Designing with Progressive Enhancement: Building the Web that Works for Everyone The good people at New Riders (Peachpit) have given me the opportunity to review one of their newest titles, Designing with Progressive Enhancement: Building the Web that Works for Everyone. I would like to thank them as this has been a topic of much concern in my everyday life for a while, and this book really nailed the topic.

Authored by four brilliant minds Todd Parker, Scott Jehl, Maggie Costello Wachs, and Patty Toland (also known as the Filament Group) make up a great brain trust for this title. Combined they have over 30yrs of design experience working with interactive design, and mastering the art of design for everyone.

This book is unique in that the authors seem to have really sat down and worked out a process, and this book is really a step-by-step guide and explanation of their process. It teaches you that sometimes the best practices are the best steps to take first. They explain that although it takes more time, and energy, that starting with a base HTML structure for your website is the best place to start as the most people will be able to access your site. There is no need for parsers, javascript, codecs, etc.

After getting a base for your site in HTML they explain how and why you should test what the browser in use supports. Does the browser support javascript? Does it support all of the javascript spec, or just parts? Does it support AJAX? JSON? With each test they explain why you want to test, and if the browser passes how to utilize these features.

This is NOT a code book. Their examples are purely theoretical, although some sample and code snippets are provided.

The general idea of this title is to get you thinking about the way you design your product. To make you think outside the fancy and latest jQuery features, and XML and SVG, and make sure you base product is a product that everyone can use.