Universal Design for Web Applications teaches you how to build websites that are more accessible to people with disabilities and explains why doing so is good business. It takes more work up front, but the potential payoff is huge -- especially when mobile users need to access your sites.
You'll discover how to use standards-based web technologies -- such as XHTML, CSS, and Ajax, along with video and Flash -- to develop applications for a wide range of users and a variety of devices, including the mobile Web. You'll also learn specifics about this target audience, especially the key over-50 age group, whose use of the Web is rapidly growing.
With this book, you will:
Learn the importance of metadata and how it affects images, headings, and other design elements
Build forms that accommodate cell phones, screen readers, word prediction, and more
Create designs using color and text that are effective in a variety of situations
Construct tables that present information without spatial cues
Design Ajax-driven social networking applications that people with disabilities can access
Provide audio with transcriptions and video that includes captions and audio descriptions
Discover assistive technology support for Rich Internet Application technologies such as Flash, Flex, and Silverlight
Universal Design for Web Applications provides you with a roadmap to help you design easy-to-maintain web applications that benefit a larger audience.
Chapter 1 Introducing Universal Design
Accessible Design: A Story
Putting Universal Design to Work
Chapter 2 Selling It
There Is No “Them”
Early and Often
Chapter 3 Metadata
What Is Metadata?
Keys to Writing Good Text Alternatives
Chapter 4 Structure and Design
Flicker and Patterns
Designing for Email
Chapter 5 Forms
fieldset and legend
The accesskey Attribute
Chapter 6 Tabular Data
Data Table Basics
Headings and Data
Complex Data Tables
Readability, Layout, and Design
Chapter 7 Video and Audio
Web Video: The Early Years
Accessibility in Video
Transcripts and Text Alternatives
Chapter 8 Scripting
Building on a Solid Foundation
Chapter 9 Ajax and WAI-ARIA
Taking Stock of Existing Code
Chapter 10 Rich Internet Applications
Features of RIAs
Testing Your Code
Chapter 11 The Process
Universal by Design
Appendix Cross-Reference for Universal Design for Web Applications
Wendy Chisholm is a consultant, developer, author, and speaker on the topic of universal design. As co-editor of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 (WCAG 1.0) and then staff at the World Wide Web Consortium, she has worked with people around the globe to make the web accessible. Currently residing in Seattle, WA, Wendy consults with market leaders such as Microsoft, Adobe and Google, integrating universal design concepts into their tools and technologies. She continues to further the research and development of universal design as a part-time staff at the University of Washington.
Matt May is a developer, technologist, and accessibility advocate who is responsible for working internally and externally with Adobe product teams and customers to address accessibility in Adobe products, ensure interoperability with assistive technologies, and make customers aware of the many accessibility features that already exist in Adobe products.Prior to joining Adobe, Matt worked for W3C/WAI on many of the core standards in web accessibility, led the Web Standards Project's Accessibility Task Force, helped to architect one of the first online grocery sites, http://HomeGrocer.com, and co-founded Blue Flavor, a respected web and mobile design consultancy.
The animal on the cover of Universal Design for Web Applications is an Italian greyhound, the smallest of the family of gazehounds (sighthounds). Believed to originate more than 2,000 years ago in the Mediterranean basin, Italian greyhounds are sleek, active toy dogs that stand approximately 12-15 inches tall and weigh 7-11 pounds. Often referred to as a miniature greyhound, the Italian greyhound shares many characteristics with its larger cousin, including a tucked-in abdomen, an arched back, and a fine, silky coat in shades of gray, cream, red, fawn, brown, black, or brindle.</para
The dog's affectionate and gentle temperament makes it a popular pet today; its extremely short, odorless coat makes it a good option for people with allergies or other pet sensitivities. It is an intelligent and loyal companion. Though it does not require as much exercise as larger breeds and can be quite happy as an apartment dog, an Italian greyhound should have regular walks and light play sessions. It may refuse to go outside if it is raining or too cold for its short hair and small stature, so some owners have successfully litter-trained their Italian greyhounds.A favorite with Italians of the 16th century (a fact which gives the breed its name), Italian greyhounds were among the many miniature dogs in high demand at the time. They are featured in Renaissance paintings by prominent artists such as Carpaccio, Van der Weyden, and Bosch. The dogs have also been popular with royal families throughout history, including England's James I, Catherine the Great, and Queen Victoria. In the mid-1800s, an Italian greyhound became America's "first pet" when President John Tyler bought his wife a puppy they named "Le Beau."
Designing for usability and multiple-platform delivery
By Roy Johnson
Comments about oreilly Universal Design for Web Applications:
Universal design is a general principle, but it's used here as something of a coded term for two topics which are discussed in detail. One is designing for people with disabilities, and the other is designing for a variety of devices - PCs, laptops, PDAs, and most challenging of all, for mobile phones.
The argument is that more people fall into the disability category than is generally realised, and that for huge numbers of users the mobile device is now the principal means of accessing Internet services. Fail to take these two factors into account, and you are automatically falling behind in providing what users want. The first important piece of advice these authors offer is that you should separate content from presentation in everything you design.
This means using HTML in the way it was originally intended for use. Tables are for presenting tabular data, the feature for ordered lists, and so on. The tag should now be abandoned altogether, and replaced by the use of cascading style sheets (CSS).
They are quite adamantly against using tables for layout, and think CAPTCHAs ought to be banned altogether: (those are the pictures of text you're supposed to read to prove that you're a human being, not a spambot).
If you're using tables correctly however, they have a lot of useful tips for adding information in the form of captions and summaries. The same goes for making streamed video accessible for disabled users.
They explain the three different approaches to this issue: to offer audio or text transcripts, subtitles, or captions. These are time-consuming and therefore expensive to provide - but anyone who claims their web presence is designed for maximum usability to cater for all users needs to be aware of these features and incorporate them into their work.
I wonder how many of the self-righteous sites claiming full usability would pass scrutiny in this regard? Certainly not my local town council, whose site boasts full accessibility - but doesn't even include email addresses and hides behind a general menu option telephone answering service. And after you've left your message, they 'guarantee' to get back to you within ten days.
The latter chapters of the book cover working with scripts (Ajax) to produce dropdown menus that are accessible even for people using the keyboard for navigation - though when I went to look at an open source menu script they claim to have put on the book's web site (http://ud4wa.com) there was nothing available.
They finish by explaining how most of these procedures can be pursued using a content management system (CMS) with templates and style sheets. Finally, as you might expect, they offer checklists for making sure your content matches up to what's required, and resources for implementing features that cover magnification of text, scrolling, multimedia, screen readers, and full HTML validation of your output.
More WEB DESIGN (http://www.mantex.co.uk/biblios/art-web.htm) reviews here.