[webdev] Web Design Update: October 2, 2008
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Thu Oct 2 06:32:32 CDT 2008
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 7, Issue 14, October 2, 2008.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 14 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.
12: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Accessibility and SEO
By Bruce Lawson and Vasilis van Gemert.
Fronteers conference presentation.
Multiple Form Labels and Screen Readers
By Roger Johansson.
"Just about every website needs some forms. Sometimes there are many of
them, sometimes just a single contact form. Regardless of their number,
they need to be usable and accessible, which can sometimes be a little
more work than it would be if theory and practice aligned a little
By Keith Instone.
"The US ibm.com home page has a feature on Helping seniors surf the
web. The video sets the stage by talking about the aging Japanese
population, and then explains how IBM helped Mitsukoshi, a department
store, make its web site easier to use for older people..."
Video: YouTube and Easy YouTube with a Screen Reader
By Christian Heilmann.
"This is one of the demo videos that Kath Moonan of AbilityNet showed
during her presentation. It is a user testing interview of a blind user
trying to use YouTube with a screen reader and then try the same task
with Easy YouTube..."
Adding Structure to PDFs
"You can improve the accessibility and reuse of Adobe PDF documents by
adding tags to the InDesign document before you export..."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
Inheritance and Cascade
By Tommy Olsson.
"Inheritance and the cascade are two fundamental concepts in CSS.
Everyone who uses CSS needs to understand them. Fortunately, they
aren't very difficult to grasp, although some of the details may be a
bit hard to remember..."
Floats and Clearing
By Tommy Olsson.
"In this article you will get acquainted with floating and clearing?two
must-have tools for the modern web designer. They are versatile tools
that you can use to allow text to flow around images or even create
Static and Relative Positioning
By Tommy Olsson.
"In this article I'll start looking in depth at how you can use CSS to
position HTML elements wherever you want on the page, using the
position CSS property and some related properties..."
Absolute and Fixed Positioning
By Tommy Olsson.
"Now it's time to turn your attention to the second pair of position
property values?absolute and fixed..."
By Ben Buchanan.
"This tutorial will focus on applying CSS in an efficient manner, to
produce clear and readable data table styles..."
Five CSS Design Browser Differences I Can Live With
By Andy Clarke.
"Web designs need not look exactly the same in all browsers. I know
that's a topic I have written about and spoken on a fair amount before,
but somehow I'm always amazed by the reactions that I get when the
subject comes up."
CSS Includes with the Title Attribute Might Be Ignored
By Robert Nyman.
"Yesterday I ran into a little unexpected behavior when adding title
attributes to a couple of link elements..."
CSS Systems for Writing Maintainable CSS
By Natalie Downe.
"A CSS System is a reusable set of content-oriented markup patterns and
associated CSS created to express a site's individual design. It is the
end result of a process that emphasizes up-front planning, loose
coupling between CSS and markup, pre-empting browser bugs and overall
Automatic Numbering with CSS Counters
By David Storey.
"When writing documents, it is often useful to number sections and have
a table of contents. You can number these by hand, directly in the
markup, but this can be time consuming if the order changes and you
have to edit all the numbers. CSS2.1 gives us a automated way to
generate numbers using CSS counters, and this article will walk you
through how to use them. One word of note before we start is that CSS
counters are not yet implemented in IE, although they are on the
roadmap for IE8..."
Floats and Pos:ABS/IE6 Magic
By Niels Matthijs.
"Even though most css bugs out there are already well documented and
provided with fixes, it's not always easy to recognize a bug you're
encountering right away. Because of that, I think it won't hurt to put
some of the more obscure bugs in the spotlight from time to time. Our
favored subject is of course ie6, a true html and css magician. This
article will focus on one of ie6's more cunning disappearing acts..."
The Dreamweaver CS4 Application Bar
By Virginia DeBolt.
"In Dreamweaver CS4, there's a new item called Application Bar. It
behaves differently in Windows and Mac..."
Dreamweaver CS4 Video Tutorial - CSS Option on the Properties Panel
By Stefan Mischook.
"I just released a new video tutorial that introduces the new CSS
option in the properties panel..."
+04: EVALUATION & TESTING.
A Structured Process for Transforming Usability Data into Usability
By Jonathan Howarth, Terence S. Andre, and Rex Hartson.
"Much research has been devoted to developing usability evaluation
methods that are used in evaluating interaction designs. More recently,
however, research has shifted away from evaluation methods and
comparisons of evaluation methods to issues of how to use the raw
usability data generated by these methods. Associated with this focus
is the assumption that the transformation of the raw usability data
into usability information is relatively straightforward. We would
argue that this assumption is incorrect, especially for novice
usability practitioners. In this article, we present a structured
process for transforming raw usability data into usability information
that is based on a new way of thinking about usability problem data.
The results of a study of this structured process indicate that it
helps improve the effectiveness of novice usability practitioners."
Decision Models for Comparative Usability Evaluation of Mobile Phones
Using the Mobile Phone Usability Questionnaire (MPUQ)
By Young Sam Ryu, Kari Babski-Reeves, Tonya L. Smith-Jackson, and Maury
"A comparative usability evaluation was performed using various
subjective evaluation methods, including Mobile Phone Usability
Questionnaire (MPUQ). Further, decision-making models using Analytic
Hierarchy Process (AHP) and multiple linear regression were developed
and applied. Although the mean rankings of the four phones were not
significantly different across the evaluation methods, there were
variations across the methods in terms of the number of rank orderings,
preference proportions, and methods to select their initial preference.
Thus, this study provided a useful insight into how users make
different decisions through different evaluation methods. Also, the
result showed that answering a usability questionnaire affected a
user's decision-making process for comparative evaluation."
Asking Participants to "Pretend" in User Studies
By Jared Spool.
"One of the places we kept noticing this was when we watching people
shop online. Asking a shopper to pretend to purchase ('Could you find a
pair of shoes you might like to buy and put it in your cart?') produced
extremely different behaviors than when we recruited people who needed
the product and gave them the cash to make a real purchase. In the
former case, they went through motions and skipped steps that we didn't
see when they were considering and purchasing the product for their own
Accessibility Tested Web Sites: Nokia vs. Sony Ericsson
By Robert Nyman.
"Having done an amount of cell phone research lately, I've had the
not-so-pleasant experience of seeing the level of quality of certain
cell phone vendor web sites. Therefore, I'd like to compare Nokia vs.
Canadian User Experience Workshop (CanUX )
November 16-18, 2008.
Banff, Alberta, Canada.
February 16-20, 2009.
Wellington, New Zealand.
March 18-20, 2009.
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.
Speeding Adoption of WAI-ARIA
By Bruce Lawson.
"...I suggest that the W3C to add ARIA to the official validator. That
would send a strong message about its commitment to ARIA, as well as
allow codeshops, organizations and individuals who want validation to
use it, to the immediate benefit of web users with disabilities."
Cooperating on Web 2.0 Accessibility
By Aaron Leventhal.
"...In IE 8 Beta 1 Microsoft introduced their own unique method for
setting ARIA properties without notifying the working group. The
feature was added to IE 8 standards mode as well as legacy modes..."
Chapter: 'Coding and Design Patterns' from Stoyan Stefanov's
By Eric Miraglia.
Packt whose simple goal is to help you learn how to 'think in
By Dan Lyons.
"Was at the EmTech conference at MIT today and suffered through a panel
led by Robert Scoble with four geeks (Facebook, Six Apart, Plaxo,
Twine) talking about the future of the Web. No prepared remarks, just
totally random conversation..."
Link Text: Where Does it Come From?
By Jonathan Christopher.
"The Web wouldn't exist without hyperlinks. The act of linking one
document to another is the fundamental concept upon which the Internet
was built. While technologies have vastly expanded on the simple
context, hyperlinks still tie the Web together, but at the same time
there's more to anchors..."
Seven Habits for Writing Secure PHP Applications
By Nathan A. Good.
"Security in a PHP application includes remote and local security
concerns. Discover the habits PHP developers should get into to
implement Web applications that have both characteristics..."
+10: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
HTML 5 And The Hear-Write Web
By Karl Dubost.
"HTML 5 working draft defines a parsing algorithm which is robust
enough that it will not break for the most common types of errors. Many
computing engineers and Web designers think that this feature
encourages bad quality for documents. Point taken. But let's look a bit
further at what proposes HTML 5 in terms of input and output..."
Google Tech Talk: HTML5 Demos
By Ian Hickson.
"I gave a talk at Google on Monday demonstrating the various features
of HTML5 that are implemented in browsers today. The video is now on
YouTube, so now you too can watch and laugh at my lame presentation
This Week in HTML 5 - Episode 7
By Mark Pilgrim.
"...The big news this week is the disclosure of a vulnerability that
researchers have dubbed "clickjacking'..."
Use White Space to Indicate Relationships Between Content Elements
By Dmitry Fadeyev.
"One of the most important tools in a designer's toolbox is white
space. White space is just that ? it's space between various content
pieces, like paragraphs, headings, buttons and so on. This space can be
tweaked to achieve different effects ? such as to separate elements
apart from each other by increasing the amount of space or group
related things together by tightening it..."
Comparing the Candidate's Sites
By Jared Spool.
"...I haven't had a chance to watch voters use either site, so I chose
four scenarios that I thought would be common tasks for a voter
visiting each site..."
New Frontiers in Usability for Users' Complex Knowledge Work
By Barbara Mirel.
"For usability professionals, one of the top priorities of the coming
decades is to assure that products are usable and useful for people's
complex work in complex systems. To meet this challenge we need to
better understand the nature and practices of various domain-based
complex tasks and the flow of people's work across tools. This essay
gives an overview of articles in this issue that address these
challenges and their implications for usability and usefulness..."
Creating Effective Decision Aids for Complex Tasks
By Caroline Clarke Hayes and Farnaz Akhavi.
"...The studies described above provide the beginning of an
understanding of why product designers do not tend to use formal
mathematical methods in their daily work, and what their actual needs
are. However, many additional issues need to be explored in order to
fully understand the situation, and how to best create human-centered
design decision aids...."
Switching Between Tools in Complex Applications
By Will Schroeder.
"... Training and the inculcation of best practices may well improve
this awareness and decision making ability, but most users never get
either. Improved design for making these choices and transitions, on
the other hand, reaches every user every time a tool needs changing. A
model of user action made up of steps or segments that smoothly merge
into an efficient operation as expertise increases falls short as a
design goal for complex software because it omits the following..."
Unexpected Complexity in a Traditional Usability Study
By Tharon W. Howard.
"...As the field of usability studies grows and usability professionals
are required to work with and adapt to the needs of new clients in new
fields, the likelihood of encountering complex problems masquerading as
simple ones will increase. Our research methods need to accommodate
this and ensure that the studies we design for new clients include
content experts' assessment of the quality of the users' performance
and, when possible, head-to-head comparisons with competing
How to Manage Out of Date Content
By Gerry McGovern.
"On the Web, nothing is more damaging to your organization's reputation
and brand than out of date content."
[Section one ends.]
++ SECTION TWO:
+12: 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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