[webdev] Web Design Update: June 5, 2009
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Fri Jun 5 06:23:08 CDT 2009
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 7, Issue 49, June 5, 2009.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 49 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.
10: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
15: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Browse Assistive Technology
By Department of Defense Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program.
"Assistive technologies ensure that people with disabilities have equal
access to information/electronic and telecommunication work
environments. Although CAP does not sell any products, CAP provides
objective information about assistive technology products and
rehabilitation equipment for people with all types of disabilities,
including both apparent physical disabilities as well as hidden
cognitive disabilities: blindness/low vision; cognitive; communication;
deafness/hard of hearing; and dexterity. Information available through
CAP includes all assistive technologies whether acquired commercially,
modified or customized..."
How Do People With Different Disabilities Use The Computer
By Tom Babinszki.
"Recently I have posted a series of blog items about how people with
different kinds of disabilities use the computer..."
What is the Difference Between Being Visually Impaired and Legally
By Sylvie Leochko.
"Years ago, my school division sent me in Southern Ontario to follow a
course that would prepare me to teach Braille to one of my future
students. While studying over there, I did not only learn so much more
than Braille but I also met two friends that were legally blind. One
was using a white cane and large print while the other was blessed by
the precious assistance of a guide-dog..."
How Captcha Kills the Romance of the WWW (except spammer wins)
By Cathy P.S. Ma.
"The World wide web is a romantic concept..."
Using NVDA to Evaluate Web Accessibility
By Jared Smith.
"This article provides an overview for beginners on using NVDA to
evaluate the accessibility of web content. NVDA is a free, open source
screen reader for Windows."
Google Chrome 2.0 Accessibility Improvements?
By Steve Faulkner.
"...The current version of Google Chrome does not have the basic
support required for accessibility. Support is in development, but
Google needs to dedicate more resources if they are going to provide a
browser, any time soon, that rivals Firefox or Internet Explorer in
terms of accessibility for users with disabilities..."
Hear Me Stumble Around White House, Recovery, and Data GOV Web Sites
"This post takes a tour by screen reader of the new U.S. government web
Chasing Our Tails?
By Wendy Chisholm.
"...The cultural dialogue about basic human rights is ongoing...we're
still debating if accessibility is even a human right! Until it is
assumed that every web site, every web application, every web service
must be accessible, this gap will exist..."
Guideline 2.1 Don't Forget Users Without a Pointer
By Olga Revilla.
"Make all functionality available from a keyboard..."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
Analyzing Form Element and CSS Support in Web Browsers
By Christopher Schmitt.
"...To see which form elements and CSS properties did well, you can
look into the presentation itself from my SlideShare account (see pages
33 and 37) or you skip down this blog post to read the lists..."
All CSS 2.1 Properties, Values and Browser Support
By Estelle Weyl.
"Below is every CSS 2.1 Property, all the possible values for that
property, and the support for each property value from grade-A
Improving Your Process: Thinking More About Your CSS
By Jonathan Christopher.
"...here's a quick breakdown of my tips, tricks, and suggestions..."
The CSS Box Model
By Chris Coyier.
"At the risk of over-repeating myself: every element in web design is a
rectangular box. This was my ah-ha moment that helped me really start
to understand CSS-based web design and accomplish the layouts I wanted
to accomplish. We've talked about the positioning of these boxes a bit,
and about their behavior..."
22 CSS Button Styling Tutorials and Techniques
"CSS button styling can be tricky and sometimes tedious. If you are
looking for a simple and effective way of creating dynamic CSS buttons
with cross browser compatibility, these tutorials are for you.
Below, you will find 22 CSS Button Styling Tutorials and Techniques..."
Color Contrast (Font Sizing)
By WebAIM Thread.
"I have a question about the WCAG 2.0 requirements. It mentions the
font sizes 18 point and 14 point. If I were to write this requirement
in pixels, should I use 24 pixels and 19 pixels, respectively? Point
size seems to depend on screen resolution. For 72 ppi, 14 point and 14
pixels are the same size. But at 96 ppi, 14 point is closer to 19
pixels. Does the WCAG 2.0 checkpoint mean to depend on the screen
resolution in this way? I'm working with our brand department on a
color palette and I need to let them know which text/background color
combinations provide enough contrast, but first they need to know what
18 point and 14 point mean."
+04: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Eye Tracking Study Reveals 12 Website Tactics
"While this is just one eye tracking study focused on a particular type
of site, I think there are instructive nuggets here for any
Don't Trust Your Gut Instinct
By Gerry McGovern.
In an age when computers can crunch numbers and do analysis on a vast
scale, the deep flaws in our intuition and gut instinct are becoming
more and more apparent.
Real or Imaginary - The Effectiveness of Using Personas in Product
By Frank Long.
"The use of personas as a method for communicating user requirements in
collaborative design environments is well established. However, very
little research has been conducted to quantify the benefits of using
this technique. The aim of this study was to investigate the
effectiveness of using personas. An experiment was conducted over a
period of 5 weeks using students from NCAD. The results showed that,
through using personas, designs with superior usability characteristics
were produced. They also indicate that using personas provides a
significant advantage during the research and conceptualization stages
of the design process (supporting previously unfounded claims). The
study also investigated the effects of using different presentation
methods to present personas and concluded that photographs worked
better than illustrations, and that visual storyboards were more
effective in presenting task scenarios than text only versions."
HTML5 Versus Flash Versions
By Ryan Stewart.
"...I ran down some of the new APIs and changes between HTML5 and HTML4
according to Wikipedia and compared them to what we have in Flash and
when we added it..."
+06: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
The Life Cycle of a Wireframe
By Nick Finck.
"For those who are looking for my slides from the Puget Sound SIGCHI
lecture and for those who missed it but are curious, here is my
presentation. It focuses specifically on my personal process for
creating wireframes. There are 4 parts to my process, each has a series
of deliverables that feed into it and principals I try to keep in mind,
the outcome is either a single or a series of IA deliverables. My
overall strategy for IA is three step process; understanding the
problem (note: not merely identifying the problem but really
understanding it), find a solution (there may be more than one
solution, but there is often only one right solution), and present the
solution (a large part of your job as a IA is presenting your work so
the client can understand the results). Hope you enjoy the slides,
these are admittedly pretty rough. I plan to refine and show better
pairing between the principals and the specific outcome of applying
them to the wireframes in the future."
By Robert Nyman.
"Not many people know it, but you can use 'real' getters and setters in
Screen Reader Support for AJAX Live Regions
By Leonie Watson.
"Rich Internet Application (RIA) websites encourage people to generate
content, collaborate online and make choices about the information they
receive. Unsurprisingly, RIA websites can represent a considerable
challenge for screen reader users. The WAI's Accessible Rich Internet
Applications (ARIA)is an emerging standard that aims to bridge the gap
between RIA websites and screen reading technology."
By Rob Gravelle.
frameworks' built-in functionality or by specialized software. In
today's article, we'll begin examining some of the latest ways of
Drop Down Menus
"I'm just trying to find some definitive answers to the accessibility of
drop down menus. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Are they
compliant with WCAG priority 2 guidelines?..."
30 Examples of Attractive Nav
By Joel Reyes.
"...To help you generate new ideas and inspiration for user navigation,
here are 30 great examples of attractive and usable navigation..."
The Isset and Unset Magic Functions in PHP 5
By Alejandro Gervasio.
"Welcome to the second part of a seven-part series on the magic
functions in PHP 5. In the previous article, we looked at property
overloading with the get and set functions. In this one, we'll take a
look at the same task using the isset and unset magic functions..."
Advanced PHP Form Input Validation to Check User Inputs
"PHP form input validation is what separates amateur and professional
PHP developers. A professional PHP developer validates data for both
security and correctness of the data entered. Keep reading to learn how
to validate user input to your forms."
The ABC's of PHP - Part 10 - The Final Installment
By Peter Shaw.
"In this last installment in our series Peter Shaw ties it all
By Jim Rutherford.
"Digital Media Minute did a post years back (did I mention we are
coming up on our sixth birthday?) on generating Flash/PHP charts .
Here's a list of some of the better places on the net that will help
you build PHP charts..."
+10: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
HTML5 Isn't a Standard Yet
By Philippe Le Hegaret.
"...while it is great to see support for and implementation of HTML 5,
the community has not yet reached agreement enough to call it a
standard, and it has not been implemented consistently across multiple
browsers. Building a test suite will help a lot and we don't have one
yet. This is an area that we intend to explore and to seek community
Cufon and Screen Readers
By Roger Johansson.
Cufon has been talked about a lot recently, and it looks like a
potential alternative to static images or sIFR in situations when you
absolutely must use a typeface that is not 'web-safe'..."
Video on the Web
By Anne van Kesteren.
"I am pretty excited about all the recent video announcements.
Dailymotion announced they are converting a bunch of their videos to
Theora so you can view them natively in the upcoming Firefox. YouTube
created an HTML5 Demo page which works only with Safari at this point
due to the videos being encoded using H.264. Not quite there yet in
terms of browser interoperability, but it is just starting. Already the
YouTube demo shows a cool new thing when you hover over the video
Video for Everybody - HTML 5 Video Fallback
By Chris Double.
"Kroc Camen has made available Video for Everybody, an HTML snippet
that uses HTML 5 video if it's available in the browser, otherwise
falling back to different video playback options..."
Web Design Education Sucks
By Lucian Tucker.
"Lucian Tucker shares his thoughts on how web design is currently
Subtitle Horse 2.0: Online Subtitle/Captions Editor
"Subtitle Horse is a online subtitle editor to translate flash videos
(FLV) and get the subtitle-code in different formats, like TimedText or
SRT. A timedText file (which is supported by the JW FLV Player and
Adobe FLV playback component) can be generated online..."
A Web Based DFXP Captioning Tool
By Roberto Ellero.
"I would like to point out a Web based captioning Tool: Subtitle Horse.
It allows you to easily subtitle movies on the fly..."
Quick and Easy Ways To Spice Up Your Web Site's Font Styling
By Neal Grosskopf.
"One of the key elements of a good website design is the styling of the
site's font. I think this is an area where many of the more
'mathematically inclined' web developers struggle. To help those out
that are willing to take it, I'll show you how to take the default
Times New Roman 16px font and make your design shine..."
Twitter-verslag Steve Krug's Don't Make Me Think-Workshop
By Aartjan van Erkel.
Fifty tips from a workshop by Steve Krug.
User Experience Over Usability
By Alistair Gray.
"A good experience is essential for a customer to return and good site
usability has several advantages. This article looks at the big picture
and the difference in focus between usability and user experience."
Nice Research on Persona Effectiveness
"The paper compares three groups; one group that is briefed with photos
of personas, one which uses illustrations of the personas and the last
group is briefed to with no personas, and uses aesthetic design." -
(IxDA Discussion) Intensely debated topic (again)..."
Fixed vs. Fluid vs. Elastic Layout: What's The Right One For You?
By Kayla Knight.
"This article discusses the pros and cons of each type of layout.
Either one can be used to make a successful website layout, as long as
you keep usability in mind."
Dear American Airlines
By Dustin Curtis.
"I'm a user interface designer. I travel sometimes. Recently, I had the
horrific displeasure of booking a flight on your website, aa.com. The
experience was so bad that I vowed never to fly your airline again. But
before we part ways, I have a couple questions and three suggestions
Is UX an Art or a Science?
By Patrick Kennedy.
"As many of them do, this post by Seth Godin struck a chord with me,
and made a lot of sense..."
W3C's Steven Pemberton on XHTML2
By Molly E. Holzschlag.
"With all the fuss about HTML5 at Google I/O last week, the question of
'what about XHTML2?' keeps coming up in conversation. In an effort to
better understand the answer to that question, I asked Steven
Pemberton, W3c Chair of HTML and Forms Working Groups, who graciously
took the time to chat with me about it and who then provided this
overview to answer the question for the Web designer and developer
The Real 'Why XHTML' Discussion
By Molly E. Holzschlag.
"Molly Holzschlag asked me if I'd try and clearly and simply explain
why XML parsing is advantageous and why XHTML still is relevant. This
was my answer...."
An SVG Primer for Today's Browsers
By David Dailey.
"...While this book is not intended for the beginning computer user, I
would hope it is approachable by any of these sorts of people..."
[Section one ends.]
++ SECTION TWO:
+15: 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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