Stuff & Nonsense. Website designers in North Wales

Should you buy Hardboiled Web Design for information about responsive web design?

Bob Asbille asked me this week if my Hardboiled Web Design book is worth buying by someone who’s looking to learn about responsive web design.

I think there’s plenty in Hardboiled that can help web designers.

Part one of Hardboiled is still the progressive rallying call I hoped it would be although the issues we struggled with in 2010 are different to those we’re struggling with today. By and large, people accept now that websites cannot, need not and should not look the same in every browser. That’s a battle that took a long time to win and I think books like Hardboiled and Transcending CSS before it played a part in the victory.

Part two is about Hardboiled HTML5 and I think that everyone’s going to familiar with that now. Although the reality of microformats never really lived up to its promise, they and WAI-ARIA Roles are still a fabulous base for naming conventions, something I’ve been banging on about since 2004.

But it’s in parts three and four that I tackled areas that I think are beneficial to web designers in general, not just those of us designing responsively. I still don’t see enough people using multiple background images and border images in CSS. CSS gradients are perfect for speeding up responsive sites too. Then there’s CSS transforms and transitions. The sections about those are as relevant today as when I wrote them.

But what about responsive design itself? What about Media Queries and how we use them. Well, remember that I wrote Hardboiled during 2010 and so much about responsive web design best practice has changed since then. To answer Bob’s question, no he shouldn’t buy Hardboiled if he’s after specific responsive web design information.

Although I’m not planning to right now, I may write about responsive web design in the future. In the meantime there are already some great books that would be perfect companions to Hardboiled Web Design:

Responsive Design Workflow by Stephen Hay echoes so much of what I’ve been saying about fixed-width Photoshop comps and overproduced wireframes over the years.

Implementing Responsive Design by Tim Kadlec has contributions from some other responsive specialists including Brad Frost and Luke Wroblewski.

Responsive Web Design with HTML5 and CSS3 by Ben Frain has plenty of practical HTML and CSS information and covers some of the same practical ground as Hardboiled.

Then of course there’s the original Responsive Web Design by Ethan Marcotte. But I guess you’ll have a copy of that one already.