[webdev] Web Design Update: April 16, 2011
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Sat Apr 16 04:46:11 CDT 2011
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 9, Issue 42, April 16, 2011.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web
design and development.
++ISSUE 42 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.
06: SITES & BLOGS.
07: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
09: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Keyboard Accessibility (again)
By Roger Johansson.
"I feel like a broken record (you know, the really old ones made of
vinyl) repeating myself over and over about keyboard accessibility,
but unfortunately things don't really seem like they're getting
better. There are so many places on the Web that are annoying,
difficult or plain impossible to use without a mouse. And it really
shouldn't be that way..."
Getting Accessibility Testing Right
By Leonie Watson.
"When it comes to accessibility testing, there are three approaches.
Automated testing, manual testing and user centred testing. All three
have their uses, and all three have their limitations. Understanding
how they fit together is the key to successful accessibility
The Art of Accessibility
By James Edwards.
"Some designers and developers object to having to cater for
accessibility. The argument I've heard most often is that the demands
of accessibility are too restrictive, limit creativity, or undermine
design aesthetics. In other words, accessibility limits artistic
freedom, and that's unacceptable. I could try to refute that on the
grounds of practical ethics - the aesthetic preferences of one are
simply not important, when stacked up against the functional needs of
another. But there's another way of looking at it, less likely to be
seen as an accusation, and perhaps more strongly resonant with the
nature of the creative mind; and it's this - a restriction is also an
inspiration; an issue is an idea..."
As Schools Shift to Google Apps, Blind Students Object
By Mark Jaycox.
"Universities increasingly outsource e-mail and other services to
companies like Google-but if Google's software isn't usable by all
students, are the schools breaking the law?..."
Web Accessibility - 10 Common Developer Mistakes
By Joseph C. Dolson.
"The most common mistakes made in web accessibility have more to do
with a failure to understand what constitutes accessible content than
with a failure to understand the technology. In order to avoid gross
web accessibility errors, understand one fundamental concept of web
accessibility: What you see is not what you get. "
Caption It Yourself - Basic Guidelines for Busy Teachers, Families,
and Others Who Shoot Their Own Video
By Bill Stark.
"Captions (sometimes called 'subtitles') are the textual
representation of a video's soundtrack. They are critical for viewers
who are deaf or hard of hearing, and they are also a great tool for
improving the reading and listening skills of others. If you upload
video to the Web, and that video includes sound, you should always
include a text alternative, such as captions. As an added bonus, since
most captioning for the Web relies on text, providing captions for
your videos will ensure that they are indexed by search engines more
quickly and accurately, meaning your video will reach more people."
How Blind People See the Internet
By John Herrman.
"Your eyes are absorbing this Web page. They're passing over this,
this, then this word, right now... But for millions of others - those
who are unable to see - the Web is a wildly different place.
Characters become sounds. Layouts are meaningless. Images are, at
best, words and, at worst, blank spaces. And yet the blind browse the
same Internet as everyone else, every day. They use the same gadgets
the sighted do, and happily. But how?..."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
Attribute Selectors - They're Unicorns and Rainbows
By Virginia DeBolt.
There are many types of selectors in CSS. If you're still making your
way through the darkness with nothing more than a few element
selectors, a few classes, some ids, and the occasional pseudo
selector, you need to find your way into the light with attribute
Seeing the Matrix()
by Eric A. Meyer.
"Over the weekend, Aaron Gustafson and I created a tool for anyone who
wants to resolve a series of CSS transforms into a matrix() value
representing the same end state. Behold: The Matrix Resolutions. (You
knew that was coming, right?) It should work fine in various browsers,
though due to the gratuitous use of keyframe animations on the html
element's multiple background images it looks best in WebKit
Safe CSS Defaults
By Divya Manian.
"You know those nights when you race towards a deadline, banging out
the CSS as fast as you can, there comes a moment when you
pause…wondering what keyword would get rid of that z-index on that
anchor, then you make the best guess you can, and type..."
+03: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Why Not Use Personas?
By David Anderson.
"I'm a big fan of Indi Young's Mental Models. Once you've seen and
actually held in your hands one of the diagrams that comes out of her
process, you'll realize just how flawed personas are..."
Good Experience Live (GEL) Conference
April 28-29, 2011.
New York, New York, U.S.A.
Two Apps Per Day: iOS App Design Workshop For Web Designers
April 30, 2011.
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) Conference
May 26, 2011.
Missoula, Montana, U.S.A.
By Ivo Wetzel and Zhang Yi Jiang.
advice to avoid common mistakes, subtle bugs, as well as performance
encounter on their endeavors into the depths of the language..."
+06: SITES & BLOGS.
Attention, Message, Action
By David Anderson.
A blog about content strategy in higher ed.
+07: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS
HTML5 Document Outline Revisited
By Roger Johansson.
"Since posting HTML5 sectioning elements, headings, and document
outlines I've received a fair amount of feedback about my reasoning.
None of the feedback I got has made me change my mind about how to use
the sectioning elements in HTML5. So going forward, these are my
The Ultimate HTML5 Tutorials and Useful Techniques
By Dzine Press.
"We always prefer new technology and techniques for make better
performance in our work, we're talking about new new fundamental
markup language for the web - HTML5 that you all love so much. HTML5
is giving web designers and developers new capabilities in the world
of web development. With the presence of HTML5, web application
development will be more fun..."
Are Doctypes the New Lunch Tables?
By Jrffery Zeldman.
"Viewing source has gotten pretty rad these days! Looking around the
web, a good command + u (yes, I use Firefox/Mac) can provide an
afternoon of exciting show and tell. One thing I like to look into is
at which DTD table everyone is sitting these days. When the HTML5
doctype was introduced, some folks grabbed it and never looked back to
the land of system identifiers again; others were cool with rocking a
doctype that has been working for them for the last decade or so. This
has caused some separation between those who see the choice as the
past versus those who see it as the future. The cool table versus the
Information Production Explodes, Consumption Stagnates
By Gerry McGovern.
"...In modern societies, the challenge is not freedom of information
but rather freedom from the unimaginable quantities of low level,
useless, distracting and confusing information that is being produced
at ever increasing speeds. As the long tail grows it becomes harder
and harder to find the long neck."
Incompetent Research Skills Curb Users' Problem Solving
By Jakob Nielsen.
"Users increasingly rely on individual pages listed by search engines
instead of finding better ways to tackle problems."
The New 'Redesign Must Die' Talk
By Louis Rosenfeld.
"This presentation is an updated version of my old Redesign Must Die
talk, given a few years back. I think that the only slide to survive
this redesign... (cough) new version is the infamous one featuring the
kittens. If you care nothing for redesign and only for kittens, jump
ahead to slide #5."
Less is Not Always More
By Gary Barber.
"...I have been noticing a very frightening tread. In an effort to
make things more usable, we are designing interfaces without the very
functions used to support usability in the first place..."
By Dmitry Fadeyev.
"...Here’s a quick test you can do on a web design to see whether it
may have these problems: take the content out and see what’s left.
This will expose all the interface 'chrome' as it were—the interface
that lives outside of content rather than being derived from content.
Here are a couple, somewhat extreme, examples..."
[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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