Book Review: Inclusive Design Patterns

A good book worth every penny. It can help you reduce the learning curve in intermediate or advanced topics and reading is an excellent way to get filtered knowledge from the bests in a particular field.

The subject of this recommendation is written by Heydon Pickering an accessibility expert known by the relentless work made in this field. Heydon does a good job to show us how to create sophisticated but accessible components. This book is one of his top work — I think — but he has another mentionable and similar project named Inclusive Components.

In my opinion, doing a bad review isn’t worth my time, so I only make positives which can be useful for others too. Of course, I try to be objective and mention the drawbacks.

About the Format

I’ve read this on a Kindle so about the physical material I can’t tell you much. The .mobi version is well edited and easy to read. There are just a few images, and the code blocks (on a 6" Kindle the long code block can be hard to interpret) are manageable.

For me as a non-native English reader, Haydon’s word usage was advanced but this is forgivable at least I learned some new word too.

About the Content

This book is all about accessibility under the hood of Inclusive Design. Inclusive Design is an entirely new perspective on the accessible design which tries to emphasize the necessity of designing for everybody.

The book is an essential piece for everybody who is want to make more accessible websites or applications be a beginner or advanced level developer. I’m a beginner in the a11y game, so there was a lot of new things for me in it.

Before you read this book it is nice to have some basic knowledge because the complexity of the examples.

The content is straightforward: you get an introduction followed by nine practical chapter with a significant part of a website — like navigation or forms — closing with the last one which is testing.

The Table of Content

  • Introduction
  • The Document
  • A Paragraph
  • A Blog Post
  • Navigation
  • A Menu Button
  • Inclusive Prototyping
  • A List Of Products
  • A Filter Widget
  • A Registration Form
  • Test-driven Markup
  • Further Reading

Every chapter can stand on its own. Knowing how you can build an accessible blog post is handy, and you can use this book as a reference to do so. I am missing a GitHub repository where we can find all of the examples but as I said the book is a good reference point.

Despite the examples, my favorite is the testing section where you will find some intelligent information about the automated testing through CSS in a visual manner. You can’t make a test like you do in JS; you can only show error messages to see where you make a mistake in a component.

In the end, you find a massive list of further reading if you are seriously interested in a11y.

For more info about the Table of Content, please visit The Smashing Magazine’s connecting page. You can also get this book through The Smashing Membership.

Should I Read It?

If you are a front-end developer, it is a must, I’m sure you will learn a lot about the accessible mindset from this book. Sometimes the accessibility is a neglected part of our design which is shameful. We have to build applications and sites which are available for the masses. The Inclusive Design is a great future where we are heading but to achieve this everybody should to be an advocate of it.

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