Book Review: Web Designer's Reference - Craig Grannell

If you are looking to understand almost everything you will need to run a small web design agency then this is the book for you. The Web Designer's Reference covers a staggering array of topics from XHTML editors to CSS layout to forms and multimedia.

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Three out of Five
Three out of Five

There is no doubt that Craig Grannell knows his stuff and there are many useful suggestions and pointers in the book that will help both novice and professional designers alike.

The book’s breadth is both its strength and its weakness. After reading the book you will understand many issues and pointers relating to XTHML and CSS. Whether or not you will be able to take it all in is another matter. For example 24 pages are given to CSS layouts covering pretty much everything you need to know. The fact that entire books have been written on CSS layout shows that this might have been an ambitious undertaking. It is highly likely that the novice reader would get lost in the volume of information. For the professional CSS coder there might be one or two things new but not much.

The word “Reference” in the title suggests that the book is not meant to be read in a linear fashion. It is perhaps unfair to criticise the book for attempting too much but covering so much information waters down the appeal of the book for the novice in particular.

The book does succeed in being a ready handbook to have around the studio to consult on an ad hoc basis. It is likely you will find the book more concise and insightful than a Google search and the reference sections on XHTML, CSS and Entities in particular are very useful.

To conclude this book offers a good, general overview for the novice and intermediate web designer. It succeeds in providing a ready handbook to consult when confronted with jargon or web development issues. It is limited by the huge scope of the book which may intimidate beginners.

For the experienced developer the book should reinforce existing knowledge and whilst it is worth reading there is little new in terms of techniques or innovation.


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