HTML5 for Web Designers by Jeremy Keith and Rachel Andrew (also available from the publisher, A Book Apart, possibly cheaper)
This book breaks downs a few very important points about HTML5 that other books I’ve read on the topic do not, and they all involve history. Jeremy Keith explains how we got here, from the beginning with HTML 2.0 through the WHATWG and WC3 kerfuffles to the present (2010) day.
Knowing the history of HTML helps considerably in understanding what decisions were made and why. Understanding the design principles — especially in the light of graceful degradation — is also quite helpful.
I read both the first edition and the second edition. The bulk of the second edition changes are dedicated to updating the features and options that have become browser-supported since the first edition came out in 2010. Because of the solid principles Jeremy Keith describes the web standards groups are using, the first edition isn’t inaccurate so much as missing all the cool stuff that’s developed since so if this is the only edition you have access to, it’s still worth the read.
CSS 3 For Web Designers by Dan Cederholm (also available from the publisher, A Book Apart, possibly cheaper. Support your small press publishers!)
This book actually spurred me to update my entire A Book Apart library this year. I’d read it when the original edition came out in… 2011? Something like that. And at the time it was a cutting-edge book covering all the things we hoped would be in supported in browsers sometime this decade.
So when I did a reread earlier this year, I discovered that not only were most-to-all of those things implemented, but a whole bunch of new things that Dan could only dream of in 2011 had also crossed the finish line. So, upgrade central.
The new edition covers everything through about 2016 I believe, which considering how quickly CSS is moving, means it doesn’t quite get to CSS Grid… on the other hand, A Book Apart has a book for CSS Grid now too.
Meanwhile, if you want to learn or refresh on all the goodies in CSS 3 this is an excellent place to get the not-flashy basics down, and understand what may yet be to come.
The Elements of Content Strategy by Erin Kissane (also available from the publisher, A Book Apart, possibly cheaper. Support your small press publishers!)
Note: at the time of this writing, the paperback has been out of print for quite a while. I’m hoping that’s because they’re doing a second edition because this is a fantastic book. Meanwhile the e-book version is still available through A Book Apart through the links above.
As an Information Architect, I’ve dabbled in the more IA-like parts of Content Strategy for a number of years… but without necessarily knowing that’s what I was doing. CS has been a thing that the Documentation/Writing/Marketing teams did, not something that directly affected me. On the other hand, when I’ve worked with Content Strategists, we’ve produced better projects than I could dream of doing on my own.
Erin Kissane’s book, as a primer on content strategy, will provide you with a short history of the field, the kinds of skillsets that are adjacent to Content Strategy, the kinds of work that Content Strategists do, and the kinds of pitfalls to look out for as a Content Strategist.
If you know nothing about Content Strategy, pay close attention to the Design Principles provided at the beginning of the book. Strategists I’ve worked with who align to those principles have been highly successful; strategists who work off of “please the client” principles instead have caused nothing but disruption for otherwise on-track work.
For me, one of the biggest takeaways is that I need to learn more about editorial work if I want to pitch in as a content strategist as needed. Your takeaways will likely be different, because you likely don’t have my work history ;)
Oh hey! Look at that! I got my conference notes from An Event Apart up before the end of the month!
(I’m still working on the IA Summit ones, and that was March.)
Ever have one of those days where you realize just how horribly behind you’ve become in keeping specific parts of your portfolio up to date?
Yeah, that’s today.
So here’s a list of the last… um… five article I’ve written for The Interconnected:
Of those, the top one was probably the most important, because it discusses ongoing differences between the way that most conferences handle codes of conduct and how we probably should be handling them.
But if you’re looking for general ranting about UX, the lamp post is pretty fun.
Also, a reminder: we’re always looking for authors so if you have something to say and want to post it to Medium and our little website, we’ll gladly take your submission.
In other news, I just got back from An Event Apart DC and had a fantastic time, so there will be a notes dump sometime soon. As in, I’m starting to write it now.
And October 8-10 I’ll be speaking at edUi Conference in Charlottesville, VA. Come on out and check it out!