If you’ve been working on the web for a while, your bookshelves may already be buckling under the weight of books about HTML and CSS. Do you really need another one? “Hardboiled Web Design” is different. It’s for people who want to understand why, when and how to use the latest HTML5 and CSS3 technologies in their everyday work. Not tomorrow or next week, but today.
If you’re a developer and you care about markup, you’re in for a treat because we focus on how to use the semantic elements contained within HTML. We also cover updated microformats 2 and WAI-ARIA landmark roles, looking at how they’ll make your markup faster, more responsive and of course hardboiled.
If you’re a designer who wants to learn the creative opportunities offered by CSS, this book will teach you how to use new properties including flexbox, background-blends and CSS filters and how they will change the way you design and develop for the web.
“Hardboiled Web Design Fifth Anniversary Edition” won’t teach you the basics of writing markup or CSS, but if you’re hungry to learn about how the latest technologies and techniques will make your websites and applications more creative and responsive, then this is the book for you. Are you ready to get hardboiled?
About The Author
Andrew Clarke is an art-director and website designer known for his design work and contributions to the web design industry. He’s given more than sixty presentations at conferences all over the world. As well as numerous articles in web design publications, he’s written two books, Transcending CSS and Hardboiled Web Design Fifth Anniversary Edition. Every two weeks, thousands of web professionals listen to Andy and his guests on his Unfinished Business podcast.
Table of Contents
What The Hell Is Hardboiled?
— You’ll discover what it means to be hardboiled for you, your designs and your workflow. Think again about what we can do instead of what we couldn’t. Embrace the possible, instead of complaining about limitations.
(Give Me That) Ol’ Time Religion
— You’ll discover why it’s important to constantly re-evaluate concepts such as progressive enhancement and graceful degradation. Learn about the basics of how a page should work in first place, not necessarily how a design should look. Get away from limiting your creativity to the capabilities of a lowest common denominator browser.
The Way Standards Develop
— You’ll find out the cold, hard truth about how standards are really developed. Learn about ten CSS modules that are most relevant to the work we do, its vendor-specific prefixes, and how to manage them with your favorite tools effectively.
It Doesn’t Have To Look The Same
— You’ll learn that responsive web design is an opportunity to make fabulous creative work, an opportunity that you should grab with both mitts. Embrace that not all browsers should render websites in the same way and focus on providing the most appropriate experience for the capabilities of a browser or device. All that without anyone being left unable to access content or features.
Atoms And Elements
— You’ll learn about designing atoms and elements and how web design style guides help you presenting designs in a more effective way. Learn how to present the atmosphere of a design while designing components separate from layout with Style Guides.
— You’ll find out how to design a great atmosphere by starting with typographic elements, how to select the right typeface, weight, line-height, and more. Learn how to use type proofs for presentation, how to balance them the right way and how to make them legible and readable on many different screens. Last but not least, you’ll dig into color accessibility and add decorative aspects that help give a design its personality.
— You’ll learn how to use HTML’s semantic elements alongside the BEM naming system. You’ll repeat the widely supported contemporary HTML5 standards such as section, article, aside, header, footer, and nav. You’ll learn how to make your markup faster, more responsive and, of course, hardboiled.
— Because your SEO ranking matters, you’ll discover the updated microformats2 — simple markup patterns for making your data machine-readable and therefore search engine friendly.
— While microformats2 are dedicated to make you website machine-readable, WAI-ARIA roles have different but complementary goals. You’ll learn how to make your web content easier to use by people who use assistive technologies such as navigation menus, sliders, progress meters, properties that define dynamically updated sections of a page, ways to enable keyboard navigation and roles to describe the structure of a page, including headings, regions, and tables (grids).
— In this chapter, you’ll dive deep into CSS Media Queries. By organizing it into six groups of elements that consider site-wide page styles, typography, form elements, tables, and images, you’ll learn how to style small screens first and how to choose breakpoints that are based on content rather than devices.
Flexible Box Layout
— You’ll investigate new Flexible Box layouts and how to visually reorder content without laying a hand on your markup, how to overcome common frustrations such as equal height backgrounds on unequal height columns, and more.
— Much of the web content we consume every day consists of the written word. Learn about the different web font formats and how to implement them properly, with fallback fonts and website performance in mind. You’ll learn how to specify the web fonts to low-resolution and high-resolution display, and how to test them on different resolution screens.
RGBa And Opacity
— With your hardboiled HTML all set and your smaller screen styling in place, you’ll now give your design an extra level of fidelity and interaction that makes the most of the space available on larger screens. You’ll redevelop our vertical list into a grid of eight magazine covers that reveal their descriptions when we press on them. You’ll do this by applying relative positioning but without any horizontal or vertical offsets.
— CSS borders can be exciting because they include properties that open up a wealth of creative opportunities. You’ll investigate new design possibilites with properties such as border-radius (that our clients love so much) and border-image for using images inside those borders.
— Since we’re also able use multiple background images and to change their origin point and size, there’s a vast variety new creative opportunities. You’ll get started by making a design using multiple background images. Background properties give us precise control over the size of our background images and how they’re rendered behind our elements.
— Flat design aesthetic has become the norm. Almost every site you see these days include large, flat areas of colour, often laid out across horizontal bands, almost always the full width of our screens, with flat or outlined buttons, and icon graphics that are also flat. You’ll learn how to move on from the mediocrity this flat aesthetic epitomises and you’ll see web design that’s rich and full of life. Whether you like linear gradients, radial, repeating or with multiple background images — you’ll need to know how to handle them.
Background Blends And Filters
— The rapidly increasing pace of change is a good thing for designers and developers, businesses and brands, and the internet in general. New technologies like CSS filters and background blends are not only being introduced faster, but they’re being implemented in browsers and turned into standards faster, too. Now’s not a time to kick back — it’s a time to use these exciting new tools to make creative work with depth and subtlety, work that’s hardboiled.
— CSS layouts can sometimes be a little strait-laced. You’ll learn how two-dimensional and three-dimensional transforms can help your designs break out of the box.
— In web pages and applications, changes in state can have a huge impact on how it feels to use an interface. Make a change too fast and an interaction can feel unnatural. Make it too slow, even by a few milliseconds, and an interface will feel sluggish. You’ll learn how to make state changes smoother with a host of CSS transitions.
— You might be surprised how unimaginative most website layouts are today, particularly since the responsive web design came up. But there’s so much to learn from print design that should inspire your work on the web. The different ways that magazine designers use columns of text to make their publications individual are an enormous inspiration. In this chapter, we’ll learn how to use CSS multicolumn layout and how to use it for today’s responsive designs.