Universal Design for Digital Media: Where Usability & Accessibility Meet

Universal Design for Digital Media – a 3-credit course, offered through University of Colorado at Boulder

(Register at: University of Colorado at Boulder, Continuing Education (under ATLAS program)

Fall 2012 Schedule: Sept. 4 – Dec. 14, 2012 -

Course Description:
Many web and media designers believe that the design process begins and ends with information architecture and visual design. Although these elements are important, other factors are equally if not more crucial for the design of successful web sites and other digital media. This course will examine the standards and methods for designing digital material that is not only accessible for persons with disabilities – a particularly important requirement for the web sites of public entities – but also effective and usable for all users and across platforms.

Course Scope:
This course will review standards for usability and accessibility, focusing on the concepts of universal design, web standards and accessibility best practices. Resources and texts from media design experts such as Donald A. Norman, Wendy Chisholm, and Jeffrey Zeldman will be complemented with online resources and materials. Topics to be covered include (x)html standards, structured coding procedures, semantic web design, user-centered design, and validation tools, among others. There may be occasional live lectures and guest speakers – delivered through web conferencing but taped for later and repeat viewing, as needed by students. Students will complete weekly assignments and follow the overall schedule of the course through the semester.

Course Objectives/Methods:
Through reading, projects and assignments, students will learn media design methods, along with the implementation of guidelines and tools to test the usability and accessibility of web pages and other electronic media. A class project will be assigned to plan and construct an accessible web site.

3 Track framework:
Technology; Design & Testing; & Current Topics (e.g. Legislation, Case studies)

Howard Kramer, Access Specialist, University of Colorado – Boulder.

Main Contact:
Howard Kramer, 492-8672,

Class frequency:
Modules taken weekly by students at their own pace within the week.

May be taken for 3 credits or taken non-credit.

Required Textbooks*
Chisholm, Wendy; May, Matt. Universal Design for Web Applications (2009)
Zeldman, Jeffrey. Designing with Web Standards (3rd Edition)
*This is the tentative list of required textbooks. However, this list may change in the months before the start of the semester. Check with the instructor before purchasing any materials.

Material provided through course reserves:
Norman, David A. The Design of Everyday Things (2002)
Cooper, Alan; Reimann Robert M. About Face 2.0: The Essentials of Interaction Design (2003) (ISBN: 0764526413)
Other readings to be announced and posted – or pointed to – via Desire 2 Learn.

Recommended, but not required:
Shea & Holzschlag. The Zen of CSS Design: Visual Enlightenment for the Web. Berkeley, CA: Peachpit Press, 2005. (ISBN: 0-321-30347-4).
Planned Software for Class
Internet Explorer, FireFox, DreamWeaver, Safari, Notepad Plus, JAWS/Magic (can use demonstration versions).
Registration: Register online at: (Course is listed under the ATLAS program)