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Flexible Web Design: Creating Liquid and Elastic Layouts with CSS [Paperback]

Zoe Mickley Gillenwater

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Book Description

Dec 4 2008 0321553845 978-0321553843 1
Liquid or fluid layouts change width based on the user's unique device viewing size. These types of layouts have always been possible with tables but offer new design challenges as well as opportunities when built with CSS. This book, for experienced Web designers with some CSS experience, outlines how to do this successfully.

Designers will learn the benefits of flexible layouts and when to choose a liquid, elastic, or hybrid design. They will learn not only how to build a liquid layout from scratch using standards-compliant and cross-browser compatible (X)HTML and CSS, but will also learn how to design and slice their graphic comps in a way that makes flexible design achievable. This book will show designers that flexible layouts do not have to be visually boring or difficult to build when planned and built correctly. Even those who do not intend to build liquid layouts can use the concepts and techniques taught in this book to improve their fixed-width CSS designs, because they will learn how to design for the inherent flexibility of the web medium, instead of the rigid qualities of print media or table grid-based layouts.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (Dec 4 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321553845
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321553843
  • Product Dimensions: 1.6 x 18.8 x 22.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 662 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #681,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Another excellent resource comes to us courtesy of Zoe Mickley Gillenwater <http://zomigi.com/> . She’s written a book called Flexible Web Designs <http://flexiblewebbook.com/> . Buy it now. You won’t regret it. I thought I knew my stuff when it came to wrangling CSS but this book had techniques that were new to me. ..."  -- Jeremy Keith

"If you want to know more about creating liquid and elastic layouts, you should read Flexible Web Design by Zoe Mickley Gillenwater. I heard about the book on Twitter (via Malarkey) and I bought it almost straight away. I started reading it recently and my first impressions are that this is the best book I have bought in some time. The book describes flexible layout types in some detail and explains how to achieve these with CSS. It really is a worthwhile read if you are new to flexible layouts…. or even if you are a regular ‘flexible web designer’." -- Clive Walker

"The biggest two flaws that this book has is that it wasn't published many years ago and not all web designers have a copy of it. There isn't much that can be done about the first of these and the situation regarding the second will resolve itself gradually as more web designers find out about the book and buy a copy. This book goes into great detail on a number of important techniques for styling web pages with CSS that will be useful to anyone creating web pages. The step by step approach not only shows you how to solve the specific layouts that the book covers but also show very clearly the approach to take to resolve the layout of any web page with CSS." -- Stephen Chapman

About the Author

Zoe Mickley Gillenwater is an experienced web designer, project manager and technical author, active in the web standards community. She uses her expert knowledge of CSS, XHTML, Dreamweaver, accessibility, and visual design in all aspects of her career. Zoe leads the design and development efforts of dozens of information-rich web sites and applications. Her work has focused on creating web sites that combine beautiful aesthetics with standards compliance, usability, and accessibility best practices.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Relevant to current best practices Jan. 3 2009
By Robin Button - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I just purchased the book, and find it to be a valuable resource for the baffling topic of liquid layouts. It "set me straight" on some basic concepts and I particularly liked the way Zoe explained the pros and cons of the various layout choices. For this reason, I will refer to it before beginning a new project to help me me make some design decisions. Also, she provides some examples for dealing with some of the issues that must be considered when working with liquid layouts(such as strategies to use for graphic comps). I also think it's a good blend of theory and actual exercises ... I have found that some books have too much of one or the other. For anyone ready to move beyond the fixed-width layout, I highly recommend it. I was very happy to see a very comprehensive book that dealt specifically with liquid layouts, written by someone who is an expert in this particular area. However it's not for the fledgling web designer (and the author clearly states this in her introduction).
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must reference source for CSS layouts March 15 2009
By James W. Gray Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I've been struggling with css and getting it to behave. I went to the bookstore and must have poured through about 15 or so css related books. I was looking for a step by step guide through the process and instantly grabed this book up as the one to beat. I walked away with 3 books to the register. This book was first on my list to read. Flexible Web Design has helped me get over the learning curve answered a lot of my biggest questions and cured most of my css hangups the first evening I cracked the book. You explain it very well like a friend sitting down with you. You don't take anything for granted, your very meticulous yet the explanations flows easy and comfortably at the same time, How did you do that? I highly recommend this to designers going from table layouts to css and need a comprehensive crash coarse that will get you up and going quickly with lots of tips, strategies and design considerations.

Thank you so much for getting this out there.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should Be Required Reading Feb. 22 2010
By Zachary Williams - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
After having read multiple articles from Smashing Magazine, A List Apart, and other blogs that have articles on both liquid and elastic layouts, I was really blown away with how much information was in this book. It definitely pays tribute to how much time Gillenwater must have invested in writing 'Flexible Web Design.' It's a truly excellent CSS book, and I'd recommend it to anyone who tries to use CSS Frameworks for laying out web pages instead of hand-coding. Out of all the CSS books I've read, this one was by far the most informative.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book and author! July 7 2009
By S - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a fantastic book (very well written too) for those wanting to know how to properly create layouts that really work and accommodate for your target users. If you are serious about your interface layout, then this book is very well suited and is a must read. The author clearly discusses the proper usage/application of the various layout techniques like fixed, liquid and elastic. It's great to also know that accessibility is not forgot and taken into consideration wherever relevant. A great author who knows how to teach, guide and develop clean and clear layouts.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ask Felgall - Book Review Dec 14 2011
By Stephen Chapman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The biggest two flaws that this book has is that it wasn't published many years ago and not all web designers have a copy of it. There isn't much that can be done about the first of these and the situation regarding the second will resolve itself gradually as more web designers find out about the book and buy a copy. This book goes into great detail on a number of important techniques for styling web pages with CSS that will be useful to anyone creating web pages. The step by step approach not only shows you how to solve the specific layouts that the book covers but also show very clearly the approach to take to resolve the layout of any web page with CSS.

Not only do the examples in the book provide solutions to many real world problems with web page layout but copies of all the code are available to download allowing you to use these solutions for your own web page designs without having to rewrite it. The book sets out a number of clear objectives with respect to liquid layouts, elastic layouts, hybrid layouts, handling space and backgrounds, and even how to make foreground images more flexible and it shows with extremely clear step by step how each of these objectives is achieved. The book even takes into account the earlier steps in the design process and how to prepare all through the design process so that you will not have to backtrack to achieve the desired end result.

No assumptions are made as to what tools you will be using to create your content or what browser that your visitors will be using to access it. Also, while the book deals specifically with flexible layouts, it acknowledges that fixed layouts also exist and may be more appropriate in certain situations.

In the acknowledgements in the front of the book the author thanks a number of really well known people in the field of web design who have inspired and taught her. I am sure that many future works which provide similar acknowledgements will include this author's name in their list.

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