[webdev] Web Design Update: August 4, 2006
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Fri Aug 4 06:28:21 CDT 2006
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 5, Issue 06, August 4, 2006.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 06 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: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
14: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Expert Declaration of Dr. James W. Thatcher in NFB V. Target
By James W. Thatcher.
"...There are many thousands of images on Target.com that lack text
equivalents to make them available to people using screen readers. It
is impossible before April 6, 2006 to complete a transaction relying on
keyboard interaction. Though this one problem appears to have been
fixed, many critical barriers remain. None of the form controls on
Target.com have proper labeling and there is no accommodation to
facilitate keyboard navigation throughout Target.com pages. I have
described four types of barriers that are easiest to explain and that
are especially important for screen readers. There are other components
of Web Accessibility for people with visual disabilities. As of April
12, 2006 the website of the Target Corporation is virtually unusable by
a visitor who is blind."
This Week in WCAG
By Joe Clark.
"...WCAG is really quite chuffed that it's been named to the Section
508 review panel, about which I'll have more to say later. Their stated
interest is 'harmonization' of Web-accessibility standards, which is
another way of saying 'rewrite 508 so it's functionally or actually
identical to WCAG 2.' If WAI has its way, '508' will simply become
another numbered guideline. WCAG is to 508 as Iraq was to Kuwait..."
Disabled Technologies Pave the Way for Next Generation Mobile Web
"Scientists at The University of Manchester have a launched a new
project which seeks to combine web accessibility with cutting-edge
mobile phone technologies."
The Trouble With the Title Attribute
By Steve Faulkner.
Steve Faulkner's OZeWAI presentation slides.
Tangling with Accessible Web Content
By Karl Sabino.
"New technologies have turned the Web into an accessibility challenge,
but preparing the latest guidance on design seems no less fraught. Here
Karl Sabino of Flow Interactive gives a picture of the tensions in
developing WCAG 2.0."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
By Adrian Senior.
"Certain properties in a cascading style sheet (CSS) inherit (read
assume) the values of their parent. For example, if you have an h1
element that is colored black and that h1 element has a nested span
within it, then by default the span will also be black-it inherits the
color value from its h1 parent. In this article you will discover how
you can use inheritance to optimize your CSS file."
+03: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Is Usability Testing as We Know it About to Radically Change?
By Susan Weinschenk.
"Usability testing is a tried and true methodology in our industry.
Periodically it comes under fire from within and outside the usability
community, but has always stood the test of time. Although there is
some variation in usability testing protocols from tester to tester, or
firm to firm, the basic concepts - think-aloud techniques during the
test, usability engineer observing, logging data, interpreting user
actions - remain the same. Is this all about to change?..."
2006 Participatory Design Conference
August 1-5, 2006.
Information Architecture - Theory and Practice (Donna Maurer)
August 31, 2006.
Wellington, New Zealand
Hot Topics in Interaction Design
September 6, 2006.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania U.S.A.
Accessibility, Beyond the Basics
September 28, 2006; October 26, 2006; November 30, 2006; January 25,
2007; February 22, 2007; or March 29, 2007.
London, United Kingdom
October 19, 2006 or January 18, 2007.
London, United Kingdom
Best Practices for Accessible Flash Design: Part 1
By Bob Regan.
"In this section you'll learn about accessibility challenges in Flash.
Included is a sampling of use cases to help designers create effective
strategies for people with disabilities."
Flash 8 Accessibility Design Guidelines
By Dean Edwards.
Dean Edwards discusses Mozilla's new forEach function, which simplifies
enumerating Arrays and document nodes.
IE7 XMLHttpRequest - Native or Not?
By Michael Mahemoff.
Michael Mahemoff discusses the issue of native XMLHttpRequest support
in IE 7.
Events from typical mouse and form events, through to DOM mutation
events, Microsoft-specific events, and XUL events.
Ten Questions for Steve Faulkner
By Russ Weakley.
"Steve talks about accessibility, the Web Accessibility toolbar, the Web
Accessibility Tools Consortium, title attributes, AJAX and WCAG2."
Ten Questions for Donna Maurer
By Russ Weakley.
"Ten questions for Donna Maurer explores information architecture and
interaction designer, the term "usability", teaching people to think,
teams, AJAX interactions and more.
A Shortcut to 456 Berea Street (Roger Johansson Interview)
By Johan Van Den Rym.
"I interviewed (just a little) Roger Johansson, a web developer living
and working in Goteborg, Sweden. He is the driving force behind 456
Berea Street, a weblog where you will find a whole bunch of articles
related to webstandards, accessibility and usability..."
Designing Powerful Web Applications: An Interview with David Malouf
By Joshua Porter.
"UIE's Joshua recently interviewed David (Heller) Malouf, a premier
Interaction Designer, to discuss the issues involved when development
teams are thinking about designing web applications using AJAX and RIA."
Interview With Laura Thomson
By Cal Evans.
"While at OSCON, I had the privilege of talking with Laura Thomson.
Laura is the Director of Web Development at OmniTI. Together with
husband Luke, she has written 2 books for SAMS publishing on PHP; 'PHP
and MySQL Web Development' (currently 3/e) and 'MySQL Tutorial'. She
joined the OmniTI team in August of 2005 and moved to the United States
in January of 2006. She was kind enough to sit down with me and talk
about PHP, OmniTI and other interesting topics. Here's what she had to
An Interview With Molly E. Holzschlag
By Christopher Hester.
"Molly E. Holzschlag is a well-known name in the world of web
standards. She publishes a regular blog and has written many books on
web design. So when I saw she'd joined forces with .net magazine as
well, I thought it would be good to do an interview with her, to find
out more about the wide range of activities she is involved in."
The Fine Art of Web Design
Molly E. Holzschlag.
Molly's 'Web Design World - Seattle' Presentation.
Accessibility in a Web 2.0 World
By Shawn Lawton Henry.
Shawn Lawton Henry's 'Web Design World - Seattle' Presentation.
Using 'Guides' as a Supplemental Navigation Technique
By Maish Nichani.
"...It is the nature of websites to grow. You can't stop it, but you
can manage it. The focus should be in providing a sustained positive
user experience. Guides can help in this regard - when you design it
with a purpose and with care."
Google Accessibility Search
By Joe Dolson.
"...I applaud Google for the concept and the principles behind the
Accessible Web Search, and wish them the best in making it a real,
practical, and valuable resource for impaired populations. I also
implore them to take their ideals to the next step and embrace web
standards and accessibility in their own development and interfaces."
By Jacques Noah.
"If you're looking for a way to save time when you program, look no
further. Creating functions lets you reuse code that you've used before
without having to rewrite the whole thing. Keep reading to learn how.."
Determine Class Type With These 10 PHP Variable Testing Functions
"This document outlines the more useful functions available in a
toolkit of PHP functions designed specifically to test variables and
find out if they belong to a particular character class."
Introducing Visitor Objects in PHP 5
By Alejandro Gervasio.
"Although the articles title may seem a bit intimidating, the truth is
that things are much simpler than you think. Like many other
programming languages, PHP also allows you to construct and use visitor
objects with minor hassles. But, before I go deeper into the subject,
first lets ask ourselves the following question: what are visitor
objects, after all?"
Understanding the Zend Framework, Part 4: When there is no feed, the
By Tyler Anderson.
"...Parts 3 and 4 deal with the actual RSS and Atom feeds..."
OSCON 2006: Getting Rich with PHP5
By Kevin Yank.
"This week, Kevin Yank is reporting from OSCON 2006 in Portland, OR.
PHP's creator, Rasmus Lerdorf, gave a surprising talk on building PHP
rich web applications using PHP5-surprising, because fully half the
talk focused on low-level PHP optimization techniques. The slides are
Five Common PHP Database Problems
By Jack Herrington.
"Discover five common database problems that occur in PHP applications
-- including database schema design, database access, and the business
logic code that uses the database -- as well as their solutions."
+10: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
Visual Vs. Structural
By Tommy Olsson.
"According to a recent poll on a big web design forum, the knee-jerk
reflex of most web designers, when asked to design a new website, is to
fire up Photoshop. To another group of designers, this will seem like a
rather backwards approach; they will mark up the content, semantically,
before applying the layout and design. Does the choice of approach -
visual vs structural - have any impact on the accessibility or
usability of the site? Will there be any aesthetic differences between
By Matt Inman and Rand Fishkin.
This tool tells "the relative importance/visibility of a webpage; the
potential strength/ability of a page to rank in the search engines,
data on popularity; links and mentions of the page across the web."
"Online CSS Optimizer is a web tool for reducing the file size of
cascading style sheets. In order to save more space optimized files
would be messy even so you may output it as a file. Non-valid or hacked
(for certain browsers) CSS files may result in error."
By Piotr 'Riddle' Petrus.
Online tool calculates em size equivalent to px size.
Utilizing the Cut-Off Look to Encourage Users To Scroll
By Jared Spool.
"...Basically, users have no trouble scrolling, as long as the page is
designed to accommodate it...If our clients are finding their users
aren't scrolling, we suggest they look for a reason beyond 'Users dont
expect to scroll' and see if maybe the design of the page is preventing
it. By going for that Cut-Off look, they might find their users are
suddenly happy to scroll."
Screen Resolution and Page Layout
By Jakob Nielsen.
"Optimize Web pages for 1024 x 768, but use a liquid layout that
stretches well for any resolution, from 800 x 600 to 1280 x 1024."
Usability Case Library
By Rosson and Carroll.
A library that contains case studies developed to illustrate and raise
issues related to the scenario-based development framework introduced
by Rosson and Carroll's textbook Usability Engineering.
In the Race With Google, It's Consistency vs. 'Wow'
By Saul Hansell.
"...Do Internet users prefer services that are consistent and
predictable, like those offered by Yahoo, or are they more interested
in Google's wow factor? These two approaches define a pivotal front in
the battle for online loyalty between the major players in the Internet
Customer Experience and the 'Wow' Factor
By Mark Hurst.
"...The Web business isn't about "wow" versus anything else - it's
about which companies address customers' basic unmet needs the most. If
it comes packaged in a "wow" interface, so much the better - but that's
not what keeps people coming back, and referring their friends..."
Truth Sells on the Web
By Gerry McGovern.
The Web is where people go to be informed. We're on the Web because we
don't believe the hype, because we want to get some more facts. We're
driven by logic not by impulse. We trust the reviews of other customers
because they're like us, and we know that organizations lie to
us...Honesty is selling on the Web. Honest websites are not better
because they are morally superior but because they are more believable
Eight Steps to Serving Better (X)HTML
By Tantek Celik.
"...continuing with my experiences from An Event Apart, here is a
summary of my code critiques..."
[Section one ends.]
++ SECTION TWO:
+14: 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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