Writing technical manuals

Posted by on December 1st, 2015  •  0 Comments  •  Full Article

In the fourteen years I’ve been teaching web design I’ve rarely found a book that works for long. The web changes at a rate that exceeds the publishing industrys ability to create content. There are always a few books that are ok, not great, but useable for a couple years. The challenge I face as an instructor is tailoring someones technical manual into a textbook fit for my classroom.

From my first year, I’ve had better results writing my own curriculum. That is assuming I can stay current with the rapid changes in web design. Once I get some good content written, I focus on polishing it up so that it works for my students. But a couple years later I poke my head up and look around and the web has left me behind. Like a rabbit watching a train disappear in the distance, I realize  I’ve got some sprinting ahead of me.

The latest change is that someone found a nice solution to the http://alistapart.com/article/holygrail problem. First we used tables for our interface design structure, then we switched to floating divs with absolute or relative positioning, and finally flexbox came on the scene. Display: flex; was expressly designed to solve the “holy grail of web design” problem. Without further ado, here is a link to the newest 10 pages in my classroom textbook on web design.