[webdev] Web Design Update: October 30, 2009
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Fri Oct 30 06:51:04 CDT 2009
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 8, Issue 18, October 30, 2009.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 18 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.
08: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
10: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
National Federation of the Blind Files Complaint with United States
Department of Education
"The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the nation's oldest and
largest organization of blind people and the leading advocate for equal
access by the blind to information technology, and Carlos Mora, a blind
resident of Baltimore, Maryland, filed an administrative complaint
today with the United States Department of Education. The complaint
asserts that one of the United States Department of Education's Web
sites, U.S.A. Learns, violates Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act
because it is inaccessible to blind people who use text-to-speech
screen access technology or Braille displays to access information on
Federal Sites Rapped over Accessibility Problems
By Alice Lipowicz.
"When the revamped Recovery.gov site went live this month, advocates
for people with disabilities noticed problems with accessibility.
Why Web Accessibility Efforts Fail
By Kel Smith.
"According to a recent report published by Federal Computer Week, the
accessibility of federal government websites continues to be an area of
need. While problems with the newly redesigned Recovery.gov site were
expediently addressed, there remains a number of sites that fail to
comply with Section 508 standards."
Accessibility Allies Against A11y
By Jack Pickard.
"...this is where we come to the counter-intuitive a11y abbreviation.
It looks like 'ally' (and many pronounce it as such), but it means
something entirely different. It means 'accessibility'...."
Yes We Need Accessibility Laws
By Eric Eggert.
"...We need laws, but we need good laws, not outdated ones. The myth of
the flexible law is exactly that, a myth."
Top 8 Free Browsers for Visual Impairment and More
By Debbie Marsh.
"Assistive technology helps people who are blind and visually impaired,
but it can still be hard to find and compare products in order to come
up with the best option. Here's our list of the best free, open source
browsers and text-to-speech converters for people with disabilities..."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
The CSS Child Selector
By Virginia DeBolt.
"In a recent post, Descendant Selectors in CSS, you saw that a
descendant selector takes this form: #content p. That selector would
style every p element that was a descendant of a content element. A
child selector is similar, except it doesn't select every descendant,
it selects only immediate descendants of an element (or children). The
syntax is element > element..."
Terrible Guesses at 3 Random CSS Properties
By Jeff Noble.
"For a wacky experiment I picked three 'random' CSS properties I had
never heard of and tried to guess what they were. Why? Mainly because
I'm a dork, but perhaps 'why not?' is a better question. I later found
out that these properties aren't random at all and could be extremely
useful additions to a website if utilized correctly. My guesses are
really bad (shocking, I know) but it just goes to show you, regardless
of what you think you know about web design or life in general (I
pretend to know a lot) there is always room for improvement..."
CSS Sprites: What They Are, Why They're Cool, and How To Use Them
By Chris Coyier.
Do you really understand them? The name might be a little misleading,
because sprites aren't little images like you might be picturing, a
sprite is actually one big image. Have you ever seen the CSS technique
where the 'on' and 'off' states of a button are contained within the
same image and are activated by shifting the background-position?
By Chris Coyier.
"Have you ever seen a tabbed content area in a sidebar that was a
Design Patterns and Examples for Colour Blindness
By Roger Johansson.
"In my experience it can be hard to make people understand that colour
blindness can actually cause real problems for real people on the
+04: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Some Testing is Better than None
By Rebecca Rodgers.
"...without input from the target audience, it's likely the site will
lose some users. Squeezing in some basic testing can make the
difference between success and failure..."
Competitive Usability Testing
By Usability Advice.
"We're redesigning our site, but there's internal debate about whether
the new design is any better than the current site. What's the best way
to determine which one is better?..."
W3C Public Developer Gathering
November 5, 2009.
Santa Clara, California U.S.A.
Interview with Eric Meyer: The Future of Web Design Part 2
By Jeff Noble.
"Recently I was fortunate enough to interview Eric Meyer on the future
of web design in what seems to be turning into an interesting series on
SitePoint Podcast #33: Team Opera at WDS09
By Kevin Yank.
"Kevin Yank asks attendees of Web Directions South 2009 what has them
excited, and sits down with three fellows from Opera: Chris Mills,
Lachlan Hunt, and Daniel Davis."
What is a Project Charter?
By Rita Mulcahy.
"Rita Mulcahy defines the concept of a project charter and provides
examples of soft and hard metrics of a project..."
The Top 5 Dumbest Things Web Developers Do Today
By Christopher Jason.
"...Here's my top 5 list of the poorest things Web developers are doing
in 2007. If you find some of your methods on this list, don't get
angry. Leave some comments and get the discussion going..."
Links are New Yorkers (Writing Great Web Links)
By Gerry McGovern.
"A good link has no time for small talk or niceties. It acts like a
signpost, like a promise. With a good link, what you see is what you
+08: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
The 3 Basic Rules for Writing HTML
By Jens Meiert.
"1. Respect syntax and semantics...2. Don't use presentational or
behavioral markup...3. Leave everything out that is not absolutely
No, HTML5 is NOT at Last Call
By Shelley Powers.
"It's unfortunate that the WhatWG made a unilateral decision to go Last
Call with HTML5 at WhatWG, as HTML5 is far from ready for Last Call at
Last Call Criteria
By Maciej Stachowiak.
"HTML WG is not taking the draft to Last Call at this time. We
haven't yet discussed in detail the HTML WG's criteria for going to
Last Call with a draft. I propose that at the very least we need to do
HTML Accessibility Task Force
"This is a wiki resource for the HTML Accessibility Task Force, to
discuss issues, develop spec language, and index resources..."
HTML5 ISSUE-30 (Longdesc) Change Proposal
By Charles McCathieNevile.
"I would like to propose that the longdesc attribute from HTML 4 be
retained in HTML 5 as an allowed attribute on images..."
Insufficient Accessibility Fallback for <audio> or <video>
(HTML5 Bug Reopened)
By Martin Kliehm.
"I cannot tell what the original aim of the bug reporter were, but
regarding accessible fallback this is what WCAG guideline 1.2 is
HTML5: New Elements, 2 of 4
By Joshua Johnson.
"A couple of days ago we posted an introduction to HTML5 and briefly
covered some of the content we'll be outlining in this series. Today's
post, which is the second in the series of four, will take a look at
how to use six of the new elements in HTML5: canvas, article, audio,
video, meter, and mark..."
HTML5: Semantic Changes, 3 of 4
By Joshua Johnson.
"...This article will cover how to use each of these new elements in a
way that will bring much needed relief to the div-itus that plagues the
structure of so many sites today..."
HTML5: Get It Working Today, 4 of 4
By Joshua Johnson.
"...we'll have a brief look at which new HTML5 technologies major
browsers are officially supporting and go over some techniques you can
use to take advantage of the new elements in your coding today.
Finally, we'll discuss how you should start preparing to support HTML5
in all the sites you build from here forward..."
By Mike Robinson.
"As the HTML5 specification is not yet final, changes should be
expected in order to improve on the good bits and cut out the bad bits.
aside, a misunderstood good bit, is such an element that has had
another look and tweaked based on feedback from the web development
community. In this article we take a look at what has changed..."
Declaring Languages in HTML 5
By Divya Manian.
"Web Development is infinitely more troublesome when you have documents
in languages other than American English. The onus is on us web
developers and server administrators to make sure browsers and search
engines can detect the right language. Here is how you can declare the
language of your document in HTML 5..."
Everyday Usability Heuristics: Visibility Of System Status
By Ondrej Valka.
"Two weeks ago, I was watching my 45-year old father browsing the
Internet. Every time I watch him I learn a lesson in usability. I'm
sure you know with situations like this one ? valuable opportunities to
learn from the ordinary users for whom we design."
Speak To Me!
By Kate Vander.
"Using disabled states for buttons, links and other ui components are
an important way to provide feedback to the user. Think about a stop
light for a minute; if it were always green then the driver would
expect that they could drive through causing collisions with cars going
the other way. To prevent this, the red light steps in to tell the
driver they have to wait. Just like stoplights allow traffic to run
more smoothly, the disabled state allow UI interactions to be more
efficient?the user knows that they don't need to waste their time
trying to click anything disabled. In addition, it helps hierarchy
because applicable actions stand out whereas inapplicable actions push
back. Disabling an action communicates important information to the
user which, coupled with their interaction with the product, help them
to understand how that product works."
Seven Roles of the Intranet Homepage
By James Robertson.
"There is no more contested or challenging page on the intranet than
the homepage. As it is the most visible page on the site, everyone
wants their piece of the homepage..."
Six Mistakes to Avoid in Mobile Usability
"Looking to reach your customers through the mobile, but not sure of
the best way to go about it. This article looks at some of the most
common mistakes that people make when they are giving their business a
Mouse Cursor Affordance
By Dmitry Fadeyev.
"...When styling your website with CSS, in some cases you may lose the
correct cursor type for certain elements. It's important to retain this
indicator as it will inform the user about how the item they're
hovering over can be used (see affordances). The solution is easy: if
the cursor type is wrong, specify it using the CSS 'cursor' property..."
[Section one ends.]
++ SECTION TWO:
+10: 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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