Adaptive Web Design, book review

Author: Joke De Winter

Adaptive Web Design by Aaron Gustafson

Adaptive Web Design
Crafting Rich Experiences with Progressive Enhancement
– a (very good) book by Aaron Gustafson

I learned to code and build websites years ago, but every now and then it’s good to take stock and read a book about it. One such book that is a very good read is Adaptive Web Design by Aaron Gustafson. It’s all about progressive enhancement in web design.

The web should be a medium where anyone, anywhere can access websites. And this regardless of ability, device used or method of connection. Progressive enhancement goes a long way in having a good experience viewing the web.

A website contains several elements and each one is available for progressive enhancement.

The content

Words are the core of almost every experience on the web. Write for real people. Be clear and deliberate. Speak to your audience as they speak to you.

The markup

Markup adds semantic meaning to your content. Choosing the right element is the crucial first step to enhance a web page. Avoid unnecessary markup as often as possible to keep your pages smaller and faster to load.

The design

Content is the foundation of design and needs to be the starting point of your design work. It needs to be central to every design decision you make. The purpose of design is to solve problems, not to make things pretty.

The interaction

Start with a website where users are be able to get what they came for without the need of JavaScript. From there detect features and elements you want to work with and enhance the experience.

Adaptive Web Design is a book suitable for designers, developers or anyone interested. It contains good solid advice and a common sense approach to building websites. You should read it.

Buy the book