The web is full of interfaces that leave people out. Of course, it’s not designers’ malicious intent or developers’ lack of empathy that bring us there. It’s just really difficult to foresee a wide range of situations in which our users might find themselves in. We need to build robust and reliable solutions in a world that’s inherently chaotic and unpredictable. Where do we even start?
Because we often build and deploy under tough deadlines, we tend to break accessibility without even noticing it. Our products become slower, clunkier and more painful to use — often simply unbearable for keyboard- and screen reader users, and as such fragile and vulnerable for legal disputes. Let’s fix it.
Meet Inclusive Components, our new handbook for building fully accessible websites and apps.
About The Book
At its heart, Inclusive Components is a detailed, practical handbook for building fully accessible interfaces. The book examines 12 common interface patterns — accordions, tables, modals, notifications, tabs, toggles, and everything in-between — through the lens of inclusion. The result is accessible and robust components we author, plug in, and use daily.
For years, Heydon Pickering, a seasoned front-end developer with a focus on accessibility, has been writing about accessible solutions. We’ve teamed up with Heydon to produce a book with common challenges and solutions that he’s been refining over all these years.
For each component, the in-depth explorations are meticulously illustrated and all solutions are available as bulletproof code snippets, applicable to your work right away. Bonus: you’ll learn how to build your own accessible components with inclusive design in mind — all in a single book. Jump to table of contents.
332 pages. eBook available as PDF, ePUB, Amazon Kindle. Written and designed by Heydon. Download a sample PDF (1.1 MB). Shipping now.
Table Of Contents
Each chapter tackles a single component, addressing how different and vulnerable people might read and interact with it, and how they can be better accommodated. Download a sample PDF (1.1 MB).
- 1. Toggle Buttons+
- 2. A Todo List+
- 3. Menus & Menu Buttons+
- 4. Tooltips & Toggletips+
- 5. A Theme Switcher+
- 6. Tabbed Interfaces+
- 7. Collapsible Sections+
- 8. A Content Slider+
- 9. Notifications+
- 10. Data Tables+
- 11. Modal Dialogs+
- 12. Cards+
About The Author
Heydon Pickering (@heydonworks) has worked with The Paciello Group, The BBC, Smashing Magazine, and Bulb Energy as a designer, engineer, writer, editor, and illustrator. He was shortlisted for Designer Of The Year in The Net Awards.
Heydon previously wrote Inclusive Design Patterns which sold over 10,000 copies. Proceeds from this title were donated to the ACLU and The Democratic Socialists Of America, to help these organizations fight fascism and create a more inclusive society.
“Inclusive Components is a very deep and thorough explanation of development of accessible components with real world examples. Heydon Pickering shows several alternative approaches and explains pros and cons of each. It’s also a pleasure to read!”
— Artem Sapegin, front-end developer, Wayfair
“Inclusive Components is chock-full of practical and comprehensive advice on building accessible UI. It’s my go-to resource after the official WCAG and ARIA documentation. I’ve found it extremely helpful when building our design system!”
— Sarah Federman, senior front-end developer
“What Heydon achieves with his work on Inclusive Components is a pragmatic, friendly and approachable set of guides that help you to generate not just accessible components, but also resilient and progressive starting-points that will help you to build better websites and web apps in general. I often describe this work as crucial learning material for this exact reason.”
— Andy Bell, independent designer & developer
Why This Book Might Be For You
The devil is in the detail and often the things you do with good intentions can impose accessibility barriers unknowingly. Inclusive Components is for every front-end developer who wants to learn how to detect and address potential accessibility issues in their work. The book will teach you:
- How to use
<button>elements, how to apply styles to your toggle buttons, and how to label them.
- How to create managed lists that allow users to create and delete content — in an inclusive way.
- How to address and resolve accessibility issues with navigation menus and submenus (aka “dropdowns”).
- How to create accessible and keyboard-friendly tooltips and toggletips.
- How to create a “dark mode” theme that’s both accessible and maintainable long-term.
- How to build an accessible content slider to prevent harm for motion-sensitive people.
- How to create inclusive notifications with live regions to communicate with your users through visual and aural channels simultaneously.
- How to create data tables that are semantically correct, responsive, and sortable.
- How to build accessible dialogs and modal dialogs with performance and inclusive design in mind.
- How to create and group inclusive cards (e.g. for teasers).
- Quality hardcover, stitched binding, ribbon page marker.
- The eBook is available as PDF, ePUB, and Amazon Kindle from Heydon’s site.
- Free worldwide airmail shipping from Germany. (Check your delivery times.) Shipping now.
- Available as eBook and print + eBook.
Community Matters ❤️
With Inclusive Components, we've tried to create a very focused handbook with applicable, long-living solutions and strategies to create accessible and inclusive interfaces.
Our hope is that with Heydon's book, you will be able to make better design and coding decisions as you build your interfaces. Perhaps it will even become one of those reference books you'll reach to every time you need to build one of those common UI components.
Producing a book takes quite a bit of time, and we couldn't pull it off without the support of our wonderful community. A huge shout-out to Smashing Members for their ongoing support in our adventures. As a result, the eBook is and always will be free for Smashing Members. Plus, Members get a friendly discount when purchasing their printed copy.
Stay smashing, and thank you for your ongoing support, everyone!