Access by Design

This book fails to live up to its title.

My Rating: yesyesnonono





This is definitely NOT a technical book. The book describes in great detail a series of dos and don'ts of designing a usable static web site. It does mention Javascript but only to cover a couple of the don'ts. At no point is Javascript mentioned in regard to how it can improve the usability of a web site for the 90% or so of users who have Javascript enabled. Usability of dynamic or interactive web pages is not even mentioned.

The book goes systematically through all of the different static web page constructs that can be created and gives information on what you should do or not do to improve user's experience of the static pages. It illustrates this with examples of real web pages (which is useful) but fails to follow up with detailed instructions on how this can actually be achieved.

It isn't really clear who the intended audience for the book is either since beginners don't normally consider usability and most people who are thinking about usability will have already come across many of the ideas presented in the book and will probably be thinking about user interaction rather than static page views. The summary information in the appendix makes a useful reference for any of the features covered that they might have missed.

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