[webdev] Web Design Update: September 15, 2011
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Thu Sep 15 06:33:35 CDT 2011
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 10, Issue 12, September 15, 2011.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web
design and development.
++ISSUE 12 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.
10: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
The Difference Between Inclusive Design and Accessibility
By Sandi Wassmer.
"...the whole premise of Inclusive Design has been misunderstood. Have
people become so desensitised to the term Accessibility that Inclusive
Design has been swapped out because it sounds more palatable? I hope
not...Web accessibility is about human rights. Inclusive design is
about making a product fit for purpose..."
Web Accessibility: Required, Not Optional
By Karine Joly.
" Did you get the memo on website accessibility? With the latest legal
and regulatory developments, you'd better make sure you did. The time
is now for web accessibility in higher education..."
Enhanced Accessibility in Docs, Sites and Calendar
By T.V. Raman.
"This fall, as classrooms fill with the hustle and bustle of a new
semester, more students than ever will use Google Apps to take
quizzes, write essays and talk to classmates. Yet blind students (like
blind people of all ages) face a unique set of challenges on the web.
Members of the blind community rely on screen readers to tell them
verbally what appears on the screen. They also use keyboard shortcuts
to do things that would otherwise be accomplished with a mouse, such
as opening a file or highlighting text..."
Google Announced and Took the Wraps Off What's Been Dubbed "Enhanced
Accessibility in Google Docs"
By Kevin Chao.
"Google has optimized Google Chrome, ChromeVox, and Docs to work very
well together. This locked-in and non-universal design towards
accessibility should be avoided at all possible costs, which results
in not as many people using it due to the need to use a different
environment for particular task. One of the many benefits to a cloud
solution, such as Docs is the anywhere access on anything, which
ranges from desktops to mobiles, which Docs accessibility is far from.
Please, Google, there really needs to be real accessibility present,
which includes effectiveness, efficiency, and equal level of access.
No more of this Google accessibility, which is half-baked at best."
JetBlue Court Ruling Appealed
By Law Office of Lainey Feingold.
"The Plaintiffs in the accessibility case against JetBlue Airways have
filed a Notice of Appeal in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The
Notice is the first step in appealing the District Court's August 3,
2011 order that threw the case out of court..."
Language of Parts: Accessibility for Web Writers, Part 12
By Dey Alexander.
"If you use foreign language words or phrases in your content, you
should identify them by using the appropriate language attribute in
the markup for your page. This will ensure that.."
Rough Guide: Browsers, Operating Systems and Screen Reader Support
By Steve Faulkner.
"When testing various aspects of support for new HTML5, WAI-ARIA
features and HTML features in general I often test browsers that do
not have practical support for screen readers on a particular
operating system and find they have support for feature X, but lack
support for feature Y that is required to enable practical support to
web content for screen reader users. While it is interesting to
discover successful implementations of discrete features, it needs to
be viewed in the broader context of which browsers can be considered
usable with popular OS level screen readers. I found it difficult to
get a complete understanding from the resources available on the web,
but have put together a high level support table based on information
I could glean. If you have any further information or find any
inaccuracies please comment."
Accessible PDF #2
By Royal National Institute of Blind (RNIB).
"This is the second in a series of posts to help you make your PDF
files accessible. In the last post we described some of the document
properties necessary for overall accessibility. Now we go on to
resolving issues within the document content..."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
Access to Literacy
By Wayne Dick.
"...Access to typographic style is the single most important need of
visual readers with low vision...What Can You Do? Test alternative
style sheets on your web pages...Don't use inline styles.. Never use
'!important'. Design with the goal in mind that some people will be
viewing your page in a visual format you never imagined, and part of
your job is to help them...Do not choose PDF or use Flash to convey
textual content. These file formats are not accessible for VR/LV."
Screen Readers, List Items and list-style:none
By Roger Johansson.
"It's more or less common practice these days to use real HTML lists
when what you're marking up makes logical sense as a list. If you
don't want it to look like a standard ordered or unordered list,
that's easy to fix with a bit of CSS. The underlying semantics will
still be there for people using browsers without CSS support or screen
readers. But will it? The short answer is no, not always..."
CSS Play - Focus on Images
By Stu Nicholls.
"Whilst producing my previous demo I cam across a way to have :focus,
which is allowed on elements that accept keyboard events or other user
inputs, to be applied to other elements..."
When Using IDs can be a Pain in the Class
By Harry Roberts.
"There have been a few articles flying about lately which tell you
never to use IDs in CSS selectors. I always get a little concerned
when articles like this command rather than advise, they often neglect
to take into account context and necessity. I'm going to try and offer
up one decent reason here as to why IDs might trip you up
unnecessarily (and how you can avoid the pitfalls)..."
Viewport and Media Queries
By Shi Chuan, Paul Irish, Divya Manian.
"The Complete Idiot's Guide"
Un-fixing Fixed Elements with CSS Transforms
By Eric A. Meyer.
"In the course of experimenting with some new artistic scripts to
follow up 'Spinning the Web', I ran across an interesting interaction
between positioning and transforms..."
Turning Web Pages Into Apps With Dreamweaver CS5.5
By David Karlins.
"David Karlins, author of Adobe Creative Suite 5 Web Premium How-Tos:
100 Essential Techniques, concludes his three-part miniseries on how
to get mobile with Dreamweaver. This article walks through the
relatively easy process of turning a mobile-friendly web page into an
app that runs on iOS or Android..."
+04: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Debating the Fundamentals: The Geographic, Temporal and Political
Nature of Usability Heuristics
By Alex Faaborg.
"Usability heuristics are each hailed as irrefutably true. They serve
as our shared vocabulary for expressing why an interface is good or
bad, and as an effective tool for teaching people about interactive
design. In isolation, each heuristic presents an obvious path towards
creating an optimal design. Showing feedback is better than not
showing feedback, providing access to help is better than not
providing access to help, and preventing an error is better than not
preventing an error..."
February 1-4, 2012.
An Event Apart Seattle
April 2-4, 2012.
Seattle, Washingon, U.S.A.
April 20-21, 2012.
Washington, District of Columbia, U.S.A.
By Vlad Alexander.
"Google is developing a programming language called Dart that is
problems which cannot be fixed. Also, Dart is designed to make a clean
By Alex Russell.
There's very little public information yet about Dart (nee, Dash), and
as I'm not on Lars' team I can't comment about it. More details will
be forthcoming at the GOTO session next month. I'll also be at GOTO,
Real Life Responsive Design: Ethan Marcotte (Podcast)
By Paul Boag.
"We have all read articles on responsive design. However, when you put
theory into practice things are never as simple as they first appear.
Fortunately you can always ask Ethan Marcotte for help!"
Radio Johnny: Steve Krug Applies Common Sense to UX (Podcast)
By Jeff Parks.
"Today on Radio Johnny, Jeff Parks talks with Steve Krug about his
experiences and insights doing usability testing for over 20 years for
a variety of clients such as Apple, Lexus, NPR, Bloomberg and many
What It's Like to Really Blindly Use an ATM (Video)
By Jasper van Kuijk.
Blind film critic Tommy Edison shows us what it is like for him to use
this ATM machine for the first time. "'Find hole below? How far below?
Is this a hole? No, that's not it. That doesn't feel like a hole at
all! I'll just start sticking the plug anywhere..." In case you're
wondering: it takes eleven minutes, and that includes one
unintentional almost-withdrawal of 40.000 dollars. Unfortunately this
man would be referred to by many interaction designers as a 'corner'
or 'edge case."
The Web Standards Hoedown (Video)
By Bruce Lawson.
"...the Opera Developer Relations Team annual meet-up was an
opportunity for Andreas Bovens (banjo), Daniel Davis (ukular missile),
Chris Mills (vocals, desk-drumming) and me (guitar) to play together."
+08: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
A Snapshot on What Designers Should Know about HTML5 and CSS3
By Jared M. Spool.
"This article is an excerpt from an interview that Jared Spool had
with Stephanie (Sullivan) Rewis and Greg Rewis. You can hear the full
interview on their podcast or read their transcript."
The Scoped Attribute (HTML5)
By Jack Osborne.
"The scoped attribute for the <style> element allows you to include
styles mid-document that target specific elements. Depending upon how
you look at this, it'll either be a godsend or a curse. Once you've
reached the end of this article, I hope you can form your own
How to Embed Video Using HTML5
By Justin Whitney.
"...The complexity of HTML5 arises not from the syntax, but from
browser support and video encoding. Web developers are used to
struggling with browser compatibility, but you also have
wider-than-usual disagreement among browser vendors regarding codec
standards. In order to build a successful HTML5 site, you'll need to
take into account how modern browsers like Chrome 4, Firefox 4 and
Internet Explorer 9 implement HTML5 video Web standards as well as how
to handle how users view video in legacy browsers..."
Do Users Change Their Settings?
By Jared Spool.
"...What we found was really interesting. Less than 5% of the users we
surveyed had changed any settings at all. More than 95% had kept the
settings in the exact configuration that the program installed in...If
you're a programmer or designer, then you're not like most people.
Just because you change your settings in apps you use doesn't mean
that your users will, unless they are also programmers and
New Form Techniques Proven to Save Time and Money
"...There are a couple of innovative form techniques that can save
users time and companies a lot money. A unified text field unites
multiple form fields into a single text field so that users can type
all the information asked at once. A location automation field
automatically fills in the city and state fields after you enter the
How Long Do Users Stay on Web Pages?
By Jakob Nielsen.
"Users often leave Web pages in 10-20 seconds, but pages with a clear
value proposition can hold people's attention for much longer because
visit - durations follow a negative Weibull distribution."
If You Want to Hide it, Emphasize It
By Gerry McGovern.
"On a website, lines are like walls, boxes are liked closed buildings
and anything constructed to catch the eye is perceived as a marketing
Bad Interfaces - Technology Leading the Way
By Gary Barber.
"...Still I have to wonder sometimes if the teams behind the surveys
are really understanding their audience that is completing the survey
in the first place...."
Breaking Development: Pragmatic Responsive Design
By Luke Wroblewski.
"In her Pragmatic Responsive Design presentation at Breaking
Development in Nashville TN, Stephanie Rieger walked through a
detailed overview of building an adaptive Web experience for hundreds
of devices. Here are my notes from her talk..."
RESS: Responsive Design + Server Side Components
By Luke Wroblewski.
"There's no shortage of debate about the best way to develop Web sites
that work well across many networked devices. Some teams favor a
client-side approach while others lean towards server-side solutions.
But I'm increasingly interested in solutions that try to bring
together the best of both worlds. RESS (Responsive Web Design + Server
Side Components) is one such proposal..."
Responsive Design Flipping the Coin
By Niels Matthijs.
"Responsive design is all the rage these days, and with good reason.
The concept itself is a solid (though not very flexible) solution when
dealing with different devices under different circumstances. In
theory responsive design allows us to provide tailored experiences
using only one single html code base and some fancy css an maybe some
Responsive Web Design, Most Complete Guide
"If you've been working in the web design field for the past couple of
years you should know that designing a fixed interface for a
widescreen computer is not enough. Most of the clients you'll be
dealing with from now are going to request that their site is not only
desktop-compliant but is also optimized for smartphones and tablets.
This issue presents the necessity of working with different screen
resolutions in order to guarantee that a website looks good in all
sorts of devices. But if the devices' production continues at the same
speed that it has for the past couple of years, the amount of screen
resolutions and formats that designers will have to deal with is going
to become unbearable. On this article we'll be discussing one of the
most effective solutions to face this problem with a certain easiness,
we're of course talking about responsive web design."
[Section one ends.]
++ SECTION TWO:
+10: 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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