[webdev] Web Design Update: November 22, 2006
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Wed Nov 22 06:22:45 CST 2006
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 5, Issue 22, November 22, 2006.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 22 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.
Advisory Committee Faces Major Hurdles with Section 508 Revision
By Wade-Hahn Chan.
"Section 508, a provision of the federal Rehabilitation Act requiring
the federal agencies make their information technology accessible to
people with disabilities, is proving to be challenging for the
standards body that is now revising the standards. The current
iteration of the section is plagued with interoperability problems,
language issues and an inability to adapt to emerging technologies,
according to members of the Section 508 Advisory Committee who spoke on
a panel at the 2006 Interagency Disability Education Awareness Showcase
Contextual Web Accessibility - Maximizing the Benefit of Accessibility
By David Sloan et al.
"We argue that while work to optimize the accessibility of the World
Wide Web through the publication and dissemination of a range of
guidelines is of great importance, there is also the need for a more
holistic approach to maximizing the role of the Web in enabling
disabled people to access information, services and experiences. The
persistently disappointingly low levels of usability of Web content for
disabled people indicates that focusing on the adoption of
accessibility guidelines by content authors, tool developers and policy
makers is not sufficient for a truly inclusive Web. This approach fails
to acknowledge the role of the Web as an enabler in a broader context
and may stifle creative use of Web content and experiences to enhance
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
Inline Elements and Padding
By Russ Weakley.
"Have you ever tried to add padding to <li> elements that have been set
to 'display: inline'? Did you find that the padding seemed to be
rendering in an unusual way? Inline elements and padding explains why
this occurs and one method that can be used to overcome the problem."
CSS Line-Height and Valid Values
By Tiffany B. Brown.
"A look at a CSS line-height 'gotcha'"
CSS Styling for Print and Other Media
By Ian Lloyd.
"If you've been wanting to harness the full power of CSS for the
presentation of printed pages, but could only find superficial
treatments of the topic, we've got just the article for you. Pro CSS
Techniques will be arriving in bookstores soon, but we've got a sneak
peek at Ian's comprehensive chapter on styling for print and other
media as this week's feature."
CSS Image Shadow
By Natalie Jost.
"This is a simple CSS shadow for images (no background image), but it's
not something you'll want to use with all images. This method doesn't
work with varying sizes, so you'll only use it if you're working with
images which are the same size all the time, like thumbnails for
A CSS Drop Shadow
By Stu Nicholls.
"Just an example of a drop shadow applied to a div without using
Simple Fluid Drop Shadows
By Stu Nicholls.
Multi-Position Shadow Boxing
By Stu Nicholls.
Dreamweaver 8 for Windows Loses FTP Login Settings
Some Windows users are reporting that their FTP usernames and passwords
in their Dreamweaver site definitions are deleted when they close and
re-open Dreamweaver 8 or when they reboot their machine. This issue
does not occur in earlier versions of Dreamweaver."
+04: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Process Research Via Focus Groups
By DeeDee DeMulling.
"I don't recommend using focus groups to gather your user research, but
I do recommend using them to provide clarification and expansion of the
data you have gathered during site visits. After conducting a site
visit study at a handful of sites in your target population, hosting a
focus group will help you to validate what you observed and be able to
define patterns of behavior across the wider audience..."
Bring Your Personas to Life!
By Zef Fugaz.
"Method acting can take your personas from the page to the stage. Think
beyond traditional practice to give emotional life to your personas."
December 6, 2006.
Wellington, New Zealand
An Event Apart Boston
March 26 -27, 2007.
Boston, Massachusetts U.S.A.
+06: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
Visio Replacement? You Be the Judge
An Introduction to the Newest Simulation Tools
By Scott McDowell.
"In the same way that the Internet took us to the next level of
interaction, complete with rich visuals, simulations are doing the same
for application definition. McDowell explores the ins and outs of new
simulation tools. Will one of them work for you?"
Thoughts on the Impending Death of Information Architecture
By Joshua Porter.
"IA as it has lived will soon die. Not because it wasn't valuable, not
because IA's didn't do great work, but because the Web is moving on.
The problem is that IA models information, not relationships."
By Peter-Paul Koch.
"This week we look at text nodes, node lists, forms and the level 0
DOM, DOM hyperspace and markers. The W3C DOM defines a few methods for
getting and changing texts, but the core string methods and properties
are more useful and versatile."
By Bim Egan.
the way that they access your web page is vital. Users should be able
pointing / switch device or any other means of navigation. However, if
two or more event handlers, designed to perform the same task are used,
the effect can be the opposite of the one you intended..."
Google, Yahoo, Microsoft Partner on Open Source Search Protocol
By Juan Carlos Perez.
"In a rare collaborative effort, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, which
compete directly in Internet search and other online services, plan to
announce on Thursday their support for the open source, Sitemap
Protocol based on XML (Extensible Markup Language)."
"Sitemaps are an easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about
pages on their sites that are available for crawling. In its simplest
form, a Sitemap is an XML file that lists URLs for a site along with
additional metadata about each URL (when it was last updated, how often
it usually changes, and how important it is, relative to other URLs in
the site) so that search engines can more intelligently crawl the site.
Web crawlers usually discover pages from links within the site and from
other sites. Sitemaps supplement this data to allow crawlers that
support Sitemaps to pick up all URLs in the Sitemap and learn about
those URLs using the associated metadata. Using the Sitemap protocol
does not guarantee that web pages are included in search engines, but
provides hints for web crawlers to do a better job of crawling your
Revenge of the meta-tag!
By Brian Turner
"Many people in SEO groan at the thought of meta-tags. After all,
meta-tags for ranking is dead for SEO, isn't it? Not quite..."
PHP Convert RGB from/to HTML Hex Color
"This article provides two functions for converting HTML color (like
#AAED43) to three RGB values ($r = 170, $g = 237, $b = 67) and
converting RGB values to HTML color."
+10: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
May The Source be with You
By Andy Rutledge.
"A long time ago in a vir.tu.al domain far, far away...The war between
the Standardista Rebels and The Legacy Empire wages on. The Empirecs
armies and spies, led by the evil Kludge lord Darth Gates, have driven
the Standardistas far across MySpace."
Basic Accessibility Analyzer
By Peter Krantz.
"This is the basic accessibility checking service (BACC). BACC uses the
Ruby Accessibility Analysis Kit (RAAKT) to check for basic
accessibility issues in HTML documents. Currently it is mainly used for
testing of RAAKT. If you find errors, please report bugs at the RAAKT
project page. Learn more about the accessibility evaluation carried
Truwex: Website Validation Tool
By Vladimir Popov.
"An online tool to check web accessibility, privacy, quality,
performance. It checks a single page and shows results on a web page
screenshot and in the HTML code."
Office 2000 HTML Filter 2.0
"The Office HTML Filter is a tool you can use to remove Office-specific
markup tags embedded in Office 2000 documents saved as HTML..."
Digital Divide: The Three Stages
By Jakob Nielsen.
"The economic divide is a non-issue, but the usability and empowerment
divides alienate huge population groups who miss out on the Internet's
Improving User Workflows with Single-Page User Interfaces
By Joost Willemsen.
"...Perhaps the most important challenge for designers of single-page
Web applications is the tradeoff between flexibility and usability. As
an application's flexibility increases, its usability decreases. The
reason for this is its signal-to-noise ratio-that is, the ratio of
relevant to irrelevant information on a page. If this ratio is high, an
application is more usable. However, a Web application that is very
flexible may offer too many possibilities and thus raise the level of
noise in the ratio (5). So the challenge is to keep an application page
as simple as possible. Packing a page with loads of cool controls is
technically possible, but it's not a good idea. Show only what is
relevant to the task at hand and offer other functionality as needed."
The XML Decade
By Uche Ogbuji.
"IBM Systems Journal recently published an issue dedicated to XML's
10th anniversary. It is primarily a collection of interesting papers
for XML application techniques, but some of its articles offer general
discussion of the technical, economic and even cultural effects of XML.
There is a lot in these papers to draw from in thinking about why XML
has been successful, and what it would take for XML to continue its
success. This article expands on some of these topics that are
especially relevant to readers of this column."
[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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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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