When I asked my friend Karen Gocsik to be my development editor, I expected her to smooth the rough edges and keep me on track. However, Karen is a teacher above all else—and an excellent one. Somehow, in all the back-and-forth of editing and revising, she taught me to be a better writer. This book reflects her expertise and excellence, as well as the steadfast support she provided throughout.
Glenn Fleishman, my technical editor, has been my friend for many years. Glenn helped set this book in motion, and later gave it an exacting and expert technical review. I am grateful to Glenn for putting me through my paces and making this a better book. I continue to be impressed by the energy and knowledge he brings to all he does.
Much of what I know about interface design I learned from Ben Shneiderman. Ben helped establish the field of human-computer interaction and has advocated user-centered design throughout his career. In researching this book, I discovered that Ben’s current research is focused on the universal user. His articles on universal usability and his most recent book, Leonardo’s Laptop: Human Needs and the New Computing Technologies, have provided me with both information and inspiration. I am honored by his willingness to contribute to this book, and grateful for his encouragement along the way.
I am grateful to the members of the WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind) mailing list. Their willingness to answer questions, clarify concepts, and explore alternatives has taught me much of what I know about the practical application of universal usability. I also thank Andrew Kirkpatrick of the WGBH National Center for Accessible Media for his ready responses to my queries. Lou Rosenfeld encouraged me early on to write this book—I am grateful for the push. And, as always, I thank Pat Lynch for his tutelage, friendship, and support.
To the organizations and inviduals whose work appears on the pages of this book, thank you for contributing to this effort. I am especially indebted to the many governmental organizations whose public domain work is shown here—thank you for providing so many excellent examples.
At Peachpit Press, I thank Nancy Davis, Marjorie Baer, Karyn Johnson, Rebecca Ross, Mimi Heft, Hilal Sala, Doug Adrianson, Beverly Bitagon, Kim Lombardi, and Mimi Vitetta for their excellence and hard work.
At Dartmouth, I thank Nancy Pompian for insight and inspiration. Every time I talk to Nancy she introduces me to something new, and it was Nancy who introduced me to the concept of universal design. I am grateful to my colleague Barbara Knauff for reading my drafts and keeping me consistent. I also thank my other friends and colleagues at Dartmouth—Malcolm Brown, Jeff Bohrer, Sheila Culbert, Karen Gocsik, Martha McDaniel, Elizabeth Polli, Mark O’Neil, and Susan Simon—for their encouragement and support.
I am grateful to all the Web designers, developers, and enthusiasts who are part of my world, both online and off—thank you for sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm.
I thank my large family for their patience and encouragement. Especially, I thank my two favorite guys: Malcolm, for keeping the home fires burning, and Nico, for bringing me such good luck.