Inclusive Design Patterns by Heydon Pickering (Hardcover Print + eBook)

Inclusive Design Patterns by Heydon Pickering (Hardcover Print + eBook)

We might not realize it, but as developers, we build inaccessible websites all the time. It’s not for the lack of care or talent though — it’s a matter of doing things the wrong way. This book explains how we can craft accessible interfaces without extra effort — and what front-end design patterns we can use to create inclusive experiences.


Accessibility has always been a slightly unsettling realm for developers. Surrounded with myths and misunderstandings, it used to be a domain for a small group of experts. Today, it’s still unclear what makes up an accessible interface and what developers need to know to get there. Let's fix it.

Inclusive Design Handbook gets to the bottom of it all: accessibility myths and rules of thumbs, WAI-ARIA roles, content accessibility guidelines, landmark roles, keyboard and touch accessibility, accessible markup and interaction patterns, accessible forms and widgets, multimedia accessibility and inclusive prototyping. Everything you need to know about accessibility gathered in one practical, smashing book.

The book looks at common accessible interface patterns from the perspective of an inclusive designer and covers practical techniques, gotchas and strategies you need to be aware of when building accessible, inclusive interfaces.

About The Book

Many web design articles and books are all about improving your workflow and making your life easier as a developer. Should you wish to adopt a framework or employ a processor to speed up your development process, be our guest. However, this book is not about you; it’s about your audience.

Inclusive Design Patterns covers all the techniques, gotchas and strategies you need to be aware of when building accessible, inclusive interfaces. We’ll explore the document outline, external links and “skip” links, navigation regions and landmarks, labelling and alternative text for illustrations, buttons, tables of contents, JavaScript patterns, touch targets, filter widgets and infinite scrolling and “load more” button and grid display and dynamic content and tab interfaces and password validation and web forms and error messages — and pretty much anything else you need to know about accessibility, including how to prototype with inclusivity in mind, how to deal with legacy browsers and dozens of practical snippets to use when building inclusive interfaces.

What’s in there for you? You can take the lessons learned in the book and apply them within any framework sufficiently flexible to allow you to write and organize good interfaces. One thing is certain: once you read the book, accessibility won’t appear difficult nor confusing any longer — you’ll know exactly what to do, and when.

Table Of Contents

You've probably guessed it — the book doesn't deal with theoretical concepts or things that are supposed to work. The book deals with practical design patterns and common interface components, and provides ready-to-use code snippets for applying to your work right away.


Summary We will look at an interactive element, a button, from the perspective of three types of designers. The purpose of this example is to show you how a little bit of knowledge about the medium can lead to a simpler and (therefore) more inclusive solution.

1. The Document

Summary We will look into discrete interface patterns; modules, components, widgets, conventions, whatever-you-want-to-call-thems. It would be foolhardy not to first acknowledge that each will ultimately belong to a web document. HTML pages vary dramatically in shape and size and can include any combination of patterns, but there are a handful of 'document level' best practices to which we should adhere. The aim here is not to go in search of the ultimate 'boilerplate' but to configure a parent web page to support inclusive design. nhancement

2. A Paragraph

Summary We'll be looking at typefaces, leading, measure, justification, contrast, focus indication and more, to help you design paragraphs suited for a hugely diverse audience. We'll also tackle specific issues for folks with limited vision, dyslexia, Irlen syndrome, low literacy and limited technical knowledge.

3. A Blog Post

Summary We'll show how to incorporate accessible landmarks and a sound section structure to make the content more navigable and interoperable to a diversity of users and parsers. This will be bolstered by giving well-written and context independent structural as well asand context independent structural and navigational cues.

4. Navigation

Summary We'll progressively enhance HTML's primitives to create the inclusive means to navigate within and between web pages. We will also cover design provisions transferable to many other patterns, including logical source order and the virtue of eliminating redundancy. We will also tackle how to progressively enhance the navigation with JavaScript.

5. A Menu Button

Summary In this chapter, we'll ensure our menu button and the content it reveals are inclusive of differing user settings, circumstances, devices, and assistive technology software.

6. Inclusive Prototyping

Summary By going straight from paper to HTML, we lay the foundations for efficient code and inclusive experiences.

7. A List Of Products

Summary In this chapter, we'll practice our inclusive design chops. As in previous patterns, the organization and structure of content is paramount. We'll look deeply into image accessibility, from both the perspectives of alternative text composition and performance. In catering to blind consumers, to those who cannot afford generous data contracts, and anyone accessing your content from outside your interface, this is a chance to really push the limits of inclusive design.

8. A Filter Widget

Summary We'll explore the importance of giving users choice and control over how their content is arranged. We'll also use some techniques to make sure our design was tolerant of dynamic and fluctuating content. Inclusive design also means a visual design which is not too strict about the nature of the content imparted to it.

9. A Registration Form

Summary This chapter will give you everything you need to develop inclusive forms. By using standard form elements, effective labeling and facilitating the correction of errors, users of all walks are able to access and contribute to your websites and apps. By keeping the form simple and avoiding irritating experiences like disappearing labels and passwords that you cannot check, we've made sure using the form isn't just possible but pleasurable.

10. Test-driven Markup

Summary Test-driven development allows developers working with frequent iterations to move forward with confidence. By writing tests first, to prescribe outcomes, then creating the functionality to achieve them, you can ensure successful builds behave in a predictable and reliable fashion.

About The Author

Heydon Pickering is a writer, designer and public speaker, the accessibility editor for Smashing Magazine, and an accessibility consultant working with The Paciello Group. He's interested in new and innovative ways to make The Web an inclusive place. User research, systems thinking and plain old semantic HTML all play their part. When Heydon isn't writing, coding or illustrating, he experiments with sound design and thrashes out Doom Metal riffs of his detuned SG copy.

Testimonials From Our Readers

  • “Cannot say enough good things about this book!!! Best thing I've read all year! Full of useful info! [...] . Worth every penny! Honestly think it’s a must read for both designers and developers.”
    Tristan White
  • “Just got @heydonworks @smashingmag book on coding accessibility. Only 2 chapters in but it already has me rethinking my approach.”
    Jay Bellew
  • “I'm currently reading it. It's a remarkable book. All points are well founded and applicable.”
    François Cardinaux
  • “I've already used it at work!”
    Tracy MacMath

Technical Details

• 312 pages, 14 × 21 cm (5.5 × 8.25 inches),

• ISBN: 978-3-945749-43-2 (print),

• Quality hardcover with stitched binding and a ribbon page marker,

• The eBook is available in PDF, EPUB, and Amazon Kindle formats.

• Free worldwide airmail shipping from Germany.

Why This Book Is For You

No fluff, no theory: just the techniques and strategies you can apply to your work right away. The Inclusive Design Patterns covers everything you need to know when building accessible interfaces. You'll learn:


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