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Introducing “Universal Design for Web Applications”

Filed in: accessibility, book, design, universal design, Web, Web 2.0 Expo, Mon, Sep 15 2008 14:46 PT

It’s funny how sometimes things get wrapped up in a little bow.

Last April, I was in San Francisco, giving my “Accessibility 2.0″ talk at the first O’Reilly Web 2.0 Expo. Out of that conference came the seed for the project that I’ve been working on, and now, I’m happy to unveil it. This Wednesday, I’m flying off to speak at Web 2.0 Expo New York, to give a talk called “Universal Design for Web Applications” with my longtime colleague Wendy Chisholm.

What’s gone on in the intervening 17 months has been our work on a book of the same name.

Universal Design for Web Applications just reached final manuscript status last Thursday. It’s scheduled to be published by O’Reilly in November.

We’re really excited about how the book turned out. We chose universal design as our standard to bear because we’re moving beyond accessibility, and applying the principles we’ve learned from accessible design to a whole new world of mobile devices like the iPhone, and lifestyle devices like the Asus Eee PC. The point here is that the days of knowing what your users’ screens look like are over. Even if accessibility weren’t a consideration, universal design is going to inform most of the big decisions web content producers are going to face in the near future. We in accessibility have been where those decision-makers will be, and we have a lot of advice to impart.

We have a lot of information on new topics like the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 and the WAI-ARIA specification. We talk about video and script like they’re first-class citizens. And we do the same for Flash, Flex and Silverlight. The fact is that all of these technologies are going to be with us for a long time, and the faster we embrace them, and learn how to make them work for people, the better we will all be for it.

You can preorder UD4WA on Amazon. And come see us Wednesday at 9am in 1A21 & 22 at the Javits Center.

Here’s a shot of the cover:

Universal Design for Web Applications book cover, featuring a woodcut of an Italian greyhound

7 Responses to “Introducing “Universal Design for Web Applications””

  1. Mike D. says:

    Congrats Matt! Can I also just say that that is the perfect book cover for you? It reminds me of you running away after getting thumped by me last week in fantasy football. The only difference is that your tail was between your legs and you had the fear of god in your eyes.

  2. Ian Lloyd says:

    I love this … I’m referring, of course, to Mike’s *absolutely* kick-ass comment :-)

    Congrats on the book, folks! I shall have to get a copy, methinks.

  3. James Craig says:

    Congratulations! That’s awesome. However, as a fellow Universal Design advocate *and* Italian Greyhound owner, I have to admit I had a slight wince of jealousy when I saw the cover. *wink*

  4. Matt says:

    Oh, Mike talks big, but he’s still catching up to my point total for week 2.

    That’s another thing about greyhounds. They don’t celebrate ten feet down the track.

  5. Patrick says:

    Congratulations! I’m giving a talk on Web Accessibility tomorrow and I’ll plug the book. (And it’s going on my Amazon wish list so I remember to order it.)

  6. Molly says:

    Hey, what happened to the first cover, with all the animals? BOOOO. I like the first one better.

    But also, Matt, you are a rockstar. I am so very fucking proud of you. I also want to buy a copy of this book for an awful lot of people…but I’m not sure if I want them to read it, or if I just want to beat them to death with it. Perhaps I should figure that out before I buy many copies of the book, eh? ;)

  7. Hello Matt,

    I have a question about the accessibility of Adobe Flash Player with screen readers. I have been looking for a way to contact you… so, if this is the wrong place, please let me know how to do it correctly. I am sorry if this is the wrong place.

    We are having difficulties figuring out the keystrokes for operating Adobe Flash Player using a screen reader for someone who is blind. The button numbers seem to change and their action is not consistent.

    We develop curriculum teaching assistive technology, reading, and other learning skills for people with disabilities at a California community college. Thanks.

    Cheers,

    Ted

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