[webdev] Web Design Update: August 16, 2007
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Thu Aug 16 16:25:36 CDT 2007
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 6, Issue 08, August 16, 2007.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 08 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.
16: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Slides and Audio from Real World Accessibility Workshop
By Patrick H. Lauke.
presentation slides (in various formats) and an audio recording from my
session at the Second Real World Accessibility Workshop at the
Barbican, London, 8 august 2007 are now available - a transcript of the
audio should follow in the next week or so.
Comparing Tagged PDFs from Office and Acrobat
By Alastair Campbell.
"After my initial disappointment with the Office 2007 pluggin for
creating PDFs, I've had some discussion with the Microsoft team, and a
chance to do a bit more testing. This post compares the conversion of a
simple Word 2007 document with the Office pluggin, Acrobat 8.1, and
OpenOffice. I have to thank Jeff Bell and Cheri Ekholm of the Microsoft
Office team, they kindly answered my many pestering questions, and took
time to look into the issues I was having..."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
This reference is based on the CSS 2.1 specification. To better
understand how Web browsers use CSS to render markup, please refer to
the Box Model article.
+04: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Five Guide to Do-It-Yourself Website Usability Testing
By Laura Ruel and Nora Paul.
"Use these steps, and these forms, to test how readers will react to
your new multimedia project or website design."
Embracing the Un-Science of Qualitative Research Part Three -
Improvising is Excellent
By Leisa Reichelt.
"...One of the first things you learn when you come to qualitative
research, particularly usability testing, is to write a test script. A
test script is good because you'll be spending an hour or so with each
person and you need to have something to prompt you to make sure you
cover what you need to cover, and to help ensure you have a good
structure to your session. But this is how scripts are supposed to be
used - as a guide..."
W3C Combined Technical Plenary / Advisory Committee Meeting
November 5-11, 2007.
Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
+06: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
Apply IA Techniques When Creating Taxonomies
By James Robertson.
"The field of information architecture (IA) has much to offer those
creating taxonomies, including a range of structured techniques for
testing their effectiveness."
Simple Function Testing and Debugging in PHP
By Mike Papageorge.
"When programming for the web, sometimes the need arises to test a
function on the fly without being too intrusive. You may be debugging
and need to test for a result, or simply testing. The following is a
simple strategy that can help in those cases..."
Why PHP is the Choice Language - A Business Owners Perspective.
By Stefan Mischook.
"..I have written this article to speak to business owners and other
non-nerd types...I concentrate on the business arguments and only touch
on the technological issues underlying them...when it makes sense to
mention the nerd stuff..."
+11: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
Dear W3C, Dear WaSP
By Molly E. Holzschlag.
"Pay attention, W3C and anyone who cares. We have serious problems. On
the surface: HTML 5 serialization under W3C; Run Time Environments such
as AIR; Personal agendas overriding agendas that serve the greater
good. I call on my colleagues, my friends to talk about this. Oh
goodness, and here's a unique idea. Perhaps the Web Standards Project
(WaSP) can stop playing to its own audience and address...The future of
Adobe/Mozilla relationship, whatever that is, really; The future of
markup - for god's sake why are we revisiting the lingua franca of the
web? Doesn't WaSP or other standards groups have a serious
responsibility to hash this out?; Moving education forward. There is
nothing like teaching people how, because then they'll go and do.
That's true innovation..."
Dear WHAT WG and HTML 5 WG
By Molly E. Holzschlag.
"...1. UNIFY the HTML 5 lists and all IRC activities. 2. DETERMINE the
true key players in HTML5 WG with a fair balance of representation from
spec authors, implementers and real-world developers as well as
theoreticians and visionaries. 3. DO NOT alter the integrity of what is
already in use and in existence. 4. PLACE new features in another
release, perhaps a point release. 5. RELEASE only those features that
repair widely agreed upon problems. 6. CONTINUE the innovative work,
either within the W3C or without it but NOT on a dual path. 7. LEARN to
work with existing communities, as they must LEARN to work with you
(for example, finding common ground with accessibility groups)..."
Web Standards Situation Solutions
By Molly E. Holzschlag.
"...when members of the WHAT WG and the W3C asked me to help clarify
the concerns I feel, I made a point of figuring out how to do just
that. I dropped by the WHAT WG IRC chat and talked with members there.
Within a few minutes we came up with a few action items that people
agreed would be helpful..."
Nihilism, Accessibility, and the Preponderence of Amazing Co-Incidences
By James Edwards.
"...to read Molly's recent post about the state of our industry and
community, I became even more despondent, as I remembered how the
microformats community and WHATWG are behaving like cabals in their
self-interested refusal to acknowledge the accessibility issues with
that they're doing; and how so many of their leading lights are utterly
refusing to accept this..."
By Jeremy Keith.
"...I honestly don't think I can muster the requisite enthusiasm to
contribute to mailing lists, blog posts and other for advancing best
practices. I am, however, very willing to lead by example; to publish
online using standards and validate what I put out there. Maybe that
isn't enough. But I'm drawing a line. I can appreciate how much effort
someone like Molly has put into fighting the good fight over the years.
But I can also see the toll it has taken and I don't think I'm willing
to pay that price. I'm not feeling quite as nihilistic as Brothercake
but I can certainly relate to his conclusion..."
Keryx (X)HTML Elements Best Practice Sheet
By Lars Gunther.
"All elements are sorted within their groups in prioritized order..."
The Web Development Aristocracy
By Peter-Paul Koch.
"Currently I'm reading Framing the Early Middle Ages by Chris Wickham,
which treats Europe and the Mediterranean in the years 400-800 (this,
especially the West, was my specialisation back when I was a
historian). Wickham has been courageous enough to attempt a general
definition of an "aristocrat", and I couldn't resist the temptation to
apply his criteria to today's Web development aristocrats. So today's
questions are: what makes a Web development aristocrat a Web
development aristocrat? And what are aristocrats good for, anyway?..."
Colour Contrast Visualiser
By Tom Hooper.
"This tool allows you to visualise good colour combinations on a
Photoshop style colour picker. It's primary use is finding acceptable
colours from an existing inaccessible combination - while maintaining
the aesthetic appeal of the original."
The Effect of Website Typeface Appropriateness on the Perception of a
By A.D. Shaikh.
"This study investigated the effect of website typeface appropriateness
on the perception of the site's company. Results indicate that
typefaces that are high in appropriateness should be used for websites.
Neutral and low appropriate typefaces significantly decreased the
perception of the company as judged by professionalism, believability,
trust, and intent to act on the site."
Examining Legibility of the Letter 'e' and Number '0' Using
Classification Tree Analysis
By Doug Fox, Barbara S. Chaparro, and Ed Merkle.
This study investigated the legibility of onscreen typefaces and the
influence of individual character features on correct identification.
Specific attributes of alphanumeric characters and symbols shown to be
the least legible were measured and analyzed using a statistical method
called classification tree analysis. Results from this analysis for the
letter 'e' and the number zero are discussed.
Your New Site Will be 20 Percent Different from Current Site
By James Robertson.
"...If the changes will be no more than 20% of your site, this means
that 80% of the site will remain unchanged. Any new technology will
therefore have to support the 80 percent at least as well as the
current solution does. This also highlights the opportunity for
incremental improvement of current approaches, alongside any new
Home Sweet Home
By Paul Boag.
"There's no place like homepage. Paul Boag gives us 4 ways he works
with clients to understand the value - and kill off the myths - of this
[Section one ends.]
++ SECTION TWO:
+16: 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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