[webdev] Web Design Update: October 16, 2009
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Fri Oct 16 06:44:53 CDT 2009
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 8, Issue 16, October 16, 2009.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 16 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.
11: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
16: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Perspectives on Web Accessibility
"Along with the redesigned W3C website, we have a new Accessibility
page that introduces the what, why, where, and how of web
accessibility. Read what it says about how the impact of disabilities
can be radically changed for people using the Web when websites, web
technologies, and web tools are properly designed."
Google Wave Preview Accessibility Review
By Jared Smith.
"Totally inaccessible...In short, the potential for Google Wave to
streamline and enhance communication for people with disabilities,
especially screen reader users, is great. Could Google Wave be made
accessible? I believe it could be..."
Improve Your Keyboard Accessibility
By Roger Johansson.
"One of my pet peeves is websites that aren't keyboard friendly. I've
been on about it in posts like Don't forget keyboard navigation and Do
not remove the outline from links and form controls..."
Call for Law to Improve Websites for Disabled
By Tom Espiner.
"European information commissioner Viviane Reding has proposed a
pan-European law that would ensure website accessibility for disabled
5 Accessible and Pretty CSS Tips
By Tim Nash.
"We are in the last few bits of the new site and while designing it a
major focus has been on accessibility and not just for search engines."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
Basic iPhone Styling
By Jonathan Stark.
"In this chapter, I'll show you how to apply CSS styles to a bunch of
existing HTML pages so that they are easily navigable on an iPhone. So,
in addition to moving closer to building a native app, you'll be
learning a practical (and valuable) skill that you can use immediately."
Advanced iPhone Styling
By Jonathan Stark.
"In this chapter, we'll lay the groundwork to make those same pages
behave like an iPhone app. Specifically, we'll discuss using Ajax to
turn a full website into a single page app, how to create a back button
Clip Icon and Full Screen Mode features of the iPhone to launch your
app without Mobile Safari intruding upon the user experience."
How Do I Design Web Pages for the iPhone?
By Thomas Boutell.
"Apple's iPhone is an exciting device. But how do you design web pages
specifically to look their best on the iPhone?..."
Remove the Outline from Links on :active only
By Roger Johansson.
"A few months ago I emphasized the importance of not making things
difficult for people who do not use a mouse by removing the outline
from links and form controls. If leaving the outline property at its
default is not an option for you, perhaps the technique Patrick Lauke
describes in Better CSS outline suppression could work. It's so simple
I can't believe I haven't heard or thought of it before - remove the
outline for the :active state only..."
How to Create Simple and Effective Sub Navs with Definition Lists
By Mark Otto.
"We use our extranet daily to present a lot of work to our clients and
we have several established ways of presenting that information,
including the use of a dl-powered navigation list. When we need simple
and effective on-page navigation, to either jump to content on the page
or flip to another view, we use the DL element. Its sub elements, the
DT and DD, make it very easy for us to create inline links with clear
intent and purpose."
The Great WebKit Comparison Table
By Peter-Paul Koch.
"On this page I compare 19 WebKits in order to prove that there is no
'WebKit on Mobile' and to figure out which one is the best. My hope is
that eventually I'm going to gain some insight in the 'family tree' of
CSS Differences in Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8
By Louis Lazaris.
"One of the most bizarre statistical facts in relation to browser use
has to be the virtual widespread numbers that currently exist in the
use of Internet Explorer versions 6, 7 and 8. As of this writing,
Internet Explorer holds about a 65% market share combined across all
their currently used browsers. In the web development community, this
number is much lower, showing about a 40% share..."
Using Dreamweaver Site Map View to Change or Update Links
By Charles Anderson.
"Web design software like Dreamweaver can make creating Web pages
relatively simple. Because of this, it is easy to fall into the habit
of rapidly creating pages without a lot of thought about updating them,
particularly when website links change. Dreamweaver's 'Site View'
option can help."
+04: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Do Users Fail a Task and Still Rate It As Easy?
By Jeff Sauro.
"...So do users who fail a task still rate it as easy? If we restrict
"easy" to only mean the maximum level of satisfaction, then about 14%
of users do. If we more loosely define easy as anything above 75% of
the maximum score (3.75 out of 5 and 4.9 out of 7), then this happens
about 1/3 of the time. I'm inclined to think that it's those extreme
responses that garner all the attention. There are likely a number of
reasons for the less than perfect correlation between task success and
Hard Data From Think-Aloud Tests
By Usability Advice.
"A well-executed think-aloud study can yield useful quantitative data
(for example, rate of an occurrence or behavior) as well as qualitative
data. We recommend that before you invest in more costly testing
techniques, you try collecting and analyzing the quantitative data you
may be missing from your think-aloud studies..."
Computer, Information, and Systems Sciences, and Engineering (CISSE 09)
December 4-12, 2009.
By Jeremy Keith.
"A few months ago, Jakob Nielsen wrote about password. Specifically, he
wrote about the standard practice of the contents of password fields
being masked by default. In his typical black/white, on/off,
right/wrong Boolean world view, Father Jakob called for this practice
to be abolished completely..."
By Chrysanthus Forcha.
"Did you know that the user could create his own objects, properties
and methods? This is the third and last part of a series on adding and
add and delete properties and methods at run time. After that I will
By Chrysanthus Forcha.
arrays. In this part of the series, we see how to develop the
properties and methods of our custom 2D array..."
Thoughts on the HighEdWeb 2009 Experience
By Jesse Rodgers.
"On the way home yesterday I wrote this post in my head about dozen
times. Lots buzzing around after some great discussions and some late
nights in Milwaukee. HighEdWeb is by far the best conference focused on
web technology, strategy, and networking in higher education. It isn't
because of the speakers (although some were simply amazing), it is
because it brings together people from the most diverse collection of
schools from across North America all with similar problems but
Victor Tsaran The Yahoo! Accessibility Manager (Interview)
By Tom Babinszki.
"I recently spoke with Victor Tsaran, who works as the accessibility
manager at Yahoo!. I asked him about how he started to work with the
company, what accessibility means to him personally and what Yahoo!
does to ensure the accessibility of their products. Below, you can read
what Victor says about the current Yahoo! accessibility work, and his
testimony on how accessibility makes a difference in his own life..."
The Web's Inventor Regrets One Small Thing
By Steve Lohr.
".... He would get rid of the double slash '//' after the 'http:' in
Web addresses. The double slash, though a programming convention at the
time, turned out to not be really necessary..."
Cameron Adams - Making Waves
The audio recording of Cameron Adams's Web Directions South 2009
presentation on Google Wave is available.
Kelly Goto - WorkFLOW
The audio recording of Kelly Goto's Web Directions South 2009
presentation on the FLOW Method is available.
Donna Spencer - Information Seeking Behaviors
The audio recording of Donna Spencer's Web Directions South 2009
presentation on information behaviors is available.
An Evolution of Search
By John D. Holt and David J. Miller.
"The technology of information retrieval systems continues to evolve,
and in particular, the technology of search has continued to evolve. A
new stage in the evolution of search has arrived with the advent of
entity-based searching. This paper provides a brief review of some of
the earlier stages of search evolution in the context of the
evolutionary pressures of the concurrent improvement of both precision
When Alphabetical Order Is Not Logical
By Elizabeth Buie.
"Every so often, the question comes up among interaction designers and
usability professionals regarding whether alphabetical order is a
logical order. We've all seen numerous lists that appear in
alphabetical order (and in which it makes sense): country, state,
surname, street name, auto manufacturer. We've also seen many that do
not: month, day of week, browser history, File menu."
Object Orientated Programming- The Beginning
By J. Leidago Noabeb.
"This article explores the new Object Orientated Programming that
became available in PHP 5. Get some hands-on experience as we create an
application demonstrating the concepts."
How To Write A Function In PHP
By Brandon Savage.
"For new developers, especially developers who have never been
programmers before, moving from writing simple scripts to writing
functions is a process that takes time. I developed in PHP for years
before I wrote a single function. I also never found a comprehensive
tutorial on how functions work, or how to write them. There's
documentation in the manual, but it's a bit hard to grasp if you're
new. This article is about writing functions..."
+10: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
The Future of HTML 5
By Bruce Lawson.
"At FOWA London 2009 Bruce Lawson gave an introduction to HTML 5 and
how it might be used in the future..."
Why Designers Should Care About HTML5
By Cennydd Bowles.
"...there's more to HTML5 than simply keeping our skills sharp. It
could make a big difference to the way we design for the web..."
The Coming HTML 5 Train Wreck
By Kurt Cagle.
"...My prediction? We're looking at a train wreck about to happen.
Vendors will implement those parts of the HTML 5 spec that happen to
best fulfill their own particular objectives, and will be sloppy about
implementing anything else - sloppy specs produce sloppy conformance.
We'll be back to the days of the late HTML 3 spec...My hope? At some
point in the very near future, older and wiser heads will prevail, will
take the kids out of the sandbox and take them inside for a bath, then
spend some time cleaning up the mess. There are some good ideas buried
in HTML 5, but shoveling the muck to get to them is probably not worth
An Introduction to HTML5
By Robert Nyman.
It seems like everyone is talking about HTML5 now, but the discussion
is spread out and seldom gives the background, explanation what HTML5
really is and if/when it's usable..."
YUI Theater Brad Neuberg - Introduction to HTML5
By Eric Miraglia.
"Brad Neuberg of the Google Developer programs stopped by Yahoo! last
week talk about HTML5. Brad has been hard at work on SVG Web lately,
but he covered a lot of ground in this talk, including SVG/Canvas
rendering, CSS transforms, app-cache, local databases, web workers, and
much more. Brad does a fantastic job identifying the scope and
practical implications of the changes that are coming along with HTML5
support in modern browsers. And he pulls no punches about which
browsers fall into the 'modern' category at this point."
Are We Still Arguing About Validation?
By John Foliot.
"As someone who has been teaching HTML for over a decade, I have
recollections of students (authoring in Notepad) in total panic because
they forgot to close their </table>s, and thus Netscape 3 would deliver
a blank page (Draconian error handling has a history too) - I also
remember that they only made that mistake once, and never forgot it
WebJam 2009 Talk on Video Accessibility
By Silvia Pfeiffer.
"A 3 min presentation I gave at yesterday's WebJam in Sydney on video
accessibility with the HTML5 video element - proposed tags and actual
This Week in HTML5 - Episode 37
By Mark Pilgrim.
"The big news this week is microdata. Google sponsored a usability
study on microdata syntax, which resulted in significant changes to the
dd-details Wrong Again
By Remy Sharp.
"You may recall that I blogged about legend not being so legend as the
heading element for details or figure. After enough noise was made the
spec was changed so that the heading and contents of these elements can
now be marked up using the dt/dd combo. Although not immediately
obvious why it's the right choice, it appeared to work for our needs?at
first. Of course now, it's been discovered that it's actually a pretty
for the latest CSS and HTML5 features. Essentially it tells you how
modern your browser is."
By M. Onyschuk.
"iPhone Browser Simulator provides an iPhone sized web view with which
to test your iPhone targeted apps, all in a pretty iPhone-inspired
@font-face and Performance
By Steve Souders.
"Given the high number of posts about @font-face recently, I expect
we'll see more performance issues and workarounds as we grapple with
how to use this feature in today's browsers while ensuring our users
get the fast experience they want and deserve..."
Inside User Research at YouTube
By YouTube Inc.
"If you think about watching a video online, it may seem pretty easy. A
player, a play/pause button and some content. Done. But what about if
the video is being played on a mobile phone? Or on a big screen? What
if it's being viewed in Nairobi? Or Shanghai? Now let's say it's being
viewed by someone who wants to share her thoughts on the video and by
someone who wants to do nothing more than watch more videos. Before you
know it, watching a video becomes more complicated than you realize."
Google Wave Doesn't Stop Information Overload
By Mark Hurst.
"The solution to overload isn't primarily Google Wave or any other
tool, because technology isn't the primary reason for overload. Tools
are essential, but overload is primarily a behavioral problem: on the
sending side people aren't writing clearly or acting with empathy for
the people they email to; on the receiving side, people haven't been
trained to spend five minutes a day emptying their inbox and sending
action items to a todo list..."
Stop Counting Clicks
By David Hamill.
The 3-click-rule is the Freddy Kreuger of web design advice. You think
it's finally dead and then it comes back and starts slashing up
sensible debate about usable design. I'm hoping to convince you to stop
talking about the 3-click rule. I don't mean substituting it with the
4-click rule or the 5-click rule. You should stop counting clicks as a
measure of usability altogether.
Streams, Walls, and Feeds - Distributing Content Through Social
Networks and RSS
By Jakob Nielsen.
"Users like the simplicity of messages that pass into oblivion over
time, but were frequently frustrated by unscannable writing, overly
frequent postings, and their inability to locate companies on social
The 'Search, Compare, Verify' Generation
By Gerry McGovern.
"Success on the Web is not about making customers do what you want. It
is about helping customers do what they want..."
5 Tips For Creating An Effective Call To Action Button
By Jennifer Farley.
"Call to action buttons are the best way to grab attention, but you
need to make it clear exactly what it is you want the user to do. Here
are five tips to keep in mind when designing a call to action button or
Restoring Spring to iPhone/iPod Touch Springboard
by Bruce Tognazzini.
"...In this article, I want to present a simple solution to
Springboard's current limitations, limitations that are about to
plateau app sales, costing both Apple and its developers billions of
Beyond XHTML (Keynote from SVGOpen)
By Sam Ruby.
"One of the factors limiting SVG adoption is the association with XML.
XML has been helpful in a number of ways: from providing a concrete
syntax that enables both a focus on higher level constructs and
simplifies tooling. It also has been an inhibitor in places where tight
integration with less well formed content is a necessity. This talk is
about small lessons that you can learn from the web to increase
adoption of SVG, and big lessons of the web that you will have to deal
that will be direct consequences of the 'unwashed masses' copy/pasting
SVG fragments onto MySpace pages or equivalent and expecting it to all
[Section one ends.]
++ SECTION TWO:
+15: 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.]
+ SUBSCRIPTION INFO.
WEB DESIGN UPDATE is available by subscription. For information on how
to subscribe and unsubscribe please visit:
The Web Design Reference Site also has a RSS 2.0 feed for site updates.
+ TEXT EMAIL NEWSLETTER (TEN).
As a navigation aid for screen readers we do our best to conform to the
accessible Text Email Newsletter (TEN) guidelines. Please let me know
if there is anything else we can do to make navigation easier. For TEN
guideline information please visit:
+ 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
More information about the Webdev