[webdev] Web Design Update: July 9, 2010
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Fri Jul 9 06:16:24 CDT 2010
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 9, Issue 02, July 9, 2010.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web
design and development.
++ISSUE 02 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.
08: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
10: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
H.R. 3101 Takes a Step Forward
By The National Association of the Deaf.
"The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is pleased to report that,
yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on
Communications, Technology, and the Internet voted favorably on H.R.
3101, the Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility
A Sliding Alternative to CAPTCHA?
By Luke Wroblewski.
"It's no secret that the use of difficult CAPTCHAs (Completely
Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) in
Web forms can confound ordinary people, drop conversion rates, and
increase errors in addition to (hopefully!) keeping the bad guys out
of your site. As a result, I'm always interested in alternatives to
standard CAPTCHA techniques."
By Samuel Sirois and Denis Boudreau.
"What we're trying to pull here is an alternative to the current
CAPTCHA solution, which is inherently inaccessible to people with
disabilities, despite the best efforts put forth by initiatives such
as the popular reCAPTCHA or the more recent nuCAPTCHA."
Section 508 and PDF - The Facts
By Duff Johnson.
"...Here are 10 key facts that anyone coming to grips with the problem
needs to know. Want the really short version? There's no easy button,
but with some planning and just a little know-how, your PDFs can be
just as accessible as any web-page..."
Google Accessibility Resources
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
Prefix or Posthack
By Eric Meyer.
"Vendor prefixes: Threat or menace? As browser support (including in
IE9) encourages more of us to dive into CSS3, vendor prefixes such as
-moz-border-radius and -webkit-animation may challenge our
consciences, along with our patience. But while nobody particularly
enjoys writing the same thing four or five times in a row, prefixes
may actually accelerate the advancement and refinement of CSS. King of
CSS Eric Meyer explains why."
Supersize that Background, Please!
by Bobby van der Sluis.
"Background images that fill the screen thrill marketers but waste
bandwidth in devices with small viewports, and suffer from cropping
and alignment problems in high-res and widescreen monitors. Instead of
using a single fixed background size, a better solution would be to
scale the image to make it fit different window sizes. And with CSS3
backgrounds and CSS3 media queries, we can do just that. Bobby van der
Sluis shows how."
CSS is the New Photoshop
By John Nack.
"...Cascading Style Sheets can create a great deal of artwork now,
without reliance on bitmap graphics..."
An InDesign for HTML and CSS?
By Jeffrey Zeldman.
"...authoring good HTML and CSS is an art, just as authoring good
poetry or designing beautiful comps in Photoshop is an art. Expecting
Photoshop to write the kind of markup and CSS you and I write at our
best is like challenging TextMate to convert semantic HTML into a
visually appropriate and aesthetically pleasing layout. Certain kinds
of human creativity and expertise cannot be reproduced by machines..."
CSS Media Queries & Using Available Space
By Chris Coyier.
"We've covered using CSS media queries to assign different stylesheets
depending on browser window size. In that example, we changed the
layout of the entire page based on the space available. It isn't
required that we make such drastic changes with this technique though,
so in this tutorial we'll go over a design tweak with a smaller scope.
We'll also cover the syntax for using media queries within a single
stylesheet and more examples of that..."
Understanding the CSS display Property
By Radu Chelariu.
"One of the most powerful and useful properties in all CSS is, without
a doubt, the display property. And yet, it is also one of the least
well understood, especially by those just starting out with CSS. So,
in this post I’ll try to shed some light on this little CSS gem."
+03: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Recruiting Better Research Participants
By Jim Ross.
"Recruiting the right participants is the foundation of effective user
research, because your research results are only as good as the
Debunking the Myths of Remote Usability Studies
By Corrie Kwan, Jin Li, and May Wong.
"In this article, we'll draw on our collective, first-hand experiences
doing remote usability studies for numerous real-world projects to
describe and debunk these myths. Our goal is to share knowledge and
Adobe Flex Accessibility Webinar
July 21, 2010.
September 3, 2010
Brighton, United Kingdom
Web Teaching Day
September 6, 2010.
Manchester, United Kingdom
October 14-16, 2010.
Say No to noscript
By Gez Lemon.
"I'm surprised that the noscript element is conforming in HTML5, as
there are much better techniques for ensuring that pages work with or
of the noscript element, best practice is to use unobtrusive
HTML5 Bug 10068 - Suggest making noscript obsolete but conforming
By Gez Lemon.
"I think the noscript element should be deprecated, as it's better
Controlling the Website Animal
By Paul Boag.
"The bigger the organization, the bigger the website. However, just
because the company is bigger does not mean its website should be.
Most of the time the site is bigger because there are simply more
people who want their say! Unfortunately big sites, with lots of
legacy content, create serious problems..."
Kill Your Darlings
By Teresa Brazen.
"...Every project has restraints and realities that can't be ignored,
no matter how much you want to pursue a particularly brilliant
concept. To help mitigate that, it's important to trust that there are
always plenty more creative ideas where the last one came from.
Otherwise, you're working within a belief system of limits, which is
certain to undermine creativity..."
By Andy Rutledge.
"...The difference between professionals and those who understand only
the echoes and shadows of professionalism is that the latter evaluate
things according to an external, transient standard-to the point that
only subjective, situational evaluation becomes useful. When
compromise brings what passes for success, compromise becomes
indistinguishable from virtue. At that point, shadow becomes reality.
Professionals, by contrast, evaluate things according to consistent,
uncompromising, internal standards based on individual and
professional responsibility; standards that can stand the bright light
By Jens O. Meiert.
"Solutions require problems. If you don't have a problem, you don't
need a solution..."
Examining WAI-ARIA Document Landmark Roles
By Gez Lemon.
"WAI-ARIA defines document landmark roles to help define the
structure of a document. Document landmark roles have two purposes;
they help assistive technology users orientate themselves within a
document, and they provide a mechanism for users to navigate
documents. The following document landmark roles are defined in
Lou Rosenfeld on Search Analytics
By Paul Boag.
"Lou Rosenfeld shares how the search terms used on our websites can
reveal a lot about our users."
+08: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
HTML5 and the Future of Adobe Flash
"HTML5 poses a threat to Adobe Flash (and to other rich internet
application [RAI] plug-ins). However the dynamics are complex and the
time frames longer than one might expect..." (PDF)
By Shelley Powers.
"Sam Ruby's take on the CNet HTML5 article: 'Balanced piece that
neither sweeps under the rug nor sensationalizes the differences that
we are working through.' To me, this is the same as saying, 'Nothing
to see here folks. Just be sure to step over the dead body on your way
An HTML5 <audio> Radio Player
By Trygve Lie.
"In this article we will look at the <audio> element, starting with
the basics, looking in detail at how it works across different
browsers, and then build a radio player application that uses live
audio from a streaming server."
AccProbe: The Accessibility Probe
By IBM / Open A11y.
"The Accessibility Probe (AccProbe) is a standalone, Eclipse
Rich-Client Product (RCP) application that provides a view of the
Microsoft Active Accessibility (MSAA) or IAccessible2 hierarchy of a
currently running application or rendered document and of the
properties of the accessible objects of that application or document.
It can also serve as an event monitor for tracking the events fired by
these accessible objects. It is meant to combine the functionality of
tools like Microsoft's Inspect32, AccExplore, and AccEvent into one
easy-to-use application for accessibility testing and debugging."
By Ken Meyering.
"A Simple Free Online YouTube Video Captions Creator. Easily create
subtitles and closed-captioning that can be translated into other
4 Rules For Displaying Error Messages From A User Experience Perspective
By Tasin Reza.
"In order to display error messages on forms, you need to consider the
following four basic rules: 1. The error message needs to be short and
meaningful. 2. The placement of the message needs to be associated
with the field 3. The message style needs to be separated from the
style of the field labels and instructions 4. The style of the error
field needs to be different than the normal field..."
It's Not What People Say, It's What They Do
By Gerry McGovern.
"Never make management decisions for a website based on opinions.
There is often a Jekyll and Hyde difference between what people say
and what they do."
New Readability Tool Built Into Safari 5
By John Rochford.
"Reader, a new feature of Safari 5, removes visual distractions from
Web pages. This is a boon for people with cognitive disabilities,
indeed everyone distracted by advertisements, contextually-irrelevant
How Injecting Usability Principles into Standard Bug Tracking Software
Can Reshape How Your Organization Approaches UX Design
By Alex Faaborg.
"...by establishing a tracking system on a set of agreed upon
principles, much of the debate on the level of 'there is no right or
wrong with UI / every user is entitled to their personal opinion / all
that matters is the ability to customize' that is currently found in
some development communities can be significantly reduced. Usability
heuristics will help ground these debates, just as currently in
software development no one argues in favor of data loss, or in
defense of crashing..."
UX Challenges in Touch Interfaces
By Adrian Roselli.
"As mobile devices have been taking over the place of the mobile or
home computer for basic apps and web access, developers are struggling
with letting go of the mouse as the primary interface
device...Meatsticks Are the New Mouse..."
iPad and Kindle Reading Speeds
By Jakob Nielsen.
"A study of people reading long-form text on tablets finds higher
reading speeds than in the past, but they're still slower than reading
[Section one ends.]
++ SECTION TWO:
+11: 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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