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References for Chapter 1


Jeffrey Zeldman, Designing with Web Standards, 2nd ed (Peachpit Press: 2006).

Some of this book is technical in nature and will only make sense to you when you have read later chapters of Web Design, but it also includes background material on the importance of Web standards, which you should bear in mind throughout the book.

Online Resources

Browser Statistics

Some interesting statistics on browser use, though not necessarily globally accurate.


The United States' Government's official guide to developing usable and useful Web sites …

W3C China Office

The (dual language) site for the World Wide Web Consortium's Chinese Office.

The Best Designs - [TheBestDesigns.com] - Recognizing The Best of Web Design

A young American female Web designer's selection of the best web design examples on the Internet, web design articles, and web design resources.

Web Science

The Web Science Research Initiative (WSRI) is a joint endeavour between the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at MIT and the School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) at the University of Southampton. The goal of WSRI is to facilitate and produce the fundamental scientific advances necessary to inform the future design and use of the World Wide Web. However, as yet the institute is very new and hasn't done anything significant.

the friend of a friend (foaf) project

An example of some of the Semantic Web's ideas, particularly RDF, in action. An unusual variant of the social networking idea.

Paul Graham on Web 2.0

One of the more coherent accounts of what Web 2.0 might mean and why it matters.

Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group

WHATWG describes itself as 'a loose unofficial collaboration of Web browser manufacturers and interested parties who wish to develop new technologies designed to allow authors to write and deploy Applications over the World Wide Web.' Their main output to date is the HTML5 specification, which it is hard to see as anything but a rival to XHTML. It may turn out to be better, but a choice of standards is no standard.

O'Reilly Network: What Is Web 2.0

This article is widely considered to be the original definition of Web 2.0.

Programmable Web: The Web As Platform

A site dedicated to mash-ups, Web APIs and related topics. It includes an extensive list of available APIs.

evolt.org - Browser Archive

In case you thought that Internet Explorer and Firefox were the only browsers in existence, here is a site with copies of a great many more.

Explorer Exposed!

An invaluable list of known bugs in Microsoft's Internet Explorer, with work-rounds where there are any. As long as people go on using IE6, any Web designer is going to need to know about these.

Internet Explorer and CSS issues

A description of some of the worst CSS-related bugs in IE, with suggestions for coping with them.

A9.com: OpenSearch

OpenSearch is a set of simple formats for the sharing of search results. The intention is that any Web site that has a search feature can make their results available in OpenSearch format, and the other tools will be able to read those search results. So far, adoption seems to be slow.

Yahoo! Developer Network: Graded Browser Support

An interesting account of Yahoo's approach to supporting all browsers.


A blog written by people on Microsoft's Internet Explorer development team. Given the continuing importance of IE, it is advisable for Web developers to keep an eye in its development.

microformats | About microformats

An introduction to a topic we don't cover in the book (maybe vol 2 if there ever is one). Microformats may represent a way towards a semantic web without all the technical baggage of the W3C Semantic Web.

The Web Standards Project

An unofficial organization dedicated to encouraging us all to use Web standards. Wasp is possibly beginning to lose direction, now that the argument is essentially won.

RSS Tutorial for Content Publishers and Webmasters

A nice simple introduction to RSS.


A portal and news site about Atom, the alternative to RSS.

RSS Specifications and RSS Feeds

RSS specifications and general information related to RSS, including RSS software, newsreaders, content syndication, and the history of RSS.

Internet statistics

A site providing useful statistics about the global Web community.

Usability Testing With 5 Users (Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox)

The source for the contention that testing more than 5 users is a waste of resources. Statistically naive and open to criticism, but still influential. To be read critically.