Review: Jump Start Responsive Web Design

Jump Start Responsive Web Design by Craig Sharkie and Andrew Fisher is from SitePoint (2013). I found this book uneven in usefulness, so I’m only giving it 3 stars, although it did have some very valuable tips.

The first part of the book talks in general about responsive design. Then it goes into fluid grids. The explanation of the mathematical underpinnings of grids and font-size decisions in this section were clear. However, some parts of this discussion made almost no sense to me because the reader is expected to download files and be at a computer while reading. The code examples printed in the text are not adequate for someone like me who was reading an electronic version of the book to follow the discussion. There were references to things unseen and comments you couldn’t follow unless you were working in the downloaded code.

The adaptive images chapter gave us several alternate ideas for working with images. There was no definitive best practice set forth in this section because we really don’t have a definite answer yet, or even a final choice as to the HTML elements that will format responsive images.

In the section on understanding media queries there was excellent detail and advice. I was impressed with some of the solutions the authors pointed to dealing with the constantly changing number of potential breakpoints in responsive designs.

The chapter I found most fascinating was the one on responsive content. Discussion focused on ways to structure content with metadata and supporting structure that allow for the reuse of chunks of content in various ways. This is part of the overall concept of responsive design that seldom gets mentioned. The book is worth reading for this chapter alone.

The final chapter looked at various boilerplate solutions and how they can be adapted to your individual needs.

Summary: Lots of tips for making responsive web design work for you.

A review by Virginia DeBolt of Jump Start Responsive Web Design (rating: 3 stars)

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for this review. Opinions are my own. Links to Amazon are affiliate links. You can buy the book from O’Reilly, as well as Amazon. The link to O’Reilly is not an affiliate link. Here is my review policy.

4 thoughts on “Review: Jump Start Responsive Web Design

    • If you’ve been keeping an eye on what Karen McGrane says about how content needs to be thought of as reusable chunks, that chapter will really make a lot of sense. Instead of talking about it in terms of what is needed in a CMS as Karen has, this chapter looks at how you can use meta data in a custom site to create those chunks of useful content that can respond to any situation.

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