Cover by Jennifer Niederst Robbins

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Chapter 3. Some Big Concepts You Need to Know

As the Web matures and the number of devices we access it from increases exponentially, our jobs as web designers and developers get significantly more complicated. Frankly, there’s a lot more going on out there than I can fit in this book. In the chapters that follow, I will focus on the basic building blocks of web design—HTML elements, CSS styles, a taste of JavaScript, and web graphics production—that will give you a solid foundation for the further development of your skills.

But before we get to the nuts and bolts, I want to introduce some Big Concepts that I think every web designer needs to know. We’ll look at ideas and concerns that inform our decisions and contribute to the contemporary web design environment. I’ll be referring back to the terminology introduced here frequently.

The heart of the matter is that as web designers, we never know exactly how the pages we create will be viewed. We don’t know which of the hundreds of browsers might be used, whether it is on a desktop computer or something more portable, how large the browser window will be, what fonts are installed, whether functionality such as JavaScript is enabled, the speed of the Internet connection, whether the pages are being read by a screen reader, and so on. I think you get ...

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