[webdev] Web Design Update: September 21, 2007
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Thu Sep 20 06:23:36 CDT 2007
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 6, Issue 13, September 20, 2007.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 13 CONTENTS.
SECTION ONE: New references.
What's new at the Web Design Reference site?
New links in these categories:
02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
06: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
08: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Working with Legacy Websites
By Joe Dolson.
"This is a task which comes up over and over again for many developers.
There are a lot of jobs in maintaining web sites. Our work doesn't
always come with the dream experience of a brand-new web site. Even if
a new web site is a major goal, there will inevitably be large
quantities of legacy content which will need to be worked into the new
accessible design. Working on legacy web sites can pose a number of
How to Make Your Blog Accessible to Blind Readers
By American Foundation for the Blind.
"So you have a blog, and you're worried that it might not be accessible
to people with disabilities? Don't worry! A few simple changes can
increase your blog's potential readership."
The longdesc Lottery
By Mark Pilgrim.
"...I'm not saying there isn't a real problem to be solved here. There
is. People can publish complex images that require complex text
alternatives. Charts, graphs, detailed photographs. Whatever. 'A
picture is worth 1000 words,' and all that. The longdesc attribute is,
theoretically, a solution to this problem. But that doesn't mean it's a
good solution, and it's certainly not the only solution. We've been
living with longdesc for 10 years now, and let me tell you, it's not
The longdesc Lottery Comment
By Steve Faulkner.
"While I agree that the longdesc attribute has not been successful in
providing a solution to the problem, it has been removed from the draft
spec without the spec providing an alternative mechanism. In the spec
it is not acknowledged that there is a real problem to be solved. It
should at least be stated in the spec that there is a need for a
mechanism to explicitly associate an extended description of an image.
whether that be the longdesc or some other mechanism is open for
By Jeremy Keith.
"...I'm concerned by Mark Pilgrim's dismissal of the longdesc
attribute. It's a well-reasoned dismissal founded almost entirely on
existing behavior: most people aren't publishing images using longdesc,
therefore it should be dropped. Similar research has been used to
justify the non-requirement of the alt attribute and, God help us all,
the reintroduction of the font element. It's all very well-reasoned and
logical. It's also, in my opinion, wrong. We know that most Web pages
are crap?Sturgeon's Law is a relative of the Pareto principle. If
existing behavior is given such importance in the development of HTML5,
then the format will only end up codifying what most people are
publishing: crap, in other words. The longdesc situation is a classic
case in point. Here's an attribute that is actually supported in
assistive technology; an unusual situation, given Freedom Scientific's
usual glacial pace. That's not the problem. The problem is that not
many people are implementing longdesc. The solution is either: 1.
educate publishers or 2. provide an alternative and lobby screen-reader
manufacturers to implement it..."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
CSS: Flashy Links
By Mike Cherim.
"This Flashy Links experiment takes some of the effects of Flash ? put
in a GIF animation ? and combines them with CSS for better
accessibility. And more purity for those who deem that important..."
Using Persistent Styles with Multiple Style Sheets
By Alejandro Gervasio.
"Welcome to the second tutorial of the series that began with "Working
with Multiple Style Sheets." As the title suggests, this instructive
series shows you how to use several style sheets attached to a given
web document, and provides examples of the most common cases, ranging
from working with alternate style sheets to using persistent style
Computer, Information, and Systems Sciences, and Engineering (CISSE
December 3-12, 2007.
International Conference held entirely on-line.
How to be an Empathic Web Designer
By Joshua Porter.
"Part of being a web designer is trying to understand and make sense of
how people are using your design. Therefore, being empathic, or having
the ability to share and understand the feelings of another, is a
valuable trait to have. The more empathic you are, the more you can
understand how people are using your design, how they think and feel
about it, and what you need to do to make it great. But how do you
become empathic? What if you're not naturally an empathic person? Here
are a few things I try to keep in mind when I feel like I'm getting too
far away from the people I design for..."
By Andy Budd.
"It's the sticky moment in any negotiation with a potential new
client?no matter how great your proposal, you're still going to
have to deliver The Quote. But how do you arrive at that magic
figure, taking into account the unpredictability of developing for
the next generation of the web? Andy Budd, no stranger to client
work, takes a look at a new way to cost out your projects."
Listen to Me!: Interview with Eric Meyer (Podcast)
By Tommy Olsson and Sara Smith.
"This summer I got an offer I couldn't refuse: would I like to co-host
an interview with Eric Meyer? You bet I do! It was Sara Smith who asked
me to help her with a pod cast interview with Eric Meyer for
Tabs, Used Right
By Jakob Nielsen.
"13 design guidelines for tab controls are all followed by Yahoo
Finance, but usability suffers somewhat due to AJAX overkill and
Click Here Links
By Free Usability Advice.
"Question: My company's site has links that say click here or click
here for more info. I think our links should be more specific, but
other people here say it's OK because they see it on other websites.
What do you think?..."
+06: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
Feedback on Accessibility Concerns in HTML5
By Cathrine Roy.
"In an effort to get some user feedback and to jump start discussions
in the French community concerning what has been proposed by HTML5 with
regards to accessibility, namely the alt, longdesc and headers
attributes, I started a thread over at the French mailing list
Accessiweb a few days ago...This is obviously not a scientific survey
(nor a scientific report) but an attempt to get user feedback and to
get discussions started in my community about what is being proposed
for accessibility and what the impact may be on users. However, I hope
it can be of use to this group and to the issues at large."
W3C GRDDL Recommendation Bridges HTML/Microformats and the Semantic Web
By Robin Cover.
"The World Wide Web Consortium has announced the publication of
Gleaning Resource Descriptions from Dialects of Languages (GRDDL) as a
W3C Recommendation, together with a separate GRDDL Test Cases
Recommendation. The GRDDL specification represents "an important link
between Semantic Web and microformats communities. With GRDDL
(pronounced 'griddle'), software can automatically extract information
from structured Web pages to make it part of the Semantic Web. Those
accustomed to expressing structured data with microformats in XHTML can
thus increase the value of their existing data by porting it to the
Semantic Web, at very low cost..."
Teach a Man to Fish (or How to Resize Text)
By Ian Lloyd.
"My esteemed colleague Patrick Lauke is a firm believer in not
providing widgets on individual web pages to do things such as resizing
text on a page - on the basis that it's site-specific and doesn't teach
the user how to change the font size for other web sites that don't
provide these controls. This issue pops up time and time again, and it
has done again on another forum where the phrase teach a man to fish'
has appeared once more. It got me thinking, maybe it would be best to
show the user how to change the font size rather than simply describe
it. With that in mind, I put together some video clips, joined them
together in iMovie and did a voice-over to explain how it's possible.
Here's the end result..."
[Section one ends.]
++ SECTION TWO:
+08: 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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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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