Paperback: 198 pages
Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (November 24, 2008)
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #1,304,388 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #55 in Books > Computers & Technology > Programming > Languages & Tools > XHTML #65 in Books > Computers & Technology > Digital Audio, Video & Photography > Adobe > Adobe Flash #2393 in Books > Computers & Technology > Programming > Graphics & Multimedia
A couple of early comments in this book make it really obvious what the book is about. One of these asks which is to blame for someone who can't walk being unable to get into a building - their wheelchair or the steps in front of the building. The second points out that there is no us and them with regard to accessibility and gives the example of someone using a mobile phone to access the web whose fingers are too big to properly click on the links. These two examples clearly demonstrate the importance of the material in the book to ALL web sites.The main content of the book covers a whole range of different design considerations from meta data, forms, tables, video, audio, scripting, Flex, Flash, and Silverlight. In each case a few examples of specific problems with that particular technology are mentioned as well as some specific information on solutions to those problems. The size of the book means that each section is only briefly covered with mention of the most obvious of the problems and the book isn't a complete answer to all the problems you might be confronted with in any particular area. It does set you on the correct path though so that you know at least in general what sort of solution you should be looking for. The book advocates progressive enhancement so as to ensure that pages are still usable by those who do not have all of the more advanced technology.The other theme running through the book is how important it is that universal design principles should be considered from the beginning of the design process and not left to be tacked on at the last minute just before implementation. The reasons for this are made very clear in the book.
Universal Design for Web Applications flows between the history of design principles and problems, current best practices and a look at what's on the horizon for design implementation.The subjects of web accessibility standards and organizations, with which the book opens, are always the driest for me. I think this has more to do with the daunting tasks these organizations undertake than anything. But, Chisholm and May handled these topics swiftly and summarized the disabilities, guidelines and organizations in a short and tidy chapter.One of this book's primary strengths is the clean examples used throughout for topics like document-level metadata, web forms, and the ever-problematic menubars. Anyone tired of searching through forums for bits of scripts, HTML or CSS examples will appreciate these easily adaptable examples.The hot topics of video, Ajax and WAI_ARIA, and RIA implementation are all handled without demonizing any technology. Especially helpful are the discussions of designing for mobile devices and keyboard support for users not using a mouse.Overall this book is designed not to be an exhaustive resource for any one design topic, but a useful survey of many of these topics, which comes in handy when you get bogged down in the details.
This short softcover book is good to learn. But, it is not really 100% informative. If you want to go into depth with web accessibility and other topics, you would have to look at other sources such as other books, online, etc.
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