Thursday, December 20, 2012

HTML5 is One Step Closer to a Standard

The W3C announced recently that HTML5 has progressed to Candidate Recommendation status. This means HTML5 is relatively stable and that web designers should feel confident using HTML5 syntax on web pages. The W3C indicated that new work and future changes will be part of the HTML5.1 specification. See for more information.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Graphic Designers: Making the Transition from Print to Web

Many experienced graphic designers are retooling and studying web design to enhance their skillsets to meet the changing expectations of potential employers in the ever-evolving field of graphic design. As I've taught web design courses for over a decade, I've noticed that students who have a background in graphic design often need to shift their expectations when designing for the Web.

I came across an interesting description of this paradigm shift while reading an article about the Evolution of CSS. Here is a summary of the article's description of the difference between print design and web design:

Designing for Print

When designing for print, the designer is in control of:

  • page size
  • content amount
  • fonts and font size
  • pixel-perfect layout

Designing for the Web

When designing for the Web, the designer must configure pages that display on many different types of devices, such as typical desktop monitors, large monitors, small netbook monitors, tablets, smartphones, etc. Also, the designer must allow for varied display conditions, including:

  • screen resolutions
  • aspect ratios
  • font support
  • viewport reszing

Expect the Unexpected

A key point in the article: "Web layout has to be flexible, adaptable, automatic, and robust. It can't fail because it's loaded in an environment that wasn't quite what the designer had in mind... because that happens all the time."

Responsive Web Design to the Rescue

Responsive web design techniques including CSS media queries, flexible images, and relative font sizing (ems and percentages) are essential tools to designing websites that display well on the multitude of varied devices that people use to access web pages. It's a complex, but exciting, time to be a web designer.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Split in Groups Developing the HTML5 Standard

The W3C is  planning to create a single, definitive standard (the snapshot) while the WHATWG’s living standard will continue to add new features and receive refinements. See more at HTML5 Splits – Snapshot or Living Standard? - 'Net Features - Website Magazine

Saturday, July 21, 2012

First Impressions Matter

Your mom always told you that first impressions are important and she was right! Check out the Five Second Test ( to find out more about how visitors form instant perceptions of your website design. This could also be a useful tool to help decide between multiple potential layouts or redesigns.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The HTML5 Edition Is Here!

The new HTML5 edition of my popular textbook, Web Development and Design Foundations with HTML5 (6th edition), is available at This edition focuses on how to use HTML5 and CSS3 today and while introducing new elements and techniques that will be utilized in the future.

The release of the 6th edition also marks the 10 year anniversary of the textbook — the 1st edition was published back in 2002 — with new editions about every 18 months to keep current with industry trends.

Visit the textbook's companion website at for more information about the book.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Non-Breaking Space Show

Check out the new Non-Breaking Space Show — it's a podcast by web professionals and authors Christopher Schmitt and Dave McFarland. They chat with the "best and brightest on the web about what and why they do what they do."

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, will do much more than stop pirated media on the Web — SOPA gives the government the power to block and censor websites. See for more information on related issues.