In this practical guide, CSS expert Lea Verou provides 47 undocumented techniques and tips to help intermediate-to advanced CSS developers devise elegant solutions to a wide range of everyday web design problems.
Rather than focus on design, CSS Secrets shows you how to solve problems with code. You'll learn how to apply Lea's analytical approach to practically every CSS problem you face to attain DRY, maintainable, flexible, lightweight, and standards-compliant results.
Inspired by her popular talks at over 60 international web development conferences, Lea Verou provides a wealth of information for topics including:
- Backgrounds and Borders
- Visual Effects
- User Experience
- Structure and Layout
- Transitions and Animations
About the Author
Lea Verou is an Invited Expert in the W3C CSS Working Group, the committee that designs the CSS language, and previously worked as a Developer Advocate at the W3C, the Web's main standards organization. Currently, Lea conducts research in Human-Computer Interaction at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She also blogs, speaks at international conferences, and codes popular open source projects to help fellow developers.
Most helpful customer reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful.
A must-read for web designers and developers
By Adrian H.
Absolutely fantastic. A must-read for web designers and front-end developers. It's packed with actionable ideas and techniques, many of which I'd never seen before. (Context: I've been a web developer since 1999ish, co-created the Django web framework and have been wrestling with CSS for 15 years or so.)
Each chapter presents a specific web design "problem," along with a CSS solution (and sometimes multiple solutions). Some are simple, others are quite complex. Many are quite clever and will make you think of CSS differently. It's well-written and beautifully designed, with full-color pages and tons of informative footnotes.
The best part is that Lea talks through her thought process in developing each technique, "teaching a man to fish." In that sense, this book is great on two levels: it'll teach you specific techniques, and it'll teach you how to think when developing your *own* techniques for future web design problems.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful.
One of the most helpful tech books I've ever read.
By J. Caritas
I've been working with CSS for many years, but this book really upped my game. There were so many "aha!" moments for things I'd continuously struggled with, and so many techniques for effects I didn't even realize were possible using only css. (Who knew there was so much you could do with gradients?) And it never read like a boring, stuffy tech book -- the writing was always accessible and lively. In fact, I read it as my bedtime reading, and it would often keep me up into the night! My only quibble was her over-use of the shortcut syntax. While I realize that shortcuts are best-practice, it was sometimes difficult to understand where, say, background-origin was set in the shortcut when I'd never used that property before. It would've been more helpful to have everything spelled out in long-hand as I was trying to work through the examples. That said, once I'd go to the dabblet to play around, it was always made clear. A must-read for people who already know the css basics!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful.
See all 76 customer reviews...
Not just a collection of CSS snippets, but solutions, principles, best practices, and an education in CSS.
Lea Verou's CSS Secrets reminds me a bit of Dan Cedarholm's Bullet-Proof CSS from the early days of "Web 2.0," -- in the sense that it not only teaches you approaches for solving common problems, but in the process it revisits some CSS basics and can serve to "backfill" on concepts you may have skimmed over when you first started using them (margin collapse, anyone?).
CSS Secrets walks through a series of techniques in detail, with notes on the principles behind the tricks, and information on cross-browser compatibility. Most of the techniques offer multiple alternate approaches, each with their own pros, cons and tradeoffs.
Dense with great tips and valuable techniques for the working designer/front-end developer, with best practices upfront and peppered throughout. Too much to absorb in the first read-through--I suspect I will come back to this book frequently for a long time to come.