull developer-designer, however most of times the lack of good HTML/CSS/JS knowledge is avoided using WYSIWIG editors or dragging JSF components from the IDE designer. At the end is functional but most of times, the lost of control over HTML generation also means ugly or non standard compliant GUI.

About the book:
As many experienced web developers already know, the real issue with HTML learning is not find the material. By the contrary the real problem is choose between the available free learning tutorials without being overwhelmed because of the repeated material. W3Schools is a good and reference start point, but I've seen every HTML tutorial claiming itself as the best, that I just avoid them because of they cause the contrary effect in me.

However at this book I found many topics that I was looking for, Jennifer Niedrst presents a nice book without using pretentious words exploring from zero the HTML/CSS/JS world in a general way without ignoring imporant details, but avoiding more advanced topics like jQuery, blueprints, or whatever tool that could represent more problems if you don't have enough knowledge.

The book is divided in five big sections:

Foundation
HTML
CSS
JavaScript
Recommended file formats for web

Personal view:

In mi opinion the book is great to get a general and updated web view, including elements from HTML 4 and HTML 5 in a logic and sorted way, highlighting many characteristics available at the moment and describing which of them are compatible (or not) with modern web browsers (HTML 5 is an on-going work). The book also explains some history and how the transition to HTML 5 started, covering many of the new semantic tags at HTML 5 that I must confess is the first time that I hear about them, is good to update your knowledge :D .

For many intermediate developers, some sections could be boring, specially the first half of the first section because it talks about very basic things like "What is a web browser?" or "What is a FTP server?", and also the last part because talks about many formats that are recommended for web distribution (again because I know most of them) but this are more conditional issues and is fundamental information for people interested in learning web pages creation. By the way in general the book is well written and I found the best DOM definition that I've seen (simple and concise). The exercises are simple but perfect to learn how to write web pages in a semantically fashion in order to get easy indexation and good content rendering. Also I noticed that the books talks about the bad support of standards in Internet Explorer 8, but in a professional way and without praising other web browsers.

Highlights:

A perfect book for HTML/CSS/JS introduction and learning.
Also is a good reference book because it's well structured, is easy to search by topic and jump to related topics.
The exercises are easy and you only need a good text editor.
The book contains many warnings about new things in HTML and the book clarifies which web browser support or not support new characteristics, and most importantly what will happen with older browsers when they receive unsupported HTML 5 tags.

Things that may upset:

If the reader is looking a guide to update his knowledge, the first impression could be very bad, but as the book progresses it becomes interesting.
The book is designed for PC screens, paper or tablets. The graphics are not well displayed on e-readers (I've tested it on a nook touch) and many references are based on the color of the text with sentences like "see the text highlighted in red" . . . but the e-reader displays only B&W.
It has many suggestions in order to create good user experience , BUT is not a good book to learn how to design user experience if you are looking for that.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have for anyone who works in web design, September 14, 2012
This review is from: Learning Web Design: A Beginner's Guide to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Web Graphics (Paperback)
I've worked on the web pretty much since there WAS a web. This book has been instrumental over the years in helping web designers and developers become better at their craft. One thing that web professionals know is how quickly the technology and tools change, which is why the 4th edition of this wonderful book is an absolute necessity.

If you are just getting started in web design and development, this is the first book you should get. It's comprehensive, easy-to-read, and explains clearly and effectively most everything you need to know. Even if you've been working on the web for a while, you'll find great resources for understanding how the landscape is changing in response to new technologies and platforms like the mobile web.

If you are even a little bit daunted by the prospect of making a website, just get this book.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good content, Kindle edition has problems, July 2, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
In terms of content, this book is as advertised and a good basic introduction to web design. Content wise I'd give it a 4.5 rating.
However, the Kindle edition, has several flaws:
1) The table of contents only references Sections, not individual chapters.
2) The section intros show only "Chapter n" with no chapter title. These two defects make navigating the book very difficult.
3) If you search for HTML tags, e.g. <table>, you will come up empty. Considering the subject of the book, this is a severe limitation.
It is really unfortunate the publisher couldn't spend a little more time to do it right.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The essential beginner's guide to web graphics, November 5, 2012
This review is from: Learning Web Design: A Beginner's Guide to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Web Graphics (Paperback)
With web design programs like Adobe Muse that enable you to create eye-dazzling web graphics without a writing single line of code, one might wonder why brother learning HTML, CSS and Javascript. Well, the truth of the matter is this; to create websites with dynamically driven content requires a working knowledge of HTML, CSS and Javascript. So, if you are looking to make a step up from static web design, the book Learning Web Design by Jennifer Niederst Robbins is a great place to start. Now in its 4th edition, this robust 600+ page book is bristling with sample code, step-by-step instructions and colorful graphics to help ease you into web design without mind numbing technical jargon and boring commentary. The book's companion website [...] is packed with downloadable sample code and links to a wealth of very useful web design resources on the Internet. The book is well organized and well paced for beginners. The book is also an excellent reference guide for intermediate-level web designers who want to fine tune their skills. At $49.99 the book is a worthwhile investment and a welcomed addition to any web graphics library. The next logical step up from this book would be PHP & MySQL Novice to Ninja by Kevin Yank for those web designers looking to incorporate database-driven graphics and text into their web designs.

PHP & MySQL: Novice to Ninja
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Reference, Great Text Book, Great Place to Start, September 4, 2012
This review is from: Learning Web Design: A Beginner's Guide to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Web Graphics (Paperback)
This book for me really brings a lot of elements that could be and are frequently taught separately to mastery but when it comes down to it, you really need all of it, from CSS to HTML to JavaScript to Web Graphics. This book does a great job teaching web design and all the various elements needed including does and do not's and lots of other tid bits. As a text book this would be web design 101 when I teach it next time. Another great element is the color. In my opinion any design book not in color is not worth much for design, this book does a great job all the way around doing the design, teaching design and using color to help the structure of the text and other material. Over all a great book and one that will likely stay on my self for some time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for students, April 7, 2014
By 
S. Crandall (Lakewood, OH USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Learning Web Design: A Beginner's Guide to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Web Graphics (Paperback)
I have used this as my textbook for my Web Design and Development class for two semesters now. The students really like it - it includes the detail they need, and mentions extras or advanced stuff with links if they want to pursue them. It is well structured, too - first dealing with HTML, and then turning the corner to CSS, which lines up perfectly with one of my mantras - "make it work, then make it pretty."
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect textbook for my Intro to HTML & CSS classes, December 6, 2012
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This review is from: Learning Web Design: A Beginner's Guide to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Web Graphics (Paperback)
I teach several classes at a community college and this will be the textbook that I now recommend all of my students purchase. it is a beautiful book with plenty of hands-on examples. Ms. Robbins certainly knows her stuff when it comes to explaining the web and its many facets - I heard her recently on the Web Ahead podcast [...] and was very impressed with her knowledge and her delivery on that show. In fact, I purchased the book based on that and now I am glad I did.
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Learning Web Design: A Beginner's Guide to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Web Graphics
Learning Web Design: A Beginner's Guide to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Web Graphics by Jennifer Niederst Robbins (Paperback - August 24, 2012)
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