HTML5 for Web Designers, not Dummies

HTML5 for Web Designers

Okay, I’ve now finished two full length books in two weeks, not a major accomplishment I realize, but these have been read 100% on my iPad. Let me just say, I love reading digital books on the iPad. It’s convenient, easy and effective. The in-page links to further resources are a big plus. There is something about reading about a Google 2006 announcement, and then watching the video of the actual event. It’s a nice way to immerse yourself into a subject. But, I digress…

My latest ‘fling’ was HTML5 for Web Designers, by Jeremy Keith. I’ve read more technical books than I can count, but this was one of my favorite for the following reasons:

1. Jeremy adds a lot of personality and humor throughout the entire book. I especially like how he articulates his view of those who add auto-play files to their sites, making our ears bleed upon entering. Let’s just say, he doesn’t care for the practice. I concur.

2. The book is only 85 pages. Too often technical books think they have to be the end-all, be-all resource for the specific topic. HTML5 for Web Designers knows exactly what it is…a simple summary of the main features of the new spec, aimed at giving someone with development experience the major differences between HTML4 and 5, focusing on the elements that actually matter.

3. Lots of examples and code, showing how the new features are to be implemented in HTML5. Each was clear and concise.

The book goes through the major differences with the new HTML spec, covering elements like the canvas, video, audio and the implementation of graceful degradation.  I think SEO’s are lathering at the mouth (I know search engines are) at the ability HTML5 gives for labeling page sections as ‘navigation’, ‘header’, ‘footer’ and especially the ability to group related content under a specific tag. Letting search engines to more accurately index different paragraphs and pages under the correct keyword phrases. It seems like it will greatly increase a search engines ability to link related content and index accordingly.When pervasive throughout the internet, Google will be able to produce SERPs that are even more tailored to the query, without the user having to click into a site. For example, with the article segmenting, the author will be more clearly called out (in the article’s footer tag), allowing search engines to more easily display it in the actual SERPs without requiring a click into the site.

After enjoying the read so much, I think I’ll look through the publishers site ( for additional titles. Their tag line is ‘Brief Books for People Who Make Websites‘, and my first exposure to their work was very positive. The next books from their selection I’m considering include:

1. The Elements of Content Strategy, by Erin Kissane

2. CSS3 for Web Designers, by Dan Cederholm

3. Designing for Emotion, by Aaron Walter (coming this summer)

Phew! Luckily, they are pretty short books. Let know if you’ve read any of these titles, or have any of your own you would recommend.