[webdev] Web Design Update: January 8, 2010
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Fri Jan 8 06:25:53 CST 2010
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 8, Issue 28, January 8, 2010.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 28 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.
06: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
09: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
True Tales of Accessibility Ignorance
By Steve Grobschmidt.
"I was just recalling a recent firsthand experience with web
accessibility ignorance, and thought I'd share, to kick off 2010..."
Steps Towards Building an Accessible Site: Part 1
By Henny Swan.
"Web accessibility, in its purest form, is the practice of coding your
web sites and applications so that users with disabilities can access
all the content and functionality they provide. These users can break
down into four main disability groups..."
Contacting Organizations about Inaccessible Websites (Draft)
By Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).
"Steps to help you report websites with accessibility problems are
described on this page: 1. Identify key contacts 2. Describe the problem
3. Follow-up as needed..."
alt and title Content Display in Popular Browsers
By Steve Faulkner.
"...The results reveal a lack of standardized display behavior across
browsers, which makes it difficult for authors to provide a predictable
experience to users in cases where images are not available or users
have disabled the display of images to suit their requirements. It
would be useful if the recommended behavior was clearly specified in the
HTML5 specification, the current wording is not precise, which will
result in a continuation of the current diversity of implemented
Accessibility Statement: What Is It and Who Uses It?
By Tom Babinszki.
"On an increasing number of web sites you can find the phrase
'accessibility statement'. Sometimes it is very visible and hard to
miss, in other cases we can barely find it. Did you ever read any of
these statements? If you ever did, do you read it on all sites where you
find them? In this article I will explain what is the accessibility
statement, and give you a couple of points to decide if you need it on
your web site..."
By Tom Babinszki.
"...tables play a crucial role in helping users understand the contents
of a web page. Persons with disabilities are no exception to this fact.
It is therefore important for you to know how to make tables accessible
for all types of users..."
New Years Eve, Prince (The Artist), and Alternate Text
By Terrill Thompson.
"...What should we use for alternate text when an image is meaningful,
Web More Accessible to Those with Disabilities
By Alejandro Martinez-Cabrera.
"...The Internet has brought enormous benefits to people with
disabilities, allowing them to become more competitive when applying for
jobs, lessen their dependence on others, engage more actively in public
debates and connect with their peers in ways that were impossible
before. But at the same time, as society becomes more intertwined with
digital media, the disabled struggle not to be left behind..."
The Web More Accessible, Really?
By Kelly Ford.
Still it is a mistake to equate this with real web accessibility. I
think half the reason people with disabilities tolerate such a pathetic
state of true accessibility is because the alternative to doing things
online is that much more of a challenge.
Internet Captions Mean Better Access for WA Deaf Community
By Chris Thomas.
"Most web sites that feature videos do not offer closed captioning,
although a bill in Congress would require it..."
Making Footnotes Accessible in PDFs (and other PDF Accessibility Fixes)
By Ted Page.
"This article explains how to make footnotes accessible in PDFs using a
technique that can also be applied to fix many other common PDF
17 Misconceptions about People with Hearing Loss
By Janice Schacter.
"Misconceptions about people who are deaf or hard of hearing are common
place - some antiquated stereotypes, others are just incorrect
assumptions. It's easy enough to get the wrong idea as hearing loss can
be an invisible disability - unlike the wheelchair that signals a
mobility challenge. Whether it's a total stranger trying to make small
talk in sign language or a overly slowly articulating coworker or
relative, it's time we initiated the conversation that will correct
misconceptions and remove the stigma associated with deafness and
hearing loss. This list of the more common misconceptions there are many
more - can be a good starting point for that conversation..."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
The Importance of the !important CSS Declaration
By Brigitte Simard.
"...The !important declaration if used without much consideration can
make CSS files difficult to maintain but if used with forethought, it
can save time and effort."
Join the CSS Quality Assurance Team
By Elika Etemad.
As you may (or may not) know, I'm an Invited Expert on the CSS Working
Group at W3C. Mostly I talk about specs. But today, I'm going to talk
+03: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Wake Up! Test Analysts, Do Usability Testing Correctly
By Gary Barber.
"I'm seeing an interesting trend here in Perth. Recently, job adverts
and recruiters looking for Test Analysts to do usability and
accessibility testing as part of their duties. Now this is a good thing
in a way..."
The Workshop Summits
January 14-15, 2010.
February 4-7, 2010.
Savannah, Georgia, U.S.A.
Techshare India 2010
February 15-16, 2010.
New Delhi, India
International Conference on Digital Information Management (ICDIM)
July 5-8, 2010.
Thunder Bay, Canada
Emerging Technologies for Online Learning Symposium
July 20-23, 2010.
San Jose, California, U.S.A.
An Event Apart - Washington, DC
September 16-17, 2010.
Washington, DC, U.S.A.
October 25-27, 2010.
San Francisco, California U.S.A.
Interview with Jared Spool - CEO of User Interface Engineering
By Russell Wilson.
"Jared Spool is the CEO and founder of User Interface Engineering, a
usability research organization. He is a prolific speaker and noted
expert in the field of usability and user interface design..."
+06: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
Why Validate Your Pages?
By Tom Babinszki.
"...Here are a few good reasons why you should validate your pages..."
The Decline of Standards/Evolution and Devolution
By Niels Matthijs.
I'm still not sure how much I should adopt from these new methods. I'm
eager to use new technologies. Ones that work faster, that are more
logical and indicate the way of the future. But I also think it might be
better to wait until they turn into a respectable standard before using
them in any commercial project. It's not an easy choice to make,
certainly while others are jumping on the boat already, gaining
experience in what might be the techniques of tomorrow..."
An Open Invitation to the HTML5 Team
By Vlad Alexander.
"HTML5 was conceived and continues to be developed within a group of
likeminded people. There has not been any in-depth debate about the
design principles of HTML5, the direction in which HTML5 is heading, nor
the process in which HTML5 is developed. As a result, HTML5 may not be
meeting the needs of many stakeholders in Web technology and may be
insufficient to significantly evolve the Web. I invite the HTML5 team to
a series of debates, with myself and others, on HTML5 and the future of
A Form of Madness
By Mark Pilgrim.
"HTML5 defines over a dozen new input types that you can use in your
Recap: My Refresh Bellingham Presentation - The Ghosts of Web Standards
By Kyle Weems.
"The Ghosts of Web Standards Present: CSS3, HTML5 and Mobile"
By Philip Jagenstedt.
"Today the desktop team released a new years pre-alpha of Opera 10.50
which includes the first public preview of our new HTML5 <video>
implementation. It was Opera that first proposed <video> and made the
first proof-of-concept build way back in 2007. In this post I will talk
about what we've done since then, the decisions we've made and where we
hope to go next..."
HTML5 Tag Reference
"HTML 5 improves interoperability and reduces development costs by
making precise rules on how to handle all HTML elements, and how to
recover from errors. Some of the new features in HTML 5 are functions
for embedding audio, video, graphics, client-side data storage, and
interactive documents. HTML 5 also contains new elements like <nav>,
<header>, <footer>, and <figure>. The HTML 5 working group includes AOL,
Apple, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Mozilla, Nokia, Opera, and many hundreds
of other vendors. Note: HTML 5 is not a W3C recommendation yet!..."
Bob Dylan Meets HTML5
By Molly E. Holzschlag.
"Inspired by Shelley Powers who quipped 'HTML5, it is a changing' on
Twitter, I in turn said I was gonna write a Dylanesque song about HTML5.
Of course, between that time and the time I got to the next available
WiFi point, Jeff Allen wrote the song..."
Bruce Lawson's Rendition:
Controls are Choices
By Dan Saffer.
"Every button, slider, switch, knob, or dial represents a choice. Two
choices, actually: the choice to have it, and the choice to use
it...Like all choices when designing devices, arbitrary choices about
controls are an anathema to good design. The best technology, the
coolest features, can be ruined by poor controls."
The Complexity Paradox
By Bruce Tognazzini.
"... Simply put, one cannot reduce the complexity of a task. One can
only shift the burden. Harry draws the relative complexity among the
user's, application programmer's, and OS programmer's domain thusly..."
More Like This: A Design Pattern
By Greg Nudelman.
"...The idea behind the More Like This pattern is very simple: within
each group of items representing a particular category from a catalog or
accompanying each item in search results, provide a prominent link or
button with a label that is some variation of More Like This ». Of
course, the devil, as they say, is in the details..."
Specifying Behavior: With an Example Menu Behavior Specification
By Pabini Gabriel-Petit.
"...And why do so many applications provide a poor user experience as a
result of their not behaving properly? I can think of several possible
reasons why some applications don't behave as they should..."
Is SVG Finally Coming to Internet Explorer?
By Craig Buckler.
"Could one of my top wishes for IE9 be coming true? According to the
IEBlog, Microsoft have joined the W3C SVG Working Group..."
[Section one ends.]
++ SECTION TWO:
+09: 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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