Bulletproof Web Design (Book review)

I've been a fan of Dan Cederholm's writing and simple examples of real-world solutions to typical web design problems since long before his first book, Web Standards Solutions. Bulletproof Web Design does not disappoint. It is very well-written and beautfully laid out, and helps the reader understand how to create flexible and bulletproof websites.

What does Dan mean by "bulletproof", then? Well, it's a way to describe websites built using techniques that make the site flexible, readable, and accessible even as content changes and the site is being viewed in a browsing device that may or may not support a certain technology. It is exactly the approach I advocate when implementing a design. Always take a second to think "What happens if… [images are not displayed/CSS is not supported/text size is increased/another menu option is added]."

In the first eight chapters of the book, Dan shows how web designers used to solve typical problems as well as why those old solutions are inflexible and outdated. He then provides a better, web standards based solution to each problem.

In the final chapter, the techniques described in the first part of the book are combined to create a website that is bulletproof.

If you are already using CSS and (X)HTML you may think that you are already practising bulletproof web design. Chances are that you in fact are not. Just using CSS instead of tables for layout does not necessarily make your site flexible and accessible.

Regular readers of web standards and CSS oriented blogs may not find a whole lot of new concepts in this book. Despite that, I recommend that you get yourself a copy – it's great to have simple and to the point descriptions of some of the most useful CSS techniques collected in one single book.

A great reference and a source of inspiration.

Bulletproof Web Design
Author: Dan Cederholm
ISBN: 0321346939

Posted on July 28, 2006 in Reviews