[webdev] Web Design Update: February 2, 2007
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Fri Feb 2 06:33:00 CST 2007
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 5, Issue 33, February 2, 2007.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 33 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.
10: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
15: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Summer Internship at Google, Inc: Accessibility Experiences
By A.D. Shaikh and P. Strain.
"This paper summarizes some of the major lessons learned about
conducting usability tests with visually impaired participants while
working as interns at Google, Inc. The lessons were in four major
areas: (1) recruitment and scheduling, (2) preparing the usability lab
for testing sessions, (3) using think-aloud protocol with screen
readers, and (4) helping observers to get the most out of the test
The Hard Facts About Heading Structure
By Kevin Yank.
"...Because assistive technologies like screen readers allow users to
navigate through a document by its heading structure, your headings
need to form a sensible structure independent from the rest of your
Web Accessibility Presentation
By Dennis Lembree.
Dennis Lembree's presentation on web accessibility from the January
meetup for Refresh Detroit. Topics included the definition of the term,
general issues, guidelines and law, and advocates.
Proceedings Web Accessibility Capacity Building Institute
Proceedings are available for the Web Accessibility Capacity Building
Institute (CBI), held November 29 - December 1, 2006 in Seattle.
Writing an Accessibility Statement
By Leonie Watson.
"The article explains the use and importance of accessibility
statements, and provides a template for download."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
By Meryl Evans.
"I've been ironing the kinks (still has a few left) and polishing up
CSS Collection. It's a showcase of good quality sites using CSS for
layouts. As I sort the previously submitted sites into categories,
you'll be able to see examples in categories that interest you or just
browse the screen shot thumbnails. There are many CSS galleries and we
all have similar features. One thing that makes CSS Collection stand
out is that it's the first gallery (May 2001). The gallery is a great
way to get inspiration. I find when I'm struggling to come up with
design ideas and suggestions, I browse through the gallery and look for
specific features. Not copy the site ... but look for examples of well
done buttons, navigation and so on."
CSS Design Basics with Dreamweaver - Part 3: Margins and Padding
By Adrian Senior.
"Learn how margins and padding values affect your design layouts and
how you can set your margin values to maintain a consistent
relationship between your elements..."
+04: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Eye Gaze Patterns While Searching vs. Browsing a Website
By S. Shrestha and K. Lenz.
"This article discusses users' visual scan paths of web pages
containing text and/or pictures while conducting browsing and searching
tasks. User performance on three usability tasks on an e-commerce
website is described. Results show that users follow a fairly uniform
scan path when browsing through pictures, and a more random path while
specifically searching through them. Additionally, users appeared to
follow Nielsen's F pattern (2006) while both browsing and searching
through text-based pages."
A Review of Morae for Usability Testing
By S. Shrestha.
"TechSmith's Morae is a powerful tool that is useful for any usability
study. Its simplicity, efficiency, cost effectiveness and portability
has redefined the data collection process and allows researchers to
focus on the user experience rather than the data collection tools.
This article discusses some of the features of this tool and proposes
some enhancements to make it even more powerful to usability
Behind the Mirror - Usability Testing Musings (Day One)
By Chris Heilmann.
"I spent the day today in some usability testing of a product I am
involved in at the moment. We sat in a small room with coffee, soft
drinks and far too many chocolately nibbles and watched people through
a one-way mirror remark on our wireframes and try to solve tasks given
to them. I've done this in the past, but had a bit of a break in
between, so it was fun coming back to it. The most interesting part is
that in the year or so I have been out of that loop not much changed..."
Testing Incentives: The Best Way to Pay
By Cliff Anderson.
"Recently, I informally surveyed the members on a popular usability
listserv to see how other usability professionals compensate their
participants. I heard from 37 respondents. Here's how you compensate
your participants, by the numbers."
February 5, 2007.
February 19, 2007.
March 5, 2007.
London, United Kingdom
Internet User Experience
February 19-22, 2007.
Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A.
Human Factors International Training
February 19-March 2, 2007 in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.
March 19-30, 2007 in Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
May 7-18, 2007 in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
July 30-Aug 10, 2007 in Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
August 13-24, 2007 in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
September 17-28, 2007 in Minneapolis, Minneapolis, U.S.A.
Portal Conference 2007
June 5-8, 2007.
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania U.S.A.
World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate,
Government, Healthcare, & Higher Education
October 15-19, 2007.
Quebec City, Canada
WAI-ARIA Live Regions
By Gez Lemon.
"Many of the accessibility issues associated with AJAX will be solved
by the live regions concept from the WAI-ARIA (Web Accessibility
Initiative - Accessible Rich Internet Applications) suite. Live regions
allow assistive technologies, such as screen readers, to be informed of
updates without losing their place in the content..."
A Note About Event Bubbling
By Peter-Paul Koch.
"Just now I delivered a project during the making of which I noted a
feature of event bubbling that, though totally logical, came as a
surprise to me. No doubt someone else will be surprised, too, and may
even be able to use it in a project..."
By Tony Patton.
multiple data values to one variable, but you can also use it to
utilize stack and queue data structures in an application. Get more
By Roger Johansson.
"...Unfortunately it seems that when libraries or frameworks enter the
room, best practices regarding usability, accessibility, and
unobtrusive scripting are very easily thrown out of the window. In most
cases this is not the fault of the libraries themselves, but of badly
written demos (which will be copied and used as-is, no matter what you
say), lack of documentation, and developers who use the libraries and
their accompanying demos recklessly, without considering the
consequences...whether you swear by libraries or not, make sure that
Streamlining the Design Process with Paper Prototyping: An Interview
with Carolyn Snyder
By Ashley McKee.
"Ashley McKee recently sat down with Carolyn Snyder, author of Paper
Prototyping, and founder of Snyder Consulting, to get answers to some
of the most pervasive questions surrounding paper prototyping."
Access 2.0 Interview - Richard Cranfield
By Paul Crichton.
"Richard Cranfield has dyslexia. It is often called the 'hidden
disability' because it can go undiagnosed despite the problems that it
causes with reading and writing. For web developers, too, it presents
challenges on how they design pages, and unlike other accessibility
issues, relatively little material is available to help. For example,
whilst most are aware that contrast is an issue, not everyone knows
that an off-white background can be better than white, or better even
the yellow on black as established as the typical 'high visibility'
colour scheme by Betsy..."
The Importance of Link Highlighting
By Grant Broome.
"...This all really boils down to two things: 1. Make sure that all
links are visible when they receive focus. 2. Create links that
highlight when they receive focus..."
Don't Be The Weakest Link
By Paul Boag.
"Paul Boag discusses some of the accessibility and usability issues
around the way we style up the humble hypertext link..."
Is There an Example of a Scalable Taxonomy?
By Joshua Porter.
"I'm not happy with any taxonomy, really. I can't think of a single one
that works well for me, let alone works perfectly. Even a site with as
simple a taxonomy as Apple.com confuses me, with some links on the 2nd
level nav (like software and hardware) that are clearly a wider scope
than those on the top level. I have to remember that this is the case
when I want to find the software page?I have to remember the taxonomy,
which to me is a mark of a poor one."
Scalable or Usable Taxonomies
By Donna Maurer.
"Joshua Porter has an interesting blog post titled "Is there an Example
of a Scalable Taxonomy?". What I found interesting is that the title is
about scalability, and he links to some interesting articles about
scalability (comparing taxonomies with folksonomies in the main), but
his examples are about usability. These are quite different things..."
The Building Blocks: Data Types, Literals, Variables, and Constants -
By Ellie Quigley.
"In the last part of this series, we look at creating constants with
the define() function, the constant() function, predefined and 'magic'
"PHP is a powerful server-side scripting language for creating dynamic
and interactive websites. PHP is the widely-used, free, and efficient
alternative to competitors such as Microsoft's ASP. PHP is perfectly
suited for Web development and can be embedded directly into the HTML
code. The PHP syntax is very similar to Perl and C. PHP is often used
together with Apache (web server) on various operating systems. It also
supports ISAPI and can be used with Microsoft's IIS on Windows. Start
Introduction to PHP Classes (OOP)
"Learn how to use PHP Classes for Object Oriented Programming"
Operators In PHP
"...Today we are going to discuss different types of operators used in
PHP MySQL Tutorials
Loops In PHP
"Let's move towards our today's lecture which is about Loops..."
+10: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
Adobe to Release PDF for Industry Standardization
"Adobe Systems Incorporated today announced that it intends to release
the full Portable Document Format 1.7 specification to AIIM, the
Enterprise Content Management Association, for the purpose of
publication by the International Organization for Standardization
Calling Your Bluff on PDF
By Joe Clark.
"A common lie reiterated by standards ideologues is that HTML is an
open standard while PDF is proprietary..."
HTML Standards Process Returning from the Grave: Comment-17195
By Maciej Stachowiak (Apple).
"We declined to participate in the XHTML2 Working Group because we
think XHTML2 is not an appropriate technology for the web..."
Working Together for a Better Web
By Molly E. Holzschlag.
"I'm excited to announce that I've signed on with the Internet Explorer
team on a contract basis to work on standards and interoperability
Former WaSP Interoperability Advocate Hired by Microsoft
By Scott M. Fulton.
"The lady who in September 2005 called Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's
claim in a Business Week article that his company would eventually 'win
the Web' "deplorable in the light of what the Web means to the world,
to users, to designers and developers and to put it into Microsoft
parlance, customers," now finds herself working for him..."
Conference Schedule Creator
By Dmitry Baranovskiy.
Easy timetable generator using correct table markup and microformats.
DOM Tool: Mr T Edition
By Muffin Research Labs.
Mr. T talks to you about your bad syntax :-)
"...Let us hope it encourages developers to pay more attention. In
order to trigger an error try using inline style or event handlers (or
use <a style="color:red" onclick="foo();" href="#">link</a>). While
Stu, must remain the default Mr T is available in the options. Any
suggestions for more characters? Perhaps the hair of Christian Heilmann
might make an appearance."
The Effect of Typeface on the Perception of Email
By A.D. Shaikh, D. Fox, and B. Chaparro.
"This study investigated the effect that a font has on the reader?s
perception of an email. Based on a previous study by Shaikh, Chaparro,
and Fox (2006), a sample email message was presented in three fonts
(Calibri, Comic Sans, and Gigi). The three chosen fonts represented a
high, medium, and low level of congruency for email messages. The least
congruent typeface (Gigi) resulted in different perceptions of the
email document and its author. However, no significant differences were
found between the moderately and highly congruent fonts."
Comparing the Usability of Three Dual Language School Websites
By S. Naidu, V. Hinkle, and S. Shrestha.
"This study evaluated the usability of three websites for
Spanish-English Dual Language K-8 schools. Twelve participants (6
parents, 6 teachers) reviewed and performed tasks on the three public
school websites. Site usability was determined through both objective
and subjective measures, including task completion time, first-click,
total number of pages visited, task success, perceived task difficulty,
user satisfaction, and overall ranked preference. Results indicated
that one site was preferred more than the others by both user groups
and resulted in more efficient search behavior. Clear navigation, link
terminology, and proper use of both languages were found to be critical
factors contributing to the sites' usability."
You Only Get Three Seconds to Make an Impression
By Des Traynor.
"People have forgotten that the most important thing on a website is
Enhance Your (Page) Performance!
By Christian Heilmann.
"One of the biggest obstacles to tackle in web site and web application
design is the initial response time of the product. There is a common
feeling among web users that things just don't happen fast enough..."
Mapping Your Website Redesign Strategy
By Maish Nichani.
"...The Eliminate, Reduce, Raise and Create framework by INSEAD
professors W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne is a popular technique for
analyzing business strategy. They have written an entire book -- Blue
Ocean Strategy -- on this technique. We're going to borrow a page from
it and map our redesign strategy..."
The Changing Face of University Websites
By Maish Nichani.
"...In a recent project for a local university, I looked at the pages
of 25 universities, mostly from the US, UK, Australia - the countries
that local students look to for higher education studies. In this
respect, the sample size being terribly small, I cannot say for certain
that what I've learned is taking place universally. But the areas of
change are so fundamental (and exciting) that I just had to write about
The End-User Manifesto
By Hugh Macleod.
"Hugh Macleod has posted an end-user manifesto for web and application
design, originally created by Danny V. The first five items: 1. Don't
waste my time. 2. Help me do the right thing. 3. Respect my decisions.
4. Design well, and guide me to make the right decisions by that
design. 5. Don't lie to me - if I see something in front of me, then I
should be able to act on it unless the interface tells me I can't."
Good Headings Help, Bad Headings Hurt
By Caroline Jarrett.
"Medium frequency headings (about every 200 words): the best. Low
frequency headings (about every 300 words): in the middle. High
frequency (about every 100 words) and No headings: tied for the worst,
with 'No headings' slightly ahead."
By Ginny Redish.
"...headings need to make connections to the user. Single nouns or noun
phrases that have no people and no verbs in them do not do well as
headings. However, this does not mean that questions are always the
best type of heading..."
Creating Effective Headings
"On the Web, you live or die by your headings. A good one makes it
easier for surfers to find your text, and much more likely that they
will read what you have written. A bad heading ensures that few, if
any, users will find your text at all, and that those who do will be
less likely to read further. During this lesson, you will learn an
efficient process for creating effective headings, plus eight quick
rules. You will also work through a series of exercises and assignments
to hone your skills..."
XForms in Firefox
By Elliott Rusty Harold.
"Using the experimental Mozilla XForms extension, you can process
XForms in your browser today. While not yet deployed widely enough for
use on the public Internet, XForms may be suitable for some intranet
applications. This article demonstrates basic XForms processing as
currently supported by Firefox and the Mozilla XForms plug-in."
Simple Web Syndication with RSS 2.0
"RSS was originally created in 1999 by Netscape as a channel
description framework for their My Netscape Network. MNN was a portal
system that allowed end users to selectively view new content from
their choice of content providers. RSS was created as a means of
gathering that content. Since its creation, RSS has been updated and
expanded to handle a much wider range of content with a far broader
range of uses."
[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