[webdev] Web Design Update: February 11, 2010
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Thu Feb 11 06:39:15 CST 2010
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 8, Issue 33, February 11, 2010.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 33 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.
Testing Moodle for Accessibility
By Randall Hansen.
"...The vast majority of Moodle is technically accessible: blind and
vision-impaired users can accomplish nearly all the tasks set before
them. However, much work remains to prevent Moodle from being a
frustrating experience for these users. Many details that make sense to
sighted users, or are entirely ignorable, are stumbling blocks for users
of screen reading or magnification software. Brian Charlson at the
Carroll Center for the Blind is fond of saying that sighted users go
from the macro to the micro. That is, we scan pages rapidly, building an
increasingly accurate mental model as we narrow in on the details. Blind
users go from the micro to the macro. They experience only the details,
and have to infer relationships between them in order to build a larger
picture. It is in these details that Moodle needs the most attention..."
Inclusive Universe - Wendy Chisholm
Wendy Chisholm's Next Ignite Seattle Presentation: "Most designers are
taught to design for the average user and as a society, we hold many
assumptions about the characteristics of those users. However, products
are used in unexpected ways and by unexpected audiences. Challenging
your assumptions and designing for non-average users can result in
innovative products that can lead to a more inclusive, just society. And
eventually, world peace."
Tools for Conducting an Accessibility Review
By Angela Colter.
"As part of my usability consulting practice, I’m sometimes asked to
conduct accessibility reviews of client web sites. The purpose of the
review is to identify barriers on the page that would prevent someone
who has a disability–or who is using an assistive technology–from using
or understanding the content on the web page..."
Social Inclusion for the Web
By Roger Hudson.
"We no longer think it is acceptable to discriminate against people on
grounds of gender or race and, as a community, we expect provision to be
made for people with disabilities in public transport and building
design. However, when it comes to making sure web content is accessible
to all users of the web, including people with disabilities, some
designers, developers and clients just ''don't get it', to borrow a
phrase popular with the geekerati..."
Accessibility Jargon Decoded
By The Enabled Web.
"Accessibility specialists tend to sprinkle their conversations with
acronyms, abbreviations, and other unique terms just as readily as do
computer scientists, plant growers, jazz musicians, or members of any
other "in" group. Here are the ones that are most important for a
general understanding of the topic."
Web Accessibility: 6 Reasons Why Its Important
By Holly Lamarche.
"Many designers and developers wonder, “Why should I worry about making
my site more accessible?” Well as you will see below, there are a
multitude of reasons, which should be considered when you design or
develop your next site..."
Ken Harrenstein Helps Bring Captions to Online Video
By Marc Hertz.
An engineer at Google who's been deaf since childhood is trying to
improve the accessibility of online video.
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
Forgotten CSS Selectors
By Roger Johansson.
"Due to lack of support in Internet Explorer 6, web developers have been
avoiding some very useful CSS 2.1 selectors. It's time to start using them."
sIFR Default CSS Hides Content From at Least One Screen Reader
By Roger Johansson.
"Just a heads-up to anyone using sIFR to render text: the default CSS
that comes with sIFR hides the replaced text from the VoiceOver screen
reader. I don't know if any others are affected - VoiceOver is the only
screen reader I have been able to verify this problem in."
Liquid Layouts Explained - The Fold
By Alastair Campbell.
"This is the first of two articles aimed at explaining screen resolution
and liquid layouts for non-developers / designers. As part of that I'll
cover what the fold is, why it shouldn't matter, but often does. With
the next article I'll release a little presentation anyone can use to
explain these concepts..."
We're Ready for CSS3, but are we Ready for CSS3?
By Jonathan Christopher.
"We're all smitten with CSS3. It's reinvigorated that sense of newness
that CSS and Web Standards brought our way just a few years ago. We're
able to more easily replicate the set of design standards that has
become nearly universal much faster than before with just a few CSS
declarations. There are a number of CSS3 rules I'd be writing for each
and every project, but I'm just not sure it's as ready for prime time as
many designers are making it out to be..."
How nth-child Works
By Chris Coyier.
"There is a CSS selector, really a pseduo-selector, called nth-child.
Here is an example of using it..."
+03: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Clean Metrics from Quick and Dirty Assessment: The SUS
By John Sorflaten.
John Sorflaten discusses an easy method for "grading" your interface
design with "System Usability Scale".
July 16, 2010.
Brighton, United Kingdom.
MERLOT Conference - Emerging Technologies for Online Learning
July 20-23, 2010.
San Jose, California, U.S.A.
October 10-13, 2010.
Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A
October 12-15, 2010.
Anaheim, California, U.S.A
Nordi CHI '10
October 16-20, 2010.
Accessing Higher Ground
Accessible Media, Web and Technology Conference
Westminster, Colorado, U.S.A.
Why Flash-Only Websites Are a Bad Idea
By Stefan Mischook.
"I'm a big fan of Flash and it has many uses .. one of them though, is
NOT to create an entire website with it..."
HTML5 Versus Flash
By Remy Sharp.
"First of all I wanted to make the title of this post "HTML5 and Flash",
but I know it's going to bait more readers if I say verses. I should
state for the record that for the foreseeable future I think Flash has a
valid place on the web, and I don't personally see it as an us and them
Abobe Announces Open Screen Project 2008
By Eric Miraglia.
language, providing a critical reading of its core features — including
new features from ES5..."
Accessibility Hack Number 2: Using Headings to Improve Navigation
By Glenda Watson Hyatt.
"In his review of New York City's website, the esteemed web
accessibility expert Jim Thatcher docked the site points for not having
headings, which assist readers in navigating the content. WebAIM's
Screen Reader User Survey found that headings are the primary mechanism
for finding information within a page. A good heading structure is an
essential element of web accessibility and usability..."
Debug PHP with Firebug and FirePHP
By Louis Simoneau.
"If you're anything like me, you'd sooner forgo water than Firebug when
working on a web project. The little 'bug is a fantastically useful
to debug PHP? Yes, thanks to an additional Firefox extension called
What Does PHP Stand For?
By Kristen Grubb.
"he acronym "PHP" stands for PHP Hypertext Processor. It is a recursive
acronym, which means that the first letter actually stands for PHP. This
is a common occurrence in the tech world. Other recursive acronyms are
WINE (WINE is not an emulator), GNU (GNU's not Unix), and LAME (LAME
Ain't an MP3 Encoder). However, PHP didn't always stand for PHP
+09: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
Introduction to HTML5 Video
By Bruce Lawson and Patrick H. Lauke.
"One of the most exciting new features of HTML5 is the inclusion of the
<video> element, which allows developers to include video directly in
their pages without the need for any plugin-based solution."
What Are the Business Benefits of HTML5 Video?
By Bruce Lawson.
"My hubcap-thieving Scally chum Jake Smith emailed, expressing concern
about the the fact that the codec impasse means we have to encode video
twice, once as Ogg and once as H264 to deliver in HTML5..."
The Time Element (And Microformats)
By Bruce Lawson.
"...HTML5 offers one potential addition to the microformats arsenal.
Because earlier versions of some microformats presented accessibility
problems in the way they encoded dates and times (see an article called
hAccessibility that I co-wrote with James Craig), HTML5 offers a new
element for unambiguously encoding dates and times for machines while
still displaying them in a human-readable way..."
HTML5 Part 1 - An Introduction to the New Layout Tags
By Adrian Senior.
"In this article we will be taking a look at HTML 5 and some of the new
semantic tags that are available to us for laying out our web pages.
We'll compare the new tags and the markup to how we currently write our
code and review the differences we can expect to see when we move to
Revised Font Stack
By Nathan Ford.
"Serious efforts are being made to get more typeface choices on the web
to enhance web typography. Still, most of us prefer web-safe fonts like:
Verdana, Georgia, Times New Roman and Arial. Though choices are limited,
yet the number can be increased by exploring other pre-installed fonts..."
Numeric Filters - Issues and Best Practices
By Greg Nudelman.
"Faceted search has been around for a long time and has become the de
facto standard for search on most ecommerce sites. However, filters with
numeric values remain among the most confusing, because many sites have
not able to design usable numeric filters that people can use in an
intuitive manner. Recently, powerful user interface controls called
sliders have become all the rage for specifying numeric attributes in
finding user interfaces. Unfortunately, in their rush to implement this
latest, greatest feature, many companies have not designed easy-to-use
sliders. Rather than solving usability problems, poorly designed sliders
create even more issues around numeric filter usability. In my
experience, the following three usability issues surface most often with
The Problem with Passwords
By Lyle Mullican.
"Abandoning password masking as Jakob Nielsen suggests could present
serious problems, undermining a user's trust by failing to meet a basic
expectation. But with design patterns gleaned from offline applications,
errors without compromising the basic user experience or losing our
Words that Zing
By Colleen Jones.
"When someone consults a website, there is a precious opportunity not
only to provide useful information but also to influence their decision.
To make the most of this opportune moment, we must ensure that the site
says or does precisely the right thing at precisely the right time.
Understanding the rhetorical concept of kairos can help us craft a
context for the opportune moment and hit the mark with appropriately
[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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