Access by Design: A Guide to Universal Usability for Web Designers
Product Author Bios
Sarah Horton is coauthor with Patrick Lynch of the bestselling Web Style Guide. Her second book, Web Teaching Guide, won the American Association of Publishers award for the Best Book in Computer Science in 2000. Sarah regularly writes articles and gives workshops on Web design with a focus on usability and accessibility. At Dartmouth College, she helps faculty use information technologies, such as the Web, for teaching and learning.
In just over a decade, the Web has evolved from an experimental tool for a limited community of technically inclined people into a day-to-day necessity for millions upon millions of users. Today’s Web designers must consider not only the content needs of the sites they create, but also the wide range of additional needs their users may have: for example, those with physical or cognitive disabilities, those with slow modems or small screens, and those with limited education or familiarity with the Web. Bestselling author Sarah Horton argues that simply meeting the official standards and guidelines for Web accessibility is not enough. Her goal is universal usability, and in Access by Design: A Guide to Universal Usability for Web Designers, Sarah describes a design methodology that addresses accessibility requirements but then goes beyond. As a result, designers learn how to optimize page designs to work more effectively for more users, disabled or not. Working through each of the main functional features of Web sites, she provides clear principles for using HTML and CSS to deal with elements such as text, forms, images, and tables, illustrating each with an example drawn from the real world. Through these guidelines, Sarah makes a convincing case that good design principles benefit all users of the Web.
In this book you will find:
• Clear principles for using HTML and CSS to design functional and accessible Web sites
• Best practices for each of the main elements of Web pages—text, forms, images, tables, frames, , links, interactivity, and page layout
• Seasoned advice for using style sheets that provide flexibility to both designer and user without compromising usability
• illustrations of actual Web sites, from which designers can model their own pages
• Instructions for providing keyboard accessibility, flexible layouts, and user-controlled environments
• Practical tips on markup, and resources
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Clear, precise, impeccable,
This review is from: Access by Design: A Guide to Universal Usability for Web Designers (Paperback)Access by Design doesn't waste time or words getting right to the point: accessible Web design isn't about those who have an impairment, but rather about everyone using the Web. Access, by Sarah Horton's definition, is the goal of every visitor to a site, and a designer achieves this goal for visitors by ensuring that nothing in a site is tied to a restrictive approach.
The fad of rendering type and using Flash for menus has gone mostly away, thankfully. Horton's guide shows how to accomplish something that looks good, works correctly, and can be used by practically everyone from those with the fanciest equipment and highest-speed broadband connection to villagers in a remote town in Africa (or America) to visually impaired readers relying on software that reads them page elements.
Access by Design is organized into tight, well-constructed chapters each of which focuses on a key area of design, such as forms, color, and layout.
Those who work under the... Read more
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Valuable and Worthwhile,
This review is from: Access by Design: A Guide to Universal Usability for Web Designers (Paperback)Title: Access by Design
Author: Sarah Horton
Publisher: New Riders
Reviewer: Sam Wilson
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
"Access by Design" by Sarah Horton is valuable and worthwhile because it nicely exposes the genetic link of accessibility to its more popular cousins -- functionality and usability. Accessibility is one of the most touted yet often underutilized tools in the web worker's repertoire. Misperceived as only a tool for reaching the hearing or visually impaired audience and doomed to the "nice to have" list on many projects, accessible design too often takes a back seat to design relying heavily on images and sophisticated layout.
The approach of Sarah Horton's book is appropriately to make the concepts of accessibility accessible to the web workers whose opportunity it is to make their work maximally digestible. Each essential element of a site's guts is discussed first in theory... Read more
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Usability and accessibility go hand in hand,
This review is from: Access by Design: A Guide to Universal Usability for Web Designers (Paperback)I've read every book I can find on web site accessibility, and this is my favorite. Sarah Horton does a superb job of explaining the "what" and "why" of good web design principles. If we adhere to these principles, our web sites will be usable and accessible for everyone, regardless of disability or the device they use to access the web. This book is clear, concise, and to the point, and, in my opinion, a must read for all professional web designers!
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