[webdev] Web Design Update: September 4, 2008
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Thu Sep 4 06:28:05 CDT 2008
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 7, Issue 10, September 4, 2008.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 10 CONTENTS.
SECTION ONE: New references.
What's new at the Web Design Reference site?
New links in these categories:
02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
03: EVALUATION & TESTING.
05: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
10: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
13: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Call-to-Action: Save the UT Accessibility Institute
By James Craig.
"The University of Texas is closing its Accessibility Institute today.
Non-profit Knowbility has started a petition to save it..."
The Helen Project
By American Foundation the Blind.
"The Helen Project is a 21st century extension of Helen Keller's impact
on the rights and opportunities of people with disabilities. As part of
our responsibility to fulfill her legacy, we wonder 'What would Helen
do?' if she were confronted with the opportunities and obstacles that
the Internet presents to people who, because of their disability, do
not have full access to the Internet due to accessibility limitations
that exist on many web sites..."
Web Accessibility Gone Wild
"This article presents a wide variety of mistakes, misconceptions,
over-indulgences, intricacies, and generally silly aspects of modern
Google Chrome Accessibility
By Steve Faulkner.
"...This release of Google Chrome does not appear to have been
developed with the needs of users with disabilities taken into account,
apart from limited keyboard shortcuts, basic support required for
accessibility is absent."
How Captcha was Foiled: Are You a Man or a Mouse?
By Tim Anderson.
Captcha systems to stop automated posting have been "completely broken"
by spammers, experts say. So what's the alternative?
What The Target Settlement Should Mean To You
By Matt May.
"It's a question many of us in accessibility have been waiting for
years to be answered. Does the Americans with Disabilities Act apply to
the web? Sadly, accessibility's ultimate cliffhanger once again reaches
an awkward denouement, leaving us deflated, and looking at yet another
By Glenda Sims.
"The National Federation of the Blind and Target made accessibility
history today when they announced a $6 million class action settlement.
The lawsuit originated when the NFB sued Target alleging that
target.com is not accessible to people with disabilities using
screenreaders. Highlights of the settlement include..."
Target Lawsuit Settled - Exactly As It Should Be
By Bob Easton.
"There was no 'settled law' when the suit was brought against Target,
no legal precedent to stand upon. That was likely one of the strong
motivations for the National Federation of the Blind to bring the suit;
to force settled law, and to clarify (actually greatly extend) the
Americans with Disabilities Act. There's still no settled law and I
think that's a very good outcome..."
Does Target Settlement Really Hit the Target?
By Ian Lloyd.
"Following comments on Twitter, one might think that the case of the
National Federation of the Blind v. Target lawsuit ended up with a big
win for accessibility..."
Target Acquired: Four Cheers!
By Jack Pickard.
"...So I'll offer four cheers, to make up for the one Bruce held back
on. The site will be accessible to a wider range of people than ever
before; they will have yearly user testing and technical assessment,
they will give their developers accessibility training. As far as I can
see, the case has achieved precisely what it should have: an accessible
Target Settles Accessibility Lawsuit for $6 Million
By Matthew Magain.
"...The very fact that this lawsuit existed in the first place is
reason enough to conclude that Target is far from 'a leader in online
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
By Eric Tribou.
"If you set an element's height with a percentage value you have to ask
yourself, 'A percentage of WHAT?' If an element's height is 50% what is
this 50% value based on?..."
CSS Organization Methods and Writing Style
By Jonathan Christopher.
"It's only natural to have preferences. Personal preferences help
define your character, your style. Each day, you apply your personal
preferences to nearly everything you do, right down to the way you
write your code. Some developers don't even know they're doing it,
while others are outright forceful when it comes to a conversation
CSS Constants with SSI: CSSI
By Dave Everitt.
"I was thinking the other day (after working on a WordPress-based site
with crazy long CSS) how good it would be to have CSS colours stored in
variables that were all held in a single file, so you could change
every instance throughout a site, across multiple stylesheets. So I
posted a message to the "Transcending CSS book group" Facebook group..."
Mobile Style - CSS Mobile Profile 2.0
By David Storey.
"In this article, David Storey looks at CSS Mobile Profile 2.0, the
W3Cs recommended subset of CSS that should be used for styling your
documents if you intend them to be viewed across mobile devices. He
lists what is supported under the Mobile Profile, how it differs from
CSS 2.1, and some advice on progressive enhancement (applying more
advanced styles to more capable devices)."
Microsoft Breaks IE8 Interoperability Promise
By Hakon Lie.
"Microsoft said the right things, then blew it..."
By Jonathan Snook.
"Over at The Register, Hakon Lie feels that Microsoft has broken their
promise to ship Internet Explorer in standards mode. There are two
issues at play here and I'm not sure either is really that big of a
deal. Or rather more interesting, if you were Microsoft, what would you
+03: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Site Visit Interviews: From Good to Great
"Site visits are the best method we have of gaining real insight into
the way customers work - to understand what customers do, rather than
what they say they do. But to get the most from a site visit you need
to polish your interviewing skills. Great interviewers show 5
characteristics from which we can learn..."
Five Techniques for Getting Buy-In for Usability Testing
By Jared Spool.
"Producing a usable design takes time, money, and resources. It also
requires an organization's dedication to focus on usability testing and
customer needs throughout the entire design process..."
TPAC 2008: W3C Technical Plenary / Advisory Committee Meetings
October 20-24, 2008.
+05: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
Four Essential Skills for Information Architects: An Interview with
Donna (Maurer) Spencer
By Jared M. Spool.
"Donna (Maurer) Spencer is a recognized expert in the area of
Information Architecture and author of an upcoming book on Card
Sorting. Jared M. Spool recently had the opportunity to talk with Donna
about the specific skills that separate the best information architects
from the rest. Here are the highlights of that conversation..."
JS and Objects
By Mike Stenhouse.
"Just a quick moment trying to explain the different approaches to
using objects in JS to a fellow co-worker."
Interview with Jeff Veen, User Experience Guru
By Josh Catone.
"Jeffrey Veen is a high-profile author, speaker, and user experience
consultant who has been involved in the design of such sites as Flickr,
Blogger, Typepad and Google Analytics. Jeff took some time out with
SitePoint's Josh Catone to answer a few questions submitted by the
SitePoint Forums community."
A Fresh Take On The Browser
By Karen Wickre.
"At Google, we have a saying: 'launch early and iterate.' While this
approach is usually limited to our engineers, it apparently applies to
our mailroom as well! As you may have read in the blogosphere, we hit
"send" a bit early on a comic book introducing our new open source
browser, Google Chrome. As we believe in access to information for
everyone, we've now made the comic publicly available -- you can find
it here. We will be launching the beta version of Google Chrome
tomorrow in more than 100 countries..."
Site Map Usability
By Jakob Nielsen.
"New user testing of site maps shows that they are still useful as a
secondary navigation aide, and that they're much easier to use than
they were during our research 7 years ago."
Best Practices in Web Development: Part 3
By Joe Dolson.
"You could say that this part of the series is really breaking the
concepts of information architecture down into components immediately
relevant to web development. Practically speaking, I'm going to cover
the necessities of navigation design, the concept of 'scent of
information' and the question of design 'noise'..."
Ten Observations About Search Interfaces
By Christina Wodtke.
"These observations are just that, observations. Not rules or laws..."
Rasmus Lerdorf - PHP Frameworks? Think Again.
By David Peterson.
"This is the fist time I have heard Rasmus Lerdorf speak and it was
entertaining to say the least. Refreshing would another way to describe
it, I enjoy hearing real opinions and not holding back - Rasmus doesn't
+10: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
This Week in HTML 5 - Episode 4
By Mark Pilgrim.
"The big news this week is the birth of the W3C's experimental HTML 5
validator (announcement). It is based on Henri Sivonen's experimental
HTML 5 validator, although there are still some integration bugs to
shake out. Related discussion on Sam Ruby's blog..."
HTML 5 Editor Ian Hickson Discusses Features, Pain Points, Adoption
Rate, And More
By Justin James.
"In this interview, HTML 5 Editor Ian Hickson discusses his favorite
features, the features he thinks might be most contentious, the pain
points he expects HTML 5 will address, and much more. He also tells
what he would change in the original HTML spec if he could go back in
Helen Toolbar Application Download
By American Foundation the Blind.
"We offer you a free downloadable, fully accessible, web site rating
toolbar application (which we affectionately named 'Helen') that will
enable you to have your voice heard as you experience problems and/or
success in using any web site. And, most importantly, Helen will enable
the collective voice of the user community to be heard by web site
providers, extending Helen Keller's lifetime efforts and legacy as an
advocate for those whose voices might not otherwise be heard."
8 Things You Need To Know About Improving Online Experience- New Study
By Sathish Menon and Michael Douma.
"This report outlines key findings from surveys that explored factors
that drive online experience as expressed by the three different
subject groups - nonprofit organizations and cities, web designers and
firms, and the general public..."
Information is Causing Global Warming
By Gerry McGovern.
"An information tsunami is sweeping the world, eating up vast
quantities of time and energy."
[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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+ 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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