Foreword to Adaptive Web Design by Aaron Gustafson

The foreword to the second edition of the book.

I remember well when I got my hands on a copy of the first edition of Adaptive Web Design. I knew it would be good, but I didn’t expect to be quite so blown away after just one chapter. In that first chapter, Aaron managed to perfectly crystallise what I had been struggling to articulate for years on the true meaning of progressive enhancement.

In hindsight, I shouldn’t have been so surprised. Aaron is a multi-talented worker for the web and has cultivated a deep knowledge of many areas—particularly accessibility. But his real talent lies not in his way with technology, but in his way with people.

It’s all too easy for us—web designers and developers—to get caught up in the details of technical implementations. If we’re not careful, we can lose sight of the reasons why we’re designing and developing on the web in the first place. Aaron can take you on a deep dive into the minutiae of markup, the secrets of CSS, and the jargon of JavaScript, while at the same time reminding you of why any of it matters: the people who will be accessing your work.

I suspect that Aaron struggles to come with a title to describe what he does. Developer? Evangelist? Author? All those terms describe parts Aaron’s work, but they all fall short. I think the title that best describes Aaron Gustafson is …teacher.

Good teachers can work magic. They impart knowledge while weaving an entertaining tale at the same time. That’s exactly what Aaron does with this book.

You’re in for a treat. You’re about to read a story that is as instructional as it is engrossing.

Take it away, teacher…

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