[webdev] Web Design Update: July 28, 2006
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Fri Jul 28 06:27:56 CDT 2006
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 5, Issue 05, July 28, 2006.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 05 CONTENTS.
SECTION ONE: New references.
What's new at the Web Design Reference site?
New links in these categories:
03: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
04: EVALUATION & TESTING.
10: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
14: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Understanding Web Accessibility
By Shawn Lawton Henry.
"'Understanding Web Accessibility' is Chapter 1 of the
recently-published book Web Accessibility: Web Standards and Regulatory
Can You Get the Music? A Review of Music Download Sites
By Janet Ingber.
"...Unfortunately, no single web site is totally accessible, has old
and new music from major record labels, and uses a format that is
compatible with all portable players and CD burners..."
Disabilities and Barriers
By Georgia Southern University.
"This section will illustrate various disabilities and how a disability
prevents users from accessing information on the Internet. A barrier is
defined as those parts of a Web page that are inaccessible to people
with disabilities. In the majority of sites, barriers can be removed
from Web pages without compromising the integrity, presentation or the
author's "creative license" of their site..."
PDF Standards From ISO
By Leonard Rosenthol.
"...I thought I'd write a bit about some of the standards related to
PDF from ISO (International Standards Organization)."
PDF Needs You for PDF/UA!
By Duff Johnson.
"AIIM's PDF/UA Committee needs your help!. PDF/UA (Universal
Accessibility) is tasked with developing a Standard for accessible PDF
with a goal of eventual adoption by the ISO."
LIFT Text Transcoder
Ann Jenkins: "I am wondering if anyone on this list has any experience
with or an opinion about the LIFT Text Transcoder..." Patrick H.
Lauke:"...quick fix, band-aid solution. If you build your pages
properly, using standards, providing alternative content etc, then
you've already got a text-only version...your markup itself..."
Kaiser, Shirley. Building Best Practice Websites: 101 Must Have
Checklists, SitePoint, 2006.
+03: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
Transcendent CSS: Creating the Aesthetic Web
By Molly E. Holzschlag.
"For those folks working with Web standards, particularly CSS, the
road's been a bit of a difficult one. We've faced a lot of challenges
and continue to face them. But there's hope on the horizon, lots of
hope. This hope has emerged from the hard work of many people who are
attempting to transcend the technical problems and create great Web
sites. Our joint goal is to create sites that are structurally sound,
accessible, usable, and designed with aesthetic appeal for multiple
platform use including screen, print, and wherever possible, mobile
By Eric A. Meyer.
"...none of his individual points are on target. What his outburst does
is remind us of the problem to which so many have grown numb, and which
we still-for all the progress that has been made-face on a daily basis.
Consequently, it reminds us to keep advocating for greater consistency
between browsers, to praise the efforts of browser makers in that
direction, and to help them correct their course when they move in the
wrong direction-and to do so constructively, not destructively. For
while we may gain insights from the rantings of trolls, we should never
be so foolish as to adopt their tactics."
By John Allsopp.
"You know, having got stuck into John Dvorak the other day, I kinda
feel a little bad now. See, underneath it all, I sense his frustration
with CSS. And I do agree both the issues of browser compatibility and
the learning curve with a new technology can be frustrating...So here
is a challenge for all you CSS designers: Develop a CSS redesign of
John Dvorak's blog...The first 10 redesigns we receive, will receive..."
Correcting the 20 Pro Tips (.NET magazine)
By Emil Stenstrom.
".NET magazine is a fairly big web development magazine. I've recently
been referenced to its articles from many separate places, and often
found the articles to be of good quality. The last one, called 20 pro
tips, was not too good though, so I'm going to go through and correct
it. I'm not trying to attack the magazine here (remember 'friendly' in
the URL), I just want people to know these things. The article consists
of 20 points that a pro should know. Here are the points I found errors
Styling Abbreviations and Acronyms
By Russ Weakley.
"I wrote an article on abbreviations about three years ago that
discussed the basics of abbreviations. Aspects of the article were
slightly misleading and I have been meaning to update the information
for a long time. A modified version of Styling abbreviations and
acronyms is now online..."
Open Web Design
"Open Web Design is a community of designers and site owners sharing
free web design templates as well as web design information. Helping to
make the internet a prettier place!"
Another CSS design gallery.
+04: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Meet the Unicorn
By Olivier Thereaux.
"Why should we have to use ten different tools to check the quality of
a single web page? We think there should be a tool to gather
observations made on a single document by various validators and
quality checkers, and summarize all of that neatly for the user..."
By Jean-Guilhem Rouel and Damien Leroy.
"...The aim of our internship is to create a 'universal validator' that
will be able to validate and check multiple things in a document
through a single Web interface. But this is not only a merge of all the
validators interfaces, there should be a strong link between all these
tools to avoid inconsistency and useless job..."
Expert Usability Participants
By Alastair Campbell.
"...Usability testing, including participants with disabilities is
almost always a good thing. However, you have to be aware of what you
are getting if you use a panel of regular testers. Obviously I'm
somewhat biased by being from a psychology/usability background, and
working for a company that does full usability testing. There are some
inherent difficulties with repeat users that should be known to
interpret the results..."
The Ultimate Testing Checklist
By Shirley Kaiser.
"Testing plays a critical role in the development of your web site and
its long-term maintenance. While smaller web sites-especially those
with more limited budgets-may not need to follow the formal testing
procedures that are required for large-scale, commercial web sites,
every site needs to be thoroughly tested to ensure that it's
error-free, user-friendly, accessible, and standards compliant..."
Introduction to Dreamweaver 8
August 22, 2006.
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM US/Eastern
Live Online Seminar
Best Practices: A Closer Look at CSS and XML in Dreamweaver 8
August 22, 2006.
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM US/Eastern
Live Online Seminar
Professional PHP Development
August 24-25 2006.
London, United Kingdom
Social and Human Ideas for Technology
September 28-29, 2006.
Second International Joint Conferences on Computer, Information, and
Systems Sciences, and Engineering
December 4-14, 2006.
Virtual forum for presentation and discussion of the state-of the-art
research, conducted online in real-time via the internet.
IEEE First International Conference on Digital Information Management
December 6-8, 2006.
By Gez Lemon.
"This is the first part of a series of articles investigating support
investigates the onmouseover event."
By Adam Kalsey.
"I wanted to alter the appearance of a form field when someone places
their cursor in i, an effect that you see here and there..."
Dynamic Content with DOM-2
The relatively recent emergence of peer-to-peer distributed computing
and the renewed interest in real-time data exchange have stoked the
embers of a hot topic: displaying dynamic content over the Web.
Unfortunately, the statelessness of HTTP and the limitations of the
rendering components of different browsers present significant
challenges to web developers wishing to get fresh information to the
client without sending additional requests to a server.
By Simon Willson.
served as application/xhtml+xml.
The Right Way to do Ajax is Declaratively
By Duncan Cragg.
Web's Declarative nature needn't be broken just because you want
two-way dynamic data instead of one-way documents on your site.
browser features such as Hijax, hInclude, XForms, SVG, XBL, etc..."
Microsoft Finds That More Screens are Better
By Ann Light.
"Mary Czerwinski...has looked into the relationship between the
monitors that people use and their productivity at office tasks. The
upshot of her research: bigger monitors are better, and while two
monitors are good, three are ideal..."
Interview with Jakob Nielsen
By Matt Mickiewicz.
"Matt Mickiewicz interviews Jakob Nielsen, author of the brand new book
'Prioritizing Web Usability,' about AJAX, usability's close link to
keyword advertising, and some of the advertising formats we're seeing
around the Web today. What do you think of the current implementations
of AJAX (Google Maps, Writely, Google Suggest, Zimbra, etc.) on the Web
Ten Questions for David Storey
By Russ Weakley.
"David Storey is the Chief Web Opener at Opera Software, based in Oslo,
Norway. He leads a small global team, responsible for improving the
compatibility of the web, so that it can be accessed by all. David
talks about Web Openers, web standards, Opera9, Operas relevance in
today's marketplace, document.stylesheets and User Agent String
Veerle Pieters Interview
By Carolyn Wood.
"Most of us learned to make Web sites mired in 'view source' code,
through careful self study, and from those generous souls who share
their tips and techniques through tutorials. If you're one of the lucky
ones, you already know of the inimitable Veerle Pieters. A Web
uber-talent, she's been helping others with her in-depth Web design
tutorials for years. If you haven't been
introduced, join our own managing editor Carolyn Wood as she and Veerle
talk about process, working with clients, and of course, how to
pronounce Veerle correctly."
Getting Emotional With Donald Norman (Interview)
By Marco van Hou.
"I believe that we now do understand how to design so that the result
truly fits people. By 'we', I mean the design community, the design
theorists (which is where I fit), and the university community of
UPA 2006 Podcast
By Giles Colborne.
"Giles Colborne of the UK chapter of the Usability Professionals'
Association just announced that a podcast containing interviews of
people at the UPA 2006 conference is now available here. Interviewed in
the podcast is Steve Krug, Shawn Henry, Jacob Nielsen and Larry
UXPod - User Experience Podcasts
By Gerry Gaffney.
User experience discussions by Gerry Gaffney.
The Ultimate SEO Checklist
By Shirley Kaiser.
"Optimizing your web site for search engines should be an integral part
of your web site project, from the very beginning to the very end.
Search engine optimization (SEO) should be considered, and if possible,
implemented, throughout the planning, design, development, and
maintenance stages of your web site."
"Whilst some search engines are easy to use for the visually impaired,
this is not necessarily true of the sites returned in the results of
any searches carried out. This search engine gives an accessibility
rating for the websites returned for any query entered...The
accessibility rating is determined mainly by how user-friendly a
website is for visitors with visual disabilities. Other factors include
how fast loading a website is, how easy it is to navigate and clarity
Google Accessible Search Isn't
By Ben Buchanan.
"The latest product of Google labs shows Google managing to do the
right thing and the wrong thing at the same time: Google Accessible
Search. It's kind of spectacular that Google can produce a search
specifically for accessible resources and still not make a
best-practice search form or results page..."
Google Accessibility Search
"(Christian Heilmann) I like the idea, but it is - possibly
involuntarily - advertising the idea that there needs to be a 'special'
version of any web app for blind people, which is a myth we tried to
get rid of for years now..."
They Think It's Accessible. It is not!
By Marjolein Katsma.
"First of all, it would be more accessible if they just made the actual
page accessible - people don't like to be treated differently -
certainly not being presented with less functionality."
By T.V. Raman.
"I'm penning this as a response to all who have wondered about what you
could do make your particular Web sites rank well with respect to
Using XML - Part 6: Validation
By Adam Delves.
"This series has so far focused on XML technologies and how they can be
utilized using PHP 5. A subject we have not touched upon yet, is XML
validation. This article will explore the application independent XML
validation standards of DTD's, the XML Schema Language and the
XSLT-based Schematron language. I will demonstrate how to validate XML
in PHP and demonstrate how PHP 5's XSL extension can be used to
validate XML using the Schematron language..."
+10: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
Misplaced Anger: A Rebuttal to Zeldman's Criticism of the W3C
By Molly E. Holzschlag.
"...Jeffrey is wrong in his current assessment of the W3C. Clearly,
there are a lot of reasons to dislike the organization, and surely we
shouldn't put all our standards attention to an organization that is
known to be filled with difficulties. But the reasons Jeffrey cites
aren't the ones I'd choose as being up for criticism, knowing what I do
at this point. The W3C has been more open to a new breed of interested
people than ever before. Slowly, yes, and perhaps only in certain
sectors. But it is only perceived as a closed system. It isn't one, but
you have to have the initiative..."
Professionalism and Best Practice in Web Design and Development
By John Allsopp.
"...A professional web designer and developer understands best
practices in their field, among them the use of valid HTML and CSS, the
appropriate use of CSS and HTML (separating presentation from
structured content, using the appropriate semantic HTML elements where
available), and the development of accessible web content. A
professional designer and developer uses these techniques knowledgeably
and intelligently to develop solutions which meet their client's,
employer's or own needs, and which meet the needs of the users of the
sites they develop..."
Web Professional's Code of Ethics
By Molly E. Holzschlag.
"Many professional organizations publish policy and ethics documents
relating to how they as individuals treat their clients, each other,
how they manage fees, and the kind of treatment their professionalism
deserves in kind. In an effort to mobilize the Web community as
professionals, and what it means to be a Web professional, I firmly
believe that a code of ethics for our profession should arise out of a
common group. I believe we owe it to ourselves, each other, our
clients, and the profession's integrity and sustainability at large to
begin a time of new professionalism for ourselves..."
Web Professionals Code of Ethics Wiki
Launched by Meri Williams.
"The Web Managers Advisory Council, of the Interagency Committee on
Government Information (ICGI), recommended these best practices in its
June 2004 report to OMB: 'Recommended Policies and Guidelines for
Federal Public Websites.' They are practices that many federal agencies
have adopted to make their websites more citizen-centered."
By Alasdair King.
"WebbIE is a web browser for blind and visually-impaired people,
especially those using screen readers. The Accessible programs let you
access news and audio on the Internet in a simple and accessible way,
allowing you to use podcasts, listen to the radio and read RSS and news
with your screen reader or other access solution. Together they provide
a way to access websites and other great things online..."
"At ScreenReader.net we have freeware for blindness and visual
impairment special needs throughout the world. It is free only to
individual blind people for their personal use at home: it is not free
to organisations...Download the Thunder ScreenReader talking software
and your modern XP or Vista computer will be immediately usable by
someone who can't see to read the screen."
W3C Mobile Web Best Practices Checker (ALPHA)
By Dominique Hazael-Massieux.
"...this tool is an alpha release of a Mobile Web Best Practices
"How does your website look on Apple Safari? Enter your URL in the box
above and click View. SafariTest will return a screenshot of your page
as viewed with Safari."
Evaluating Low Spatial Frequency Compositions
By Matt Queen.
"Icons that are difficult to tell apart can lead to disastrous
consequences. Matt Queen shows us how studying the way the human visual
system encodes information can lead to more effective icon design."
The Elements of Style for Designers
By Christina Wodtke.
"What if E.B. White had written 'Hanging Commas 99% Bad' instead of a
gentle list of reminders for young writers? Wodtke outlines how White's
list of 22 reminders for writing can be just what young designers need."
By Paul Boag.
"...There are obvious benefits to evolving a site over time rather than
undertaking sporadic redesigns. However, it is important to remember
that the foundations need to be in place before you can successfully
follow this approach. It will be hard to evolve a site that has not
been built with this approach in mind. Ensuring content, design, and
functionality are all maintained separately is key to the success of a
constantly evolving website. Without those the overheads of evolving
your site will be too high."
What are Microformats?
By Tantek Celik.
Tantek's presentation slides form his 'An Event Apart' New York City,
What Is RDF
By Joshua Tauberer.
"Joshua Tauberer updates the classic XML.com article 'What Is RDF' by
rewriting it from scratch. Tauberer claims that RDF is more relevant
than ever in the world of Web 2.0."
Google Exec Challenges Berners-Lee
By Candace Lombardi.
"A Google executive challenged Internet pioneer Tim Berners-Lee on his
ideas for a Semantic Web during a conference in Boston on artificial
intelligence...Google Director of Search and AAAI Fellow Peter Norvig
was the first to the microphone during the Q&A session, and he took the
opportunity to raise a few points...'from Google's point of view, there
are a few things you need to overcome, incompetence being the
first...We deal with millions of Web masters who can't configure a
server, can't write HTML. It's hard for them to go to the next step.
The second problem is competition. Some commercial providers say, 'I'm
the leader. Why should I standardize?' The third problem is one of
deception. We deal every day with people who try to rank higher in the
results and then try to sell someone Viagra when that's not what they
are looking for. With less human oversight with the Semantic Web, we
are worried about it being easier to be deceptive'..."
By Danny Ayers.
"I guess what I'm trying to say here is that Google appears to see data
being distributed on the Web and under the control of individual users
as being a threat to their own aims. They see problems unless Web data
is in their silos. But this doesn't have to be the case, they can still
be leaders in the interfaces to the data. i.e. don't build big DBs,
make good mashups. In one sense at least there is potentially a big
problem for them: the more directly addressable, first-class data there
is on the public Web, the less people will be dependent on free-text
search engines. No doubt they're aware of that already."
[Section one ends.]
++ SECTION TWO:
+14: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
Cascading Style Sheets Information.
Evaluation & Testing Information.
Information Architecture Information.
Miscellaneous Web Information.
Sites & Blogs Listing.
Standards, Guidelines & Pattern Information.
[Section two ends.]
+ SUBSCRIPTION INFO.
WEB DESIGN UPDATE is available by subscription. For information on how
to subscribe and unsubscribe please visit:
The Web Design Reference Site also has a RSS 2.0 feed for site updates.
+ TEXT EMAIL NEWSLETTER (TEN).
As a navigation aid for screen readers we do our best to conform to the
accessible Text Email Newsletter (TEN) guidelines. Please let me know
if there is anything else we can do to make navigation easier. For TEN
guideline information please visit:
+ SIGN OFF.
Until next time,
Laura L. Carlson
Information Technology Systems and Services
University of Minnesota Duluth
Duluth, MN U.S.A. 55812-3009
mailto:lcarlson at d.umn.edu
More information about the Webdev