Designing with Progressive Enhancement: Building the Web that Works for Everyone (Voices That Matter) ペーパーバック – 2010/2/19
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Progressive enhancement is an approach to web development that aims to deliver the best possible experience to the widest possible audience, and simplifies coding and testing as well. Whether users are viewing your sites on an iPhone, the latest and greatest high-end system, or even hearing them on a screen-reader, their experience should be easy to understand and use, and as fully-featured and functional as possible.
Designing with Progressive Enhancement will show you how. It’s both a practical guide to understanding the principles and benefits of progressive enhancement, and a detailed exploration of examples that will teach you—whether you’re a designer or a developer—how, where, and when to implement the specific coding and scripting approaches that embody progressive enhancement.
In this book, you’ll learn:
- Why common coding approaches leave users behind, and how progressive enhancement is a more inclusive and accessible alternative
- How to analyze complex interface designs, see the underlying semantic HTML experience that will work everywhere, and layer on advanced enhancements safely
- A unique browser capabilities testing suite that helps deliver enhancements only to devices that can handle them
- How to factor in accessibility features like WAI-ARIA and keyboard support to ensure universal access
- Detailed techniques to transform semantic HTML into interactive components like sliders, tabs, tree controls, and charts, along with downloadable jQuery-based widgets to apply directly in your projects
Todd Parker has over a dozen years of experience creating highly functional, accessible and intuitive interfaces that make the most of the technical and interface constraints of a broad range of devices, from wireless phones and Palm devices, to touch screen tablets, kiosks and Web sites. Prior to founding Filament Group, Todd worked at ZEFER Corporation and CSC Consulting as a principal experience designer. Todd's work has been recognized by Communication Arts magazine for design excellence.
Scott Jehl is formally trained in graphic design, but his skills comfortably span both design and development. Prior to joining Filament Group, Scott worked for such clients as New England Journal of Medicine, Footjoy Golf, and Aspen Snowmass Resorts. In his spare time, Scott runs WriteMaps.com, an ajax Web application for building visual Web site sitemaps. He is also a member of the jQuery Design Team.
Patty Toland is a founding partner at Filament Group, Inc. Patty brings to Filament more than twenty years consulting experience with corporate and institutional clients, with a focus on communicating complex messages across a range of media. Her expertise lies in developing robust information and communication strategies, including branding, constituent analysis, information architecture and system design, and writing. Prior to founding Filament Group, Patty worked at ZEFER Corp., US Peace Corps, Kohn Cruikshank Inc. and Harvard Business School.
Maggie Costello Wachs is Filament Group's coding and production master — she ensures the quality of everything that goes out the door. Maggie's brings deep expertise in front-end coding, with a particular focus on standards-compliant markup, CSS and scripting that works optimally with progressive enhancement. Prior to joining FIlament Group, Maggie worked at Monitor Group and ZEFER Corp.
The book is based on an approach to web design that is gaining acceptance and becoming important as more devices access the web.
You build your page starting from a solid markup foundation adding functionality at each stage of development always testing with accessibility in mind at each stage of the process. The authors cover some good stuff when confronted with what to do when you run into a problem of adding functionality at the cost of accessibility.
The authors write with a nice flowing prose and keep it interesting. They stress proper foundational markup, best practices for scripting and adding multimedia, and rely on newer standards whenever possible. The book offers some good code samples that you have to download from the site.
Filament Group's test suite, enhance.js, seems to have fallen by the wayside, perhaps in deference to the Modernizr test suite. That's ok--aside from chapter 6 (which explains enhance.js), you can swap Modernizr in for enhance and apply all the same progressive enhancement techniques.
Among other benefits, progressive enhancement goes beyond the letter of 508 law to satisfying the spirit of the rules.
Final verdict: this is a smart book, written by smart people, and a game-changer on the client-side.