[webdev] Web Design Update: April 17, 2009
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Fri Apr 17 02:59:17 CDT 2009
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 7, Issue 42, April 17, 2009.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 42 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.
05: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
09: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
12: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
WCAG 2.0: Accessibility Standards Reach Beyond HTML
By Bart Eisenberg.
"Behind WCAG 2.0 is a basic premise: that access to information is a
basic human right. But it's one thing to agree with the idea that the
Web should be equally accessible to all, and quite another to put the
WCAG's design principles in practice..."
Guideline 1.2: Time-based Media (part 2)
By Olga Revilla.
"For prerecorded audio-only and prerecorded video-only media, the
following are true, except when the audio or video is a media
alternative for text and is clearly labeled as such: (Level A)..."
YouTube Launches CaptionTube: A Caption Editor
By Josh Lowensohn.
"...This new system, which will be a part of YouTube's TestTube labs
section, lets you add captions right in your browser using a
timeline-based system that looks and feels like a video editor..."
Advancing the State of IT Accessibility in Higher Education
By Terrill Thompson.
"Higher education institutions have legal and ethical responsibilities
for ensuring their IT (including websites, multimedia, software, and
hardware) is accessible to students and employees with disabilities.
Accessibility can be addressed internally by adopting policies and
developing in-house expertise. However, institutions are unable to
create accessible learning environments unless vendors provide
accessible products. California State University's Accessible
Technology Initiative and vendor collaborations coordinated at the
University of Illinois are two examples of efforts that have had
positive outcomes. In this presentation, we will discuss these efforts
as well as next steps identified by the EDUCAUSE IT Accessibility
How to Use NVDA and Firefox to Test Your Web Pages for Accessibility
By Marco Zehe.
"This article aims to provide a guide to testing your web sites or web
applications using both NVDA and Firefox, hoping to provide you with
some of the tools available to visually impaired users who will benefit
from your sites being accessible. While there are many tools available
to check whether your pages are semantically correct, it is always
helpful to also use a real screen reader to hear what your pages would
sound like to a blind visitor..."
Deaf Culture - Jonah Syndrome
When the Hearing World is Blind
By Jamie Berke.
"...whenever there is something deaf-related, on television, the
internet, or anyplace else, I call it a case of 'Jonah Syndrome.'
Today, I most often see examples of 'Jonah Syndrome' when television
broadcasters put news clips online of deaf-related topics (for example,
a news clip about cochlear implants) but do not bother to add captions
for deaf and hard of hearing Internet viewers..."
Making Accessibility More Real
By Roger Johansson.
"...So let's follow the advice given by Rob Foster in Accessibility to
the Face and really try to imagine what it would be like to use the web
with a disability..."
Open Question Forum Closed to Many
By Desiree Sturdevant.
"...I encourage you to have a look at both Whitehouse.gov and the Open
Question forum and test it out for yourself. If enough of us send
comments to the President about these issues, we can help him in his
efforts to empower All Americans, particularly those with
iTunes: Easy on the Ears, Hard on the Eyes
By Tim O'Brien.
"...Apple focused solely on screen reader integration. Since I am not a
big screen reader user, this has done nothing for me. iTunes violates a
few basic accessibility principles in terms of readability..."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
5 Rarely-Used CSS Properties
By Craig Buckler.
"The volume of CSS properties makes it easy to forget those that are
not used every day. Here is a list of 5 useful but rarely-used CSS
properties that work in all modern browsers..."
Using Dreamweaver to Add Labels to Forms
By Virginia DeBolt.
"There are still people out there who are convinced that Adobe
Dreamweaver can't create an accessible or standards-compliant web site.
Well, it can. You do have to know what an accessible site is, and you
do have to use the tools (in this case, Dreamweaver) properly. After
that, you will be completely able to create accessible and
standards-based work in Dreamweaver..."
+04: EVALUATION & TESTING.
What Are You Asking For When You Ask For a Heuristic Evaluation?
By Dana Chisnell.
"Every usability professional I know gets requests to do heuristic
evaluations. But it isn't always clear that the requester actually
knows what is involved in doing a heuristic evaluation. Some clients
who have asked me to do them have picked up the term 'heuristic
evaluation' somewhere but often are not clear on the details.
Typically, they have mapped 'heuristic evaluation' to 'usability
audit,' or something like that. It's close enough to start a
Toward Content Quality
By Colleen Jones.
"With good content heuristics, we could make a case for better content
without painstakingly doing an analysis of all of the content up front."
Differentiating Your Design: A Visual Approach to Competitive Reviews
By Michael Hawley.
"Key to a successful competitive review is to have a clear objective
for your review and minimize the risk of bias when doing your own
+05: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
IA Task Failures Remain Costly
By Jakob Nielsen.
"Task success is up substantially compared with usability statistics
from 2004. Bad information architecture causes most of the remaining
By Stefan Mischook.
"I just wanted to make a quick announcement: I've released about 40
HTML5 and WAI-ARIA
By Anne van Kesteren.
"I just wanted to set a few things straight regarding a blog post by
Jeremy Keith titled Ariability..."
Practical Tips for Government Web Sites (And Everyone Else!) To Improve
Their Findability in Search
By Vanessa Fox.
"In an earlier post, I said that key to government opening its data to
citizens, being more transparent, and improving the relationship
between citizens and government in light of our web 2.0 world was
ensuring content on government sites could be easily found in search
engines. Architecting sites to be search engine friendly, particularly
sites with as much content and legacy code as those the government
manages, can be a resource-intensive process that takes careful
long-term planning. But
two keys are.."
Writing Killer Web Headings and Links
By Gerry McGovern.
"It's vital to get the first couple of words exactly right when
writing effective web headings and links..."
Do Not Create Empty Links
By Roger Johansson.
"Whenever you put a link on a web page, make sure that it has text
content. This may seem incredibly obvious, but it is actually not all
that uncommon to find links that do not contain any text at all..."
The ABC's of PHP Part 5 - Strings and Text
By Peter Shaw.
"In the last part of this series we looked at what a variable was in
general. Today we'll be covering strings and text. We'll look at the
contents those variables would typically hold..."
Real Programming with PHP 5.3 (part 1): Array Processing
By Dagfinn Reiersol.
"You may have heard of the new features that are scheduled for PHP 5.3,
but who knows what they can be used for in real programming? I took the
time for some experimental research, and came up with a few examples..."
By Dagfinn Reiersol.
"In part one of this series, we looked at the ability to use lambda
functions or closures to process arrays. In this part, we will see how
closures can be used to build classes in a completely new way..."
Real Programming with PHP 5.3 (part 3): Links
By Dagfinn Reiersol.
"After the previous post in this series, additional independent
So I'm going to list them and comment briefly on the differences..."
+09: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
Web Standardistas on Web Standards in Education (Interview)
By Chris Wallace.
"Christopher Murphy and Nicklas Persson are designers and digital
artists as well as lecturers in interactive design at the University of
Ulster at Belfast. In addition, they co-authored the newly-released
book HTML and CSS Web Standards Solutions: A Web Standardistas
Approach. They are passionately and actively promoting web standards in
education and through their own practice and are now commonly referred
to as the Web Standardistas..."
'Taking Your Talent to the Web' is now a free downloadable book from
Should the Government Control Internet Standards?
By Lidija Davis.
"One role of the government is to protect the country and make its
citizens feel safe through policy and regulation. But in today's
digital era, policy making is moving to the people, and we are
witnessing individual corporations - be they for profit or not -
getting more involved in Internet standards..."
By Jeremy Keith.
"rev="canonical" usage has gone stratospheric..."
Browser Storage: Do We Need SQL? Or Would a JSON Approach be Better?
By Dion Almaer.
"...So, I think that Firefox should actually support this for practical
reasons (and we have SQLite right there!) but should push JSON APIs and
let developers decide. I hope that JSON wins, you? I also hope that
Hixie doesn't have to spec SQLite..."
This Week in HTML 5 - Episode 30
By Mark Pilgrim.
"The debate revolves around perceptions and expectations of privacy.
Brady Eidson (Apple/WebKit) kicks off the discussion with Private
browsing vs. Storage and Databases..."
8 Characteristics Of Successful User Interfaces
By Dmitry Fadeyev.
"There is a lot of information out there about various interface design
techniques and patterns you can use when crafting your user interfaces
and websites, solutions to common problems and general usability
recommendations. Following guidelines from experts will likely lead you
towards creating a good user interface - but what exactly is a good
interface? What are the characteristics of an effective user
Ask Dr. Pete: What Is Usability?
By Peter J. Meyers.
"Welcome to the first installment of 'Ask Dr. Pete' - I've decided to
test a mini-webinar format (under 5 minutes) where I tackle answers to
some common questions. I'm hoping to keep them educational and at least
a little entertaining. First in the series is the obvious first
question: What exactly is this usability stuff I'm always talking
Writing for the Web: Guidelines for MIT Libraries
By Nicole Hennig.
HOWTO Avoid Being Called a Bozo When Producing XML
By Henri Sivonen.
"There seem to be developers who think that well-formedness is awfully
hard-if not impossible-to get right when producing XML programmatically
and developers who can get it right and wonder why the others are so
incompetent. I assume no one wants to appear incompetent or to be
called names. Therefore, I hope the following list of dos and don'ts
helps developers to move from the first group to the latter..."
[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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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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