Review: Responsive Web Design by Ethan Marcotte

A few days ago i bought the whole Book Apart books collection… yes all books… To be more precise 7 books. And, as the weather was very sunny (please note that this is pretty unusual in the part of France i’m living in) i read Responsive Web Design by Ethan Marcotte on the beach. Here is my review!

Read it quickly to go back to work quickly

First of all, this book is small, i mean it’s not as big as some other books i read before, and at the first beginning the author wrote a really simple phrase that i really liked that says something like “this is a book to read quickly to go back to work quickly”…. exactly what i want to! And well, Ethan Marcotte does the job really well here, his explanations are clear and (believe me or not), the book is fun… yes fun, this is the first time i read a “technical book” that make me laugh. Even my wife was surprised to see me laugh reading it!

Just what we need

Even if not all points about responsive design are taken into account, that’s not a problem because in a real case we only use what the author explains in this book. To be honest, many things in this book are things that we already know as web designers, or web developers, but it’s a real good thing to put all these informations into a single place. But don’t get me wrong, i learnt new stuff in this book, or to be clearer, i learnt new methods. This is a crucial point.

I will do better code

I am used to use flexible grids such as 960gs, but i’m not sure i’ll do it anymore. Why ? Simply because it’s adding a lot of code, for nothing the most part of time. When i will create a div, i will just now set the with in percentage into a main container where i will declare a max-with… and … tada ! i’m creating a responsive design ! Ha ha, it’s not as simple but the idea is there: a new way of thinking a web design. As Ethan says, we have had all the tools for responsive design for years and years (the flexible grids, or the with in percentage are not new), it’s just that the web (i mean the World Wide Web) has changed with new resolutions arriving on the market (iPhones, iPad, Android, TV, Retina…). And we have to be able to adjust the content to every single device. This is what Ethan teaches in “Responsive Web Design” with CSS3 (and media queries) new approach.

Final thoughts: 5 stars!

So, if you are a web designer, or a web developer, i really encourage you to buy and read that book, just because you’re going to do better code after reading it. And at the same time you will probably see the future of the web in a new perspective. Just a last thing: ask your boss to read that book too, he needs it! I rate it 5 stars on 5!