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Learning Responsive Web Design: A Beginner's Guide

Deliver an optimal user experience to all devices—including tablets, smartphones, feature phones, laptops, and large screens—by learning the basics of responsive web design. In this hands-on guide, UX designer Clarissa Peterson explains how responsive web design works, and takes you through a responsive workflow from project kickoff to site launch.Ideal for anyone involved in the process of creating websites—not just developers—this book teaches you fundamental strategies and techniques for using HTML and CSS to design websites that not only adapt to any screen size, but also use progressive enhancement to provide a better user experience based on device capabilities such as touchscreens and retina displays.Start with content strategy before creating a visual designLearn why your default design should be for the narrowest screensExplore the HTML elements and CSS properties essential for responsive web designUse media queries to display different CSS styles based on a device’s viewport widthHandle elements such as images, typography, and navigationUse performance optimization techniques to make your site lighter and faster

Paperback: 412 pages

Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (June 27, 2014)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 144936294X

ISBN-13: 978-1449362942

Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #63,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #33 in Books > Computers & Technology > Graphics & Design > User Experience & Usability #82 in Books > Computers & Technology > Web Development & Design > Web Design #797 in Books > Textbooks > Computer Science

This book was just what I needed to adapt my large content-heavy web site so it could be viewed on any screen size - smartphone, tablet or computer.I am very familiar with HTML, but CSS, not so much.I considered migrating my site to Wordpress which I've worked with on other projects, but hesitated for several reasons. A lot of people have bookmarked or linked to pages on my old site, so I wanted to keep my old page names. I hadn't found a WordPress theme whose format really fit my content. And I've had some issues using Affiliate links with Wordpress.I also considered using a responsive theme based on frameworks like Bootstrap or Foundation, and found some great themes. But implementing them proved more than I bargained for, with multiple large CSS files and very complex cascaded code I didn't understand.Peterson's book worked well for me. Her writing style was organized and clear. She walked me step by step through the design of a very simple two-column responsive page with header and footer which I could adapt to my content. And the book has links to her web site where I could download the finished CSS and HTML code to use on my site.The end product is a bit of a compromise for me. I have less ability to design pages, control type or add images than I did when I built my own HTML site. And I had hoped that I could adapt Peterson's 2-column design to a 3-column format for selected pages. But that wasn't possible. After extensive on-line searches I concluded that making a responsive 3-column format definitely requires js or other scripting languages that I don't have the heart to tackle.But it was easy to set up my new site with Peterson's CSS code. And I set up a simple custom.

Graphic artists who insist on using absolute values for their Web page designs drive me nuts. Static size elements in a design inevitably come to a bad end--on smaller screens, half the page is missing and on larger screens, the design sits in the middle of the display like a postage stamp in the middle of a white wall. (On certain size screens, their designs are beautiful, though--and I'm sure that more than a few artists are miffed by the fact that the world does not agree on one screen size so that their designs can be appreciated.) This was before mobile computing with smartphones and tablets. With the exponential growth of mobile computing devices, all graphic design for the Web is now "responsive web design"--or at least it should be. Clarissa Peterson sets out to introduce beginner's on how to get started in responsive design.In reading Peterson's book, I'm reminded of Jennifer Tidwell's admonition to Web page builders— It's not about you!Many designers and developers somehow think that their creations should be appreciated as graphic or software design exemplars and not a useful tool for the user. Responsive web design responds to the users device; so, designers should get the idea right away that their designs must conform to a diverse technological environments and not some ideal canvas dimensioned for their creations.Given my own background as a programmer I've migrated to PHP sniffer programs for determining user agents (devices) and grouping content into phone, tablet and desktop sizes. I've come to depend on jQuery Mobile for creating sites for non-desktop displays. So while I'm not a designer, I've a good deal of experience dealing with the issues that Peterson tackles.

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