New Book: Bulletproof Web Design

I’m happy to finally announce my new book, Bulletproof Web Design, to be published by New Riders this summer. It’s now completely written and heading to the printers this weekend. If all goes well, it should hit bookshelves in early August.

book coverIt was a hot summer afternoon almost a year ago, when the concept of the book was initially formed. I was most likely sipping a beer in the backyard, mulling what to do next — it had only been a few months since Web Standards Solutions had been released, but apparently bookwriting was something I (perhaps insanely) wished to try again. I enjoyed using the term “bulletproof”‘ to describe design techniques that embrace flexibility — allowing for varying text size or content amounts. Also ensuring that web designs accounted for worst-case scenarios: preparing for a variety of situations, where the imporant parts of the page were adaptable — maintaining maximum readability and accessibility. At the same time, these techniques could still allow designs to be compelling. We could create cool web sites, while at the same time inject flexibility that helps them reach the widest audience possible.

At the time, the web standards fire was spreading (and still is). Smart web designers were employing semantic markup and CSS to create lean, accessible web sites. This was good. The next natural step for those utilizing XHTML and CSS for constructing modern designs was to continue to learn how to use these standards well.

So it seemed natural to write a book of guidelines — tools to help web designers apply bulletproof principles to their own designs. This isn’t another book explaining the benefits of using lean markup and CSS (although many of those benefits are a welcomed result of the techniques described). It’s a visual guide feauturing real-world examples that are rebuilt step-by-step — and a nice follow-up to the foundation of markup and style choices found within Web Standards Solutions.

Most chapters take an existing “unbulletproof” component from the existing web. I explain it’s pitfalls, then reconstruct using bulletproof techniques — some collected from the wonderful community of standards-based pioneers, and others I’ve stumbled on and refined over the years.

I hope the idea that flexibility can be successfully applied to great-looking designs is one continues to gain steam. Web standards such as XHTML and CSS make this easier, and I’m sure we’ll now see more and more resources that offer advice on how to acheive the best results using (now) familiar tools.

I’d like to publicly thank Peachpit Press for getting behind the book and everyone that’s worked hard on it thus far. I’d also like to especially thank Ethan Marcotte for being a most excellent and invaluable technical editor. It’s been a long but fun project, and I’m really excited that it’ll soon be available to the world in beautiful full-color.

You can pre-order the book on Amazon now, then keep an eye out for it later this summer.

This entry could’ve also been titled: “If You’ve Sent Me an Email Within the Last Eight Months or so and I Haven’t Responded Yet — This is Why”.