[webdev] Web Design Update: June 14, 2007
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Thu Jun 14 16:00:15 CDT 2007
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 5, Issue 52, June 14, 2007.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 52 CONTENTS.
SECTION ONE: New references.
What's new at the Web Design Reference site?
New links in these categories:
02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
05: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
09: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
13: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
A Review of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, May 2007
By Patrick Lauke.
"...There are many more aspects of the guidelines that have changed
since last year's version - I'd strongly recommend that interested
readers go through the summary of changes and compare the last two
versions of the guidelines side by side. Overall, things may still not
be perfect, but this latest draft can, without a doubt, be seen as a
marked improvement. Though it will still be a while before we see WCAG
2.0 become a stable and official W3C Recommendation, the signs are good
that it's on course and heading in the right direction..."
WCAG Samurai Errata
By Joe Clark with an Independent Group of Developers.
"These errata do not cover WCAG 2.0 in any respect. The WCAG Samurai
Errata are published as an alternative to WCAG 2. You may comply with
WCAG 2, or with these errata, or with neither, but not with both at
WCAG Samurai Peer Review
By Gian Sampson-Wild.
An independent peer review: "...In summary I believe that the WCAG
Samurai Errata, with some changes, is a set of errata that can be both
technically accurate and easy-to-use. Unlike WCAG2 these errata are
short and written in clear and simple language. I believe these errata
are a preferable alternative to both WCAG1 and WCAG2."
WCAG Samurai Errata Review
By Alastair Campbell.
Another independent peer review: "...Overall, there is much more to
agree with than disagree with, and much of it is well over due. The
'until user agent' checkpoints are gone or settled, and there is an
explicit requirement to actually learn HTML properly..."
WCAG Samurai: Draft Errata Released
By Joe Dolson.
"...My first impression: this is an excellent supplement to WCAG 1.
When creating a standard HTML/CSS based website, these errata should
absolutely be addressed and considered. I don't agree 100% with every
decision made: but there is absolutely no question that a project
following these revisions to WCAG 1 will posses a superior level of
WCAG Samurai Peer Review: Part 1
By Mel Pedley.
"I've been reading through Gian Sampson-Wild's technical review of the
WCAG Samurai Errata and he seems to have picked up on most of the
points that I noticed but is perhaps over-critical in other areas. In
this post, I'll confine myself to looking Gian's comments under
WCAG Samurai Peer Review: Part 2
By Mel Pedley.
"Further to my previous post, I'm continuing to read through Gian
Sampson-Wild's technical review of the WCAG Samurai Errata. This time,
I thought I'd look at the issues facing users with cognitive
By Tommy Olsson.
"Joe Clark's WCAG Samurai have released the first draft of their
supplement to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0, which they
have labeled 'errata'. Also, Joe delivers the sad news that he is
retiring from the field of web accessibility..."
Comments on WCAG Samurai Errata
By Steve Green.
"...In most respects I agree with the contents of the Errata and
comments by the peer reviewers, so the following comments reflect where
I disagree with the reviewers or make additional points..."
Introduction to Screen Magnifiers
By Karo Caran and Victor Tsaran.
"With the goal of better understanding how people interact with the Web
via various types of Assistive Technology (AT) - and what that might
mean for developers and designers - Karo Caran takes us on a 16 minute
overview of screen magnification software (in this case ZoomText) and
how it is used by partially-sighted users to interact with the Web.
Karo shows you the basic toolkit and then applies those tools to some
typical web sites to give you some perspective on how she uses
magnification software while she browses the web..."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
Who Ordered the Link States?
By Eric A Meyer.
"Thanks to everyone who shared their thinking on the ordering of link
states. It looks like a minority of people were in favor of my
preferred ordering, which is: Link-Visited-Hover-Focus-Active. The
reasoning is fairly straightforward, and starts with the assumption
that a person who uses solely a keyboard to navigate won't ever
encounter a hover effect. Thus, for such users, the states might as
well simply be LVFA. For them, the placement of the hover styles is
"...This tutorial will get you started with CSS in just a few hours. It
is easy to understand and it will teach you all the sophisticated
E-mail is Not a Platform for Design
By Jeffery Zeldman.
"All these years of internet use later, HTML mail still sucks. You may
think I mean 'HTML mail doesn't work properly in some e-mail clients.'
And that statement is certainly true. Companies spend hours crafting
layouts that may not work in Eudora or Gmail, or may no longer work in
Outlook. Even in programs that support the crap code used to create
these layouts, all that hard visual work will go unseen if the user has
unchecked 'View HTML Mail' in their preferences. As for CSS, it is
partially supported in some e-mail applications and in web apps like
Gmail, but only if you author in nonsemantic table layouts and
bandwidth-wasting inline CSS. Which is like using a broken refrigerator
to store food at room temperature..."
Eight Points for Better E-mail Relationships
By Jeffery Zeldman.
"Campaign Monitor has taken me to task, and I find it hard to dispute
their primary contention..."
Keep HTML and CSS out of My Inbox. Please.
By Roger Johansson.
"Sending me HTML-based e-mail messages without a clearly formatted
plain text alternative is like calling me on the phone and refusing to
speak clearly. It's as annoying as the phone salespeople who like to
call when you're having dinner. It is also a great way of making
messages get caught in my spam filters."
How the Color Deficient Person Sees the World
By Color Vision Testing.
Demonstration of how various forms of colour-blindness affect color
Usability Training (Human Factors International)
Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.
Des Moines, Iowa, U.S.A.
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
New York, New York, U.S.A.
+05: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
By Grant Campbell.
"Information architecture at its best is not about the cool, the
newest, or the latest. Information architecture is about the breath,
the pause, the stillness in the eye of the information hurricane. I've
experienced that stillness in many places. I feel it when I play Bach,
and sense those incredible structures that stand like cathedral arches
within the myriad notes that I'm trying to play. I feel it when I'm
programming, and I sense the logic of the program I'm struggling to
create emerge out of all my false starts and stumblings. I feel it
whenever I see someone, from whatever walk of life, come down from the
heights to figure out patiently what's happening between A and B. IA is
history, and a part of history: one class of those timeless moments in
human life when we've stopped chasing about, one of those moments when
we've stopped to"
By Eric Miraglia.
"...This talk, now one of five talks from Douglas up on the YUI
Theater, is the most reflective one we've covered. Douglas takes you on
a journey through the lens of his own personal experience with
scripting language in the earliest days to a growing affection for what
is now a still-flawed but surprisingly beautiful and powerful language
that has 'radically changed my way of thinking about programming
Web 2.0 Affecting Accessibility?
By Paul Crichton.
"A report published on 4th June 2007 by the Customer Respect Group
(CRG) found that as high-tech companies adopt Web 2.0 features,
accessibility levels declined by 38% on the websites covered in their
Five Pertinent Questions for Scott Berkun About Innovation
By Tiff Fehr.
"Innovation is both a buzz word and an elusive goal these days for many
companies and web professionals. After writing her review of Scott
Berkun's new book The Myths of Innovation, DW staff member Tiff Fehr
decided to dig a little deeper by asking him these five pertinent
Interview with Luke Wroblewski, Senior Principal Designer,Yahoo Inc.
By Reshma Kumar.
"Although there are established design and usability best practices and
standards, there are also varying standards within companies'
definitions of good design and usability and the role design should
play in the product development process. Some companies value form as
well as function whereas others appear to value function only. Is form
still a valuable element in usability?..."
Podcast: Jared Spool Interviewed by Carolyn Snyder at STC 2007
Topics included: How do you break into the usability field? How has the
field of usability evolved? What's the future of technical writing? How
do you handle difficult clients? What role should user testing play in
You Are Not a Robot
By Jonathan Kahn.
"Are we not (wo)men? Cut us and we bleed. Present us with a problem and
we solve it-using judgement, experience, and the ability to generalize.
Learn why machines will never be able to do our jobs, and how knowing
that fact can build respect for the profession."
Frameworks for Designers
By Jeff Croft.
"Frameworks like Rails, Django, jQuery, and the Yahoo User Interface
library have improved web developers' lives by handling routine tasks.
The same idea can work for designers. Learn how to harness the power of
tools, libraries, conventions, and best practices to focus creative
thought and energy on what is unique about each project."
Cleaning Up Code with Semantic Anchors
By Faruk Ates.
" The a element is all too common when building websites. We use it to
create hyperlinks to other parts of our site and to external sites. We
can also use it to link to specific sections on the current page, so a
visitor can click on a link and jump to a footnote or to a specific
answer on a Frequently Asked Questions page. This type of link points
to anchors on the page?anchors made originally as follows..."
The Economics of Classification
By Gerry McGovern.
"Everything that is added to a classification subtracts from what
is already there, prompting the question: Has more been added
+09: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
By Ian Hickson and David Hyatt (Editors).
W3C editors' draft.
HTML 5 Differences from HTML 4
By Anne van Kesteren (Editor).
W3C editor's draft.
HTML 5 and Accessibility
By Roger Johansson.
"As I touched upon in 'Another look at HTML 5', probably the most
worrying thing about the HTML Working Group is the lack of respect for
differing opinions that some working group members have. The apparent
disinterest in accessibility is another troublesome factor..."
Thoughts on HTML 5
By Robert Nyman.
"...in general, I think HTML 5 is a good thing with some sensible goals
and ambitions. We need a new standard, and we need a plain text/html
version and an XML route. One of the best benefits of it is more and
better suitable form elements for various needs...Things that I
personally believe can, and should, be improved...For text/html: It
allows sloppy code...No version number in the DOCTYPE...font is still
Authoring HTML 5 - A Call to Web Professionals
By Karl Dubost.
"I'm the current staff contact for the HTML WG as defined by the
charter and when something is wrong in the way the Working Group
operates, I feel personally concerned. On this matter, arrogance and
disdain are no way to work..."
How to Contribute to W3C Work? Quick Tips
By Karl Dubost.
"In the next few weeks, I will introduce ways anyone can participate to
W3C, without having to become a Member, and will explain how it
benefits you and the Web communities. Let's start with the Quick
How to Contribute to W3C Work? Tutorials
By Karl Dubost.
"We started a series about how you can contribute to W3C work. Last
time, we have seen how to create and propose your own quick tips. This
week, we will go a step further by looking at tutorials..."
Education Task Force Curriculum Survey
By Rob Dickerson.
"...The WaSP Education Task Force and W3C Quality Assurance Interest
Group propose the creation of a curriculum framework to help educators
teach best practices in Web design and development more effectively.
Upon completing modules in such a curriculum, a student should have
sound knowledge of best practices and a solid foundation upon which to
build. If you are an educator or have influence over curriculum, we
would like your input with regard to this subject. We have created a
short survey as a first step to accomplish this task. The survey is
brief and includes nine questions..."
HTML Entity Character Lookup
"Using HTML entities is the right way to ensure all the characters on
your page are validated. However, often finding the right entity code
requires scanning through 250 rows of characters. This lookup allows
you to quickly find the entity based on how it looks..."
Customer Focus Calculator
"...analysis tool that counts certain words on your site that are key
indicators of whether your focus is on the customer or not. As you use
it, keep in mind this is nothing more than a handy, but rough guide
that will help you focus on something important. There are lots of
variables and also remember there are no shortcuts to writing great
Customer Focus Calculator: Test your Copy
"SnapShots are smart profiles of the websites we visit. Simply enter a
domain (e.g. amazon.com) and SnapShot will provide traffic history, a
trust assessment and a list of all available coupon codes."
Font Smoothing, Anti-Aliasing, and Sub-Pixel Rendering
By Joel Spolsky.
"Now that Safari for Windows is available, which goes to great trouble
to use Apple's rendering algorithms, you can actually compare the
philosophies side-by-side on the very same monitor and see what I mean.
I think you'll notice the difference. Apple's fonts are indeed fuzzy,
with blurry edges, but at small font sizes, there seems to be much more
variation between different font families, because their rendering is
truer to what the font would look like if it were printed at high
Change vs. Stability in Web Usability Guidelines
By Jakob Nielsen.
"A remarkable 80% of findings from the Web usability studies in the
1990s continue to hold today."
25 Ways To Improve Your Site Today
By Andrew Faulkner.
Yes, the title may look like this post should be on an amateur blog and
that it will be full of references to clip art and animated gifs, but
this is serious. I've compiled a list of what I think are 25 ways to
improve your website in as little time as possible. All can be done in
a matter of minutes. Now, a website is hard work and usually there are
no quick fixes but this list should provide you with a few pointers to
make some updates today. If you like, it can also be used as a basis
for a quality check document..."
Open New Window Still Has Usability Issues
By Jesper Ronn-Jensen.
"Open new windows is a no-no for several reasons. Frequently readers
probably know this already, but since I'm often seeing this on Danish
web pages, I think it's time to reopen the discussion with new
[Section one ends.]
++ SECTION TWO:
+13: 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.]
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+ 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
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