[webdev] Web Design Update: August 24, 2005
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Wed Aug 24 06:20:40 CDT 2005
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 4, Issue 09, August 24, 2005.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 09 CONTENTS.
SECTION ONE: New references.
What's new at the Web Design Reference site?
New links in these categories:
02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
05: EVALUATION & TESTING.
07: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
12: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
15: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Evaluating Web Sites for Accessibility with Firefox
By Patrick H. Lauke.
"Patrick H. Lauke outlines how Mozilla Firefox can be used in
conjunction with the Web Developer Toolbar to carry out a preliminary
Accessibility Building Blocks
By Ian Lloyd.
Ian's slides from @media 2005.
Improving Usability for Screen Reader Users
"Simply ensuring your website is accessible to screen reader users is
unfortunately not enough to ensure these users can find what they're
looking for in a reasonably quick and efficient manner. Even if your
site is accessible to screen reader users, its usability could be so
incredibly poor that they needn't have bothered coming to your site."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
Creating Indented Navigation Lists
By Michael Meadhra.
"A vertical navigation bar is a familiar feature on many Web sites- and
no wonder, it's a great way to organize a list of links. At its
simplest, the navigation bar may be a list of plain text links.
However, it's increasingly common for Web builders to make the list
items behave like buttons, complete with CSS rollover effects that make
the full button face clickable."
Creating Multicolumn Lists
By Michael Meadhra.
"The standard formatting for an HTML list is for the list items to be
stacked, flush left, indented from the left margin, and preceded by a
bullet or number. That works fine for a typical list, in which each
item consists of a sentence or two of text. However, when the list
items are very short (e.g., a long list of items composed of a word or
two each), you end up with a tall, narrow column of text on the left
side of your Web page with a big empty space to the right. That's when
many Web designers start looking for ways to break a long list into
multiple side-by-side columns instead of a single long column."
An Explanation of Colorblindness
By Jon Hicks.
"I get a lot of people asking me what its like to be colour blind. It
usually takes the form of 'Can you see this colour? Can you see this
one ? Is everything black and white??? '. This is the best explanation
I've come across yet..."
Dreamweaver 8 Style Rendering Toolbar - A Sneak Peek
By Adrian Senior.
"Dreamweaver 8 has a very interesting and very cool new feature, the
Style Rendering tool bar. The style rendering toolbar allows you to
easily design for various media types, such as screen, handheld and
print which we will look at in this preview. Other media types that are
catered for are Projection, TTY - Television Type Devices, and TV media
types. Dreamweaver 8 also provides the ability to toggle on and off all
CSS rendering via the toggle CSS display button."
The CSS Styles Panel in Dreamweaver 8: A Sneak Peek
By Zoe Gillenwater.
"One of the great new CSS tools in Dreamweaver 8 is the new, unified
CSS Styles panel. All style information for all the elements on your
pages is stored in this one central location. As with previous versions
of Dreamweaver, you can use the panel to create, view, edit and remove
style rules, as well as attach style sheets. Now, however, properties
are laid out in a grid for easy editing, and the cascade for all your
rules is displayed for you, to help you understand how each rule is
affecting your page. You can select any element on your page and
instantly see what rules are affecting it and what properties have been
set for it. The CSS Styles panel provides the ease of use for those new
to CSS, with a depth of information that advanced CSS users will
+05: EVALUATION & TESTING.
The Usability Specialist's Favorite: Heuristic Evaluation
By Joanna Bawa.
"To measure the usability of an interface design, you'll need to use
one of the many evaluation techniques available. Here we look at one
favored by usability professionals..."
Designing the Next Generation of Web Apps
September 28, 2005.
Euro IA Summit
Europe's First Information Architecture Summit
October 15-16, 2005.
+07: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
IA in Germany: Chances and Perspectives
By James Kalbach.
"Andrew Dillon declared in his closing keynote speech at the Montreal
IA Summit (2005) that IA was entering its second phase. IAs are seeing
more and more job opportunities as well as more professional
recognition, and the field itself seems to be progressing. Not so in
Germany. Here, IA is barely on the map."
Information Scent: Helping People Find the Content They Want
By Iain Barker.
"Information scent is a concept that should be well-understood by
everyone designing intranets and information-rich websites."
How to Develop Web Applications with Ajax, Pt. 1
By Jonathan Fenocchi.
In the past, web applications were limited because a web page had to be
reloaded (or another page loaded in its place) in order for new data to
be obtained. Recently, a new method, known as 'Ajax' (Asynchronous
Using the XMLHttpRequest Object and AJAX to Spy On You
By Earle Castledine.
"While the XMLHttpRequest object and AJAX can provide huge user and
developer benefits, there are some issues you probably haven't thought
about yet?but it's time everyone did."
By Dave Child.
well as a short guide to the XMLHttpRequest object. A description of
what is on the cheat sheet follows, or if you are impatient, you can go
Top Ten Things You Don't Want To Hear From New Clients
"We have met a lot of new and potential clients, and heard some funny
things over the years, together with some things we never want to hear
again. For new designers out there, if you hear any of the following
comments when meeting clients for the first time, just run, leave the
laptop, save yourself and run in the opposite direction..."
Hagan Rivers Interview: Deconstructing Web Applications
By Christine Perfetti.
"Hagan Rivers is a recognized pioneer in the area of Web Application
Design. Hagan worked on some of the very first web based interfaces and
she continues to push the envelope of web application design in her
current role as a partner at Two Rivers Consulting. UIE's Christine
Perfetti recently had the opportunity to talk with Hagan about some of
the biggest challenges in the web application space."
Problems in Navigating Online Help: Clues from User Search Patterns
By Robert Krull and Angela Eaton.
"Specifically, participants had difficulty in searching for topics
because their terminology differed from the terminology used by the
help system, and they became lost in the unclear structure of the
system. Specific results and discussion are provided below."
hasLayout Property Characterizes IE6 Bug
By Jim Thatcher.
Internet Explorer 6 has a bug which interferes with the correct working
of in-page links when they are selected via the keyboard. Jim has an
explanation of the issue and work around.
Keyboard Navigation and Internet Explorer
By Gez Lemon.
"Internet Explorer 6 has very poor support for in-page navigation.
In-page navigation is an important accessibility requirement for
several groups, including those with some types of mobility problems.
This article investigates the problem with in-page links and Internet
Explorer, with some possible solutions."
Introducing Recursive Functions in PHP
By Rob Williams.
"One of the basic building blocks of any object-oriented programming
language is the function. Functions allow you to reuse blocks of code
and perform common tasks from other points within a script. In addition
to straight calls though, functions can also be created to act
recursively, adding a whole new dimension and power to this basic
programming building block. In this article we'll take a look at what
recursion is and why it's useful. We'll also create a recursive
Mature Design Theory in Web Development
By Sherri Wheeler.
"This article is intended for experienced web developers and
development companies who are looking for a way to move from small
applications up to medium to large projects, and are interested in
improving the quality of their application design. If you still use a
set of distinct web pages for each application function, this article
will explain why a better methodology is needed, and give some guidance
as to how it can be accomplished."
Fundamentals of PHP Superglobals
This month's article is aimed at PHP developers who're not yet familiar
with the PHP superglobals. Usage of superglobals is fundamental to PHP
web development, but, with all the recent changes in PHP, there are
still many outdated tutorials, books, and sadly, still much confusion.
+12: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
A Standards Truce in the Browser War?
By Paul Festa.
"When Microsoft 'technical evangelist' Robert Scoble complained in his
blog about being snubbed at a Texas conference, he probably didn't
think he was laying the groundwork for a truce in the long-running war
over Web browser standards."
Apologizing When You Aren't Wrong
By Joe Clark.
"...A collaboration between Microsoft and the Web Standards Project has
a lot going for it, but Scoble's whining about being excluded from a
meeting of a group he never belonged to should not be regarded as
Nvu Site Manager Extender
By Peter Macej.
"This free Nvu extension adds some new functionality to Nvu Site
Manager. It adds new 'Site Manager' preferences page after
Journal of Usability Studies
By Usability Professionals' Association.
The Journal of Usability Studies (JUS) is a peer-reviewed,
international, online publication dedicated to promoting and enhancing
the practice, research, and education of usability engineering.
Users, Activities, Practices etc.
By Anne Galloway.
"...activity theory is always already part of user-centred design, and
vice versa. They are part of the same tree: a mental or cybernetic
species. Whether modeling users or activities, the models are systemic,
relatively stable, quantifiable, hierarchical, discrete, and often
predictive. More importantly, they make it difficult to imagine other
ways of understanding."
International Sites: Minimum Requirements
By Jakob Nielsen.
"Users from other countries have special needs related to entry fields
for names and addresses, measurements and dates, and information about
regional product standards."
Seven Screen Reader Usability Tips
By Trenton Moss.
"Simply ensuring that your Website is accessible to screen reader users
is, unfortunately, not enough to guarantee that these users can find
what they're looking for in a reasonably quick and efficient manner.
Even if your site is accessible to screen reader users, its usability
could be so poor that they needn't have bothered stooping by in the
[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