Learning Web Design, 4th Edition – Beginner’s guide updated for HTML5, CSS3 & JavaScript – #bookreview

Learning Web Design, 4th Edition
Jennifer Niederst Robbins
(O’Reilly, paperback)

Eager to learn web design, but not sure where to start and what you will need? Need a steady, guiding hand as you try to figure out how build your first web pages?

This handsome new edition of Learning Web Design can be your how-to, go-to handbook for a long time, whether you are a newbie or already have web experience.

The expanded and updated guidebook now includes coverage of HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. There is also some focus on ensuring web pages display well on mobile device, and on making graphics files smaller for faster loading.

Subtitled “Beginner’s Guide to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Web Graphics,” Jennifer Niederst Robbins’ book is a complete, well-illustrated course. It can help you get a solid grounding in the fundamentals of web page creation and web design.

The book’s 603 pages are organized into 22 chapters and five parts. The parts are:

  1. Getting Started
  2. HTML Markup for Structure
  3. CSS for Presentation
  4. JavaScript for Behaviors
  5. Creating Web Graphics

“There are many levels of involvement in web design, from building a small site for yourself  to making it a full-blown career,” the author notes. “You may enjoy being a full-service website developer or just specializing in one skill. There are a lot of ways you can go.”

In general terms, she divides “web design” into “four very broad categories: design, development, content strategy, and multimedia.” On a small website, you may be responsible for understanding and implementing them all. But if you work for a company with a very large website, you may be just one member of a big team that supports and updates or changes its pages. And your job may entail just one limited aspect of web design.

But the more you know and can show that you know, the better your job security and career options may be. Learning Web Design likewise can be an excellent reference handbook for students studying web design in college or high school. And, if you have a solo small business and are reasonably computer savvy, this book can help you put together, post and maintain a good website even if you have never touched HTML.

The author, a long-time veteran of web design, includes numerous tips and references to additional materials. She also ends each chapter with a “Test Yourself” quiz, so you can “see if you picked up the important bits of information.” And don’t worry. The answers to all of the questions are in Appendix A.

Si Dunn

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