[webdev] Web Design Update: February 5, 2010
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Fri Feb 5 06:31:33 CST 2010
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 8, Issue 32, February 5, 2010.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web design
++ISSUE 32 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.
06: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
08: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
12: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Simple Steps Towards Building an Accessible Site (part 2)
By Henny Swan.
"Not all types of content can be accessed by all of people, hardware or
software so alternative formats are needed..."
How Should Web Browsers Render Alternative Text?
By Vlad Alexander.
"...If there is agreement that textual alternative content for an image
is an equivalent replacement for the visual content of an image, then
the textual alternative content alone should replace visual content when
it is not rendered."
Who is Required to Close-Caption?
"...There is currently a movement to pass legislation that will define
and regulate accessibility for developing technology. H.R. 3101 was
introduced in June 2009 by Edward Markey (D-MA). Called the
'Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of
2009,' this legislation will, if enacted, amend the nation's
Communications Act. With more than 240 national, state, and
community-based organizations supporting the legislation, and with
telecommunications becoming more essential to our daily lives all the
time, it looks like it won't be long before captions will be required
across all forms of visual media."
Common Accessibility Mistakes
By Mark Aplet.
"So here is my general list of accessibility mistakes and a few ways to
improve the overall accessibility of your site for everyone and not just
My Web My Way
By British Broadcasting Corporation.
"This site provides accessibility help, enabling computer users to make
the most of the internet whatever their ability or disability."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
Multiple Backgrounds and CSS Gradients
By Jonathan Snook.
"CSS3 features are making their way into the various browsers and while
many are holding off on implementing them, there are those who are
venturing ahead and likely running into a world of interesting quirks
across the various platforms..."
The CSS Background Property
By Virginia DeBolt.
"Several CSS properties are involved in understanding how to use
background images. As you probably know, a background image can be
added to any element on a page of HTML using a CSS rule for
background-image which points to a URL for the image you are using. The
CSS syntax looks like this.."
Adding Focus to Form Fields
By Virginia DeBolt.
"You can highlight the form field a user is in. It's a small visual cue
as to where the cursor is in the form. Here's a simple example..."
+03: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Analytics - The Usability Lab of the New Decade
By Peter Morville.
"...if you're not embracing analytics, do so, now. Google Analytics is
free. Use it. But don't go crazy. Identify a few key measures. Allow a
little while for the data to be dependable. Develop some hypotheses as
to what's happening, and make some small changes to test those
hypotheses. Lather, rinse, and repeat. You'll grow more confident, and
as you do, you'll get more sophisticated. Always remember that analytics
are not 'the answer' - but they are an input into a continually
improving and iterating development process."
European Joint Conferences on Theory and Practice of Software (ETAPS)
March 20-28, 2010.
CSS3 Online Conference
March 22, 2010.
Information Architecture Summit
April 9-11, 2010.
Phoenix, Arizona , U.S.A.
Web APP Masters Tour
April 27-28, 2010.
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A.
Flash, iPad, Standards
By Jeffrey Zeldman.
"Lack of Flash in the iPad (and before that, in the iPhone) is a win for
accessible, standards-based design..."
By Jeffrey Zeldman.
"The first part of my post of 1 February was not an attack on Flash. It
described a way of working with Flash that also supports users who don't
have access to Flash. I've followed and advocated that approach for 10
years. It has nothing to do with Apple's recent decisions and everything
to do with making content available to people and search engines..."
Lack of Flash Support by the iPad - Bad News or Good?
By Brian Kelly.
"A post I wrote in November 2008 entitled 'Why Did SMIL and SVG Fail?'
has been referenced by the Stevie 5 is Alive blog. The post on the lack
of Flash support for the iPad device says 'Apple: Thank You for Leaving
+06: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
Attending to Performance
By Thom Haller.
"As information architects, we have the opportunity to learn when our
constituents are thwarted by information structure. If possible, we
should observe actual performers doing actual work in actual work
contexts. We should understand what performers need to know, what is
better referenced and what is best supported. We should understand the
pressures, activities, accountabilities, interruptions, relationships
and consequences of good and flawed performance. And we should measure."
By Peter Morville and Jeffery Callender.
""Search is among the most disruptive innovations of our time. It
influences what we buy and where we go. It shapes how we learn and what
we believe. This provocative and inspiring book explores design patterns
that apply across the categories of web, e-commerce, enterprise,
desktop, mobile, social, and real time search and discovery. Using
colorful illustrations and examples, the authors bring modern
information retrieval to life, covering such diverse topics as relevance
ranking, faceted navigation, multi-touch, and mixed reality. Search
Patterns challenges us to invent the future of discovery while serving
as a practical guide to help us make search applications better today..."
+08: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
HTML5 Change Proposal: Replace img Guidance for Conformance Checkers
Editor Laura Carlson.
"This change proposal modifies the HTML5 Specification so that automatic
validators can programmatically detect the presence or absence of text
alternatives on the img element..."
Hello, summary and figcaption Elements
By Bruce Lawson.
"This weekend saw the minting of not one but two new elements. The
summary element (not the summary attribute on the table element) goes
inside the details element.."
Bet Against HTML and You Lose
By Joe Clark.
"The more your online content diverges from a traditional Web page, the
less likely a format that isn't HTML is going to work. The less your
content resembles a Web site, the greater the need to use HTML, at least
if you intend to distribute it online. Any format that is not HTML in
some guise has a short life expectancy..."
WAVE Dreamweaver Extension
WebAIM has released a beta version of a WAVE Dreamweaver Extension.
The Last Road Block for Your Customers - Web Forms
By Gary Barber.
"You have built the perfect web site, the colours invoke the right
emotional response, the visual imagery leads customers to the relevant
information while allowing the audience to personally relate to the
site. The content is ideal for the web, not to much but enough to
convince people of the service. The major call to actions are in the
right locations, and easy to find. Everything is set, the web site is
ready to take on the world..."
When Do You Have Too Much Information?
By Gerry McGovern.
"There is no greater skill a web professional needs to develop than the
ability to create quality links. Many websites do not need more
publishing. Rather, they need more linking of content in appropriate
task journeys. Linking is a complex skill because it requires you to see
the task through your customer's eyes."
Content Is King
By Paul Boag.
"Just because content is king doesn't mean, however, that the designer's
job is any less important. How seriously would people take the King if
his suit was poorly made? It has to look good..."
The Battle Between Usability and User-Experience
By Thomas Baekdal.
"The main reasons why it is so hard to create usable products is that
there is a conflict between a high-usability level and great
user-experience. You might think this as strange, but there is a
important difference between the two..."
W3C Launches RDFa Working Group
"W3C launched today the RDFa Working Group, whose mission is to support
the use of RDFa, a format for embedding structured data in Web documents..."
SVG or Canvas? Choosing Between the Two
By Mihai Sucan.
"In this article Mihai Sucan explores the differences between SVG and
Canvas and presents a few examples to help you decide which one is best
for the functionality you are trying to implement."
[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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