[webdev] Web Design Update: May 21, 2010
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Fri May 21 04:15:51 CDT 2010
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 8, Issue 47, May 21, 2010.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 47 CONTENTS.
SECTION ONE: New references.
What's new at the Web Design Reference site?
New links in these categories:
02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
05: EVALUATION & TESTING.
06: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
11: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
15: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
HTML5: Techniques for Providing Useful Text Alternatives
By Steve Faulkner.
"HTML5: Techniques for providing useful text alternatives is a work in
progress currently edited by me, I encourage anyone with an interest to
contribute to its development..."
By Gary Barber.
"...In some ways even considering accessibility as a separate item is
the wrong approach. We really need to be considering the ideals of
universal design, in which everything is designed for everyone. Let's
just for a minute forget about accessibility as a separate issue. We
need to design and develop for people using AT just like we do for any
other usability issue. This is where Inclusive Design comes in..."
Web Site Designed For People With Cognitive Disabilities But
Inaccessible To Them
By John Rochford.
"I assessed the Web site of Bipolar Scotland. It was designed for people
with cognitive disabilities. Summary assessment results show the site
met all seven design-related criteria, but not the three content
criteria. In my judgment, a site with significant content-accessibility
problems can not be considered accessible to people with cognitive
HTML Validation with ARIA
By Michael Cooper.
"A HTML 4 plus WAI-ARIA DTD is available from
http://www.w3.org/WAI/ARIA/schemata/. This can be used to validate pages
that use ARIA and otherwise are intended to conform to HTML 4. Note this
is just a draft DTD and is not meant to be directly referenced, it
should be downloaded. It is not expected to have official standing in
HTML 4 since that language is not being maintained anymore..."
The Challenges of Internet Users with Low or Limited Vision
By Tom Babinszki.
"Once or twice while surfing the Net, you may have felt your eyesight
become blurred or find it hard to focus on the screen. This is normally
not a problem as you can always rest for a while to regain your perfect
vision. But try to imagine yourself having limited vision all the time.
What do you think are the challenges you may face as you browse web
pages? How can they be solved?..."
"<label>" for Search Field
Web Aim Thread.
"Our designers don't like the idea of the word "Search" just before our
standard site "search" field. They feel that for sighted users, the
placement just above the words "Advanced Search" in the upper right
corner of the standard site-wide banner is a clear enough. And the use
of "title" attribute in the actual <input> tag is good enough for screen
reader users. What is the groups thinking on the adequacy of relying
solely on "title" attributes to give a prompt for the standard site
Confidence in eAssessment
By Martyn Cooper.
"...If a student gives a wrong answer with a low-level of confidence
they are in the 'Uninformed' category. However if they give a wrong
answer but believe they are right then they are classified as
'Misinformed'. If they give a correct answer but with a low-level of
confidence they fall into the 'Doubt' category whereas if they are
correct with a high level of confidence they are in the 'Mastery'
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
CSS for Layout
By Kathy Marks.
"From the presentation I gave this weekend at the Phoenix Desert Code
Dealing With the Dreaded Flash of Unstyled Text
By Scott Gilbertson.
Suggestions for mitigating, even eliminating the appearance of unstyled
text when using @font-face.
CSS 101 - Block Formatting Contexts
By Thierry Koblentz.
"A block formatting context is a box that satisfies at least one of the
How to Look Like a Wiz with RGBa
By Virginia DeBolt.
"The RGBa color specification in CSS3 is almost ready for prime time.
Most browsers (except IE) support the spec. Show your wizard skills by
learning to use it..."
Converting from HSL to RGB() and Hexadecimal Colors
By Estelle Weyl.
"I created a 'spreadsheet' of the HSL() (hue, saturation, lightness)
Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 HTML5 Pack
"Adobe is pleased to make a technology release available of the Adobe®
Dreamweaver CS5 HTML5 Pack extension. This extension provides initial
support for HTML5 and CSS3 in Adobe Dreamweaver CS5, and helps you
easily create HTML5 pages and CSS3 styles. While HTML5 and CSS3 will not
be finalized for some time, the extension provides support for a set of
currently-implemented features. "
Using the HTML5 Pack for Dreamweaver CS5
By Jon Varese.
"The HTML5 Pack for Dreamweaver CS5 is an extension that adds support
for HTML5 and CSS3 in Dreamweaver. This article provides a brief
overview of HTML5 and CSS3, and outlines the new features available in
Dreamweaver once the extension has been installed."
+05: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Usability Testing - Don't Guess, Test.
By Jacob Creech.
"...The design industry is a pretty crowded place. While you can stand
out on your fantastic design alone, the more you can add to your
services (within reason), and the more usable you can make your designs,
the better you will do in the long run. Think of design as a puzzle -
usability testing may just be once piece of it, but you can't complete
the design without every last part."
6 Ways to Measure Effectiveness of News on Your Intranet
By Nancy Goebel.
"An IBF member recently asked for suggestions on key performance
indicators (KPIs) to assess the quality of news on their intranet home
page. The goal for this ask was to develop half a dozen KPIs in the
interim of undergoing their first annual benchmarking evaluation with
IBF (intranet benchmarking forum)..."
Scoring Spreadsheets, The Bane of My Life
By Theresa Regli.
"...Scoring, unless you're talking about sports (and I don't mean the
rated ones, like figure skating or diving), is inherently a subjective
process. It takes qualitative assessments even to produce a quantitative
result. So if you are going to do scoring, keep it simple - and don't be
afraid to favor the qualitative. "
+06: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
Sketches and Wireframes and Prototypes! Oh My! Creating Your Own Magical
By Traci Lepore.
"Why is every conversation about wireframes I've encountered lately so
tense? For instance, at a recent UX Book Club meeting whose topic was a
discussion of some articles on wireframes, the conversation moved
quickly from the actual articles to the question of what a wireframe
even was. What the discussion came down to was this: no one knows the
answer, and trying to find it feels like a wild-goose chase-or like
wandering off on our own down a yellow brick road to find the
all-knowing and powerful Oz to figure the answer out for us."
"AJAX techniques have helped Web developers create live applications
within Web browsers. The AxsJAX framework helps inject accessibility
features into these applications so that users of adaptive technologies
such as screen readers and self-voicing browsers experience the same
level of interactivity that is now taken for granted by users of Web 2.0
applications. For more details, please read the AxsJAX FAQ..."
MinneWebCon Presentation Materials
By Wendy Chisholm.
"On 12 April 2010 I had the pleasure of presenting the afternoon keynote
at MinneWebCon. Here are the artifacts..."
Size Matters : Dealing with Large Teams
By Kate Rutter.
"...Overall, the problems (and ideas to address them) fell into three
buckets: 1) decision-making and consensus; 2) communicating and
presenting; 3) reviews and feedback. Here's what we captured for each
Nesting Links How to Make Your Browser Vomit
By Niels Matthijs.
"...My conclusion isn't any different from most conclusions found in
articles about new html and css techniques. Cool stuff, but it's just
not working yet. For simple wrappings without html5 elements and links
block level links seem to work, but when you nest another link inside it
breaks down completely. Which is a shame really and I just hope it gets
fixed soon. Up until that time you'll still need to use the links on the
title and "read more" text or remove all links inside a block level link."
CSS Breadcrumbs In 5 Minutes
By Lorraine Nepomuceno.
"Breadcrumbs, which always make me think of Hansel & Gretel using them
to find their way back home, are a useful addition to any website,
especially ones with levels and sub-levels of content. Not so long ago,
I posted about adding breadcrumbs to your WordPress blog, and today I
want to talk about the styling of breadcrumbs with CSS. It's incredibly
easy, and I've included the files for download at the end of this post."
Implementing One-way Encryption in PHP
By Leidago Noabeb.
"Learn how to use one-way encryption in PHP by building a secure online
+11: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
Progress Element: What I've Found
By Shelley Powers.
"To recap my weekend effort with the WebKit nightly implementation of
the HTML5 progress element..."
HTML Speech Input Element
Editor: Bjorn Bringert.
"This is a proposal for adding speech recognition support to HTML 5..."
Your Questions Answered 9
By Richard Clark.
"he Doctor is in with another round of patient questions about HTML5.
This week, we'll cover offline viewing on requests, the drag-and-drop
API, using href on any element, the <figure> element, and headings..."
By Philippe Le Hegaret.
"Two years and a half ago, Dan Connolly wrote about When will HTML 5
support <video>? Sooner if you help. Where are we with HTML5 Video
The Article Element
By Tom Leadbetter.
"We've discussed a lot of new elements here at HTML5Doctor, but the
article element has somehow escaped the microscope… until now! article
is one of the new sectioning elements. It is often confused with section
and div but don't worry we'll explain the difference between them..."
Widget Packaging and Configuration, W3C Candidate Recommendation
Marcos Caceres, Editor.
"This specification standardizes a packaging format for software known
as widgets. Widgets are client-side applications that are authored using
Web standards, but whose content can also be embedded into Web documents..."
Four Ways to Mix Fonts
By Veerle Pieters.
"Is there a way to know what fonts will work together? Building a
palette is an intuitive process, but expanding a typographic duet to
three, four, or even five voices can be daunting. Here are four tips for
navigating the typographic ocean, all built around H&FJ's Highly
Scientific First Principle of Combining Fonts: keep one thing
consistent, and let one thing vary..."
Designing for Senior Citizens
By Janet M. Six.
"What fonts and colors are easiest for senior citizens to read online?
Do you have any other tips for me? I am building an informational Web
site for senior citizens..."
Designing User Experiences for Children
By Janet M. Six.
"Creating a great experience for Web site users should always take the
users' perspectives into consideration. While a user's age can be a
contributing factor in a design's success for a particular user,
demographic information should not trump design conventions. Then, why
do UX designers struggle when creating Web sites for children?..."
15 Tips for Designing Terrific Tables
By Joshua Johnson.
"A good table communicates a lot of information in a concise, easy to
understand way. Because the emphasis really should be on the
information, over-designing a table can kill the effectiveness. However,
in the right hands, clever design can not only make a table more
attractive, but can actually increase readability." (Design Shack)
Expanding our Definition of User Experience Design
By Kristina Halvorson.
"Design and content. Content and design. It's impossible (and stupid) to
argue over which one is more important than the other - which should
come first, which is more difficult or 'strategic.' They need each other
to provide context, meaning, information, and instruction in any user
HTML/XHTML Compatibility Authoring Guidelines
Eliot Graff, Editor.
"This document summarizes design guidelines for authors who wish their
XHTML or HTML documents to validate on either HTML or XML parsers,
assuming the parsers to be HTML5-compliant. This specification is
intended to be used by web authors. It is not a specification for user
agents and creates no obligations on user agents. Note that this
recommendation does not define how HTML5-conforming user agents should
process HTML documents. Nor does it define the meaning of the Internet
Media Type text/html."
Mozilla at W3C: review of XHTML Modularization PER
By David Baron.
"...We don't see this specification as relevant to how browsers
implement HTML or how Web authors writing content for the public Web
[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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