[webdev] Web Design Update: January 16, 2006
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Mon Jan 16 08:48:35 CST 2006
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 4, Issue 30, January 16, 2006.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 30 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.
07: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
15: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Accessibility in the User-Centered Design Process
By Shawn Lawton Henry and Mary Grossnickle Martinson.
"Accessibility in the User-Centered Design Process is an online book
developed to assist usability professionals in incorporating accessible
design practices into the user-centered design process..."
Usability and Accessibility in 2006
By Peter Abrahams.
"Having recently set up the new Accessibility Practice at Bloor it
seems only right that I should stick my neck out and make some
predictions for 2006..."
Visually Impaired User Weighs In on Assistive Technology Debate
By Scott Sede.
"...If someone were to ask my opinion of what the best solution for
this situation is, I would say that states should invest in open source
AT, including technologies that use OpenDocument. If the states gave as
much fiscal and developmental attention to production of AT
applications as they had paid for JAWS and MAGIC, we would now have a
viable and productive open source system affordable to all visually
impaired and blind users..."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
The Many Uses of the Malleable em
By Zoe Gillenwater.
"Most people first encounter the em unit as a way to size text using
CSS. This article will show you how to do just that. But, there's more
to the em unit than just font sizing. It can be used as a length unit
on any property that takes a length. You'll learn how to use the em
unit as length for margin and padding to create pages that scale more
Two Column Page Layouts With CSS
By Russ Weakley.
"In this lesson, you will learn how to position a two-column page
layout with a header and a footer. This method involves floating them
both because it is the most reliable method across most modern
Introduction to the CSS Box Model - part one
"All elements on a web page are contained within rectangular boxes with
properties that we're able to manipulate directly via the use of CSS.
This gives us precise control over their dimensions and, therefore,
their impact upon their surroundings. We can set the size of the area
used to contain the contents, via the width setting, the width of the
borders around the box, the amount of space between the contents and
the border, and the amount of space between the borders of one box and
those of its neighbors. The precision that's possible to achieve with
these settings gives designers a fine degree of control over the layout
of the web pages they create. So what are the settings, and how do we
Introduction to the CSS Box Model - part two
"In part one we looked at the CSS box model, how it works, and how we
can manipulate it to achieve our design aims. In this article we need
to look at what can go wrong when, despite its simplicity, a browser
doesn't know how to use the model correctly, and how we can compensate
Databases and Dreamweaver MX 2004
By Jen and Peter de Haan et al.
"This article the first of two parts looks at the different database
applications available for use with ColdFusion. It is excerpted from
chapter two of the book em ColdFusion Web Development with Dreamweaver
MX 2004, written by Jen and Peter de Haan et al."
Backing Up Site Definitions in Adobe Dreamweaver
By Jolantha Belik.
"Have you ever looked for missing remote server names, user names, and
+04: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Myths and Measurements: Evaluating the ROI of Design
By Steve Calde.
"Few people disagree with the notion that products are better when they
are designed before being built. Yet why do so many companies remove
design from the project schedule? Steve Calde debunks the
misperceptions that lead business-decision makers to think that design
adds costs to product development, when in fact they can't afford not
to spend money on research and design."
Communication and Hacker Culture
April 7-9, 2006.
Cleveland, Ohio U.S.A.
MySQL Users Conference
April 24-27, 2006.
Santa Clara, California U.S.A.
The Third International Cross-Disciplinary Workshop on Web
Accessibility (W4A 2006)
'Building the Mobile Web: Rediscovering Accessibility?'
May 22, 2006.
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
By Dave Shea.
"Total speculation alert. I don't want anyone to read further into this
than what I say, since I have no insider knowledge. But I was just
re-reading a post of my own from December, Macromedia No More, and one
paragraph particularly jumped out at me this time 'round."
Lynda Weinman on What's Next for Flash in 2006
By Lynda Weinman.
"With Macromedia and Adobe united as one, what's to become of Flash?
Lynda Weinman, founder of lynda.com and the Flashforward Conference &
Film Festival, takes a peek at her crystal ball and shares some of her
predictions for 2006."
+07: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
By Jensen Harris.
"Often people ask us 'how did you come up with the ideas for the Office
12 user interface?'..."
For Many AJAX is Not Degrading, But it Must
By Thomas Vander Wal.
"...Degrading is a Good Thing: Part of my problem with much of the push
towards AJAX (it is a good, no great thing that XMLHTTPRequest is
finally catching on). But, it must degrade well. It must still be
accessible. It must be usable. If not, it is a cool useless piece of
rubbish for some or many people..."
By Jeremy Keith.
"...Both viewpoints are valid. The value of Ajax lies in-between. It
lies in the ability to appreciate the power that comes with being able
to make asynchronous requests to the server without a page refresh,
while at the same time always bearing in mind that you are still
dealing with documents. If that's your mindset, then building Ajax
applications that degrade gracefully becomes a no-brainer..."
Fixing the Back Button that AJAX Broke
By Mike Davies.
"One of the common disadvantages of AJAX is that it typically breaks
the expected back button functionality. AJAX breaks one of the
fundamental rules of the World Wide Web: one URL refers to one
Getting Back to Web Basics
By Jeff Atwood.
web design. Instead of spending all this time exerting maximum
cleverness to transcend the weaknesses of the web medium, It might be a
better idea to play to the web's strengths - such as speeding up how
fast your pages load, or avoiding recent ill-advised design trends. And
whatever you do, don't break the freaking back button."
Effective Websites - The Responsibility of the Whole Organizations
By Sarah Burton-Taylor.
"Building an effective website is often seen exclusively as the job of
the web team, and viewed as a design or technical issue. However,
having worked with many different organizations, we would argue that
often what stops them improving their website is the organization
itself. Developing an effective website often requires organizational
change: it requires a culture where people at all levels in the
organization adopt behaviour that make a 'good user experience' an
important goal. If the organizations is not focused on providing a good
user experience, then the web team will be unable to build an effective
Search Engines as Leeches on the Web
By Jakob Nielsen.
"Search engines extract too much of the Web's value, leaving too little
for the websites that actually create the content. Liberation from
search dependency is a strategic imperative for both websites and
Evolutionary Information Seeking: A Case Study of Personal Development
and Internet Searching
By Jarkko Kari.
"This article explores one question: what does Internet searching have
to do with personal development? Personal development means that
individuals improve their own abilities, skills, knowledge or other
qualities by working on them. The paper reports on a qualitative case
study, in which a single participant was interviewed and her Web
searches observed. Information search strategies seemed to form a
spectrum of developmental sophistication. Four major types of
relationship were found: a) the Internet in the context of development;
b) development in the context of the Internet; c) development affecting
Internet use; and, d) Internet use affecting development. There were
some informational phenomena which exhibited regression, the converse
Will the Zend Framework Save PHP?
By Richard Davey.
"As we embrace the changes that 2006 will bring to the PHP community, I
can but only wonder about what is to become of PHP 5. Talk and debate
over PHP 6 is already a hot topic, and despite being in a stable
release for over 2 years PHP 5 has failed to see any significant kind
of adoption rates, lingering at an astonishingly low 4.2%. Will PHP 5
be the version that everyone 'skipped', or could the Zend Framework be
A (Lengthy) Look Back at PHP in 2005
By Derick Rethans.
"Well, here it is, the end of another year and it's times like these
that it's always fun to take a look back to where we've come from and
how far we've made it on various projects. The PHP community has come
so far from those early days of January, and I thought I'd take my own
look back via some of the news posts that I've made over on
PHPDeveloper.org in the past year (almost 2000 of em) and see which
ones stuck out. So, bear with me on this - I know I'll miss a few of
the buggies, but I'm going to try to highlight things in each month
that really effected the community as a whole."
By Eric Smith.
"Create complex html forms without using tables for layout..."
MIT's Homepage: Preposterous or Ingenious?
By Joshua Porter.
"Our friends at MIT have an unusual approach to their homepage. They
change it every day, so much so that it looks completely different from
the day before...They do what would seem preposterous to the
'consistent look and feel' crowd. (I can almost hear marketing and
design teams cringe.) On the other hand, MIT does provide consistent
change, showcasing content that folks might not have known about..."
Early and Often: How to Avoid the Design Revision Death Spiral
By Dave Cronin.
"A critical component to the success of an interaction design project
is close collaboration with clients or stakeholders. Without careful
planning and structure this type of collaboration can turn into a
significant barrier to project success. Dave Cronin's article,
originally presented at the DUX 2005 design conference, discusses the
strategies and methods Cooper has adopted to get maximum benefit as a
consultancy from clients' feedback and expertise while maintaining
creative momentum and achieving deadlines."
Ten Tips For Writing For the Web
By Lea Sadler.
"1. Write for a reason. Get to the point. One of the basic references
for Web design is Steve Krug's, Don't Make Me Think. My book for Web
writers (not yet available in stores) will be called, Don't Make Me
Yawn. The Great Democracy that is the Web has spawned far more spam and
yammer than thoughtful prose. Don't fall in love with your own voice.
Make sure every word supports the message..."
Designing User Experiences for Applications Versus Information
Resources on the Web
By Leo Frishberg.
"The relatively recent adoption of user-focused design practices by the
Web design and development community-including personas, participatory
design, paper prototyping, and the like-highlights important
distinctions between the user experiences of desktop applications and
those of information spaces. With the growing desire for usable Web
applications, these distinctions become more topical and important to
understand. Though the process of designing and creating application
and information space user experiences for the Web is virtually the
same-even if the deliverable design documents may differ-their user
experiences are fundamentally and profoundly different. For designers,
business analysts, marketing consultants, and others who are sincerely
interested in delivering the best user experiences online,
understanding these distinctions can reduce the cost of design and
improve the likelihood of user acceptance."
Is Microsoft's XML Format About Openness or Control?
"Richard Stallman is right. Proprietary software is ultimately about
dividing and controlling users. As if there were no other evidence of
this, Microsoft's stance on XML document formats is plain enough. If
the light in your head hasn't come on yet, I suggest you go get a new
bulb. Think about it. If Microsoft were genuinely interested in
interoperability, they would have happily joined the OpenDocument TC at
OASIS, and helped to define the format."
[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.]
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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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