[webdev] Web Design Update: August 2, 2007
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Thu Aug 2 06:21:39 CDT 2007
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 6, Issue 06, August 2, 2007.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 06 CONTENTS.
SECTION ONE: New references.
What's new at the Web Design Reference site?
New links in these categories:
02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
04: EVALUATION & TESTING.
07: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
12: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Get Faculty and Staff Involved in Accessibility Testing
By Alan Parks.
"How can campus leaders make certain all users of their Web sites have
full access to benefit from the content?..."
Overcoming the Challenge of Podcast Transcription
By Henny Swan.
"...for some of us listening to podcasts it is not an option. If you're
deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, do not have a sound card or speakers
you'll be locked out of content if it is only provided in audio format.
Not only that so too will search engines. The guidance therefore,
according to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, is to provide a
transcript of what's being said. But here's where the problem starts.
Some of you may have noticed I have been promising for some time now a
transcript of Shawn Henry's presentation on WCAG 2.0 that RNIB hosted
in June. This has proven a trickier promise to meet than I first
anticipated and through conversations with other people it's clear that
I'm not the only one finding it difficult to get a quality transcript
from an audio file. So here are some tips to help you on the way when
you're looking at getting a transcript for a podcast.."
Confirming a Web Site's Accessibility
By Mike Cherim.
"You know why web accessibility makes sense and understand the
benefits. Because of this you've made your web site so it's valid and
compliant with current web standards. You've tried your best to use
semantic mark-up and all that which gets poured into the very
foundation of a quality web site. You're pretty sure you've removed the
barriers to accessibility and that any functionality is a progressive
enhancement. But you're human, and you know in your heart, deep down
inside, that you're not infallible. So what do you do? How do you
launch your site knowing with absolute confidence you've done a good
Too Much Accessibility - Double Expanded Acronyms
By Bim Egan.
"...where you're providing the expansion in plain text, avoid the
temptation to use ACRONYM or ABBR to expand the initials that
immediately precede or follow it."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
CSS Specificity: Things You Should Know
By Vitaly Friedman and Sven Lennartz.
"Apart from Floats, the CSS Specificity is one of the most difficult
concepts to grasp in Cascading Stylesheets. The different weight of
selectors is usually the reason why your CSS-rules don't apply to some
elements, although you think they should have. In order to minimize the
time for bug hunting you need to understand, how browsers interpret
your code. And to understand that, you need to have a firm
understanding on how specificity works. In most cases such problems are
caused by the simple fact that somewhere among your CSS-rules you've
defined a more specific selector. CSS Specificity isn't simple.
However, there are methods to explain it in a simple and intuitive way.
And that's what this article is all about. You'll understand the
concept if you love Star Wars. Really..."
By Al Sparber.
"Have you ever wanted to make simple and accessible navigation bars
that were pure text but displayed as scalable graphical tabs with hover
effects that behaved like image rollovers? We did too. So we wrote this
tutorial. Before you begin, take a look at the finished Q.Tabs..."
Dreamweaver for Ajax...Should We Take it Serious Again?
By Dion Almaer.
"...I thought I should put a survey up so we can all see what the
community is up too..."
+04: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Embracing the Un-Science of Qualitative Research Part One - Small
Sample Sizes are Super
By Leisa Reichelt.
"If you're into qualitative research at all, it wouldn't have taken
long before you had someone ask you about the statistical significance
of your research and how you could back your findings with such a small
sample size, or to find others out there trying to make qualitative
research look more scientific by trying to extract hard data from it.
There are three main ways that you can try to make qualitative research
look more scientific..."
Embracing the Un-Science of Qualitative Research Part Two -
Ever-Evolving Prototypes are Ace
By Leisa Reichelt.
"...Qualitative research, on the other hand, is not about numbers so
much. It is about the depth of insight that you can gain from having
much greater and more flexible access to your research subjects. As you
are seeking insight, not statistics, it matters far less whether
whatever you are testing, say a prototype, changes a bit throughout the
course of the study. In my experience, some of the most fruitful
research has occurred when the prototype has changed quite a bit from
interview to interview - and sometimes even within an interview. Here's
how it works..."
Asking the Right Questions
By Rostislav Raykov.
"When testing people in front of the computer screen, you need to guide
them in some way through the process...The questions must be on point
and must be easily related to the tester..."
Presenting Data and Information with Edward Tufte
August 23 or 24, 2007 in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
August 28 or 29, 2007 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A.
Don't Make Me Think: The Workshop with Steve Krug
September 20, 2007, in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
October 26, 2007, in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
November 16, 2007, in Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
Information Architecture Seminar with Louis Rosenfeld
September 21, 2007, in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
October 25, 2007, in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
November 15, 2007, in Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
Documentation. Make it happen.
By Colin Lieberman.
"The desktop software industry knows all about documentation. But in
the web shops where I've worked, documentation is a dirty word..."
Debunking the Myths of Innovation: An Interview with Scott Berkun
By Christine Perfetti.
"In his research, Scott Berkun, the author of the popular new book,
"The Myths of Innovation," has done a fantastic job of demystifying
innovation and debunking dangerous assumptions about how breakthroughs
happen. UIE's Christine Perfetti recently had the chance to talk with
Scott about his new book and his research in the area of innovation..."
+07: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
Formal Recorded Complaint
By John Foliot.
"Mr. Bratt, Mr. Berners-Lee, Ms. Brewer, Mr. Connolly, I am writing
today regarding an issue that both shocks and profoundly
disappoints me...Today, transcripts of the HTML5 Working Groups IRC
discussion serve to illustrate how insensitive and antagonistic these
authors are, and how their whole attitude towards the goals of web
accessibility appear to be marginalized and trivialized. While
comments drifted in and out, I would point you to
as a place to start, and read through to (and slightly past) the
section regarding 'smell-o-vision', and the comments regarding people
who lack a sense of smell. While these may be seen as simply
innocuous, 'private' comments, the fact that they are publicly recorded
and associated to the HTML-WG should be of concern..."
Web Standards Do - the Way of Web Standards
By Olivier Thereau.
"One of the things which made the web so popular since its first days
was its easy access: HTML was simple. Anyone could write a web page.
This is still true, to some extent, and thanks to a number of Web
Authoring tools, or services such as Wikis, Blog software and CMSes,
anyone can create a Web Page. But the Web technologies got richer: CSS,
scripting, the DOM, SVG, widgets... From this increased richness and
complexity rose a new group of people: the Web Professionals..."
Microformats: More Meaning from Your Markup
By Brian Suda.
"You've probably heard the term 'microformat' and assumed it to be part
of some Web 2.0 flash-in-the-pan movement. But 'microformat' is not
just a fancy name or trademark - it's part of a much bigger picture.
So, what are microformats?..."
By John Allsopp.
"XRAY is a bookmarklet for Safari, Firefox, Camino or Mozilla. Use it
to see the box model for any element."
"This is a source code beautifier (source code formatter), similar to
indent. Please make a backup before you replace your code. Paste your
Can I Force Text to Stay a Certain Size?
By css-discuss wiki.
"The short answer is no. A slightly longer answer is yes, but only for
certain browsers. And the best answer is: it is not a good idea..."
Reviving Anorexic Web Writing
By Amber Simmons.
"Intelligent web content is the literature of our time. Amber Simmons
argues that conventional approaches have starved the life out of web
Better Writing Through Design
By Bronwyn Jones.
"How is it that the very foundation of the web, written text, has taken
a strategic back seat to design? Bronwyn Jones argues that great web
design is not possible without the design of words."
Web Redesign is Bad Strategy
By Gerry McGovern.
"...I have seen perfectly okay websites go through a redesign for all
the wrong reasons. And do you know who such redesigns hurt most? Your
most loyal customers. Because they use your website most. A redesign is
nearly always bad strategy. In fact, website redesigns are often
pursued by organizations who don't have a web strategy."
RDF For The Rest Of Us
By Keith Alexander.
"We're rapidly getting to the point where most web developers have a
decent grasp of what it means to use semantic markup? But how many of
us really grasp the implications of the 'capital-S' Semantic Web? Keith
Alexander walks us through the theory and practice of RDF on the web."
Where's XML Going?
By Kurt Cagle.
"...I wanted to offer up an assessment of where XML itself is
going.-...Note to the HTML camp - HTML 5.0 will be XML based, its just
a question of how much core technology will separate it from XHTML 2.
There is no valid reason for HTML not to close its tags, quote its
attributes, and respect namespaces. I think the bigger debates are
going to be around issues like XForms vs. HTML5 Forms, which I see as
the question of whether the language should be component-centric or
data model centric (and there are valid arguments on both sides of that
XBL (and XBL2) bindings bring a lot to the table, including a
reasonably comprehensive mechanism for mixing the structure that tags
Certainly, I see user defined semantics for tags as being the hallmark
of the next five years just as user defined activities are defining
most of the next leg of the web. It also provides a formal mechanism
for building mashups (god, that term is beginning to seem antiquated!)
without breaking the integrity of an XHTML structure..."
[Section one ends.]
++ SECTION TWO:
+12: 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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