[webdev] Web Design Update: April 9, 2011
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Sat Apr 9 04:11:56 CDT 2011
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 9, Issue 41, April 9, 2011.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web
design and development.
++ISSUE 41 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.
10: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Between the Lines
By Catherine Roy.
"...And I think Universal Subtitles can become a great crowd sourcing
tool for captioning videos on the Web on a shoestring or totally
non-existent budget. I can truly imagine awesome volunteers dedicating
a few hours here and there to caption videos for non-profits because
many non-profits (or other cash-strapped organizations) do not
necessarily have the means and/or know-how to caption video resources.
So this can really help and I hope people will experiment and utilize
Images in Context
By Derek Featherstone.
"What is appropriate alternative text for an image? You can't really
tell until you see the image in context. In our first screencast we
look at how appropriate and accurate alt text can actually be counter
to the objectives that we have when we look at that image in context."
Design for Understanding
By Ashley Nolan.
"For users with a cognitive disability, accessing your website may be
as frustrating as trying to read a Latin version of War and Peace. Yet
for many web professionals, this type of issue is relatively unknown.
While visual and hearing problems have been on the accessibility radar
for a long time, cognitive ones are often ignored..."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
Controlling Width With CSS3 box-sizing
By Roger Johansson.
"An incredibly useful CSS3 feature when you're creating columns with
floats is box-sizing. It lets you choose which box sizing model to use
- whether or not an element's width and height include padding and
border or not..."
Multiple Background Images with CSS3
By Virginia DeBolt.
"There are two background images on the demo page. The page is a
standard Dreamweaver HTML template page, with the styles in the
document head. To add a second background image URL, the Dreamweaver
style element must be edited manually..."
Thoughts on Practices for CSS Gradients
By Tiffany B. Brown.
"Examples of CSS gradients are cropping up in the wild, and with good
reason. CSS gradients: don't require the additional HTTP request of an
image file; are easier to modify than image files; 'weigh less' than
most image files. That's the ideal, at least. In their current state,
gradients are actually a hot mess. The reality?"
Here's Something Interesting About CSS Borders
By Louis Lazaris.
"After years of developing CSS layouts and reading web design blogs
and CSS books, I still can't believe I come across things that I don't
know about super-common CSS properties..."
+03: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Making Usability Metrics Count
By Philip Hodgson.
"In spite of a proliferation of books, articles and blogs explaining
how to measure usability, few companies seem to put their usability
metrics to good use. In this article we show how you can link the
numbers from usability tests to the numbers that steer business
decisions - and in the process, influence your company's business."
Mobile User Experience
May 4-5, 2011.
London, United Kingdom
May 20-21, 2011.
Usability Professionals' Association International Conference
June 21-24, 2011.
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.
Big Design Conference
July 14-16, 2011.
Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.
By James Edwards.
under the surface is some incredibly flexible and powerful
functionality. Using sort it's possible to organise arrays, not just
into alphabetical or numerical order, but into any bespoke arrangement
we can express in conditional logic..."
By Angus Croll.
"...The comma operator evaluates both of its operands (from left to
right) and returns the value of the second operand. (MDC)..."
Accessible Tabs Part 2, The Solution
By Emily Coward.
"As we saw in Accessible Tabs Part 1 - The Problem, there are several
accessibility issues with tabs created for the web compared to those
created for use in software applications. Tabs on the web should
ideally replicate the functionality used in applications, so they are
more intuitive for everyone. In this article we will look at three
existing scripts for creating accessible tabs..."
Opinion: Should your Homepage Have Drop Down Menus?
By Nick DeNardis.
"...For me when exploring higher education sites and all the usability
studies I have done and watched with our students shows they don't use
our homepage as a directory. If they know what they are looking for
the will most likely search for it in the search form instead of
hunting through menus. But every institution's audience is different
so I would suggest doing some tests with real students and just
watching them interact with your proposed new site or other sites with
similar functionality. You may also want to split that group into one
you explicitly ask and ones you don't."
10 Super Useful PHP Snippets
By Jean-Baptiste Jung.
"Having the right code snippet at the right time can definitely be a
life saver for web developers. Today, I've compiled 10 really awesome
PHP code snippets that will, I hope, be very helpful in your
Object-Oriented PHP for Absolute Beginners
By Matt Doyle.
"This tutorial introduces you to object-oriented programming in PHP.
You'll explore the basics of object-oriented programming, and learn
how to write simple object-oriented PHP scripts."
Font Resizing Widgets: A Help or A Hindrance to Accessibility?
By Glenda Watson Hyatt.
"A font resizing widget enables your blog readers to easily increase
the font size to suit their comfort level for reading. It seems like a
handy tool to make available to readers to increase accessibility.
However, as is often the case with features that appear, at first
glance, to improve accessibility, there is no consensus on whether
providing such a tool is actually a help or a hindrance..."
Progressive Disclosure in User Interfaces
By Alexander Dawson.
"As designers, we're always trying to get the most out of our
interfaces and maximize whatever space is made available to us. While
many solutions have been devised over the years, one above all others
has consistently influenced the way visitors access the content they
seek. From simple techniques, such as tooltips and drop-down menus, to
complex single-page websites powered by Ajax, progressive disclosure
has become a formidable force. This article explores the methodology
of progressive disclosure and its impact on our interface design
When is Learnability More Important than Usability?
By Michael Wilson.
"Is it ok to ask your users to learn your interface? As UI design is
maturing and the web is becoming a more advanced land of complex
interfaces is it now unreasonable for every feature to be instantly
usable? Touch devices have also entered the mainstream and added a
multitude of interactions that UI designers can lean on. So, how do
you know when it is ok to hide features and ask your audience to learn
your application? Is 'learnability' now more important than
By Andy Budd.
"It's surprisingly common for redesigns to cause outrage amongst their
users. People complain that they weren't consulted, criticise the
quality and appropriateness of the new solution, and state that 'if it
ain't broke, don't fix it.' However if you leave the site for a while,
you often see the most critical detractors become the most vocal
supporters. Why is this?..."
There Should Be Limits to Usability
By Peter Hornsby.
"People generally regard improving the usability of products or
systems as a major part of our role as UX designers. While there are
tradeoffs in all aspects of design, our assumption has generally been
that products and systems that are easier to use are preferable to
those that are harder to use. However, despite what seemed to be a
common understanding, a number of articles have recently reported on
research that suggests increased ease of use can be detrimental."
[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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