The Adaptive Web Design book, by Aaron Gustafson, changed the way we think about the web, and you can now read it yourself - for free.
The book's core message is it's okay to give different people – or more correctly, different devices – different experiences.
"It's all about recognising that it's okay for people to have different experiences of an interface as long as those experiences are positive and as long as they can accomplish the tasks they set out to," Gustafson told us in an extensive interview.
Explaining his design philosophy, Gustafson told us: "The entire idea is that you're creating sites, content, web pages, whatever it is, without placing any technological restrictions on the users.
"With progressive enhancement, you focus on the content and the key tasks of the page, and build up the experience from there, layering on different technologies. The experience is more of a continuum from a basic one that might just be text with links, right up to a fully interactive one."
When asked why he made the book to read online, Gustafson explained: "I felt it was important that the progressive enhancement message get out there beyond the people we reached with the commercially available print and ebooks. So I decided to release it for free on the Web. Progressively enhanced, of course."
A new and updated version of Adaptive Web Design should be available by the end of 2015.
Words: Martin Cooper
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