[webdev] Web Design Update: March 18, 2011
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Fri Mar 18 04:59:24 CDT 2011
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 9, Issue 38, March 18, 2011.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web
design and development.
++ISSUE 38 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.
04: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
06: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
09: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Source Order and Display Order Should Match
By Roger Johansson.
"Years ago, when using CSS for layout was still rather new, one of the
common arguments for using CSS instead of tables for layout was that
it enables you to change the layout order without editing your
The Lost Accessibility Audience
By Gary Barber.
"It's become apparent we really aren't focusing much on the
accessibility needs of our aged population; and by aged I'm dumping
middle-aged people like me in that group to - that's anyone 40+..."
Accessibility and You
By Mark Jackson.
"This week, I was asked to participate in a pitch for a website
redesign project by a large agency that currently has no search engine
optimization personnel or partnership in place..."
Colleges Discriminate Against the Blind With Google Apps, Advocates Say
By Marc Parry.
"Many colleges find Google's free e-mail and word-processing services
irresistible. Blind professors and students find them to be something
else: inaccessible. That's the accusation of a civil-rights complaint
filed today against New York University and Northwestern, two
institutions that recently adopted the suite of free software services
known as Google Apps for Education. The National Federation of the
Blind wants the Justice Department to investigate both universities
for discriminatory behavior that allegedly violates the Americans With
Adoption of Google Apps Program Discriminates Against the Blind
By National Federation of the Blind of Greater Louisville.
"...The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the oldest and largest
nationwide organization of blind people in the United States, today
requested that the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights
Division, investigate civil rights violations committed by New York
University (NYU) and Northwestern University against blind faculty and
students. The NFB made the request because the schools have adopted
technology that is not accessible to the blind. Both universities have
recently adopted Google Apps for Education as a means of providing
e-mail and collaboration tools to students and faculty..."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
Browser Support for CSS3: What's the Current Status?
By Louis Lazaris.
"...I thought it would be a good idea to summarize where CSS3 stands
as far as browser support goes, so you can feel comfortable making
decisions about what to use or abuse when incorporating CSS3 into new
CSS3 Linear Gradients
By Chris Mills.
"This article shows you how to use CSS3 linear gradients, newly
supported in Opera 11.10, to add special effects to your design work."
CSS3 Multi-Column Layout
By Molly E. Holzschlag.
"Multiple column design that allows text to flow naturally from column
to column depending on width and other parameters has proven
invaluable in print design, crossing languages, cultures and a range
of media. The good news is that now it is coming to web design,
courtesy of the CSS3 Multi-column Layout Module. In this article we
show you how to get to grips with it."
+03: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Usability Testing: How to Statistically Compare the Usability of
By Tim Fidgeon.
"Usability testing can be used to quantify usability. This can allow
you to compare a site's statistical performance before and after a
re-design, in order to find out if it has improved. This method is not
perfect, but can be very useful..."
DIY Usability Testing - Steve Krug Explains It All For You
By Michiel Berger.
"...Steve makes the argument you should do the usability testing
yourself. Most sites aren't tested, because it costs money, time, and
it's hard to find professionals to do it. So Steve will show how to do
The Three Greatest Survey Questions Ever
By Avinash Kaushik.
"...What is the purpose of your visit to our website today?...Were you
able to complete your task today?...If you were not able to complete
your task today, why not?..."
How Well Can Users Predict Task-Level Usability?
By Jeff Sauro.
"Ask a user to complete a task and they can tell you how difficult it
was to complete. But can a user tell you how difficult the task will
be without even attempting it? It turns out the task description
reveals much of the task's complexity, so users can predict actual
task ease and difficulty reasonably well..."
+04: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
Personas Are For Hippies...and Transformation and Focus
By Leisa Reichelt.
"...I reckon personas are the best known but most misunderstood and
misused tool in the UX toolkit. Don't throw your personas out
necessarily but see how you can incrementally improve how they're made
Jeff Jaffe Interview New CEO Wants Faster, More Relevant W3C
By Stephen Shanklan.
"Jeff Jaffe's job requires both patience and impatience. Patience,
because the World Wide Web Consortium--of which he's been chief
executive for nearly a year--is an unwieldy standards group trying to
encompass the disparate agendas of dozens of companies. And
impatience, because if the W3C doesn't move fast enough, the Web will
move on without it..."
A Short Interview with Jonathan Whiting
By Ted Drake.
"I had the opportunity to chat with Jonathan Whiting of WebAIM today
at the CSUN conference in San Diego. He had just finished speaking
about HTML5 Accessibility. I asked him about the current status of
HTML5 and the future..."
+06: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
IE9 and the Future of the Web
By Russ Weakley.
"Well...IE9 is finally here. For those that have not seen the
promotional videos or downloaded the browser, you can find out more at
beautyoftheweb. I suppose the key question is, 'how will this browser
affect the web'? There seems to be a fair amount of focus on two
Accessibility of HTML5 and Rich Internet Applications
By Jared Smith, Jonathan Whiting, Hans Hillen, and Steve Faulkner.
The Sherpas are Here
By Aaron Gustafson.
"Today, I am very proud to announce the launch of our newest endeavor:
Web Standard Sherpa. This project has been the better part of a year
in the making and we're really excited to see it finally launch..."
Web Accessibility Toolbar 2011
By Steve Faulkner.
"In honour of Jim Thatcher's important and continuing contribution to
making the web a more accessible medium, I have worked on an update to
the Web Accessibility Toolbar for Internet Explorer, which includes
new features that he has developed..."
The Redesign Disease
By Dmitry Fadeyev.
"A redesign is a symptom of a disease. A good design works to make the
thing perform well and to communicate how it works to the user. It's
an expression of function. A well designed thing is beautiful to us
precisely because its design is optimal for its purpose - its form is
in harmony with its function. A good design doesn't need a refresh or
a redesign unless the function dramatically changes. If the changes
are subtle, the design should be able to accommodate them
effortlessly. What we're seeing though with website redesigns around
the Web isn't a change in function, but a change in style..."
The Price of Doing Businenss on the Web
By Gerry McGovern.
"The Web dictates that you put the customer first. That means taking
on more complexity yourself..."
Usability is Dead, It's the Experience or Nothing
By Gary Barber.
"What happens when the usability of a system is bad, can the overall
(user) experience of the system save the day?..."
Can Hated Design Elements Be Made to Work?
By Jakob Nielsen.
"Once users reject a design technique due to repeated bad experiences
it's almost impossible to use it for good because people will avoid it
[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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+ 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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