[webdev] Web Design Update: October 19, 2007
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Fri Oct 19 06:23:24 CDT 2007
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 6, Issue 17, October 19, 2007.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 17 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.
13: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Screen Readers and display:none
By Gez Lemon.
"...there are certain circumstances where content hidden with display:
none is announced by JAWS and Window-Eyes. The circumstances are
explained in this article, but it is always better to position content
aimed at providing context for screen reader users off-screen, as
content hidden with display: none should remain hidden..."
Freedom Scientific Says No to Access for Deaf People
By Ron Graham.
"...I've looked over the page and there are no transcripts available to
provide the company's deaf customers with the material covered in their
podcasts...I once coined the phrase, 'If you're not including somebody,
then you're excluding them.' That statement is true here. Freedom
Scientific is excluding their deaf consumers. When it comes to
podcasts, Freedom Scientific, a company that is recognized for their
ability to provide access throws up a big, flashing sign that reads,
'No deaf people allowed'."
Videos on Computer Accessibility
An assortment of videos that show how people with various disabilities
use assistive technology with their computers.
All UK Government Web Sites Must Be WCAG AA Compliant
By Brian Kelly.
"The UK Government has published a Public consultation on Delivering
Inclusive Websites document (TG102). This document (available in MS
Word and PDF formats) states that all government Web sites must comply
with the WCAG AA guidelines by December 2008. And failure to comply
will result in the withdrawal of the .gov.uk domain..."
Better Connected, Better Results: Top Tips For Titles
By Ann McMeekin.
"Earlier this year, Bim wrote very eloquently on the subject of Too
much accessibility: TITLE attributes, which, if you haven't read it, or
don't remember what it says, is worth taking a couple of minutes to
read over. In the run up to the annual Better Connected survey, I
thought it was worth a quick reminder of the issues, and a few top tips
to help you make sure you're not straying off the accessibility path..."
Why Accessibility? Because It's Our Job!
"...If we call ourselves professionals, we owe it to our clients, their
clients, and ourselves, to do our job properly. A chef must care about
health, a builder must care about safety, and we must care about
Ignorance and Inspiration
By Jeremy Keith.
"The topic of accessibility on the Web is, for any professional
developer, an important topic. While there are differing degrees of
knowledge and experience when it comes to Web accessibility, I was
under the impression that it is generally acknowledged as being a good
thing. Then the Target lawsuit came along. The overwhelming response
was from ignorant, ill-informed people was that this was a frivolous
lawsuit-an example of political correctness gone mad. What really
depressed me was reading those opinions in the Sitepoint forum, the
kind of place where you would expect Web professionals to congregate.
Ignorance and greed were the order of the day.."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
CSS Positioning: Three Specs Better than One?
By Kevin Yank.
"One of the areas in which CSS 3 will introduce a lot of new features
is page layout. This is widely considered to be a good thing. But with
the W3C having just announced that there will be two separate modules
for page layout in CSS 3, the standards may be asking too much of
"CSS Eleven is an international group of visual web designers and
developers who are committed to helping the W3C's CSS Working Group to
better deliver the tools that are needed to design tomorrow's web..."
CSS Syntax in Graph
By R. J. Koppes.
"Here are some drawings of what the CSS syntax is about. In words, it
can be found here for CSS 2.1 and here for CSS 3. I tried to catch
these rather abstract descriptions into the images displayed below."
Don't Over-Specify Your CSS Code
By Robert Nyman.
"...over-specifying the CSS is usually a bad thing. It leads to the
usage of !important remarks all over, since people have a hard time
finding why a style is applied, or can't find a proper way of
specifying it better to just override the previous style. Even though
Firebug has made it a lot easier to find inheritance and all styles
applied to an element, there's still seldom any need to as specific as
most tend to be when writing CSS code..."
New CSS Features in DW CS3
By Virginia DeBolt.
"I gave a presentation for my local Adobe Users Group this week...
I'm making the presentation available to teachers. It is not meant to
be used in a browser, but presented in a classroom in Dreamweaver. I
added a link to a zip file to the presentation, so you can download the
whole thing and use it in Dreamweaver in your own classroom. There is a
readme included in the zip file that explains a bit about how to show
the new CSS features in Dreamweaver CS3 while doing a classroom demo in
Dreamweaver. I'd love your feedback if you use the presentation."
+04: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Multiple-User Simultaneous Testing (MUST)
By Jakob Nielsen.
"Testing 5-10 users at once lets you conduct large-scale usability
testing and still meet your deadlines."
Demystifying Data Analysis
By Rachel Hinman.
"...having a process that you can clearly communicate is a powerful
skill. It allows people to engage with your work on a deeper level
because you can show both the insights and implications you've
discovered as well as the work you've done to get there. Process gives
your team a road map to follow, making collaboration easier. In
addition, it builds confidence within your organization for your
effort, ensuring the hard work you've done won't be dismissed."
December 3, 2007.
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.
Web Directions North
January 28 - February 2, 2008.
WritersUA Conference for Software User Assistance
March 16-19, 2008.
Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.
IA Summit 2008
April 10, 2008.
Miami, Florida, U.S.A.
By Roger Johansson.
"For both accessibility and usability reasons, all input fields and
other form controls except buttons should have an associated label that
clearly states what the purpose of the control is, or what kind of
input the user is expected to fill it with..."
By Cristian Darie, Bogdan Brinzarea.
"This week we cover OOP (Object-Oriented Programming) and how it
to implement inheritance using closures, prototypes and more."
Accessibility and Usability Issues with AJAX
By Joe Dolson.
"This is not a technical article. You will not learn how to code AJAX
by reading this; either in an accessible and usable fashion or
otherwise. This is a conceptual article. It will run through basic
user-interface issues with AJAX (and other rich media). These are the
reasons that AJAX functionality can be a problem for users - if you
consider these issues carefully during development, it should greatly
enhance the usability of your end product..."
Andy Clarke Interview on the CSS Eleven
By Peter Gasston
"The announcement of the formation of the CSS Eleven has caused quite a
stir in the web development community, with a few questions raised over
the self-appointed nature of the group and the way the announcement has
been presented. One thing that everyone agrees on, however, is that
there's a clear and obvious need for their existence. We spoke to Andy
Clarke, respected designer and author, who announced the group's
formation (and explained it further here), and asked him a few
questions about what we can expect from the CSS Eleven..."
Adrian Holovaty Interview on Mashups and Microformats
By Matthew Magain.
"t the Web Directions South conference, I sat down with Adrian
Holovaty, the creator of chicagocrime.org, the very first Google Maps
mashup, and co-creator of the Django framework. I was keen to get his
unique perspective on the notion of privacy online, the potential for
structured data on the Web, and, of course, his latest venture..."
How to Disarm 10 Difficult Client Observations/Requests
By Eric Karjaluoto.
Article on how to work with clients.
Findings From the Web Design Survey
By A List Apart Staff.
"...The findings we present here have never been seen before, because
until now, no one has ever conducted public research to learn the facts
of our profession. This report is not the last word on web work; it is
only the beginning of a long conversation. Read, reflect, and let us
hear from you..."
Amazon.com Soon To Launch New Navigation
By Jared Spool.
"We're getting reports from folks that Amazon is about to roll out a
new navigation scheme. Some people already are part of their test
audience and now seeing it.."
Optimizing Midstream Usability
By Peter J. Meyers.
"... As more and more visitors land on sites directly from search, many
of those visitors are landing on 'deep' pages. As I argued previously,
this is a good thing, but it raises some interesting challenges for
usability. How do you best serve users who hit your site "midstream"?
Optimizing for midstream usability means telling people where they are,
how they got there, and where else they can go..."
PHP for Contact Forms
By Matthew Pennell.
"This week, Digital Web's own Matthew Pennell steps forward to offer
concrete, safe PHP for website contact forms. In 'Building a
Bulletproof Contact Form with PHP', Matthew covers the basics of simple
code and smart security."
+10: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
Ten Checkpoints of a Web Standards Based Curriculum
By Virginia DeBolt.
"I presented this at HighEdWebDev 2007 today. It was presented as a
powerpoint presentation. My narrative explained that this presentation
was mainly about what sort of student learning outcomes I would expect
to see in an institution where web standards were part of the
curriculum. I did touch on a couple of important overall considerations
as well. I have captured only the slides and converted them into a
movie. There is no sound. Please return to this post if you have
comments or questions."
By Jeremy Keith.
"When I write here at adactio.com, I often sprinkle in some
microformats. As I wrote in Natural Language hCard, I've developed a
sense of smell for microformats..."
Improve Your Forms Using HTML5
By Anne van Kesteren.
"HTML hasn't really been updated since HTML version 4 was released back
in 1998. However, the WHATWG community has been working on HTML since
2004 and this will hopefully result in some much needed improvements.
This article shows some of the new functionality of the proposed form
chapter of HTML5: Web Forms 2. (Opera has an experimental
implementation of Web Forms 2 so if you want you can try out some of
the examples listed here.)..."
An HTML5-style 'Google Suggest'
By Anne van Kesteren.
"The features discussed in this article are part of the Web Forms 2
specification, which will in due course be integrated into the HTML5
draft. (You will need a recent Opera build, preferably 9.5, to play
with the examples the way they are intended. Bleeding edge requires
browser disclaimers unfortunately.)..."
Validator S.A.C. (Stand Alone Complex)
A stand-alone, easy to install, version of the W3C's HTML / XHTML
Markup Validator for Mac OS X.
Web Form Design in the Wild, Part II
By Luke Wroblewski.
"Whenever I'm asked why I obsess over the details of Web forms, I
quickly respond, "It's because form design really matters..."
[Section one ends.]
++ SECTION TWO:
+13: 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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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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