[webdev] Web Design Update: September 25, 2009
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Fri Sep 25 06:26:21 CDT 2009
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 8, Issue 13, September 25, 2009.
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.
04: EVALUATION & TESTING.
06: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
11: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
14: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Long Descriptions of Images
By Terrill Thompson.
"...That better method is the aria-describedby attribute, which is part
of the Accessibility Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) recommendation.
Here's the technique for adding a long description using
Section 508 For Software Development
"In recognizing and promoting workforce and customer diversity, the IRS
presents this training on Section 508 for Software Development. Through
it, you will learn important information about Section 508 of the
Rehabilitation Act, its impact on software development, and the vital
role you play in developing software that conforms to Section 508. To
begin, select the Overview module."
Google Chrome Frame - Accessibility Black Hole
By Steve Faulkner.
"Google have released Chrome Frame a plugin-in for Internet Explorer
'that seamlessly brings Google Chrome's open web technologies and
seamlessly bring Google Chrome's lack of support for assistive
technologies to Internet Explorer..."
Finite Incatatem - Accessibility is Not Black Magic
By Christian Heilmann.
Christian's EASI presentation slides.
Thoughts Around Universal Access on Mobile from Accessibility 2.0
By Henny Swan.
"There was an interesting mix of design, development and mobile covered
at Accessibility 2.0 yesterday but for me I was most interested to hear
people's comments on mobile browsing for disabled users. Below are some
quick thoughts of the day..."
Standards.Next Rocking Cognition and Accessibility
By Henny Swan.
"Cognition is probably one of the most under researched areas of
accessibility and the least understood. As a result design of usable
and accessible websites is incredibly speculative and hard to get
Standards.Next: Cognition and Accessibility
By Bruce Lawson.
"When Henny and I dreamed up the standards.next format, we were
privileged: we work for Opera, which really supports standards so we
get allocated time to work on these day-long geekfests without having
to aggressively pimp the company or worry about turning a profit..."
Evaluating Web Site Accessibility with WAVE
By Jared Smith.
Jared's EASI presentation slides.
Techshare 2009 Presentation
By Andrew Kirkpatrick.
Andrew's "Flash, Flex, and AIR" presentation slides.
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
Everything You Need To Know About CSS Selector Specificity
By Neal Grosskopf.
"There's an obscure topic of CSS that I think many people aren't aware
of. It's called 'specificity'. I suppose it's not as glamorous as
rounded corners, drop shadows or animations but it's still just as
important in your day to day work as any other part of CSS. So what is
CSS specificity? It's a weighted value system for all of your
Creating Rounded Borders in Browsers with CSS3 with an IE Twist
By Estelle Weyl.
"In the past we've generally had to add a bunch of useless HTML as
hooks to add corners when making rounded corners. Now, most modern
browsers understand their own versions of the CSS border-radius
property, which creates rounded corners on elements. In this tutorial
we learn a new method of creating rounded corners in all browsers.
Easy Multi-Column Designs Using CSS 2.1 Display Properties
"CSS 2.1 introduced a set of display properties that allow compliant
browsers to display DIVs, as well as other elements, as if they were
tables, table rows, and table columns. With the rise of MSIE 8, all
major browser brands now support these properties. Since IE 8 is
gaining market share over earlier versions, and with Windows 7
launching in October 2009 (with IE 8 as its default browser), it's a
good time to embrace this methodology. Of course, IE 6 and IE 7 need to
be addressed-but this can be done with a simple workaround using MSIE
10 Top-Notch CSS Editors
By Omar Abid.
"...In this article, you'll find some of the more popular CSS editors
How to Handle IE6 - Aggressive Graceful Degradation
By Jonathan Christopher.
"No matter how much it may bother us, IE6 is still quite a hot topic
around our little community. Two camps have recruited their groups and
each seems quite comfortable with the accepted stance on their side of
the fence. To one segment, IE6 is literally a bane of existence, and
taking active aggressive measures against IE is daily practice. The
other side, however, sucks it up and deals..."
We Are Colorblind.
By Tom van Beveren.
"Wearecolorblind.com is a library with patterns and examples for anyone
who designs, develops or is in another way involved with creating
websites or content for the web."
+04: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Testing Your Own Designs - Bad Idea?
By Paul J. Sherman.
"This column was spurred by a simple question I posted to Twitter in
mid-August: Can designers effectively usability test their own
Collecting Usability Data, Without Crossing the Line Into Spying
"Test Pilot is a delicate balancing act..."
The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing
September 30-October 3, 2209.
Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A.
October 5-6, 2209.
Washington D.C., U.S.A.
Accessibility Camp D.C.
October 10, 2209.
Washington D.C., U.S.A.
Introduction to W3C's Mobile Web Best Practices
October 12 - December 11, 2209.
Advanced CSS Styling - Newcastle
October 30, 2009.
Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom.
W3C Accessibility of Media Elements in HTML 5 Gathering
November 1, 2009.
Stanford University, California, U.S.A.
More Accessible Media Workshop details from Silvia Pfeiffer:
TPAC 2009, W3C Technical Plenary / Advisory Committee Meetings Week
November 2-6 November, 2009.
Santa Clara, California, U.S.A.
Public Developer Gathering (Part of W3C Technical Plenary Week)
November 5, 2009.
Santa Clara, California, U.S.A.
+06: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
Why Your Next Website Should be Designed with Wireframes
By Zach Dunn.
"...In this article, we'll take a look at a pre-design process known as
wireframing. It's used by designers to help define a website's essence
before working on the time consuming details..."
Why Low-Fidelity Prototyping Kicks Butt for Customer-Driven Design
By Andrew Chen.
"In my discussions with designers, one of the interesting recurring
conversations is the tools and process they use to prototype and mock
up experiences. In particular, there's a lot of divergence on how high
or low-fidelity to go with a prototype."
Integrating Prototyping Into Your Design Process
By Fred Beecher.
"...When aimed well, a prototype can answer design questions and
communicate design ideas. In this article, I talk about the dimensions
of prototype fidelity and how you can use them to choose the most
effective prototyping method for the questions you need answered..."
The Point of Personas
By William Hudson.
"I was at the Accessibility 2.0 conference in London yesterday and
heard a couple of comments about personas that indicated they are still
not very well understood. Since I have been teaching developers about
them for around 10 years, I thought it might be helpful to provide some
Jaws 11 ARIA Drag and Drop Support
By Leonie Watson.
"...Although Jaws has included desktop drag and drop capability for
some while, the same functionality on a web page has always been more
difficult. Jaws 11 now indicates which elements on the page can be
dragged, and where they can be dropped..."
By Roger Johansson.
"Completely obvious to most (but not all) web developers, but
understandably confusing for many non-coders out there: Java is not
By Christopher Schmitt.
"Recently I spoke at the edeWeb 2009 Conference in Chicago thanks to
Karlyn Morissette's new track that focused on getting things done. My
presentation (slides) covers using Web Standards and jQuery to make
life easier for Web designers..."
By Stefan Mischook.
"The DOM is short for: Document Object Model. This is basically a
virtual map of the currently loaded web page. You can use this map
Progressive Enhancement and Graceful Degradation: an Overview
By Craig Buckler.
"In this article, I will discuss progressive enhancement and graceful
degradation - two concepts that are well known but perhaps a little
The State of the Web Design Profession
By Noah Stokes.
"...Now, just because we're not a licensed profession, doesn't mean we
can't act like one..."
Testing Search for Relevancy and Precision
By John Ferrara.
"Despite the fact that site search often receives the most traffic,
it's also the place where the user experience designer bears the least
influence. Few tools exist to appraise the quality of the search
experience, much less strategize ways to improve it. But relevancy
testing and precision testing offer hope. These are two tools you can
use to analyze and improve the search user experience."
Internal Site Search Analysis - Simple, Effective, Life Altering
By Avinash Kaushik.
"Your search and clickstream data is missing a key ingredient: customer
intent. You have all the clicks, the pages people viewed, and where
they bailed, but not why they came to the site. Your internal
site-search data contains that missing ingredient: intent. Learn five
ways to analyze your internal site-search data-data that's easy to get,
to understand, and to act on."
Beyond Goals - Site Search Analytics from the Bottom Up
By Lou Rosenfeld.
Top-down analytics are great for creating measurable goals you can use
to benchmark and evaluate the performance of your content and designs.
But bottom-up analysis teaches you something new and unexpected about
your customers-something goal-driven analysis can't show you. Discover
the kinds of information users want, and identify your site's most
By Marc Plotz.
"Sessions are a very complicated part of PHP, and it is no surprise
that the smarter website attacks are carried out on sessions. Most of
these attacks involve one user impersonating another, or, more to the
point, "hijacking" the other user's session data. As most experienced
developers know, exploiting session data is an easy way into most
low-to-medium security level websites--after all, that is how most
website login systems work..."
+11: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
Why Apple is Betting on HTML 5 - A Web History
By Daniel Eran Dilger.
"Despite making the vast majority of its money from hardware sales,
Apple is investing heavily in shaping the future of software. One
example of this pertains to HTML 5 and related web standards..."
By Paul Boag and Marcus Lillington.
"...We interview Jeremy Keith about the truth of HTML5 and Ryan Carson
shares some more advice about building your own web application..."
September HTML5 Spec Changes
By Remy Sharp.
"September being one month before the HTML5 spec goes to last call in
October, there's been a few significant changes to the HTML5 spec that
we wanted to briefly share with our patients..."
Tracking Status of Video Accessibility Work
By Silvia Pfeiffer.
"Just a brief note to let everyone know about a new wikipage I created
for my Mozilla work about video accessibility, where I want to track
the status and outcomes of my work..."
The HTML5 Drag and Drop Disaster
By Peter-Paul Koch.
"...The module should be removed from the HTML5 specification straight
away, and conforming browsers should disable it at their earliest
opportunity pending a complete rewrite from the ground up..."
HTML5 Canvas - Part 1: Introduction
By Rob Williams.
"In this first article, we'll explore what Canvas is, why it's
important to us, and get a first quick look at how it can be used."
Roundup of Font Embedding and Replacement Techniques
By Zoe Gillenwater.
"There are more options than ever for getting unique, good-lookin'
fonts into your pages. Apart from @font-face, here are your options for
font embedding services and font replacement techniques..."
About Fonts in SVG
By Divya Manian.
"One area in my webfonts investigation that I wanted to know more
about, was the state of SVG fonts..."
Designing Tables 101
By Mike Hughes.
"...In this column, I'll review some of the basic principles of good
table design from an information developer's perspective, then discuss
their visual design and interactivity. These principles and my examples
provide the bare essentials of table design. When designing tables, a
key information design objective is keeping them simple, so if you
start needing more than this column provides, you might be making
things unnecessarily complicated for your users..."
UX in the Boardroom: A Solid Case for Investing in UX
By Kate Walser.
"Some think the best way to demonstrate the value of usability in a
corporate setting is to emphasize the resulting cost savings. While
that may be sage advice in some organizations and industries, following
it in the information technology and government arenas would cost you
respect and a meeting..."
Fresh vs. Familiar - How Aggressively to Redesign
By Jakob Nielsen.
"...So, unless your existing design is an overgrown mess of bolted-on
features that needs a new architecture, it's best to stay with the
familiar design that users prefer and avoid the temptation to go with a
novel design that only you'll appreciate."
Things to Ask Before You Redo Your Website
By Seth Godin.
"...Does the organization understand that 'everything' is not an
Web Page Performance Thesis
By Andrew B. King.
This research into web page performance quantifies what web page
attributes effect response times the most. The most important factors
in speeding up web page response times are minimizing the number of
embedded objects and the amount of dynamic data. The number of embedded
objects was 2.6 times more costly than total page size for response
time. Caching was found to improve response times by over 19%. The
number of lines of code and the size of cookies were found to affect
response times the least.
Keep Paragraphs in Web Content Short
By Rachel McAlpine.
"...Try to keep most paragraphs under 65 words. Write no paragraph
longer than about 200 words. Vary the length of paragraphs..."
[Section one ends.]
++ SECTION TWO:
+14: 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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