[webdev] Web Design Update: December 4, 2009
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Fri Dec 4 06:22:07 CST 2009
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 8, Issue 23, December 4, 2009.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 23 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.
06: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
10: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
14: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Accessible Online Video for Keyboard-Only Users
By Trenton Moss.
"When making accessible online video we all tend to think about the
needs of blind and deaf users, concentrating on subtitles and
transcripts. These features, while essential, can be time-consuming and
technically difficult to implement, and are still only part of the
accessibility job. An oft-forgotten group, when it comes to accessible
online video, is the motor impaired and particularly keyboard-only
Dear Taylor Swift
By Andy Clark.
"...I just had to write...But I'm sad that your web site lets some of
your most important fans and -those who have special needs - down, in
ways that you might not realize. Not that I blame you, you're an
artist, not a web designer or developer..."
Accessibility: How Many Disabled Web Users Are There?
By Joseph C. Dolson.
"...General statistics about disabilities, however, are extensive.
Ecommerce merchants would be well-served to consider these statistics
as they work to better understand their audience of potential
JAWS Ate My Tables
By Jared Smith.
"...There's little that developers can do about this issue. They should
continue marking up data tables for accessibility as best as they can
and transition away from using tables for layout. Additionally, screen
reader users can use NVDA or another screen reader that handles tables
PDF Accessibility Presentations
Numerous Videos and eSeminars on PDF accessibility.
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
Remembering: The CSS3 Multi-Column Layout Module
By Inayaili de Leon.
"Because I will not shut up about CSS3, this time I've decided to show
you a little bit of the multi-column layout module. This module allows
you to layout the content of an element in multiple columns, like
flowing text on a newspaper-type layout..."
Have a Field Day with HTML5 Forms
By Inayaili de Leon.
"Forms are usually seen as that obnoxious thing we have to markup and
style. I respectfully disagree: forms (on a par with tables) are the
most exciting thing we have to work with. Here we're going to take a
look at how to style a beautiful HTML5 form using some advanced CSS and
latest CSS3 techniques. I promise you will want to style your own forms
after you've read this article."
Use A Background Image In Your CSS? Remember To Specify A Backup Colour
By Roger Johansson.
"Whenever you specify a background image in your CSS, consider what
happens if the image is missing. If there is text on top of the image,
is it still readable? If not, specify a colour for the browser to use
instead of the image so the text becomes readable again."
Working With RGBA Colour
By Drew McLellan.
"...CSS3 introduces a couple of new ways to specify colours, and one of
those is RGBA. The A stands for Alpha, which refers to the level of
opacity of the colour, or to put it another way, the amount of
transparency. This means that we can set not only the red, green and
blue values, but also control how much of what's behind the colour
shows through. Like with layers in Photoshop..."
+04: EVALUATION & TESTING.
SUS: How to Easily Grade Your Site's Usability
By Jens Meiert.
"The System Usability Scale (SUS) is a Likert scale-based questionnaire
to grade the usability of systems. SUS questionnaire results are used
to calculate a score between 0 and 100, with 100 indicating 'best'
Measure User Experience
By Tim Bosenick.
"Qualitative studies allow receiving quick and valid feedback that is
needed during the development process of an interface. Another reason
is that qualitative tests are usually cheaper than tests with a larger
sample size. But this larger sample size is needed when it comes to
really measure user experience."
Tech Talk: Making PDF files comply with Section 508
December 09, 2009.
California Web Accessibility Conference (CalWAC)
February 8-10, 2010.
Santa Clara, California, U.S.A.
April 27-30, 2010.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
An Event Apart - Boston
May 24-25, 2010.
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Usability Professionals' Association - International Conference
May 24-28, 2010.
+06: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
Heretical Ideas - Stop Using Wireframes
By Gary Barber.
"...what are the pluses and minuses for using wireframes within a small
Using 3D Models for Wireframe Effects
By Scott Valentine.
"...Here's a simple way to use 3D models for wireframe and blueprint
effects. You'll need the extended version of Photoshop CS3 or CS4 for
CS and IA Unite Already, Will Ya!
By Ian Alexander.
"Content Strategy is not Copywriting. Design is not Window Dressing.
Information Architecture is not Boxes and Arrows..."
By Ed Finkler.
"PHP developers have typically worn a few hats. Few of us are 'pure'
PHP developers, where we only write PHP and don't scribble together
on occasion. A lot of us-myself included-came to PHP as a way of adding
new functionality to our flat HTML web sites, and PHP's roots as a
language that intermingles with HTML are a big reason for its
popularity. It's likely that PHP wouldn't be as useful as it is on the
web if it wasn't driven by the practical needs of front-end developers."
Please Start from the Beginning... with Eric Meyer (Video)
By Ryan Taylor.
Ryan Taylor interviews Eric Meyer.
Tantek Celik on Microformats and the Webz
By Lachlan Hunt.
"Tantek Celik sat down for a chat with Lachy about the current state of
microformats on the Web, taking a look at which microformats are in use
on some high profile sites, and others that are currently under
development. He also discusses his proposed alternative for the highly
controversial profile attribute from HTML4.01, now absent from HTML5..."
Making Design Principles Stick
By Kate Rutter.
"Creating great experiences requires making choices that serve both
users and the organization. And this means constantly making
trade-offs. With so many possibilities and so many great ideas out
there, it's an ongoing challenge to make the choices and decisions
necessary to design a coherent product experience. So what tools are
helpful in guiding decisions that will deliver a great product? One of
the tools in the Adaptive Path tool belt is design principles."
If Your Customer Falls In The Forest of Your Website
By Gerry McGovern.
"...Again and again, people talk about their time. I don't ask them. I
ask them to carry out top tasks on the website, and they just start
talking about their time. They get so annoyed when they feel their time
is being wasted..."
+10: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
HTML 5 Syntax
By Roger Johansson.
HTML 5 does not have the same strict syntax rules that XHTML does,
which opens up for problems in teams of developers and makes teaching
HTML more difficult.
The HTML5 Syntax Options Problem
By Robert Nyman.
"Usually blog posts with the words 'problem', 'considered harmful' and
similar are just crying foul, but I would like to bring up something I
actually believe is/will become a real problem: HTML5 syntax options..."
Manifests for Exposing the Structure of a Composite Media Resource
By Silvia Pfeiffer.
"In the previous post I explained that there is a need to expose the
tracks of a time-linear media resource to the user agent (UA). Here, I
want to look in more detail at different possibilities of how to do so,
their advantages and disadvantages..."
Minimized HTML5 Attributes, Selectors and jQuery
By Chris Casciano.
"After working with some HTML5 web forms attributes on a small project
I have come to the conclusion that for now it is best to..."
Breaking Out The Edges of The Browser
By Remy Sharp.
"HTML5 contains more than just the new entities for a more meaningful
fact, that some APIs have outgrown the HTML5 spec's backyard and have
been sent away to grow up all on their own and been given the
prestigious honor of being specs in their own right..."
Font Size Matters
By Glenda Sims.
"If you want people to actually read the content on your web site, what
font size should you use? How I long for a guideline for minimum font
size for both usability and accessibility..."
Bulletproof @font-face Syntax
By Paul Irish.
"Let me introduce you to the best way to do your @font-face
10 Usability Crimes You Really Shouldn't Commit
By Chris Spooner.
"Over time certain conventions and best practices have been developed
to help improve the general usability of websites during their design
and build. This roundup of ten usability crimes highlights some of the
most common mistakes or overlooked areas in web design and provides an
alternative solution to help enhance the usability of your website..."
Web Form Design: Adobe's Error Messages
By Luke Wroblewski.
"While good Web form design can help minimize the potential for errors,
sometimes people will misunderstand or rush through our forms and
mistakes may happen. When they do, Web forms should be prepared to deal
with these errors quickly and gracefully..."
Deciding When Graphics Will Help (and When They Won't)
By Jared Spool.
"...Yet graphics don't come without cost. We recommend teams, looking
to deliver high value, focus on delivering navigation and content
graphics. Resist the temptation for ornamental graphics."
By Dmitry Fadeyev.
"...User interface patterns and conventions can, and should, be broken,
provided one criterion is met: the new solution is better at its task
than the one it replaces. Innovation by definition must introduce some
new way of doing things, and it's often impossible to do this without
breaking the old norms..."
A Zing Too Far
By Jeffery Zeldman.
"...XHTML, with its clearer and stricter rules, came out just as many
of us were rediscovering semantic markup and learning of its rich value
in promoting content. It wasn't a coincidence that we took this W3C
specification seriously and helped promote it to our readers,
colleagues, etc. The stricter, clearer rules of XHTML 1.0 helped
enforce a new mindset among web designers and developers, who had
previously viewed HTML as an 'anything goes' medium (because browsers
treated it that way, still do, and quite probably always will; indeed
HTML5 codifies this, and that's not necessarily a bad thing)..."
[Section one ends.]
++ SECTION TWO:
+16: 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