[webdev] Web Design Update: May 14, 2010

Laura Carlson lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Fri May 14 06:18:34 CDT 2010

- Volume 8, Issue 46, May 14, 2010.

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:

03: COLOR.
06: FLASH.
10: PHP.

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

[Contents ends.]

++ SECTION ONE: New references.


Future Web Accessibility: New <input> Types in HTML5
By Aaron Andersen.
"HTML5 defines 13 new values for the type attribute of the HTML <input> 
element (search, tel, url, email, datetime, date, month, week, time, 
datetime-local, number, range, and color)..."

Does WCAG 2.0 Allow CAPTCHA?
By Tom Babinszki.
"Last time we checked if CAPTCHA is Section 508 compliant. Now let's see 
what WCAG says about it..."

HTML5, ARIA Roles, and Screen Readers in May 2010
By Jason Kiss.
"There are some good, helpful examples and work out there already 
showing how some screen readers deal with various HTML5 constructs and 
ARIA roles. I know the specs are not finished yet and assistive 
technology vendors are always working on it, but I wanted to play around 
a bit and confirm for myself how some of the leading screen readers for 
Windows, namely JAWS 11, Window-Eyes 7.11, NVDA 2010.1, and SAToGo 
3.0.202, currently handle basic HTML5 sectioning elements as well as 
ARIA landmark and other roles. It has been suggested that until browsers 
and screen readers fully support HTML5 elements and their implicit ARIA 
roles, we should be explicitly supplementing certain HTML5 elements with 
their associated ARIA roles..."

Law Schools Discriminate Against Blind Applicants
By National Federation of the Blind.
"The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the nation's oldest and 
largest organization of blind people, announced today that it has filed 
complaints with the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights 
Division, requesting investigations of nine prominent law schools for 
violating the civil rights of blind and other print-disabled law school 
applicants.  The NFB filed the complaints because the law schools 
require applicants who wish to have the convenience of applying online 
to use a centralized Internet-based application process provided by the 
Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) through its Web site (www.lsac.org) 
that is inaccessible to blind law school applicants. "

How Do Blind People Read a Web Page?
By Tom Babinszki.
"...Here, we'll explain in detail how blind persons read and navigate 
web pages. Helping us out in this discussion is Ed. Ed is totally blind 
and is currently learning how to read web pages. Today he wants to visit 
a few web sites, but first, there is something he needs to run in his 

The Challenges of Deaf Internet Users
By Tom Babinszki.
"...Here, we'll focus on a disability group which most people think 
doesn't have any problems surfing the Net. I'm talking about persons who 
are deaf and hard of hearing. Many people think that since deaf people 
can see the contents of a web page, they wouldn't have problems 
accessing any site..."

The Inaccessibility of Jargon
By Steve Grobschmidt.
"...Be direct.  Save the cute expressions, sports metaphors, or whatever 
else for your meetings…or be merciful, and stop them altogether."


Using first-letter and first-line
By Virginia DeBolt.
"The first-letter and first-line CSS selectors are among the 
pseudo-selectors. Pseudo-selectors exist not as discrete elements, but 
as variable elements that exist only as a factor of context or browser 

Braille Cascading Style Sheets -A Preliminary Requirement Analysis
By Protocols and Formats Working Group, W3C.
"This document, which is presently in draft form, discusses various 
issues that are relevant to the design of a braille CSS specification..."

+03: COLOR.

Color Survey Results
"XKCD asked anonymous netizens to provide names for random colours. The 
results (collated from 222,500 user sessions that named over 5 million 
colours) are fascinating."


Creating Your First Website - Part 2: Creating the Page Layout
By David Powers.
"Welcome to the second part of this tutorial series on creating your 
first website. This tutorial explains how to create a CSS-based page 
layout in Adobe Dreamweaver CS5. A page layout determines how your page 
will appear in the browser, showing, for example, the placement of 
menus, images, and other kinds of content."


iPad Usability: First Findings From User Testing
By Jakob Nielsen.
"iPad apps are inconsistent and have low feature discoverability, with
frequent user errors due to accidental gestures. An overly strong print
metaphor and weird interaction styles cause further usability problems."

+06: FLASH.

Web 2.0 Talk: HTML5 vs. Flash
By Eric A. Meyer.
"Earlier this week I presented a talk at the Web 2.0 Expo titled 'HTML5 
vs. Flash: Webpocalypse Now?' which seemed to be pretty well received. 
That might be because I did my best to be unbiased about the situation 
both now and into the future, and also that the audience was very 
heavily weighted toward web stack practitioners. Seriously, out of 
100-150 audience members, about six raised their hand when I asked who 
was developing with Flash..."

Walmart's Poor Alt Text and Use of Flash
By Dennis Lembree.
"...Best: Use HTML only for content. Implement with web standards, 
progressive enhancement, and DOM scripting, to create the same visual 
effect as the original Flash. This will not only make your content 
accessible, but will also make the site lighter and faster and is also 
good for SEO."

In Defense of Flash (blockers)
By Greg Rewis.
"...I guess it really boils down to 'be careful what you wish for'. Like 
I said, in today's web, I have the ability to decide if and/or what I 
want to see by installing or uninstalling a plugin, or using a plugin to 
block certain content. But that won't be possible when you have no way 
of identifying the 'advertisement' from the content of the page..."


Douglas Crockford on JavaScript and HTML5
By Michael Calore.
"...He has hope for HTML5, but he has issues with the way it's being 
developed. Primarily, he's concerned that there are too many security 
holes, and that 'there's too much kitchen sink in HTML5' - excessive 
duplication of the elements and not enough discipline in the code."


Truly W3C Community Building at WWW2010 (Part 2)
Via Marie-Claire Forgue.
Presentation materials from WWW2010 include CSS3, SVG, and Canvas.

The Format of The Long Now
By Jeremy Keith.
"...I don't think that any format could ever be The Format Of The Long 
Now but HTML is the closest we've come thus far in the history of 
computing to having a somewhat stable, human- and machine-readable data 
format with a decent chance of real longevity."

Eric A. Meyer Interview - Why HTML5 is Worth Your Time
By Mac Slocum.
"...In the following Q&A, Meyer explains why HTML5, CSS and JavaScript 
are the "classic three" for developers and designers. He also pushes 
past the HTML5 vs. Flash bombast to offer a rational and much-needed 
comparison of the tool sets..."


Navigation Versus Search
By AGConsult.
"A client recently asked me: 'Navigation, isn't that a bit old hat? I 
mean, this is the time of Google. Doesn't everybody just search?' No, 
they don't. Good navigation and good links are vital for the success of 
a website. A search feature is an added bonus, sure. But if you have 
one, it has to be as good as Google or even better."

+10: PHP.

Encryption Techniques for Your PHP Development
By Leidago Noabeb.
"Recently, an attacker hacked into my database and stole all the 
passwords and usernames stored there. Needless to say, I had to change 
everything and it cost me time and money. What made the crime easy for 
the attacker is that I never encrypted any of the passwords in the 
database. I've learned my lesson and now I'm passing along that wisdom 
with this article about encryption in PHP. Using some of the encryption 
techniques that PHP offers, you can safeguard your information in 
various ways..."


What HTML5 Means - The Sequel
By Peter-Paul Koch.
"A while ago I asked what HTML5 means to you. I got a lot of replies, 
but would like to gather more. That's why I'm repeating the question 
today. What's in your HTML5 spec? Please add your personal top three of 
cool new features to the comments."

HTML5 and the Web
By Tim Bray.
"I am an unabashed partisan of the Web - its architecture, culture, and 
content. I'm proud to have played a very small part in shaping bits of 
the machinery and having contributed probably too many words to that 
content But as for HTML5? It's a good enough thing to the extent it 
turns out to work. But nothing terribly important depends on it..."

Accessibility Requirements of Media (HTML5)
By HTML5 Accessibility Task Force.
"The principle disabilities that affect the comprehension of media are 
loss of visual function and loss of audio function, sometimes in 
combination. To a certain extent cognitive problems also come into play, 
but this generally better addressed in the production of the material 
itself, rather than on providing access mechanisms to the content, 
although some access mechanisms may come into play for this audience. 
Once richer forms of media, such as virtual reality, become more 
commonplace, tactile issues may also come into play. Control of the 
media player is of course also an important issue e.g. for mobility 
problems, however this is typically not addressed by the media formats 
themselves, but is a requirement on the technology used to build the 

Is the HTML5 progress Element Truly Progressive?
By Shelley Powers.
"...We'd be better spending time providing tutorials on how people can 
use these libraries, accessibly and semantically, then to push the use 
of an element that's not very useful and is dated even before it hits 
the street."

The Web is a Web of Content, not an Application Framework
By Roger Johansson.
"...applications made specifically for a platform are better than 
cross-platform Web applications."

The Ruby Element and Her Hawt Friends, rt and rp
By Oli Studholme.
"Ruby text  is a short annotation for some base text. It's typically 
used to give pronunciation guidance in a phonetic script for kanji in 
Chinese, Japanese, and Korean (CJK) languages. It's named after an old 
printers' term for the very small size of 5.5 points."

HTML5 Today!
By Remy Sharp.
"Remy Sharp talks about what's coming with HTML5, what happened to 
XHTML2, how XHTML is not dead and why HTML5 is here today, and not 2022."

By Anne van Kesteren.
"When working on new features for the web platform we try to be careful 
not adding too much all at once. And when the need for more 
functionality arises we generally wait until implementations are 
reasonable stable before adding it..."


The Changing Typography of the Web
By Deborah Netburn.
"Since the World Wide Web's earliest days, whether you were shopping on 
Amazon or researching on Google or catching up on news at latimes.com, 
chances are you were looking at just one of four typefaces -- Arial, 
Verdana, Georgia or Times -- each formulated for computer monitors and 
trusted by web designers to display properly on your screen. In other 
words, a seventh-grader writing a book report on Microsoft Word had more 
font choices than the person designing Esquire Magazine's website or the 
IKEA online catalog. But now that is about to change..."


By Joshua Brewer.
"...Creating great experiences is all about control. For the user, 
control is knowing and understanding the options and being able to make 
the 'right' decision. For the designer, control is about refining the 
interface until the user can always take the next step. Hick's Law is a 
design principle that states: 'The time it takes to make a decision 
increases as the number of alternatives increases.' Translation: more 
choices = more anxiety. Less choices = more control. At least in the 
mind of the user..."

A Symptom of Clutter
By Dmitry Fadeyev.
"When the print view of a page is so much more readable than the full 
thing then you've got a problem. It's a symptom of clutter. It's a 
symptom of a design that doesn't do its job. If you find your site in 
this position, take a good look at the design. Do all the design 
elements there help make the content easier to read? If not, do they 
have a good reason to be there? If they don't, get rid of them."

Stop Using PDF and MS-Word Forms
By Gary Barber.
"Look around the web, you’ll find them all over the place. MS-Word and 
PDF forms that you have to download and complete. I would be forgiven 
for thinking that we have not progressed on the web since 1995. I know 
I’m not perfect I have been party to this crime against UX as well. We 
know they are bad, so why are we still using them..."

Bite-Sized Chunks Of Info Are Best
By Susan Weinschenk.
"...Humans can only process small amounts of information at a time 
(consciously that is… the estimate is that we handle 40,000,000 pieces 
of information every second, but only 40 of those make it to our 
conscious brains). One mistake that web sites make is to give too much 
information all at once..."

Case Study - Call to Action in Web Design Usability
By Alex Smith.
"...every time we make something 'more prominent' we are taking 
prominence from the previously highlighted sections, effectively making 
nothing stand out. While researching the topic, to formulate an evidence 
based repost for our client, I discovered numerous reasons why it's 
essential to distill your calls to action down to only the core outcomes 
you want from your audience..."

Redesigning the Web for Touch Screens
By Erica Naone.
"A new crop of touch-based devices is changing the way users interact 
with Web pages."

[Section one ends.]


+14: 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