[webdev] Web Design Update: November 20, 2009
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Fri Nov 20 06:17:59 CST 2009
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 8, Issue 21, November 20, 2009.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 21 CONTENTS.
SECTION ONE: New references.
What's new at the Web Design Reference site?
New links in these categories:
02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
03: EVALUATION & TESTING.
05: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
09: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
12: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Too Hard is the Worst Excuse
By Sarah E Bourne.
"Accessibility is no harder and no more expensive than any other part
of web development. Everything is hard and expensive if you don't know
how to do it, and it's not hard when you know how. So learn how to do
it, just like you learn to do anything else on the web. There is no
shortage of useful information on the web; for instance, here's a place
to start: WaSP InterAct Curriculum: Accessibility."
By Inclusive New Media Design (INMD).
"How much do you know about web accessibility for site visitors with
Stanford Captioning System: A Workflow Model for Producing Captioned
By John Foliot and Sean Keegan.
"John Foliot approached the Office of Accessible Education with an idea
to streamline the production of captioned videos at Stanford
Gov 2.0: Transparency Without Accessibility?
By Alice Lipowicz.
"Nearly 20 percent of Americans need sites such as Recovery.gov and
Disability.gov to improve accessibility features..."
Live from NCTI 2009: Powering Students with Technology
By Suzanne Robitaille.
"...here are five trends that will unleash the power of assistive
technology in the classroom: 1. Convergence...2. Customizability...3.
Evidence-based Research.... Portability...5. Interoperability..."
Expand the Awesome: Design for a Wider Audience
By Ann McMeekin.
"...Inclusive Design doesn't have to be ugly. It can be a thing of
beauty that's a delight to use, whoever happens to be using it. It's
easy to say, but I do think that Accessibility is kind of like an
extreme form of Usability. If a product is easy to use by people with
impairments, it is highly likely to be easier to use by people who
don't have impairments..."
Do You Find Table Summaries Helpful?
By Roger Johansson.
"On the W3C HTML Working Group's mailing list there's been plenty of
discussion about the future of the table element's summary attribute.
Should it be allowed at all in HTML 5? Should it be allowed but only
'semi-valid'? Should other ways of providing information about the
structure of a data table be encouraged?..."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
Vendor-Specific Extensions are Invalid CSS
By Roger Johansson.
Vendor-specific extensions, even if written according to the CSS 2.1
grammar, use property names and values that are not defined in the CSS
specification and are invalid.
HTML/CSS Frameworks: Useful, Universal, Usable, Unobtrusive
By Jens Meiert.
"A high quality HTML/CSS framework needs to have four attributes:
useful, universal, usable, and unobtrusive...Now that we think about
it, maybe the universal margin and padding reset - the one I had to
tweet again for simplicity reasons - is the only HTML/CSS 'framework
that meets these requirements..."
+03: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Web Accessibility Surveys - Results are Frequently Disappointing
By David Sloan.
"A recent exchange on Twitter has motivated me to write about the
contribution published surveys on web site accessibility make towards
understanding and addressing the problems that hold back web
accessibility. I've read, and continue to read, many, many papers
presenting the results of surveys of web sites, and I think we need
surveys to look beyond just the data and instead delve more deeply into
why the results are as they are. We've gone way beyond the point where
a paper simply reporting that a study of x web sites from y sector
revealed 'disappointing' levels of accessibility provides anything more
than a minor contribution. Surveys need to look at process not
January 18-23, 2010.
Wellington, New Zealand
Future of Web Apps (FOWA) Miami 2010
Feburary 22-24, 2010.
Miami, Florida, U.S.A.
South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive
March 12-16, 2010.
Austin, Texas, U.S.A.
EDUCAUSE Midwest Regional Conference 2010
March 15-17, 2010.
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
CSUN Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference
March 22-27, 2010.
San Diego, California, U.S.A.
+05: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
The Information Architecture of Behavior Change Websites
By Brian G Danaher H. Garth McKay, and John R Seeley.
"The extraordinary growth in Internet use offers researchers important
new opportunities to identify and test new ways to deliver effective
behavior change programs. The information architecture - the structure
of website information - is an important but often overlooked factor to
consider when adapting behavioral strategies developed in office-based
settings for Web delivery. Using examples and relevant perspectives
from multiple disciplines, we describe a continuum of website IA
designs ranging from a matrix design to the tunnel design."
By Kevin Yank.
"At the Edge of the Web conference in Perth last week I got to catch up
with Dmitry Baranovskiy, the creator of the Raphael and gRaphael
do is make sophisticated vector graphics possible in Internet Explorer,
Google's just-released Closure Library..."
Tim Berners-Lee on Government Data
By Anne van Kesteren, Lachlan Hunt, and Marcos Caceres.
During TPAC, we sat down for a chat with the Director of the W3C, Sir
Tim Berners-Lee. During the interview, Tim filled us in about his goals
for this year with regards to getting the world's governments to open
up the people's data (yes 'raw data now!'). We grilled him about what
that means: does it really mean 'raw' or is it really an RDF
conspiracy? Tim has some great anecdotes about the uses of raw data and
what we, as citizens, can achieve if we work together and get
governments to give us raw data now! (don't be shy! shout it out! I
sure as hell did).
Print Design to Web Design: Comparative Analogies
By Chris Coyier.
"...thinking about some of the ways working in InDesign is similar to
CSS, and some of the ways it's not. Let's have a look..."
Jeffrey Zeldman Interview (podcast)
By Nancy Aldrich-Ruenzel.
"Author and co-founder of The Web Standards Project Jeffrey Zeldman
talks to publisher Nancy Aldrich-Ruenzel about the 3rd Edition of his
book Designing with Web Standards. He also reveals why writers 'can't
Media Multitaskers Pay Mental Price, Stanford Study Shows
By Adam Gorlick and Jack Hubbard.
"Think you can talk on the phone, send an instant message and read your
e-mail all at once? Stanford researchers say even trying may impair
your cognitive control."
How to Create Clear Web Navigation Menus
By Gerry McGovern.
"To create clear menus you need to understand your customers' top tasks
and use the words they would look for as they seek to complete these
+09: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
HTML5 - What Will the Web Look Like Tomorrow?
By Sam Ruby.
Sam's presentation slides from The South Tyrol Free Software
Conference. ""W3C adds Accessibility, Semantic Web, and a level of
protection against patents...Concerns such as accessibility and
security may affect the adoption rates of shims such as Google Chrome
Implementation Progress on the HTML5 <ruby> Element
By Mike Smith.
"If you don't know what the HTML5 ruby element is, you might want to
take a minute to first read the section about the ruby element in the
HTML5 specification and/or the Wikipedia article on ruby characters. To
quote from the HTML5 description of the ruby element..."
Designing with Web Standards - The Future of Web Standards
By Jeffrey Zeldman.
A free sample chapter of The third edition of "Designing With Web
Standards" is available.
Coding Clean and Semantic Templates
By Nick La.
"If you are the guy who uses <div> tag for everything, this post is for
you. It focuses on how you can write clean HTML code by using semantic
markups and minimize the use of <div> tag. Have you ever edited
someone's templates, don't those messy tags drive you crazy? Not only
writing clean templates can benefit yourself, but your team as well. It
will save you time when you have to debug and edit (particularly the
Video in HTML5: Still an Unresolved Issue
By Frederic Lardinois.
"Some modern browsers already offer partial support for HTML5, but
there are still quite a few issues that need to be resolved before we
will see the finalized version of the HTML5 specifications. One area
where there is still a lot of discussion is support for video in
Speculative HTML5 Parsing Landed
By Henri Sivonen.
"As mentioned earlier, there is an ongoing project for replacing
Gecko's old HTML parser with an HTML5 parser. Today, a significant
milestone landed: off-the-main-thread speculative HTML5 parsing..."
Real Web Type in Real Web Context
By Tim Brown.
"Web fonts are here. Now that browsers support real fonts in web pages
and we can license complete typefaces for such use, it's time to think
pragmatically about how to use real fonts in our web projects. Above
all, we need to know how our type renders in screens, in web browsers.
To that end, Tim Brown has created Web Font Specimen, a handy, free
resource web designers and type designers can use to see how typefaces
will look on the web."
On Web Typography
By Jason Santa Maria.
Until now, chances are that if we dropped text onto a web page in a
system font at a reasonable size, it was legible. But with many
typefaces about to be freed for use on websites, choosing the right
ones to complement a site's design will be far more challenging. Many
faces to which we'll soon have access were never meant for screen use,
either because they're aesthetically unsuitable or because they're just
plain illegible. Jason Santa Maria, a force behind improved type on the
web, presents qualities and methods to keep in mind as we venture into
Typography on the Web: Questions for Jeffrey Zeldman-Part 1
By Ellen Lupton.
"Remember when the only typefaces you could use on a website were
Georgia, Verdana, Helvetica, and a few others? We are now on the verge
of a new age of typographic diversity. Jeffrey Zeldman, one the most
outspoken and influential people in the web design community, agreed to
answer some questions about the state of typography on the web..."
Typography on the Web: Questions for Jeffrey Zeldman-Part 2
By Ellen Lupton.
"The basic conundrum for web typography revolves around the seemingly
contradictory needs of users and designers. Users need the ability to
re-size text on demand. Designers need the ability to create designs
with predictable results in different browsers and different user
scenarios. Can these competing imperatives be reconciled?..."
First, Do No Harm
By Pabini Gabriel-Petit.
"...Whether you are designing interactions for desktop, Web, or mobile
applications, there are some foundational design principles you should
Cooking a Website
By Dmitry Fadeyev.
"...what I do find interesting is that I'm seeing several parallels
between cooking and designing interfaces and websites..."
A Unified Approach to Visual and Interaction Design
By Nate Fortin.
"...my observation has been that even when all of the right people are
involved, more often than not, the various design disciplines opt to
compartmentalize the problem. In other words, they divide the project
into an interaction design problem, a visual design problem, and an
industrial design problem. Each of these problems is then tackled
separately, and the resulting individual design solutions get bolted
together at the end. It's a Tower of Babel situation, where huge
opportunities are lost because the team fails to work together to come
up with an innovative product solution and to employ a single, unified
6 Things Video Games Can Teach Us About Web Usability
By Mark Riggan.
"Those who think video games are not educational, this post is for you.
Not only can video games be an enjoyable experience, they can teach us
many things. Websites and video games often use similar concepts about
usability in order to achieve an amazing end-product. I've come up with
6 essential concepts that video games can teach web designers about
Four Key Principles of Mobile User Experience Design
By Dakota Reese Brown.
"...1: There is an intimate relationship between a user and their
mobile device...2: Screen size implies a user's state. The user's state
infers their commitment to what is on the screen.3: Mobile interfaces
are truncated. Other interfaces are not...4: Design for mobile
platforms ? the real ones..."
Agile User Experience Projects
By Jakob Nielsen.
"Agile projects aren't yet fully user-driven, but new research shows
that developers are actually more bullish on key user experience issues
than UX people themselves..."
[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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+ 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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