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Adaptive Web Design: Crafting Rich Experiences with Progressive Enhancement

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  290 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
"Adaptive Web Design not only provides the clearest, most beautiful explanation of progressive enhancement I've ever read, it's also packed full of practical know-how pumped directly into your neocortex through Aaron's warm and friendly writing style. If you aren't already using progressive enhancement to build websites, you soon will be." —Jeremy Keith, Author, HTML5 for ...more
Paperback, 1st, 144 pages
Published May 30th 2011 by Easy Readers (first published 2011)
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Feb 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
Most books with "web design" in the title are actually about front-end web development, and Adaptive Web Design is no different.

Many web developers craft a great experiences based around ideal situations, then pare it down for inferior browsers, people with disabilities, etc. — often called Graceful Degradation. Instead, Gustafson advocates for Progressive Enhancement, where a developer starts with those extremes as the baseline experience, then adds enhancements as the user's situation becomes
Rachel Lehman
Oct 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the book, I thought it was well written and the techniques presented were useful. I glossed over most of the CSS section because there wasn't really anything new to me there. The JavaScript section was the most useful part to me. This is basically a collection of all the current best practice techniques out there today. I liked how many of the JS examples used jQuery - no need to triple the amount of code in the examples when we're all using jQuery anyway.
I was a little turned off by t
Corey Dutson
Aug 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
'Adaptive Web Design Patterns' probably would have been a more accurate title for this book. The examples aren't as deep as I'd personally like them, but the philosophies are solid and it's worth reading if only for those.

The book covers a range of different concepts in a clear and easy manner, which makes it a great book for those just getting into thinking about the web (as well as those of us that have been around it for a while).

I usually struggle with books like this (I'm more of a fiction
paul redman
Jan 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Anyone that wants to get started in Web Design (or even people that have been doing it for quite some time) should read this book. The author gives you the best description and walk-though of Progressive Enhancement I have ever come across. You do need to have a basic understanding of HTML, CSS & JavaScript to get the most out of the content. It is written clearly and to the point, I was able to read though this book in one evening.
Aug 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a great book for anyone that is interested in the more technical, but not too technical niche of web design. Aaron does a great job of walking the reader through the technical implementations of an adaptive web design and progressive enhancement. It is short so worth taking a read through then using as a reference for future project work. Great job Aaron!
Steve Love
Jul 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Great content, and a good read if you are new to progressive enhancement, but there's nothing revolutionary here if you've been keeping up. Ultimately, it's just another book that says, "Our previous design philosophies were misguided; here are our new best practices."
Jun 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. A great summary of the current work of art in front-end web development.
Mar 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Adaptive Web Design isn't bad but I didn't learn a lot personally.
May 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
JavaScript is not your interface. It's just one powerful layer that can do some incredible things on an already solid HTML foundation.

Adaptive Web Design is an excellent guide to creating rich digital experiences for the web. The author, Aaron Gustafson, is a seasoned web professional who really knows his stuff. More than a framework or methodology, Gustafson introduces Progressive Enhancement as a guiding "philosophy" to approaching websites and apps, treating each part of the design process as
Chad Mefferd
Sep 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is the best single resource I've come across that teaches and applies the concept of progressive enhancement to every aspect of web design. I especially had some lightbulb moments regarding Accessibility and ARIA in web applications. While there seem to be some complaints that the examples are not in depth enough, I felt they were just right. Not too involved that it encumbered reading the book, yet reaching far enough into each topic that you can begin applying them immediately. I wouldn't ...more
Ana Sampaio
Aug 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is a great starting point for everyone who wants to jump into the web's world, both web designers and developers. It talks about progressive enhancement, a word that you should know and care about if you're building today and tomorrow's web (and I didn't before I read this book!).

What I appreciated the most in this book was the way it's written. You can read it in a single day. Soft language, easy to read and understand. It's like having Aaron talking to you and explaining it all to y
Jan 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Not a bad book, listing various techniques in web development that accomplish "Progressive Enhancement" design pattern. Most of the suggestions and techniques for the HTML and CSS sections are pretty straight forward so I didn't pick up anything new there. I was happy that the author included microformats since they are hardly ever used yet with wider adoption could be quite useful.

The JavaScript section was more helpful and the final chapter on accessibility was very good.

Overall a good book
Alfredo Sherman
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: web, non-fiction
Siento que de haber leído éste libro antes me habría ahorrado muchos dolores de cabeza entendiendo el funcionamiento de varias librerías que se usan normalmente en los sitios “responsivos”. El enfoque y el lenguaje que usa Gustafson es muy sencillo y fácil de entender, los ejemplos son muy concretos y dan una idea perfecta sobre cómo llegar al ideal de ejecutar un sitio con estándares capaz de adaptarse al constante cambio de la web.

Definitivamente no es un libro para gente que va empezando con
Arun Mahendrakar
Nov 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book gives some good history on web design and the author does a good job of expressing the purpose of design, just about any design itself.

But where I got stuck was when the author proposed adding a lot of details through the rel, media or the import declarations, that would make the pages bulky. In an era where we are striving to reduce even the last byte, I'm not sure if adding these data to the page would make it justifiable.
May 24, 2014 added it
Shelves: web-design
This a pretty good introduction to many basics of contemporary web practice. Using media queries to determine which CSS style sheet to present and the whole idea of progressive enhancement and graceful degradation are basics which any front end web developer worth their salt should be thinking about. Unfortunately not always the case with 'dark matter' developers I sometimes encounter.
Radimir Bitsov
Jun 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: design
This was the first book I have read about responsive web design and its principles. It is very useful for people who wants to learn the fundamentals of the best practices in responsive front - end development and I definitely recommend it as one of the essential books about this theme.
Apr 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: it
The best one in the field!
This is something worth reading!
hank you Aaron!
Dennis Enderink
Jan 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
Nothing I didn't already know, it's a good introduction into progressive enhancement though. A better title for this book would have been "Progressive enhancement, ins and outs".
Jul 14, 2011 rated it liked it
This would be a great book for any novice. Little too much of a history lesson for what I was hoping for.
Aug 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
This may be the most influential book I have read on web development, in terms of principles. Translating it into working habits is....harder.
Oct 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book clearly explain what makes a good adaptive web design through its concept of 'progressive enhancement'. The author also knows how to write a fun and engaging book.
Carlo Mayer
Nov 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this book. It reinforced some things I had forgotten about and made me keen to fine tune my front end code.
Rob Schmidt
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Jan 28, 2013
Beth F.
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Oct 06, 2015
Mike McCaughan
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Dan Russell
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Mar 13, 2016
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Feb 19, 2015
Şirin Jouda
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Jan 06, 2015
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  • CSS3 For Web Designers
  • Responsive Web Design
  • Hardboiled Web Design
  • Designing With Web Standards
  • A Practical Guide to Designing for the Web
  • Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS
  • The Elements of Content Strategy
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  • Mobile First
  • Prioritizing Web Usability
  • HTML5 for Web Designers
  • Responsible Responsive Design
  • Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems
  • Designing for Emotion
  • CSS Mastery: Advanced Web Standards Solutions
  • jQuery: Novice to Ninja
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  • On Web Typography
Aaron has nearly 15 years experience on the web and, in that time, has cultivated a love of web standards and an in-depth knowledge of website strategy and architecture, interface design, and numerous languages (including XHTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP). He co-founded Retreats 4 Geeks, an intimate technology training series, and is Group Manager of the Web Standards Project (WaSP) where he has sp ...more
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