[webdev] Web Design Update: January 16, 2009
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Fri Jan 16 06:23:29 CST 2009
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 7, Issue 29, January 16, 2009.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 29 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.
06: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
11: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
16: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Video: Antonia Hyde on Learning Disabilities (Scripting Enabled London)
By Christian Heilmann.
"In this video Antonia Hyde explains how learning disabilities affect the
experience of users of online systems and shows several video examples
available on her YouTube profile..."
Number of Americans With a Disability Reaches 54.4 Million
By U.S. Census Bureau.
"About one in five U.S. residents - 19 percent - reported some level of
By Giles Colborne.
"Why make your site accessible? Giles Colborne, managing director at
cxpartners looks at how to avoid alienating 30 percent of your
Google Docs Will Never Become a Dominant Word Processor Unless...
By Aaron Cannon.
"You guessed it, they make their interface accessible. If you are not
able to use a mouse or see the screen, you are basically out of luck when
it comes to Google Docs. The best you can do is read what others have
wrote, and even that is a bit awkward..."
Tools for Accessible Math Conversion?
By Aaron Leventhal.
"If you know of any tools that can convert TeX or MathML to a format
useful for people who are blind, I'd like to get a list. This could
include conversion to one or more Braille math codes (unfortunately there
are many Braille math formats, even several within German). Or, it could
be conversion to good text-to-speech output. I'm looking for both open
source or proprietary..."
Math Accessibility Continued
By Aaron Leventhal.
A Web Development and Purchasing Protocol for Federally Funded
Universities or Colleges
By Wayne Dick.
"This document maps Section 508 Standards for Electronic and Information
Technology, Subpart B ? Technical Standards, Section 1194.22 (Web
Criteria) into the Sufficient Techniques for the Web Content
Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. "
Students - Compete for Accessibility Award in Imagine Cup 2009
"..The competition is open to University students around the world. The
solution idea needs to solve a real-world accessibility problem with
technology access...All entries must be submitted by March 31, 2009."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
Tidy Up Your Stylesheets
By Lorraine Nepomuceno.
"...Now, the tidying up of CSS doesn't sound sexy- and it isn't. But a
clean, well-organized stylesheet is a joy to behold. Especially when it's
five months later and time to make major style changes on a website you
haven't worked on, let alone thought about. With an organized stylesheet,
there is very little chance of pulling one's hair out..."
Mike Asks the CSS Guy About a Scrolling Trick with Background Images
By Alexander Kaiser.
"Scroll up/down... whaaaaat?... How was this done? Answer: fixed
background images. Let's look at some examples..."
From Screen to Print: Creating a Print CSS in Dreamweaver
By Stephanie Sullivan.
"...In this article, you'll learn about media types and how to take
advantage of them to create compact pages for print..."
Setting Up a Website in Adobe Dreamweaver CS4
By Betsy Bruce and John Ray.
"...planning to create multiple pages, however, the very first thing you
should do is define a site..."
+04: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Testing Adobe's online PDF to HTML Conversion Tool
By Ted Page.
"...Adobe's online PDF to HTML conversion tool does not provide the
accessibility safety net that it is so often assumed to. Some PDFs can't
be converted to HTML at all, and those that can are significantly less
accessible than a properly authored PDF. The real solution is to make the
PDFs themselves accessible."
By Todd Warfel.
Todd shares some templates for data-driven personas.
ASIS&T IA Summit 2009
March 18-22, 2009.
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A.
March 29 - April 1, 2009.
Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
Fundamental Guidelines for Web Usability
April 8, 2009 in Washington D.C., U.S.A.
May 20, 2009 in London United Kingdom.
June 25, 2009 in San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
July 30, 2009 in Sydney Australia.
Future of Web Design (FOWD)
April 30-May 1, 2009.
London, United Kingdom.
May 12-15, 2009, in Berlin, Germany.
June 15-18, 2009, in San Francisco, U.S.A.
November 2-5, 2009, in Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
Designing and Writing Forms for the Web
May 13, 2009.
Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
Enterprise IA Seminar
May 18, 2009.
+06: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
Usability Methods: For Cardsorting, 20 is Enough
By Kath Straub.
"How many participants do we need for our cardsort?..."
By Jakub Linowski.
"Oh come on don't be shy. Do you have something to show off while
documenting rich interaction, dynamic content, user flows, and web 2.0
wireframes? Please send me a sample and I will put it up. Also tell me
who to credit and if you would like an optional link back."
By Illinois Center for Information Technology Accessibility.
Calling the Array Constructor in IE
By Gareth Heyes.
"I had a conversation a while ago on email with Billy Hoffman about how
in IE the Array constructor wasn't called when using  to create arrays.
The question is, was he right? Technically yes but actually no..."
Cleaning up the Web
By Tim Berners Lee.
"These are my rough notes before I made the [TPAC 2008] talk..."
Chris Wilson Interview on Tech Luminaries
"Chris Wilson is the Platform Architect of Internet Explorer, but has
been involved in web browsers from close to the very beginning having
worked on the original NCSA Mosaic. He sat down with us at the Ajax
Experience conference in 2007 and kindly let us barrage him with a series
AbilityNet Accessibility Podcast
By David Banes and Robin Christopherson.
"AbilityNet's David Banes and Robin Christopherson take an informal look
at news and developments going on in the areas of access technology and
Web Standards for Web Apps with Molly Holzschlag (SpoolCast)
By Jared Spool.
"This week, our long time friend, Molly Holzschlag, joins us to discuss
the cutting edge of web standards as they apply to web application
Open-Plan Offices Make Workers Sick, Say Australian Scientists
"Australian scientists have reviewed a global pool of research into the
effect of modern office design, concluding the switch to open-plan has
led to lower productivity and higher worker stress."
Using WAI ARIA Landmark Roles
By Steve Faulkner.
"The WAI ARIA specification defines a set of specialized 'landmark'
roles. These roles provide a method to programmatically identify commonly
found sections of web page content in a consistent way. they can be used
now in whatever flavor of (X)HTML you prefer. This allows assistive
technologies to provide users with features which they can use to
identify and navigate to sections of page content..."
Code Readability, Part 1
"The simplicity of PHP can sometimes be overwhelming, with so many
different ways and approaches to creating solutions for our problems we
sometimes lose the ability to think past the current problem and into the
future. [...] Today I'm going to try to address some quick ideas that
most of you will already be familiar with, things that will aide in the
general readability of code for future generations."
Diving into PHP: Video Series
By Jeffrey Way.
"Today marks the beginning of a brand new series on the ThemeForest blog
that will show you EXACTLY how to get started with PHP. Just as with the
"jQuery for Absolute Beginners" screencasts, we'll start from scratch and
slowly work our way up to some more advanced topics. If you've been
hoping to learn this language, be sure to pay a visit and subscribe to
the RSS feed to be updated when new videos are posted..."
+11: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
Oh, Look. It's Not Just Us Semantic Web Dweebs Who Noticed.
By Shelly Powers.
"The point is, the web is full of use cases for extensibility. Full of
it. It does no good to bring them up, though, if we're going to be caught
up in a circular argument of, 'Prove to me you need it. Well, that's not
proof. Prove to me you need it'..."
HTML 5 Canvas - The Basics
By Mihai Sucan.
"The HTML 5 specification includes lots of new features, one of which is
the canvas element. HTML 5 canvas gives you an easy and powerful way to
'context' (think about a page in a drawing pad), into which you can issue
multiple canvas contexts and the different APIs provide the drawing
HTML 5 Elements Test
By Bruce Lawson.
"In my inaugural monthly column for ZDNet UK, I speculated that 2008
would be remembered as the year the Web grew up, due to the publication
of the HTML 5 public draft, and suddenly everyone's talking about HTML 5.
And I mean everyone..."
Redesigning with HTML 5 and WAI-ARIA
By Bruce Lawson.
" For the past few months, I've been lucky enough to tour places like
Indonesia talking about cutting-edge web development languages like HTML
5 and WAI-ARIA. My new year resolution was to actually start using
By Anne Van Kesteren.
"...Ian has been focusing on addressing the remaining feedback and
splitting out parts of the HTML5 draft. Not alone actually, Adam
(security fame, Google Chrome) is helping with splitting out content
sniffing and Dan (former HTML WG co-chair) intends to work on splitting
out the URL section..."
Structural Tags in HTML5
By Steve Smith.
"The HTML5 specification has added quite a few interesting and useful
tags for structuring your markup. For a majority of everyday uses, these
tags will replace many of our typical div entries from our code. So let's
Will HTML 5 Validation be Worth the Candle?
"...does it make any sense to limit ones HTML 5 to that which will
validate, and what practical benefit will we get from doing so?"
By Gez Lemon.
"Considering the standard Twitter website is so basic, it's surprising
it is so inaccessible. This Focus Twitter Greasemonkey script puts the
favorite, reply and delete links into the keyboard tab order to make it
easier for keyboard-only users to use Twitter."
Color Contrast Checker
By Jared Smith.
"Simply select or enter a foreground and background color in RGB
hexadecimal format (e.g., #fd3 or #f7da39). Select the lighten and darken
options to modify the colors slightly. You can use the color picker to
change colors or change luminosity..."
Font-weight is Still Broken in All But One Browser
By Richard Rutter.
"...Since its inception in 1996, CSS has provided a way of displaying
these other weights through use a numerical scale with the font-weight
property. This is still almost entirely broken in every current browser
except Firefox 3 on Mac..."
By Joe Clark.
"A species-wide experiment has been carried out on the world's cyber
citizens and the results are in. Thanks to the web, our brains are
changing and our ability to read long is going the way of the typewriter.
Is this really what we had in mind?..."
Challenges to Designing Web Apps (RIAs)
By Jennison Asuncion.
"...Usability is all about the user's acceptance of the application as
the right way of accomplishing the tasks. There have been many challenges
in web app usability are because web apps are half desktop applications
and half websites. The following are the key challenges from a web app's
10 Most Common Misconceptions About User Experience Design
By Whitney Hess.
"The term 'user experience' or UX has been getting a lot of play, but
many businesses are confused about what it actually is and how crucial it
is to their success. I asked some of the most influential and widely
respected practitioners in UX what they consider to be the biggest
misperceptions of what we do. The result is a top 10 list to debunk the
myths. Read it, learn it, live it."
Misconceptions About User Experience Design
By Keith Instone.
"Whitney Hess wrote what I consider a very good article to help people
understand the term 'user experience': 10 Most Common Misconceptions
About User Experience Design. I have seen others call it 'brilliant' and
other wonderful things. Great job, Whitney! The framing of what UXD is
not is obviously one of the appealing aspects of the article. I do have a
few quibbles with her article..."
A Definition of User Experience
By Eric Reiss.
"User experience (UX) represents the perception left in someone's mind
following a series of interactions between people, devices, and events ?
or any combination thereof. (...) A good user-experience designer needs
to be able to see both the forest and the trees. That means user
experience has implications that go far beyond usability, visual design,
and physical affordances."
Content Comes Before Good Design
By Gary Barber.
"...users really don't care a great deal about the visual user interface
elements as long as they can find the content. Getting to the information
is their primary goal. Sure, they have to use the visual interface
extensively to get to the information, even if it's an application. At
end of the day, though, they're only focused on one thing - the content.
If the content is poor or unfindable, they will leave, no matter how
pretty the site is. This is why getting the information architecture
right is so important; it's also why content is king.."
The $300 Million Button
By Jared M. Spool.
"While Luke Wroblewski was writing his well-received book, Web Form
Design: Filling in the Blanks, he asked if I could think of an example
where a change in a form's design made a noticeable difference in
business. 'You mean like $300 million of new revenue?" I responded. "Yes,
like that.' said Luke. So I wrote this article, which he published in his
Why We Still Use Paper
By Dmitry Fadeyev.
" With the advent of personal computers we were promised paperless
offices. No need to print anything out or jot things down - we have
monitors for displaying information and many gadgets and devices for
recording things in or out of our home/office. The internet also allows
us to store data in the cloud. Digital information is harder to lose,
misplace or damage. It can be accessed wherever you are. Yet we still
write notes on paper and print out articles to read. The question
Add Semantic Richness To Your Markup With (RDF) Ease
By Meitar Moscovitz.
"While everyone agrees that semantics are useful, and are becoming more
so all the time, few people agree on how to develop and use them. John
Allsopp's recent article on Semantics in HTML 5 pragmatically highlights
a number of problems inherent to the limitations of HTML, and the lack of
an extensible mechanism for future semantics is chief among them. Another
question that John's article raised relates to the mechanism for encoding
semantics on the Web itself..."
Converter To RDF
By ESW Wiki.
"A Converter to RDF is a tool which converts application data from an
application-specific format into RDF for use with RDF tools and
integration with other data. Converters may be part of a one-time
migration effort, or part of a running system which provides a semantic
web view of a given application..."
Stop Justifying RDF and RDFa
By Shelly Powers.
"...RDF is a rich data model with widespread use, documented by a mature
specification, supported by any number of tools in any number of
applications, in use by any number of companies, for any number of
purposes. It is not some lightweight Johnny-come-lately that can be
disregarded and ignored because it doesn't satisfy a small group's
determination of what is, or is not, essential to the web. We don't have
to justify our interest in RDF, and therefore are fully within our rights
to ask that it be supported in any web page markup currently under
development by the W3C..."
[Section one ends.]
++ SECTION TWO:
+16: 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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