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Web Standards Creativity: Innovations in Web Design with XHTML, CSS, and DOM Scripting Paperback – March 17, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-1590598030 ISBN-10: 1590598032 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: friendsofED; 1 edition (March 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590598032
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590598030
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 8.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,713,815 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Andy Budd is one of the founding partners at User Experience Design Consultancy, Clearleft. As an interaction design and usability specialist, Andy is a regular speaker at international conferences like Web Directions, An Event Apart, and SXSW. Andy curates dConstruct, one of the U.K.'s most popular design conferences. He's also responsible for UX London, the U.K.'s first dedicated usability, information architecture, and user experience design event.

Andy was an early champion of web standards in the U.K. and has developed an intimate understanding of the CSS specifications and cross-browser support. As an active member of the community, Andy has helped judge several international design awards and currently sits on the advisory board for .NET magazine. Andy is also the driving force behind Silverbackapp, a low-cost usability testing tool for the Mac. Andy is an avid Twitter user and occasionally blogs at andybudd.com.

Never happier than when he's diving in some remote tropical atoll, Andy is a qualified PADI dive instructor and retired shark wrangler.



Rob Weychert is a graphic designer, artist, writer, and thinker known for an almost neurotically meticulous attention to detail. Since the late 1990s, Rob has designed print and interactive solutions for clients in such disparate industries as entertainment, travel, healthcare, education, publishing, e-commerce, and more. When he is not absorbed in design, Rob spends most of his time scrutinizing music and film, writing haiku, screenprinting, taking photos, and cruising the streets of his hometown Philadelphia on his BMX. He also writes about these topics and all things design on his personal web site, RobWeychert.com.

Music, design, typography, web standards, South Florida beaches. What could these things possibly have in common? Dan Rubin, that's what er, who. From vocal coaching and performing to graphic design and (almost literally) everything in between, Dan does his best to spread his talent as thin and as far as he possibly can while still leaving time for a good cup of tea and the occasional nap. His passion for all things creative and artistic isn't a solely selfish endeavor either you don't have to hang around too long before you'll find him waxing educational about a cappella jazz and barbershop harmony, interface design, usability, web standards, and which typeface was on the bus ad that just whizzed by at 60mph. Dan has been known to write the occasional entry on his blog, superfluousbanter.org (you might even find a podcast or two if you poke around enough), and his professional work can be found at his agency's site, webgraph.com.

Ian Lloyd runs Accessify.com, a site dedicated to promoting web accessibility and providing tools for web developers. His personal site, Blog Standard Stuff, ironically, has nothing to do with standards for blogs (it's a play on words), although there is an occasional standards-related gem to be found there. Ian works full-time for Nationwide Building Society, where he tries his hardest to influence standards-based design ("to varying degrees!"). He is a member of the Web Standards Project, contributing to the Accessibility Task Force. Web standards and accessibility aside, he enjoys writing about his trips abroad and recently took a "year out" from work and all things web (but then ended up writing more in his year off than he ever has). He finds most of his time being taken up by a demanding old lady (relax, it's only his old Volkswagen camper van). Ian wrote his first book for SitePoint, titled Build Your First Web Site the Right Way with HTML and CSS, in which he teaches web standards-based design to the complete beginner.

A bio is not available for this author.

Jeff Croft is a web and graphic designer focused on web standards-based development living and working Lawrence, Kansas. As the senior designer at World Online, Jeff works on such award-winning standards-based sites as Lawrence.com and LJworld.com. Jeff also runs a popular blog and personal site at JeffCroft.com, where he writes about many topics, including modern web and graphic design. In addition to his work with World Online, Jeff has also worked at two major universities in an effort to bring web standards to the education sector, and completed many freelance and contract jobs for varying clients. When he's not hunched over a computer, Jeff enjoys photography, music, film, television, and a good night out on the town.

Andy Clarke is an internationally sought-after speaker, designer and consultant. He is creative director of Stuff and Nonsense (www.malarkey.co.uk), a design agency focusing on creative, accessible web. Andy is passionate about design and passionate about web standards, often bridging the gap between design and code. He regularly trains designers and developers in the creative applications of Web Standards. He writes about aspects of design and popular culture on his personal web site, And All That Malarkey (www.stuffandnonsense.co.uk). His first book was Transcending CSS: The Fine Art of Web Design (2006).

Mark Boulton is a typographic designer from Cardiff, U.K. He's worked in Sydney, London, and Manchester as an art director for design agencies for clients such as BBC, T-Mobile, and British Airways. For the past three years, Mark has been working as a senior designer for the BBC, designing web sites and web applications. He is an active member of the International Society of Typographic Designers and writes a design journal at www.markboulton.co.uk.

Cameron Adams has a degree in law and one in science; naturally, he chose a career in Web development. When pressed, he labels himself a "web technologist," because he likes to have a hand in graphic design, JavaScript, CSS, Perl (yes, Perl), and anything else that takes his fancy that morning. While running his own business (www.themaninblue.com), he's consulted and worked for government departments, nonprofit organisations, large corporations and tiny startups. As well as helping his list of clients, Cameron has taught numerous workshops around the country and spoken at conferences worldwide, such as @Media and Web Essentials. He has also written a book, The JavaScript Anthology, which is one of the most complete question and answer resources on modern JavaScript techniques.

In October 2006, Simon Collision started Erskine Design based in Nottingham, U.K. which grew to become an eight-strong team of creative web designers and developers who are afraid of nothing. Some people say they're one of the best agencies out there, and their clients include major magazines, government stuff, software companies and polar explorers.

Moons ago, he was a successful visual artist, and founded an independent arts org and annual arts festival, putting his degree to some use at least. Then he caught the interwebs bug.

As lead web developer at Agenzia from 2002 to 2006, he worked on numerous web projects for major record labels (such as Poptones, Universal) and bands (including The Libertines, Dirty Pretty Things, Beta Band), visual artists and illustrators (Jon Burgerman, Paddy Hartley, Lucy Orta, NOW Festival), businesses, community, and voluntary sector orgs, passionately ensuring everything was accessible and complied with current web standards.

He does a bit of public speaking here and there, and will generally do anything for a biscuit and cup of tea, but prefers hard cash.

He has lived in many cities, including London and Reykjavik, but has now settled back in his beloved Nottingham, where the grass is green and the girls are pretty. He also drives a 31-year-old car, and has a stupid cat called Bearface.


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Customer Reviews

I'm now left with a book that looks increasingly like a pile of leaves.
node1
Summary So there you have it, one of the most comprehensive compilations of real-world web design solutions and techniques.
Nathan Smith
This may seem nit-picky to some, but I think it becomes a usability/readability concern.
Joshua K. Briley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Nathan Smith on April 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
Every now and then, there a book comes along that really makes you stop and take notice. We review plenty of tech books on this site, and each one is a tome of knowledge in its own right. Web Standards Solutions though, is a work of art unto itself. Each page is full-color, with entire pages varying in color theme from the next. It feels as though you're thumbing through a high-end design catalog. I'd rank it right up there with The Zen of CSS Design.

Not only will this book serve to grace your coffee table, and make visitors "ooh and aah" over your fancy role as a web designer, it is also chalk full of helpful code and graphics tips. As with any multi-author book, each chapter has its own distinctiveness. Rather than attempt to down-play this, as with tech books, the chapters reflect the personalities of the author, both in tone and design. Here's a run-down of each chapter's topic...

Chapter 1 by Simon Collison
In this chapter, Colly covers the design process behind two of his acclaimed designs. He shows how to have solid markup, but at the same time create a distressed looking website in keeping with a band's musical style. The sites that are discussed are: The Libertines and Dirty Pretty Things.

Chapter 2 by Dan Rubin
This chapter is also about a band website, Lifehouse. Dan explains the CMS limitations he was up against, and how he creatively used CSS to wrangle the underlying XHTML under presentational control. He covers everything from his initial sketches > to Photoshop > to the final product.

Chatper 3 by Ethan Marcotte
Departing from the band topics, Ethan goes in-depth on the planning, design and code process that went into remaking New York Magazine.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Costa Michele on June 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is a bunch of use-cases developed by PRO technicians in Web standards (but Andy Budd, the author of the essential CSS MASTERY, have only written the introduction).
While some of the topics are of great interest, i can't help to feel a bad habit when reading them: the book does not follow a straight line to deploy the info, it's more like a collage rather than a well structured painting.
I also find the layout not such usable (a little paradox for a book that also talk about Web usability): reading the electronic version of the book the continuous change of background start boring me (and tiring my eyes) after 20 pages (i suppose the paper version must be better).
That said it's not a bad book, but neither a masterpiece.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Joshua K. Briley on May 3, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There's no doubt the information in this book is great. Ian Lloyd's chapter on using the DOM to overcome some of the previously unnoticed shortcomings of print style sheets was particularly interesting.

The amount of information in the book is by no means overwhelming - its concise. Had the superfluous, non-illustrative design elements not been there, I estimate I could have read the book cover to cover on a short plane ride. Instead it's taken me a few long sittings and a few ibuprofen (to battle the headaches) to get in all the information.

The reason I didn't give this book five stars is because of the distracting nature of the design. This may seem nit-picky to some, but I think it becomes a usability/readability concern. It seems like every other page (give or take a few) is a different color, many with background images behind the text. Why? Maybe there's a reason... Maybe it's random. It's definitely distracting, taking away from the content itself.

It's understandable that the folks at Friends of Ed thought design embellishments would work with the underlying theme... IMHO, it's a little overdone.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Nora Brown on May 9, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I absolutely agree with one of the other reviewers who mentioned the extremely distracting design of this book. Whoever made the bizarre decision to make EVERY SINGLE page a different color, often printed with background images, should think about some of the authors' principals of accessibilty, and design not interfering with content. It makes it impossible to jump to a specific section or go back in the text and find anything.

Aside from the ill-conceived design, this book is excellent. Each author delves into not just "tips and tricks" but how to refine and improve a design, and implement that more sophisticated design on the web.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Nate Klaiber on May 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
Web Standards Creativity: Innovations in Web Design with XHTML, CSS, and DOM Scripting by Cameron Adams, Mark Boulton, Andy Clarke, Simon Collison, Jeff Croft, Derek Featherstone, Ian Lloyd, Ethan Marcotte, Dan Rubin, and Rob Weychert --whew--was an excellent resource for any web developer. Each of the authors had their own chapter based on different aspects to create accessible, usable, and standards based websites. Andy Budd wrote the introduction and let readers know that this book was an extension to his previously published CSS Mastery--and I would agree. This book was broken into 3 main sections and 10 total chapters.

The first section was dedicated to Layout Magic. The chapters covered such topics as background images, page structure and contents such as menus, content highlights, and the masthead. We got a glimpse of how you can best manage, or tame, a wild CMS using CSS, Javascript, and Flash (sIFR). We move on to discussions related to switching your layouts based on your body selectors. This chapter exposes tips and tricks to create a website with several layout options--by switching a class on the body--all of the underlying markup is the same. Next we take our skills and apply them to a layout that jumps out of the grid or boxy layout. For those of you who have read Transcending CSS this chapter will be familiar as Andy Clarke walks us through a layout while using element selectors, descendant selectors, and adjacent sibling selectors. If you love pink, you will love this layout! The last chapter in this section discusses some creative uses of PNG's. I would say this was one of my favorite chapters of the entire book. Jeff Croft does a great job discussing the different image formats, their uses, and why PNG is now a viable option for your websites.
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