I recently splurged for our team at Atilus and bought the entire A Book Apart series, described as “Brief books for people who make websites.

HTML 5 For Web Designers ReviewThe series is written by A List Apart alum and features the very same writers and forewords by-the same people that initially helped me learn web design (if only through their amazing books on XHTML & CSS).

It was with excitement that I recently rediscovered A List Apart (a blog/web resource for those passionate about the web) and then I realized the book ad coaxing my attention from the lower right corner of the website.

HTML 5 for Web Designers Review

HTML 5 For Web Designers ReviewHTML 5 for Web Designers is written by Jeremy Keith, who also taught me Javascript in college with his excellent “Dom Scripting.” Jeremy is a celebrated author, and designer that works at ClearLeft one of the most well known web development shops in the world. Oddly enough the forward on the book was written by Jeffrey Zeldman who – oddly enough – also started my career in web design with his numerous books on web standards.

HTML 5 holds true to the series’ mission – it’s a brief book, and in no way an exhaustive resource if you’re looking for every nuance, spec, an change in HTML 5. It starts with a brief history of HTML, the current problems with standards (and competing standards) and then dives into the meat of HTML 5.

And, it only does that – talk about exactly what you need to know about HTML 5 as an existing web designer, the elements that have changed, or been added that you need to know about – and nothing more. Unlike other books I’m reading on HTML 5 Keith’s book doesn’t dive into some new core features of HTML 5 and it’s interaction with the browser, namely HTML 5 compatible browser’s ability to post/store data to the browsers native SQLite database – a huge advancement in the capability (and feature-set) of HTML 5.

However, this is appropriate as this book seems to be geared more towards giving us UX/Front End developers exactly what we need to start working with HTML 5 today – and not incorporate any completely new skillsets – just enhancing our existing ones.

I would give this book a 8/10 – with marks off for it’s brevity (frankly for the price it could have been longer) and it’s lack of additional content on HTML 5 that could have been included.

Overall a fantastic book if you’re already a developer and want to quick study up – and begin utilizing HTML 5 in your code today.  If you’ve never touched HTML and wish to start with HTML 5 – I recommend you first start with another book.