The Pennsylvania State University

School of Visual Arts

Simple & Useful: A Guide to Web Design

Maddox Cover
Professor Jerrold Maddox teaches a range of computer-based courses that draw on his expertise in web design. Maddox’s new text, Simple and Useful: A Guide to Web Design, explores the question: Can HTML be styled well enough and simply enough so that anyone can write for the web, using just a text editor, and share that work with anyone else, regardless of the platform they are using, the speed of their connection, and any disabilities they may have?
Below are Maddox's thoughts in his own words:
The answer [to the question above], I learned, is yes.
I also believe that those of us who are focused on teaching and learning, rather than 
branding and sales, need to make everything as simple and small as we can, so we donʼt 
burden the user who has limited bandwidth and a slow connection.
In that way, we make the web more accessible and easier to use for everyone.
It starts with the basics: what needs to be included in your markup so your work will scale 
to all devices — from phones to being projected onto a screen — and be available to the disabled: 
physically, intellectually and emotionally.
To do that, some simple rules need to be followed, like using correct tags in HTML5 and in CSS3.
Working is this way also saves time and labor, and, since it does not ask for the skills 
required to do complex scripting or media rich web sites, it puts doing web work within 
everyone’s reach.
Simple and Useful provides the details about how anyone can do this for a variety of different forms of 
material in the most economical way.


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