[webdev] Web Design Update: March 16, 2007
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Fri Mar 16 08:04:40 CDT 2007
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 5, Issue 39, March 16, 2007.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 39 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.
Accessibility in Interaction Design
"In this unit we will discuss what we mean by 'disability'. We will
analyses some common impairment and disability groups, considering
people with visual impairments, hearing impairments, physical
Building Better Websites by Understanding Blind Users Browsing Behavior
By Johan Desilva.
"...I went to a JAWS screen-reader demonstration with the aid of John
who is a registered blind. Meeting John has helped further my
understanding of building websites for users like himself. John has
been using the internet ever since the first release of JAWS and now
teaches a variety of screen readers to novice users..."
Multiple Web Accessibility Assessments
By Donna Smillie.
"There are three main methods of assessing the accessibility of a
website: 1. Automated testing. 2. Expert human review. 3. End user
testing. Each has its benefits and drawbacks..."
I Saw a Mouse! Where?
By Mel Pedley.
"Not everyone uses a mouse to navigate. Not everyone can. And that is
something we all occasionally forget. Sure, we know that visually
impaired and blind users navigate by keyboard, but what about all of
those people who can see perfectly well but cannot use a mouse for
numerous reasons. What do they use? And how does this impact us, as web
designers, if at all?..."
The 'Accessibility Backlash' - It's a Good Thing!
By Julie Howell.
"...While there is a backlash accessibility will remain on the agenda.
So let's be sure we contribute to the debate at every opportunity. The
greatest threat to the accessibility movement is lack of passion.
Passionate debate will bring about change. A 'disability backlash' is
very good news for disabled people. Long may it continue!"
Technology is the Last, Best Hope for Accessibility
By James Edwards.
"...technology is the last, best hope for accessibility. It's not like
the physical world, where there are good, tangible reasons why some
things can never be accessible. A person who's blind will never be able
to drive a car manually; someone in a wheelchair will never be able to
climb the steps of an ancient stone cathedral. Technology is not like
the physical world - technology can take any shape. Technology is our
slave, and we can make it do what we want. With technology there are no
good reasons, only excuses..."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
CSS for Deprecated HTML Attributes: Part 1
By Emma Sax.
"When HTML 4.0 was introduced some attributes became deprecated.
Browsers continued to support them to ensure older sites continued to
display correctly, and developers were urged to stop using them in
favor of more flexible alternatives such as CSS..."
CSS for Deprecated HTML Attributes: Part 2
By Emma Sax.
"Let's get straight into it with link, alink and vlink. I'll also cover
clear, size and noshade..."
CSS for Deprecated HTML Attributes: Part 3
By Emma Sax.
"...In this final part I will be mopping up width, height, bgcolor and
Debug CSS with CSS
By Michael Kennedy.
"When coding my tableless web sites I sometimes will use a few lines of
CSS code to help me debug the layout..."
Coloring Your World - Part 1: Color Basics
By Derrick Ypenburg.
"Part of our job as professional communicators is to work with color
every single day, whether it is starting from scratch to create a
unique logo and color scheme for a client, sending a multitude of
colors from a website out to the world, or ensuring a Pantone color
match is adhered to. I love color and I thought it was time to discuss
the basics of color for those of us who struggle with it, don't quite
understand the basics, or are just stuck in a rut. As well, I luckily
work with a print designer as my business partner, so I've come to
learn about bringing the world of print and multimedia together and
would like to share that with you on a basic level as well. In this
first part of a three part series, let's go through the color basics."
+04: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Content Analysis Heuristics
By Fred Leise.
"Many Web professionals consider content inventories critical parts of
most projects. Are there certain specific things to look for during a
content inventory? Fred Leise definitely thinks so. He proposes a set
of content analysis heuristics and discusses how to utilize each one."
Cooper U Interaction Design Practicum
April 16-19, 2007.
May 15-18, 2007.
San Francisco California, U.S.A.
CC for Flash
By National Center for Accessible Media.
"NCAM has developed a Flash component that can be used to display
captions in a Flash video player. These captions are read from external
files formatted in the W3C's DFXP format which can be created with
MAGpie, NCAM's free captioning application. CC for Flash also imports
Apple's QTtext format for use within the application. QTtext files can
be created by professional caption authoring tools, or as an output
from CaptionKeeper or MAGpie. Any content can display captions in Flash
using the CC for Flash component with a QTtext file or a DFXP file..."
A View from Inside: A Major Assistive Technology Player Shares Some
Industry Secrets (Chris Hofstader Interview)
By Deborah Kendrick.
"...Consumers who are blind do tolerate it because, in his opinion,
they have accepted what Hofstader views as the most outrageous lie in
the assistive technology industry, namely, that the industry is too
poor to fix problems and make better products and that there simply is
not enough profit in this small market to do as much as talent may
allow. It is a big fat lie, Hofstader stated, and immediately did
rapid-fire verbal calculations to illustrate his point..."
Thoughts on an Interesting Interview with Chris Hofstader, Formerly of
By Peter Korn.
"...and while I completely agree with him that this and other things he
cites are myths, I don't completely agree with him as to the 'real
reasons' for the quality and stability of AT products (especially
screen readers), and the price of products..."
Coverage of SXSW 2007
Improving the User Experience with In-Page Navigation
By Maish Nichani.
"...When used appropriately in-page navigation can enhance the
readability and learnabilty of the text. But as noted, although there
are benefits, the lack of easy authoring environments makes this only a
geek-add-on at best."
PHP Security Tip Number 6
By Cal Evans (editor).
"The topic of writing secure applications in PHP covers more than just
writing good PHP code. Most applications make use of a database of some
kind. Many times, vulnerabilities that affect the entire application,
are introduced when building the SQL code."
PHP Security Tip Number 7
By Cal Evans (editor).
"When using session_regenerate_id() to protect against session fixation
it's usually a good idea to remove the old session ID."
PHP Security Tip Number 8
By Cal Evans (editor).
"Within PHP security topics, there is always more than one way to
accomplish a task. Many times it's by combining tactics that we achieve
the best security."
PHP Security Tip Number 9
By Cal Evans (editor).
"Sometimes it's the simplest ideas that are the most powerful. This one
sounds simple but I'm always surprised at how few people understand and
actually implement this idea."
PHP Security Tip Number 10
By Cal Evans (editor).
"Even when doing everything correctly, it's still possible to build PHP
applications that are insecure. Security requires constant vigilance.
One thing you always have to keep your eye on is any script or form
that sends an email based on use input."
+10: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
WaSP Street Team
By Web Standards Project.
"The WaSP Street Team is about you. No, not all the other YOUs reading
this but YOU you, in your actual skin. The idea is that together we
create a number of tasks - challenges if you will - to help the
promotion of web standards in your local community. Things that will
help get the word out to the businesses, educational institutions, web
shops and individuals who live and operate directly near you. As a
central group it's hard for us to reach those people, but as a
distributed team, it's easy."
Semantics in HTML
By John Allsopp.
"These three, quite substantial articles, written in early 2007,
attempt to address the issue of semantics in HTML in detail. What
really is 'semantics' in the context of the web, and more importantly
HTML? Where does the semantics of HTML come from? Where will further
developments to the semantics of HTML come from?"
Presentation Layer Best Practices
By Frederic Welterlin.
"...Web Standards and Accessibility-based development should not be
regarded as just additional tasks to be implemented -- it is really a
design approach that starts right from the beginning. Ideally,
presentation layer developers should be brought into the design phase
early on to work with visual and interaction designers in helping to
create a user experience that is compelling and dynamic for those
browsers that can handle it (progressive enhancement), while still
providing logical content structures for those browsers that cannot
By Ed Eliot.
"Prepares code snippets for inclusion in a blog post. Code is formatted
with line numbers, indentation is preserved and special characters are
replaced with entities where necessary."
"...create a webpage from your source code."
Web Typography Sucks
By Richard Rutter.
Richard and Mark Boulton's South by Southwest presentation slides.
By Joe Clark.
Joe Clark's clarification on prime and double prime.
Problems with Font Rendering on Macs
By Richard Rutter.
"...Firefox, Safari, Opera and Camino may render even the same font
differently. This is because there are (at least) five different
formats of fonts: TrueType-Mac, TrueType-PC, PostScript-Type 1,
OpenType-PostScript and OpenType-TrueType. I'm not au fait with the
technical differences between formats, but the differences in rendering
between browsers is shocking..."
Helvetica (Video Clips)
"Veer presents excerpts from Helvetica, a feature-length independent
film about typography, graphic design and global visual culture. It
looks at the typeface (celebrating its 50th birthday this year) and
also how type affects our lives."
10 High-Profit Redesign Priorities
By Jakob Nielsen.
"Several usability findings lead directly to higher sales and increased
customer loyalty. These design tactics should be your first priority
when updating your website."
Usability, Aesthetics, Emotions and the User Experience
By Sascha Mahlke.
"Sascha Mahlke aims is to better understand how people experience
technology. While acknowledging the importance of usability, his
research also addresses non-instrumental qualities (aesthetic and
symbolic aspects) and emotional responses. In this article, Sascha
reports on a series of studies he has conducted. In Study 1 using real
products, he looks at whether usability assessment and aesthetic
response correlate with the emotional response and overall judgment of
a product. In Study 2, he reports on a controlled experiment that
sought to reveal dependencies between usability, aesthetics, emotional
response and overall judgment of a product. In Study 3 he explores the
influence of context on various aspects of the user experience."
Instructional Text in the User Interface: Some Counterintuitive
Implications of User Behaviors
By Mike Hughes.
"User assistance occurs within an action context--the user doing
something with an application--and should appear in close proximity to
the focus of that action--that is, the application it supports. The
optimal placement of user assistance, space permitting, is in the user
interface itself. We typically call that kind of user assistance
instructional text. But when placing user assistance within an
application as instructional text, we must modify conventional
principles of good information design to accommodate certain forces
within an interactive user interface. This column, User Assistance,
talks about how the rules for effective instruction change when
creating instructional text for display within the context of a user
Dueling Interaction Models of Personal-Computing and Web-Computing
By Matthias Muller-Prove and Frank Ludolph.
"...This extra mental effort causes problems because humans do not pay
attention to the surrounding context once they are focused on their
activity; they lose sight of the fact that they work in a browser and
transfer their experience with desktop applications to build
expectation on using web applications. In many cases this is the reason
for errors and sometimes even loss of data. Recent progress in web
technology enables the designers to deliver rich and interactive user
experiences. E-mail and calendaring are examples for applications that
are available for the desktop and the web. This will fuel the conflict
between desktop and web even more, as the tasks become more
indistinguishable in still different interaction contexts."
Reevaluating XSLT 2.0
By Kurt Cagle.
"I recently wrote a blog about the directions that I saw with XML, and
while it has proved to be fairly popular, it has also generated a fair
number of comments that really need their own more detailed
examination. One of these, and one that I've been planning to write for
a while anyway, has to do with my comments about XSLT 2.0 increasingly
being used as a 'router' language, replacing such applications as
Microsoft's BizTalk Server..."
Teaching XSLT New Tricks with EXSLT
By Michael Day.
"Following on from Kurt's detailed reevaluation of XSLT 2.0, I thought
that I might share an example of what you can do in XSLT 1.0 with the
assistance of EXSLT, a useful set of extension functions that are
supported by most XSLT implementations..."
[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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+ 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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