Introduction: Setting the Stage

Some details for the journey ahead

When the web was new, the role of a web designer was fairly limited. Designers used HTML and liked it, CSS was lacking widespread, graceful support (some things never change), and the concept of designing good interfaces for the visitor was just being explored. With things gradually improving we’ve lived through two browser wars, the first via desktop browsers and the second (still ongoing) via handheld devices, both with plenty of casualties!

As the web continues to evolve with new standards, so must the methods for dealing with the demands placed upon its infrastructure. With the number of Internet users rising toward two billion, more browsers and devices than you can count, and with networks like Facebook gaining an enviable user base, the need to customize experiences and provide a non-intrusive way of showcasing content is critical.

As I move through the book, I shall not only focus on the key technologies that now influence how content is designed, structured, and visualized (HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.) I also give you plenty of diagrams (because this is a design book and the visuals are what much of our work comes down to). As such, design can and should be considered (whether distinctive or otherwise) both an art and science (with some philosophy thrown in).

Introducing distinctive design

Hopefully, as you examine distinctive design, you’ll get as much enjoyment from reading about the material as I’ve ...

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