[webdev] Web Design Update: August 21, 2010
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Sat Aug 21 07:04:51 CDT 2010
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 9, Issue 08, August 21, 2010.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web
design and development.
++ISSUE 08 CONTENTS.
SECTION ONE: New references.
What's new at the Web Design Reference site?
New links in these categories:
02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
04: EVALUATION & TESTING.
08: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
11: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Longdesc is Dead! Long Live Longdesc!
By Joshue O Connor.
"The future of an important mechanism allowing the creation of
accessible images using HTML5 hangs in the balance after a working
group decision to remove it from the specification - despite the
recommendations of their own expert working group to keep it..."
Podcast #83: Fate of Longdesc in HTML5
By Dennis Lembree.
"What's the fate of the 'longdesc' attribute in HTML5? Can or should
the "aria-labelledby" ARIA attribute replace it? These are some of the
controversial issues discussed by Dennis and guests John Foliot
(@johnfoliot), Everett Zufelt (@ezufelt), and Joe Dolson
Alone in the Pitch Black Dark
By Kyle Weems.
"...the longdesc attribute, which is a method of serving detailed
alternate text for complex images to visually impaired web users, is
now obsolete and not a part of HTML5....As a website owner who does
make use of accessibility features for my actual blind users, I'll
take my validation error. The code was valid, it does work, and I
don't see any reason to clutter the visual design to implement a less
No longdesc Attribute in HTML5
By Roger Johansson.
"...The longdesc attribute is not perfect. It is rarely used and its
contents are hidden or difficult to access for many users who would
benefit from it. But in some specific situations it may be still be
the best choice, so I really don’t see why it needs to be removed,
especially considering that HTML5 is intended to be
Accessibility and Cognitive Challenges on the Web
"Web accessibility for people with cognitive disabilities is an
important and difficult issue. These users have very different
abilities and needs, and taking all this into account is not a trivial
matter! Nevertheless, there are principles and knowledge already
available, that will help many more people to enjoy using the Web. I
have collected some of this information in this article."
Being Accessible is a Step Towards Better Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
"It's sometimes said that building an accessible website also helps
with your organisation's search engine optimisation (SEO) campaign.
But how does that work?..."
Captioning YouTube Videos
By Gian Wild.
By Gian Wild.
Audio Describing Videos
By Gian Wild.
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
CSS3 Media Queries
By Nick La.
"CSS2 allows you to specify stylesheet for specific media type such as
screen or print. Now CSS3 makes it even more efficient by adding media
queries. You can add expressions to media type to check for certain
conditions and apply different stylesheets. For example, you can have
one stylesheet for large displays and a different stylesheet
specifically for mobile devices. It is quite powerful because it
allows you to tailor to different resolutions and devices without
changing the content. Continue on this post to read the tutorial and
see some websites that make good use of media queries..."
Are We Taking CSS Too Far?
By Matt Ward.
"CSS is a remarkable technology, capable of doing things that I
wouldn’t have even dreamed of when I was first introduced to it. And,
with added support for rounded corners, box shadows, text shadows,
rotation and a wide range of other possibilities, web designers and
developers can accomplish all sorts of amazing things when it comes to
applying a design to a website. But are we starting to take things too
"CSS Lounge is a constantly growing project focused on providing you
with a database of the best designed CSS based websites from around
the world. Its purpose is to showcase designers' work and to act as a
small portal to the CSS design community."
Using Less.js to Simplify Your CSS3
By Joshua Johnson.
"LESS is an amazing little tool that extends CSS with the addition of
variables, mixins, operations and nested rules. What this means is
that you can write leaner code very quickly. And with the recent rise
of complex CSS3 properties, we have a few glaring examples of code
that could definitely stand to be simplified a bit..."
Using the HTML5 Pack for Dreamweaver CS5
By Jon Michael 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...."
+04: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Three Questions You Shouldn't Ask During User Research
By Jared M. Spool.
"The participant was struggling. While he was a high-volume customer
who had bought tons from this site in the past, today he wasn't
getting along with the checkout process. Confusion happened in both
directions: the shopper didn't understand what the site was trying to
tell him and the site definitely didn't understand what he wanted."
Are We Measuring the Wrong Assumptions?
By Jared Spool.
"Picking the right assumptions to measure against can improve our
results, but basing our measures on the wrong assumptions can send us
in the wrong direction..."
Usability Evaluators: Reliable as Radiologists?
By Jeff Sauro.
"Different usability teams find different problems in websites and
applications. Would you get different diagnoses if different
radiologists read your X-ray or MRI? It turns out you would. While
there is a lot of room for improvement in the reliability of usability
evaluations, much of the variability is due to human judgment--a
problem that also plagues the medical field."
Web Design World
October 18-20, 2010.
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.
Learn Web Design - Free Tutorial Videos
By Ryan Carson.
"We've been adding a ton of videos to Think Vitamin Membership so I
though it'd be useful to give you all a list.."
Accessing Nav Drop-Downs
By Roger Hudson.
"Recently I came across a site that has a less than accessible
horizontal main navigation bar with drop-down menus containing links
to the different pages in each section. This got me thinking once
again about the use of drop-downs from an accessibility
Web Management's Biggest Issue: Confusing Menus and Links
By Gerry McGovern.
"No other single factor causes greater customer frustration and
dissatisfaction than confusing menus and links."
+08: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
BBC Questions HTML5
By Alastair Campbell.
"Whilst I don't think that 'HTML5 is starting to sail off-course',
that's because its being dragged (kicking and screaming) onto
course... Some aspects (notably accessibility) are not 'common'
scenarios, but they are requirements for public organisations such as
the BBC. Unless HTML5 can provide a complete (or at least sufficient)
solution, it is going to be difficult for large organisations to adopt
Please Don't Resize My Browser Window
By Roger Johansson.
"...Resizing my browser window to make sure it fills up my entire
screen will not make me focus on your pretty pictures or admire your
wicked design. What it will do is make me close down the tab or window
that contains your site, resize my window back to the size it had
before you started messing with it, and never come back again if I can
Best Practices for Writing Interface Text
By Tom Johnson.
"In this ongoing series on organizing content, we've shifted from
organizing help outside the interface to organizing help inside the
interface. Moving help inside the interface has many advantages, and
there are plenty of best practices for style and format. But the
biggest shift in perspective, which I argued in my last post, is to
stop differentiating between the interface and the help content. The
interface is mostly text. It is an orchestra of words on a page that
users rely on to navigate and understand the application's content..."
New Study - Gender Differences in Web Usability
By Frank Spillers.
"The worldwide study adds some key insights into the growing research
on gender differences on the Web and in particular around social
SMIL: A Way to Make An Ideal Web-Presentation.
By Rob Johnson.
"SMIL (Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language) is an XML
application, created by the W3C Consortium. The most recent SMIL
standard version is 2.0, and it has been released on 7 August 2001.
Its main purpose was to define a language optimal for writing
interactive multimedia presentations, also with support of reusing the
syntax and semantics of SMIL to ther XML languages, such as XHTML..."
[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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+ 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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