Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout Design

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  • Author: Shawn Lawton Henry
  • Format: online HTML
  • Price: free (hard copy available from Amazon)

The accessibility of your design is an important factor to consider when building websites and software. This book is a great introduction to accessible design and user-centered design.

Chapters include:

  • Incorporating Accessibility Early and Throughout
  • Involving People with Disabilities in Your Project
  • Interacting with People with Disabilities
  • Background: Accessibility and User-Centered Design (UCD)
  • User Group Profiles
  • Personas
  • Scenarios
  • Design Phase
  • Evaluating for Accessibility
  • Checklist for Usability Testing


Data + Design

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  • Author: Trina Chiasson, Dyanna Gregory
  • Format: online HTML, PDF
  • Price: free

How do you effectively communicate data with design? This book introduces you to the basic concepts behind data research, analysis, and visualization. Whether you’re designing infographics, web forms or admin dashboards, this is a superb read.

Chapters include:

  • Data Fundamentals
  • Collecting Data
  • Preparing data
  • Visualizing Data
  • What Not To Do


Web Style Guide: Basic Design Principles for Creating Web Sites, 3rd Edition

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  • Author: Patrick J. Lynch and Sarah Horton
  • Format: online HTML
  • Price: free (hard copy available on Amazon)

Consistently praised in earlier editions as the best volume on classic elements of web site design, Web Style Guide, now in its Third Edition, continues its tradition of emphasis on fundamentals. Focusing on the needs of web site designers in corporations, government, nonprofit organizations, and academic institutions, the book explains established design principles and how they apply in web design projects in which information design, interface design, and efficient search and navigation are of primary concern.

Chapters include:

  • Process
  • Universal Usability
  • Information Architecture
  • Interface Design
  • Site Structure
  • Page Structure
  • Page Design
  • Typography
  • Editorial Style
  • Forms and Applications
  • Graphics
  • Multimedia


Designing for the Web

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  • Author: Mark Boulton
  • Format: online HTML, epub, mobi, PDF
  • Price: free

You’ll find an abundant amount of web design tips and strategies in this book. It talks about a wide range of subjects: getting your first design job, design research, typography, color, and more.

Chapters include:

  • Getting Started: Introduction
  • Designing for the web: ‘How can I get my first job?’
  • The Job: Working for an Agency
  • Understanding Workflow: One Mockup or Many?
  • The Tools: Just like a carpenter, a designer will have his favorite tools.
  • Working for yourself: So you want to work for yourself? And why not.
  • Research and Ideas: Introduction
  • The Design Process: The Traditional Design Process
  • The Brief: The Brief, in its different forms, represents the start of a project.
  • Research: Research is a profession in its own right.
  • Ideas: They are the heart of every creative process.
  • Putting it together: Case study for a gardening website.
  • Typography: Introduction
  • Anatomy: Typefaces, like most things, are made up of constituent parts.
  • Classification: Typefaces have defining characteristics that give them personalities.
  • Hierarchy: Typographic hierarchy, put simply, is how different faces structure a document.
  • Typesetting: The font industry is big business, and rightly so.
  • Printing the web: The screen is just one of the media types for which we have to design.
  • Colour: Introduction
  • The Colour Wheel: Colour theory involves a great deal of complex terminology.
  • Hue, Saturation and Brightness: Describing colour can often be confusing.
  • Colour Combinations and Mood: Colours chosen from different spokes on the Colour Wheel will provide a variety of colour combinations.
  • Designing without Colour: Lowering the Tone.
  • Colour and Brand: Can you imagine a classic coke can in any other colour?
  • Layout: Introduction
  • The Basics of Composition: For centuries there has been a link between art and mathematics.
  • Spatial Relationships: Space is important in layout.
  • Grid Systems: A grid is an instrument for ordering graphical elements of text and images.
  • Breaking the Grid: Should Everything Always Line Up?
  • Bringing it all together: Case study for De Standaard.
  • What does it really feel like to be a designer in this industry today?


The Shape of Design

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  • Author: Frank Chimero
  • Format: online HTML, epub, mobi, PDF
  • Price: free

A fieldguide for makers. A love letter to design. If you create things, the book’s insights will inform the way you think about your work, regardless of how you make your living.

Chpaters include:

  • How and Why
  • Craft and Beauty
  • Limitations and Improvisation
  • Form and Magic
  • Fiction and Bridges
  • Context and Response
  • Stories and Voids
  • Frameworks and Etiquette
  • Delight and Accommodation
  • Gifts and Giving


Text Processing in Python

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  • Author: David Mertz
  • Format: plain text
  • Price: free (hard copy available on Amazon)

Text Processing in Python describes techniques for manipulation of text using the Python programming language. At the broadest level, text processing is simply taking textual information and doing something with it. This might be restructuring or reformatting it, extracting smaller bits of information from it, or performing calculations that depend on the text. Text processing is arguably what most programmers spend most of their time doing.

Because Python is clear, expressive, and object-oriented it is a perfect language for doing text processing, even better than Perl. As the amount of data everywhere continues to increase, this is more and more of a challenge for programmers.

This book is not a tutorial on Python. It has two other goals: helping the programmer get the job done pragmatically and efficiently; and giving the reader an understanding – both theoretically and conceptually – of why what works works and what doesn’t work doesn’t work. Mertz provides practical pointers and tips that emphasize efficient, flexible, and maintainable approaches to the text processing tasks that working programmers face daily.

Chapters include:

  • Python Basics
  • Basic String Operations
  • Regular Expressions
  • Parsers And State-Machines
  • Internet Tools And Techniques
  • A Selective And Impressionistic Short Review Of Python
  • A Data Compression Primer
  • Understanding Unicode
  • A State-Machine For Adding Markup To Text


Introduction to Programming using Python

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  • Author: Katja Schuerer, Corinne Maufrais, Catherine Letondal, Eric Deveaud, Marie-Agnes Petit
  • Format: PDF
  • Price: free

The objective of this course is to teach programming concepts to biologists. It is thus aimed at people who are not professional computer scientists, but who need a better control of computers for their own research.

Chapters include:

  • Introduction
  • Variables
  • Statements, expressions and functions
  • Communication with outside
  • Program execution
  • Strings
  • Branching and Decisions
  • Defining Functions
  • Collections
  • Nested data structures
  • Repetitions
  • Exceptions
  • Functions II
  • Modules and packages in Python
  • Recursive functions
  • Files
  • Scripting
  • Object-oriented programming
  • Object-oriented design

Get the book: Introduction to Programming using Python

Think Python: How to Think Like a Computer Scientist

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  • Author: Allen B. Downey
  • Format: online HTML, PDF
  • Price: free (hard copy available on Amazon)

Think Python is an introduction to Python programming for beginners. It starts with basic concepts of programming, and is carefully designed to define all terms when they are first used and to develop each new concept in a logical progression. Larger pieces, like recursion and object-oriented programming are divided into a sequence of smaller steps and introduced over the course of several chapters.

Some examples and exercises are based on Swampy, a Python package written by the author to demonstrate aspects of software design, and to give readers a chance to experiment with simple graphics and animation.

Chapters include:

  • The way of the program
  • Variables, expressions and statements
  • Functions
  • Case study: interface design
  • Conditionals and recursion
  • Fruitful functions
  • Iteration
  • Strings
  • Case study: word play
  • Lists
  • Dictionaries
  • Tuples
  • Case study: data structure selection
  • Files
  • Classes and objects
  • Classes and functions
  • Classes and methods
  • Inheritance
  • Case study: Tkinter
  • Debugging
  • Analysis of Algorithms
  • Lumpy

Buy this book on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1HVCzyB

The Book of Ruby

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  • Author: Huw Collingbourne
  • Format: archived PDF
  • Price: free (hard copy available on Amazon)

The Book Of Ruby (free edition) is a free tutorial to the Ruby language. It contains 425 pages in 20 chapters. It is provided in the form of a PDF document in which each chapter is accompanied by ready-to-run source code for all the examples. There is also an Introduction which explains how to use the source code in Ruby In Steel or any other editor/IDE of your choice plus appendices and an index.

Note that The Book Of Ruby is an in-depth guide to Ruby. For a much simpler guide to the principal features of the Ruby language, there is also the free eBook, The Little Book Of Ruby, by the same author.

Chapters include:

  • Strings, Numbers, Classes and Objects
  • Class Hierarchies, Attributes and Class Variables
  • Strings and Ranges
  • Arrays and Hashes
  • Loops and Iterators
  • Conditional Statements
  • Methods
  • Passing Arguments and Returning Values
  • Exception Handling
  • Blocks, Procs and Lambdas
  • Symbols
  • Modules and Mixins
  • Files and IO
  • YAML
  • Marshal
  • Regular Expressions
  • Threads
  • Debugging and Testing
  • Ruby On Rails
  • Dynamic Programming

Download The Book of Ruby at the bottom of the page:

The Little Book Of Ruby

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  • Author: Huw Collingbourne
  • Format: PDF
  • Price: free

The Little Book Of Ruby is a PDF eBook which will guide you through the fundamentals of Ruby programming. Starting with the basics (strings, numbers, objects and methods) it quickly moves on to explain all you need to know to create your own class hierarchies, use arrays, hashes, iterators, modules, mixins and much more besides.

Chapters include:

  • Strings and Methods
  • Classes and Objects
  • Class Hierarchies
  • Accessors, Attributes, Class Variables
  • Arrays
  • Hashes
  • Loops and Iterators
  • Conditional Statements
  • Modules and Mixins
  • Saving Files, Moving On