[webdev] Web Design Update: February 23, 2007
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Fri Feb 23 06:32:10 CST 2007
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 5, Issue 36, February 23, 2007.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 36 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.
12: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
17: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Video Accessibility Problems
By Joe Dolson.
"In our Web 2.0 times it seems like video sharing has become a social
media giant. I can certainly see why - it's exciting and novel to be
able to transmit these magical moving images across time and space!
Well, OK...if you put it that way, it's not all that new. It is,
however, spectacularly easy to do today - and that is a major
difference. What isn't so easy is to make these videos accessible.
Video has a number of glaring accessibility problems. There's nothing
especially complicated about these issues - they should be obvious,
after all - but accomplishing them at all seems to be beyond the pale
at the moment. It's not that it's difficult to make video accessible.
It's not that the software to do it, at least in a limited manner, is
expensive or difficult to use. It's mostly two issues: laziness or
IE7, Screen Readers And Screen Enlargers
By Mel Pedley.
"With the release of Internet Explorer 7 (IE7), questions have been
raised as to how well the new browser will integrate with current
screen readers and magnifiers and whether users of these products
should update to IE7 immediately or remain with Internet Explorer 6
(IE6) for now until they upgrade their existing software..."
Computer-Based Exam Discriminated Against Blind Candidate
"A qualifications body discriminated against a blind systems manager
when it failed to make its computer-based exam accessible to her. The
tribunal ruling is the first to find a US company with no presence in
the UK liable under the UK's Disability Discrimination Act..."
Accessibility and International Law
By Joe Dolson.
"...The question is whether a company with no literal presence within a
country can be held liable in that country due to an issue of website
access. A tribunal in the United Kingdom has recently ruled just that -
determining that a computer-based exam which was not accessible was in
violation of the UK's Disability Discrimination Act..."
How Accessible is 'Accessible'?
By Chris Hofstater.
"...Some of my friends who use Windows based screen readers...argue
that even marginal accessibility is better than what we had twenty-five
years ago so we should not yell too loudly about sites that do not
comply fully with the various guidelines and standards for
accessibility...My personal opinion is that we blinks need to try to
force 100% compliance as, with anything less, we're going to get crap.
If we push for 100% compliance, we'll be lucky to get 75 percent so
accepting anything less gives a free pass to web developers as regards
the discrimination, intentional or otherwise, caused by the lack of
compliance. What do you think?..."
Dealing with Acronyms and Abbreviations
By Mike Cherim.
"For quite some time the methodologies of how best to deal with
acronyms and abbreviations on the web have been discussed by developers
the world over. We seek the best practices and hope to serve all of our
visitors with something of use. But what is the best way? How do we
please all of the people all of the time? Is it even possible? Let's
explore this further..."
Accessibility in the Design Process
By Joe Clark.
Web Directions North Speaker notes.
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
Print Style Sheets: The Basics (for no excuses)
By Jens Meiert.
"There are no excuses for not having at least a simple print style
sheet. Period. And if you're already on the web standards track, things
are dead simple. (There's just no need to force users to disable style
sheets, open Print Previews, select pages they want to print, and
finally print.) Let's go..."
Style Table Borders with CSS
By Tony Patton.
"Web developer Tony Patton examines how to use CSS to style the borders
of HTML tables. He also offers examples that show how the CSS border
property can specify the size of the border along with its color and
CSS Design Basics with Dreamweaver - Part 5: Defining and Using ID
By Adrian Senior.
"Understand when to use ID selectors, how to create them, and why they
are different from other types of CSS selectors."
CSS Design Basics with Dreamweaver - Part 6: Defining and Using
By Adrian Senior.
"Learn to use type, class, and ID selectors to build descendant
Dreamweaver 8 In Pictures
"This tutorial helps beginners learn the basics of creating Web sites
with Adobe Dreamweaver 8."
+04: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Expert Usability Review vs. Usability Testing
By Lisa Halabi.
"One question we're often asked is which method is best: usability
testing or expert usability reviews? Well, if they were sports cars,
expert usability reviews might be a Porsche (pretty decent car and
better than no car at all), but usability testing would be in a
different league, namely Formula 1..."
Enterprise Information Architecture
Because Users Don't Care About Your Org Chart
May 10, 2007 in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.
May 31, 2007 in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.
Don't Make Me Think!
Web Usability Workshop (with Steve Krug)
May 11, 2007 in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.
June 1, 2007 in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.
16th IEEE international Workshops on Enabling Technologies:
Infrastructures for Collaborative Enterprises
June 18-20, 2007.
An Event Apart Seattle
June 21-22, 2007.
Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
Seattle Google Conference on Scalability
June 23, 2007.
Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
October 22-23, 2007.
Tilburg, The Netherlands
Designing for User Experiences (DUX'07)
November 5-7, 2007.
Chicago Illinois, U.S.A.
Fear of Flash
By James Ward.
"...So how did I overcome my fears and jump head first into the
Flash/Flex world, eventually becoming an evangelist for Flex? Before I
begin, the following is not meant to be a point-by-point argument for
why to use Flash and Flex. I save those for when I am confronted with
specific use cases. The following is more about my specific use case,
which may or may not apply to your use case. If you want to talk
specifically about your use case please ping me. I'd love to hear what
you are building and honestly talk about whether Flash and Flex is the
+07: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
The No-Knead Approach to Information Architecture, 2 of 5
By Louis Rosenfeld.
"...Ban the word 'redesign' from your meetings. Redesign is a really,
really dirty word, and your design discussions-and outcomes-will be far
more successful if you avoid it. Here's why..."
Information Design for the Web
By Colin Lieberman.
"The art and science of preparing data for human consumption is
Information Design. Every train schedule, product data sheet, and
customer survey we encounter was designed, either expertly or crudely,
to organize information to facilitate interaction. Good information
design solves problems and communicates effectively. Bad design muddles
facts and misses causality. When we're lucky, bad design results merely
in confusing or misleading information displays; at its worst,
ineffective information design can cost lives..."
The Road to Cross-Domain XMLHttpRequest
By Anne Van Kesteren.
"Enabling Read Access for Web Resources is the first step to
XMLHttpRequest2 which will have support for cross-site requests. Ian
Hickson wrote up a proposal for cross-site extensions to XMLHttpRequest
a while ago which uses the aforementioned document. When the algorithms
for 'Enabling Read Access for Web Resources' are finalized I'll take a
stab at writing XMLHttpRequest2..."
By Christopher Jason.
"A handy trick for Web Developers in the ability to parse a string to
check for a given sub-string. In plain English, this means checking if
a word or part of a word is contained within text. This tutorial
Conversation With X/HTML 5 Team (Ian Hickson Q and A)
"A new version of HTML is in the works, called X/HTML 5. Vlad Alexander
from xhtml.com was invited to post a series of questions to the X/HTML
5 team on their public mailing list. The responses, republished below,
came from Ian Hickson, editor of the X/HTML 5 specification..."
Accessibility Videos and Podcasts
By University of Wisconsin Madison.
Chris Wilson on IE7, Ajax, and Web Standards (podcast)
By Jon Udell.
"Hi, this is Jon Udell. In this first installment of my new Microsoft
Conversations series I got together with Chris Wilson. He's been
involved with Internet Explorer and with web standards for over a
Search Doesn't Compete with Navigation
By James Robertson.
"...Fundamentally, search is great for known item searching, but
hopeless at unknown item searching. If you don't know what you are
looking for, you don't know what terms to type into search...you need
both search and navigation. They both need to be effective. So let's
bury the hatchet, and get on the with the job of making them work."
By Jonathan Nicol.
"An article on the importance of making hyperlinks stand out might seem
like an exercise in stating the obvious. I would have thought so too,
until I came across the portfolio site of a reputable web design firm
last week and found myself playing a game of link hide-and-seek..."
Using Icons for Web Site Navigation - a Waste of Time?
By Christian Watson.
"...Given how poorly icons work for most aspects of web site
navigation, I have to conclude that the cost to develop them is not
worth it. I'll admit that when well-designed they look nice, but if you
removed from a site it would be none the worse for it. Valuable design
time would most likely be better spent elsewhere."
The Truth About SEO
By Scott Karp.
"When a controversy foments to the point where both sides are shouting
at the top of their lungs and can't even hear each other, the truth is
typically somewhere between the two extremes. Such is the case it seems
with search engine optimization, or SEO..."
The 3-Click Rule
By Free Usability Advice.
"Is it important that users be able to get to any content in a website
within 3 clicks?..."
Detailed Guide On Arrays In PHP
"Here is yet another article of Fast PHP Articles Series. Today we are
going to discuss arrays. We will learn its syntax, its different types,
the different built-in Array functions that help to perform different
tasks related to Arrays quickly and different practical examples
explaining the use of Arrays in PHP. By the end of this article you
should be able to..."
Introduction to PHP Security
"Security in a scripting language such as PHP is more
developer-dependent than language-dependent. In other words, although
the language offers you the tools to create secure code, it cannot
prevent insecure code. Thus, the degree to which code is secure almost
entirely depends on how security conscious a developer is."
+12: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
By Andy Rutledge.
"the Internet can no more offer a tactile experience than a print
magazine can offer a video on its pages. What that means is that
designers have to respect the strengths and limitations of the medium
and work to communicate within the relevant context."
Web Standards: It's About Quality, Not Compliance
By Andy Rutledge.
"In spite of the widespread acceptance of Web standards by a specific
segment of the design and development community, hosts of professionals
-those out there right now creating the Web - are working in direct
opposition to these standards. A significant reason for why this is
happening and how those not working with Web standards justify their
activity boils down, I believe, to something regrettably simple:
Web Standards and Accessibility
"...And that's why standards and accessibility are so intertwined, and
always have been, even if the web community is no better at
understanding the limitations of exploring accessibility through
disability as everyone else."
By Andy Mitchell.
"...Right now, microformats can be used to let users easily extract
people/event information from your website for their organizer software
(like Outlook). It also submits your documents into Technorati's new
microformat search engine. In the near future, microformats will help
both you and your work be better ranked by conventional search engines
like Google. They will also make your data accessible to other sites -
like event organizers - who in turn will promote your site."
Semantics in HTML Part I - Traditional Semantic HTML
By John Allsopp.
"This is the first in a series of articles which aims to survey the
issue of semantics in current web design and development..."
Semantics in HTML Part II - Standardizing Vocabularies
By John Allsopp.
"A few weeks back I posted the first in a series of articles in
'semantics in HTML', trying to look a little more deeply into what
semantics in relation to HTML actually means, where we get it from, and
where it might come from in future. I've just posted Part II, Semantics
in HTML Part II - standardizing vocabularies, which mostly focuses on
microformats, and the kind of semantics they bring to HTML, as well as
the mechanisms microformats use to do this. Hope you might find it
useful in some way."
By Christoph Dorn.
Firefox extension and PEAR package for debugging PHP apps.
The 100 Percent Easy-2-Read Standard
By Information Architects.
"Most websites are crammed with small text that is a pain to read.
By Luke Wroblewski.
"As arbitrators of checkout, registration, and data entry, forms are
often the linchpins of successful Web applications."
Perceptions of Page Loading Speed
By Alastair Campbell.
"...I'd much rather a site seem fast than be fast. Unfortunately,
little truths like this don't tend to stop the checkbox mentality."
Does Your Copy Hold Up To A Quick Glance?
By Jessica Neuman Beck.
"It's an all-too-common problem that anyone running a website will
recognize. Lots of visitors, but no comments. Plenty of page views, but
no purchases. Whether you're building a reputation, a community, or an
online business, converting virtual passers-by into readers,
subscribers, or customers is the most important step you need to
master-and Digital Web's newest author, Jessica Neuman Beck, is here to
point you in the right direction..."
Balance and Simplicity
By D. Keith Robinson.
"...In today's world where technology, information and complexity (both
good and bad) play an ever increasing (and often unwanted) role in our
lives, there is a serious need for balance and simplicity. We have to
begin to eliminate meaningless and valueless complexity wherever it can
be found to ensure we can get the most value, meaning (and delight) out
of our lives."
Jakob Jumps The Shark
By Peter Merholz.
"...his latest essay, where he claims 'In one example, a state agency
could get an ROI of 22,000 percent by fixing a basic usability
problem.' If he hadn't jumped the shark before, he really has now. He
backs this outrageous claim with a remarkably naive cost-benefit
analysis, the kind of financial fiddling that no serious finance
director within any organization would believe. (At Adaptive Path we
actually conducted research with a range of organizations on how they
do such math, and these kinds of
multiplying-lots-of-little-numbers-to-make-a-big-number kind of math
never holds water.) I wouldn't write about it except that I fear that
Jakob is turning into a pernicious force when it comes to advancing the
field of design, because his reach means tens of thousands of people
are reading this unsubstantiated crap. Such outrageous claims truly
feel like the wild flailings of increasing irrelevance..."
XHTML 1.1 Second Edition: Working Draft
"The HTML Working Group released the second edition of XHTML 1.1 -
Module-based XHTML as a Working Draft in preparation for Proposed
Edited Recommendation. XHTML 1.1 is a reformulation of XHTML 1.0 Strict
based on XHTML modules. Not a new version, the second edition
incorporates all known corrections and adds a new description in XML
[Section one ends.]
++ SECTION TWO:
+17: 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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