[webdev] Web Design Update: April 10, 2009

Laura Carlson lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Fri Apr 10 06:40:16 CDT 2009

- Volume 7, Issue 41, April 10, 2009.

An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design 
and development.


SECTION ONE: New references.
What's new at the Web Design Reference site?
New links in these categories:


08: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?

[Contents ends.]

++ SECTION ONE: New references.


Inclusive Design, Part 1
By Bruce 'Tog' Tognazzini.
"Have you ever thought about what it would be like to be disabled? 
Well, you better start thinking about it..."

Contacting Organizations with Inaccessible Websites (draft)
By Web Accessibly Initiative.
This page has information that may help people who are encountering 
accessibility barriers with Web pages to advise those organizations 
about the Web accessibility difficulties they might be experiencing. It 
may also assist people and organizations working with or supporting 
people with disabilities and older people to report inaccessible Web 
pages. It describes an approach to contacting organizations whose Web 
pages are difficult or impossible to use, explaining that there are 
barriers on the pages, and following up..."

Opencast Project Open House at UC Berkeley
By UC Berkeley.
"Opencast is an initiative driven by higher education institutions to 
empower: 1. institutions - to make informed choices about capture, 
processing, and distribution infrastructure for audio/video. 2. faculty 
- to teach courses and share knowledge with their students and learners 
worldwide without technology getting in the way. 3. students - to 
access and shape media into a more meaningful tool for learning. 4. 
everyone - to easily find and engage with educational video, audio, and 
other rich media from instructors and institutions around the world."

Accessible Lecture Capture Workshop
"Presentations included keynote presentation by Phil Bravin, longtime 
Gallaudet University board member and former President and CEO of 
National Captioning Institute, and presentations by Gallaudet 
University and George Washington University on their use of the Echo360 
system. To watch the Echo captured version of this workshop go to:"

Fewer than 10 Percent of Blind Americans Read Braille
By Associate Press.
"Jordan Gilmer has a degenerative condition that eventually will leave 
him completely blind. But as a child, his teachers did not emphasize 
Braille, the system of reading in which a series of raised dots signify 
letters of the alphabet. Instead, they insisted he use what little 
vision he had to read print. By the third grade, he was falling behind 
in his schoolwork..."

9 Ways to Make Your Site More Accessible
By Douglas T.
The obvious follow up question to 9 Reasons Why Accessibility Matters 
is 'How do I do that' It’s not really as difficult as it might seem. 
Answer these nine questions, and see how your site’s accessibility can 
be improved..."

Lynx Browser and Accessibility
By Steve Grobschmidt.
"As I covered in Web Accessibility 101: Assistive Technologies, the 
text browser Lynx is particularly useful for stripping down a web site 
to its raw, GUI-less nature. Why is this useful?..."

Accessible Twitter, Accessible Tweets
By Matthew Smith.
"Twitter is one of a host of web-based social networking tools, 
excellent in concept, but (in my opinion) less-than-perfect in 
implementation - especially when it comes to usability/accessibility. 
Whilst this article discusses Twitter and Twitter messages (updates, 
tweets,) certain aspects apply equally to other contexts..."

Accessibility Study, Why We All Fail?
By Jagat Jasjit Singh.
"This website is part of University research work being done to find 
out why we are not able to make our websites accessible. Today almost 
95% of the websites don't pass required accessibility levels. We are 
thinking from Webmasters point of view, trying to find the bottleneck 
for the whole problem. Your comments suggestions are welcome"

WCAG 2.0 and the Future of Web Accessibility: Q and A Part 1
"Judy, can you tell us the primary differences between WCAG 1.0 and 
WCAG 2.0?..."

Accessibility Is More Than 'Possible to Access'
By Roger Johansson.
"When those of us who care about accessibility try to make the web 
sites or web applications we build accessible, we sometimes forget to 
think beyond making them possible to access."


The Art of CSS Positioning
By Rob MacKay.
"CSS Positioning is one thing I used to struggle with, hopefully I can 
help you understand how positioning works and what it's affected by, 
and iron out some of those kinks..."


Website Evaluation Rubric
By Denny Lancaster.
"Among the ancients, according to Columella, Vitruvius, and Pliny, the 
word rubrica, or rubric, signified the red earth used by carpenters to 
mark on wood the line to follow when cutting it; according to Juvenal 
the same name was applied to the red titles under which the 
jurisconsults arranged the announcements of laws. Soon the red colours, 
at first used exclusively for writing the titles, passed to the 
indications or remarks made on a given text.."

Future of Web Management is Evidence-Based
By Gerry McGovern.
"...This is the age of evidence, not opinion. Strong leadership is 
about saying: "let's test this idea." It is not a sign of weakness to 
observe and listen. Strength comes from understanding customer behavior 
data, and the Web is a perfect environment in which to gather such 

Findings From the Web Design Survey, 2008
by A List Apart.
"If we, the people who make websites, want the world to know who we are 
and what we do, it’s up to each of us to stand up and represent. This 
year, 30,055 of you did just that, taking time out of your busy work 
day to answer the detailed questions in the second A List Apart Survey. 
Find out what we learned about our profession and ourselves...."

15 Essential Checks Before Launching Your Website
By Lee Munroe.
"This article reviews some important and necessary checks that 
web-sites should be checked against before the official launch ? little 
details are often forgotten or ignored, but ? if done in time ? may sum 
up to an overall greater user experience and avoid unnecessary costs 
after the official site release."

+04: EVENTS.

New Standards to Facilitate eLearning
By Dennis Carter.
"Common Cartridge reportedly will allow any digital content to work 
with any standards-based software..."

Real World Accessibility for Ajax and Web Apps
June 15, 2009.
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Web Design World
July 20-22, 2009.
Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.


Javascript + HTML5: The Future of Education Software
By Bryan W. Berry.
"Several months ago, I wrote how to make activity designers happy by 
making it easier to create simple learning activities using popular 
software development tools, particularly for the Sugar learning 
environment. Back then, I concluded that Adobe's Flash player and Flex 
libraries were the proper tools for this purpose. I was wrong..."

Augmenting Button Text with ARIA
By Becky Gibson.
"Say you have a set of invitations to connect to colleagues in your 
favorite social networking software. These might be listed one after 
another with an accept and reject button associated with each request. 
But, if someone is using a screen reader to just tab through the 
buttons on the page, how would you know which button is associated with 
each invite? Certainly the designers are not likely to want to put the 
user name within the button text, so how can we make this easier for 
the person using a screen reader or screen magnifier to access the 


What Are Web Standards? (Video)
By Jeffrey Zeldman.
"What are web standards? And why should I care? A fun new clip from the 
BigThink marathon Zeldman interview..."

Help Tidy HTML 5 (and get your name in lights)
By Bruce Lawson.
"The editor of the HTML 5 spec, Ian Hickson, calls for input on issues 
in the spec-typos, contradictions, or simply confusing bits. If 
everything goes according to plan, all issues will get a response from 
the editor before October..."

What's New in HTML5?
By Richard Heyes.
"HTML4 has been with us for a while now, roughly ten years. And it 
hasn't really seen a major update. Sure there's XHTML, but that did 
little more than make things slightly stricter - making you write 
better quality code if you were at all concerned with compliance. HTML5 
does more than that. For one thing it adds a few new features. Not a 
huge amount, but the ones that it does add are very useful. Work on 
HTML5 started way back in 2004, and now it's starting to get 
interesting. Browser support is increasing, and the element I'm most 
interested in - CANVAS - is supported by four out of the major five 
browsers. It is however though, not really feasible though to use it 
since MSIE doesn't have any support for it..."

Making <time> Safe for Historians
By Peter-Paul Koch.
"The HTML 5 spec introduces the <time> element to mark up a date or 
time. Although I support the inclusion of these semantics in HTML, I 
believe that the current specification of the <time> element is vague 
because it avoids the question whether the element is safe for 
historians. Right now it hurts historical research more than it helps. 
In this entry I'll explain why..."

This Week in HTML 5 - Episode 29
By Mark Pilgrim.
"...The big news for the week of March 30th is the addition of a 
synchronous database API to the Web Storage spec (which was split out 
from the HTML 5 spec a few weeks ago). This new API defines a 
DatabaseSync object whose methods return SQLTransactionSync objects. 
This directly mirrors the asynchronous database API, which had already 
defined a Database object whose methods return SQLTransaction 

HTML Reunification
By Sam Ruby.
"...perhaps we can get a candidate recommendation out next year for the 
browser behavior portions of the document."

Everyone Wants Their Thing to be HTML
By Rob Sayre.
"My plan is to produce a draft that is smaller than my last one. It 
will not include XHTML of any kind, and it will characterize elements 
and attributes that are not defined by the HTML specification as “not 
part of HTML”. This characterization will apply to the <audio> element 
and RDFa alike..."


Human Computer Interaction (HCI)
By John M. Carroll.
History, implications and learning more.

First 2 Words = A Signal for the Scanning Eye
By Jakob Nielsen.
"Testing how well people understand a link's first 11 characters shows 
whether sites write for users, who typically scan rather than read 
lists of items."

How Relying on 'User Education' is a Failed Strategy
By Frank Spillers.
"Maybe you have heard the saying 'we'll take care of that in user 
training'. The notion that problems users have can be resolved by user 
training is severely flawed. Yet entire departments rally around this 
belief and worse many companies seem to wrap product management around 
it. The idea that you can educate users about how to use a user 
interface is misguided. The goal of usability is to create intuitive 
user interfaces..."

The Study of Visual Aesthetics in Human-Computer Interaction
M. Hassenzahl, G. Lindgaard, A. Platz, N. Tractinsky, editors.
"This seminar intended to gather a group of about 25-30 participants 
who will exchange ideas, views, and case study results that address the 
seminar's themes. We aimed at discussing methodologies and measures in 
the study of visual aesthetics in HCI, to explore design antecedents of 
aesthetic interactive systems, as well as consequences of aesthetic 
design or aesthetic experience in HCI. We anticipated that the outcome 
of the seminar will contribute to clarifying the concept, provide an 
overview of existing practical resources such as measurement scales, 
solidify the body of knowledge in this area, and generally spark 
interest in aesthetics in the HCI community."

[Section one ends.]


+08: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?

Accessibility Information.

Association Information.

Book Listings.

Cascading Style Sheets Information.

Color Information.

Dreamweaver Information.

Evaluation & Testing Information.

Event Information.

Flash Information.

Information Architecture Information.

JavaScript Information.

Miscellaneous Web Information.

Navigation Information.

PHP Information.

Sites & Blogs Listing.

Standards, Guidelines & Pattern Information.

Tool Information.

Typography Information.

Usability Information.

XML Information.

[Section two ends.]



WEB DESIGN UPDATE is available by subscription. For information on how 
to subscribe and unsubscribe please visit:
The Web Design Reference Site also has a RSS 2.0 feed for site updates.


As a navigation aid for screen readers we do our best to conform to the 
accessible Text Email Newsletter (TEN) guidelines.  Please let me know 
if there is anything else we can do to make navigation easier. For TEN 
guideline information please visit:


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

[Issue ends.]

More information about the Webdev mailing list