A web for Everyone: Designing Accessible User Experiences

by
  • Sarah Horton
  • Whitney Quesenbery
  • Aaron Gustafson
I scored this a 4 / 5

Today I want to review a book I recently finished reading: A Web for Everyone: Designing Accessible User ces.

Nobody wants to put up roadblocks for people but if we decide to remain ignorant as to what a website needs to do to be as accessible as possible to as wide an audience as possible then that is what we are doing.

That is what I have been doing, claiming ignorance, for far too long, so I decided I needed a bit of an education and was recommended A Web for Everyone: Designing Accessible User Experiences.

You can tell by the title the main thrust of this book – Accessibility. I read the Kindle edition of the book.

I have to say, for a book whose core aim is to instil a desire for web developers and project teams to do the right thing and incorporate all types of users into their design it seems like they didn’t want Kindle readers to have a great experience!

A lot of the headings and chapters bleed into each other with seemingly little use of font sizes, it was very strange and I am going to put it down to a blip in their export process which may well be fixed now. If not for this mistake making it harder to read this review would be 100% glowing!

Layout issues aside I really did enjoy this book.

What stands it out from others I have read is that whilst there are mentions of tools and techniques to help for a more accessible project, the core driver of the book is that everything should be about the users of your site. Users that will have a whole gambit of reasons as to why things are more or less difficult for them.

The book is so focused on people that early on we are shown case studies of different potential users, all with their own special set of needs (spoiler alert, they aren’t all visually impaired). The rest of the book harks back to these people often.

The chapters are split up in a sensible manner and aren’t just for developers, at each stage the book recommends which type of stakeholder should be involved; be in when writing copy, designing a form or coding the site.

A Web for Everyone: Designing Accessible User Experiences is a great read, technical enough to have directly actionable takeaways, but focused on people enough to help ignite or reignite a desire to do things the right way.  Worth every penny.