Book Review – jQuery for Designers: Beginner’s Guide

July 30, 2012

jQuery is an open-source cross-browser Javascript library designed to make it easier to enable Javascript behaviors and effects for web developers. As it’s one of the most popular open-source Javascript libraries today, it’s probably going to be a topic that a graphic designer who works on the web will run into.

And designers new to jQuery is the primary audience for jQuery for Designers

In fact, the tagline on the cover says “An approachable introduction to web design in jQuery for non-programmers”. As a developer working with Ruby on Rails, I’m familiar with jQuery and had the chance to dabble with it in some of my projects, so I already knew I liked the framework. I was looking to learn more about it, so when Packt Publishing offered me the chance to do a review of jQuery for Designers: Beginner’s Guide, I took them up on it.

The Pros

The book is well-structured

Each chapter has the designer implementing something with jQuery – whether it be a navigation menu or creating custom tooltips. In that sense, it’s almost like a workbook for people who like to learn by doing. At the end of each chapter, the author summarizes what was covered and gives a nice summary.

The book’s explanations are clear

The author walks you through what you have to do to via a numbered step by step list. It’s pretty easy to follow and do right along with her. I learned a lot just by doing this.

The pictures are in color and you get the code

This may not be a big deal to some folks, but I like color pictures as a personal preference. It helps to enhance the explanations. Another plus is that you can get the book’s example code, which can save you a lot of typing if you so desire.

The Cons

Speaking from a developer’s perspective, I thought the introduction to Javascript was a little bit light (it was 2 pages), especially if you’re a designer coming into Javascript and a Javascript framework like jQuery for the first time. But that’s just my humble opinion, and overall I still think the book did a fine job explaining beginning-level jQuery to designers.

Overall, the book delivered on its promise

It was a good introduction to jQuery and will help web designers in their day-to-day activities. If you’re a designer and absolute beginner when it comes to jQuery, this book can help you. You can get it at Amazon in Kindle or paperback format if you’re interested.