[webdev] Web Design Update: May 25, 2007
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Fri May 25 06:28:49 CDT 2007
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 5, Issue 49, May 25, 2007.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 49 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.
11: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
15: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Call for Review: Updated WCAG 2.0 Working Draft
By Patrick Lauke.
"The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (WCAG WG)
invites you to comment on an updated draft of the Web Content
Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0), published on 17 May 2007. WCAG
2.0 addresses accessibility of Web content for people with
Summary of Issues, Revisions, and Rationales for Changes to WCAG 2.0
2006 Last Call Draft
"This document provides an overview of the changes made to WCAG 2.0
since the Last Call Working Draft, and the rationale for making or not
making suggested changes..."
Overview of WCAG 2.0 Documents
WCAG 2.0 Comments
Updated Luminosity Colour Contrast Analysers
By Gez Lemon.
"The Juicy Studio Luminosity Contrast Ratio Analyser and the example
luminosity contrast ratios have been updated to match the latest
version of the draft Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. The
draft Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 were updated last
Thursday, and one of the things that was updated was the algorithm to
determine whether the contrast between foreground and background
colours is sufficient. As well as updating the algorithm itself, the
thresholds have been changed to consider large and bold text (at least
18 point or 14 point bold). The new thresholds are..."
How To Make Your Web Applications Accessible - The Human Way
By Christian Heilmann.
"One of my biggest annoyances when talking about accessibility and web
development is the argument of some developers that what they develop
are web applications and not web sites which is why they don't need to
care about accessibility. The arrogance of that statement aside it also
does not make any sense whatsoever. If anything, web applications
should be even more accessible than web sites. A blind or a keyboard
user not being able to learn about the new sports range of a certain
brand is less problematic than the same user not being able to do a
money transfer or apply for council benefits. "
Why We Use Headings
By Grant Broome.
"...The problem with headings is that nobody seems to be able to agree
on which heading needs to start the page, and whether it's OK to skip a
heading or not. The problem is further compounded by automated tools
which will fail you if you use more than one H1 or if you skip a
heading element (say H2 to H4). I've put something together here to try
and illustrate how JAWS users use headings and why these main concerns
may or may not actually be that important..."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
By Paul O'Brien.
"In the second part of our series of articles on the basic building
blocks of web design, we're very lucky to be able to bring you
SitePoint's resident CSS guru, Paul O'Brien, who takes a detailed look
at working with CSS backgrounds. There is nothing that Paul doesn't
know about CSS, so both newbies and experienced developers should be
sure to bookmark this exhaustive resource."
Rediscovering the Button Element
By Kevin Hale.
"Creating a consistent interface for your users is a constant struggle
for every application designer. Building consistency on the web is
especially tough because the visual rendering differences across
browsers and operating systems are wildly different and almost
arbitrary in what can and cannot be done. No where does this become
more apparent than when you're dealing with form elements and the
biggest loser of them all in the battle for a standardized look is the
infamous Submit button..."
Introducing CMX JumpStart Tahoe
By Sheri German.
If you've been around a while, you may remember the CMX JumpStart Vegas
that was released in the summer of 2005 by Stephanie Sullivan and Linda
Rathgeber. As one of our most popular JumpStarts, it inspired some CMX
subscribers to request a fluid version of this fixed-width design. Zoe
Gillenwater, one of our great CSS gurus, happily complied with our
newest CMX JumpStart Tahoe, a JumpStart modification. Tahoe, like
Vegas, is located in Nevada, and because it shares many of the same
kinds of entertainment centers, seems like a fitting city for a
permutation of the Vegas design..."
Creating Bulletproof Graphic Link Buttons with CSS
By Roger Johansson.
"A CSS problem I have been wrestling with lately is how to create a
bulletproof shrink wrapping graphic button. By that I mean an
image-based button that will expand and contract to fit the amount of
text it contains. It is a very useful technique for CMS-driven sites
that allow the client to change the text that is displayed on buttons,
as well as for multilingual sites..."
Feed Tools in Dreamweaver CS3: RSS and XSL
By Tom Muck.
"Adding an RSS feed to a web page is a piece of cake with the new XSL
features of Dreamweaver CS3. This article will show the new features of
XSL transformation using the freely available Community MX RSS feed, or
any other of your choice. The tutorial will require PHP, ColdFusion, or
another of the available server models in Dreamweaver CS3, as the XSL
functionality uses a server-side file to parse and transform the XML
+04: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Why 'How Many Users' Is Just The Wrong Question - Rethinking The
Requirements For Valid Usability Tests
By Kath Straub.
"...other things being equal (e.g., quality of recruiting), the better
predictor of the productivity of usability testing is the number of
tasks participants (try to) complete, not the number of participants
who try to complete them."
Three Important Benefits of Personas
By Jared M. Spool.
"...Personas are becoming a regular staple in many of the development
teams we talk to. The method helps teams make a smooth transition
between requirements and design, resulting with much cleaner designs.
The benefits of preventing grounding, encouraging story telling, and
enhancing role playing are rarely discussed, yet very present when you
see the method in full force. It's these benefits that guide our belief
that personas will be a trusted method for many years to come."
June 7, 2007.
June 29-30, 2007.
An Event Apart Chicago
August 27-28, 2007.
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
September 7, 2007.
Brighton, United Kingdom.
Information Architecture Summit
September 21-22, 2007.
Design Research Conference
September 21-22, 2007.
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
September 22-23, 2007.
+06: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
IA One Sheeters
By Leah Buley.
"One-Sheeters are quick and easy marketing tools for information
architects. They're like mini brochures to advertise IA deliverables
and promote the IA practice in your company. One-Sheeters help people
envision what deliverables you produce and where they fit into a
project. They're quick to produce and easy for anyone to understand..."
By Bruce Lawson.
"Last Wednesday I was down in the Big Smoke, so went to the Web
De-Mystifying Screen readers. I've admired Steve's work for a while,
because he actually tests real examples on real screenreaders (which is
a horrible job). Here's what I learned..."
An Interview with Mike Kuniavsky
By Tamara Adlin.
"Today I am speaking with Mike Kuniavsky. He is a founding partner of
Adaptive Path. Mike left Adaptive Path in 2004 to follow other
pursuits, including designing experience of tangible technology-which
sounds very cool and I'm looking forward to hearing more about it. Mike
has been developing commercial websites since 1994 for lots of
different people. He is also the author of Observing the User
Experience: A Practitioner's Guide to User Research, published by
Morgan Kaufmann. Mike's book is one of my personal favorites. When John
and I were writing our book, we referred to your book a lot..."
Are Sitemaps a Thing of the Past?
By Jonathan Christopher.
"The goal of many Web professionals is to produce high quality work
that makes the most of their medium. Products are designed to be both
aesthetically pleasing as well as elegantly useful. There are many
tools and techniques that can be used to make using any website that
much easier to use. One thing I don't find myself running across very
often any more are sitemaps. Have sitemaps become a thing of the
Getting PHP to Talk to MySQL
By Michele Davis and Jon Phillips.
"In this first part of a three-part series. you will begin learning how
to use PHP to display and modify data from a MySQL database."
Failover Database Connection with PHP + mySQL
By Stephen Belue.
You want to connect to a mySQL database? Well, then it's likely you
already know how. But how about connecting a second database if the
first one fails? No? This could be a life saver.
+11: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
What Are Web Standards?
By Robert Nyman.
"The term Web Standards is featured prominently all over the web, in
meetings with customers and amongst web developers in general. However,
the problem is that people have different views on what it actually
means and encompasses. Therefore, I will try to explain my views on it
and what most people actually mean when they refer to Web Standards..."
24sata.hr Goes Non-Standards
By Marko Dugonjic.
"24sata, the first Croatian news portal ever designed with web
standards was moved from carefully structured, web standards compliant
to a non-valid inaccessible web site. Unfortunately, it does happen..."
What I Want From a New Markup Spec
By Ben Buchanan.
"So it has come to pass that the W3C has decided to take the WHATWG's
HTML5 on board. It will form the basis of the W3C's HTML5. The goal is
to have a public draft by June - yes, this year. Given that the spec
now has to endure the full process of the W3C we'll see how that goes.
Anyway, this got me to thinking..."
By Anne Van Kesteren.
"One of the reasons it takes browser vendors a long time to implement
new specifications is that they have to invest lots of resources into
reverse engineering behavior the web depends on..."
Contrast Analyser 2.0
By Paciello Group.
"It is primarily a tool for checking foreground & background color
combinations to determine if they provide good color visibility. It
also contains functionality to create simulations of certain visual
conditions such as color blindness..."
Top Ten Tips for Web Typography
By Richard Rutter.
"The latest issue of Design Edge Canada magazine - a publication for
Canada's graphic design industry ? was a web typography special for
which I contributed the following top ten tips for web typography..."
The Effects of Line Length on Reading Online News
By A. Dawn Shaikh.
"...This study examined the effects of line length on reading
performance. Reading rates were found to be fastest at 95 cpl. Readers
reported either liking or disliking the extreme line lengths (35 cpl,
95 cpl). Those that liked the 35 cpl indicated that the short line
length facilitated faster reading and was easier because it required
less eye movement. Those that liked the 95 cpl stated that they liked
having more information on a page at one time. Although some
participants reported that they felt like they were reading faster at
35 cpl, this condition actually resulted in the slowest reading
[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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