HTML5 for Web Designers book review

13 Dec 2010

One of the books I've read a few weeks ago is 'HTML5 For Web Designers' by Jeremy Keith, published by A Book Apart. It's been out for a while now, and maybe you've heard or you might have already read it, but for those who haven't, here is my review…

Table of contents

The HTML5 spec isn't what I would call a light read so I am glad that Jeremy made it easier for a designer like myself by bringing out a book that sums it all up in 85 pages. The book has six chapters:

  • Chapter 1: A Brief History of Markup
  • Chapter 2: The Design of HTML5
  • Chapter 3: Rich Media
  • Chapter 4: Web Forms 2.0
  • Chapter 5: Semantics
  • Chapter 6: Using HTML5 Today

Starting with the history of HTML, this brief book gives you a complete introduction to HTML5, and what you need to know as a web designer to get started. Jeremy gives us a full insight on how HTML5 came to live. He explains its origin, and gives us a full background of the perils between the WHATWG and the W3C, and how HTML5 did become the preferred or, better put, the 'recommended' markup language instead XHTML 2.

HTML5 For Web Designers, by Jeremy Keith - published by A Book Apart

While trying to give us an answer on the question 'when will it be ready?', Jeremy explains to us that the story with HTML5 is rather evolutionary than revolutionary as it is built upon existing specifications and implementations. Most of HTML 4.01 has survived in HTML5. Once Jeremy start talking code, things really get fun. You'll notice that some of the markup has been simplified. Take for instance the document type declaration, no more trouble memorizing as it is shorter than short. Furthermore, Jeremy takes us through every important aspect and element of HTML5, one by one, giving advice on how to use the markup in the most semantic way. The chapters that were most useful to me were those about rich media and web forms. Two things that I didn't know anything about. Jeremy very clearly explains all what I wanted to know about the canvas, audio, and video tags. You'll read what is supported and what has poor accessibility support. In the web forms part you'll learn that the browser will have native form validation support, things that now needs to be done with JavaScript for example. Chapter 5 talks about how to use the structural HTML elements in the most semantic way. It cleared up some confusion that i had with the roles of new structural elements—things like section and article. In the last chapter about 'Using HTML5 today', he convinces us nothing should stop us from using HTML5 today.


This book is the perfect read for every web designer who wants to get to know the basics of HTML5. I enjoyed this book very much because it reads like a breeze. The book kinda gives you this appetizer feeling with a desire to get more, if you know what I mean. Jeremy's way of writing and the way he explains things with such ease, makes you want to get started with HTML5 right away. No heavy lifting words, just plain and clear, exactly the way I want it. It is been recommended to me that I should read Introducing HTML5 as step up from this one.


  1. 1 AFRC 13 Dec 2010

    Great review.

    You should file this under Reviews and not Interviews.

  2. 2 Veerle Pieters 13 Dec 2010


    You should file this under Reviews and not Interviews.

    Fixed! Thanks for spotting this :)

  3. 3 Jean-François Fortin 14 Dec 2010

    +1 on my wishlist… Great review about something that looks so simple even if it’s not the case.

  4. 4 Aimee 14 Dec 2010

    Thanks for this review! I’ve been debating whether to spend the money on this book or not. Now I’m sold.

  5. 5 Brent Lagerman 17 Dec 2010

    I’ve read Jeremy’s DOM Scripting and Ajax books in the past, he’s really good at dumbing down complex subjects for simple minds like mine, can’t wait to read this one!

    Introducing HTML5 is the book I’ve been reading on and off.  I know Remy Sharp from the videos he makes on jQuery for designers, which are really great to get your nerd fix for the day.

    I know you use Expression Engine, but if you ever get the urge or request to make WordPress templates, please check out our HTML5 WordPress shell, it’s our base set of templates and plugins we use for making sites.

    Love the live preview by the way :D

  6. 6 Braun rasierer 29 Dec 2010

    Thank you for giving us the opportunity to see how you work and learn so much!