O'Reilly Universal Design for Web Applications

Still searching for that perfect Christmas gift for the web designer on your list? Not anymore.

O'Reilly has just published Universal Design for Web Applications, a new book that promotes designing accessible websites and teaches readers how to build websites that are more accessible to people with disabilities and explains why doing so is good business.

Written by Wendy Chisholm and Matt May, universal design advocates, the book explains 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.

Once considered internet pariahs, the over 50 age group is rapidly expanding its web presence, and designers need to get their sites ready to handle the user behaviors accompanying it. Improving web site experiences and accessibility doesn't mean that your site will alienate other users -- in fact, it will improve your site's overall user experience.

By reading the book, not only will readers learn about web standards, which are always evolving, they also 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 Application is available via O'Reilly and can be purchased in paperback (US$ 34.99) or PDF (US$ 31.99).