[webdev] Web Design Update: August 14, 2010
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Sat Aug 14 06:32:08 CDT 2010
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 9, Issue 07, August 14, 2010.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web
design and development.
++ISSUE 07 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.
08: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
12: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Making Maps Accessible
By Sarah Bourne.
"With most things there are formulaic answers to the question, 'How do
I make that accessible?' For this feature of a web page, do this. For
a text box in a form, use a label. For a data table, provide a summary
and heading information. The W3C collects and publishes these
techniques; if they are not easy to remember, they are easy to look
up. But some things don't boil down to a simple formula..."
University Web Site for People with Learning Disabilities: Starting a Redesign
By John Rochford.
"Today, I visited a local university that has a campus-based program
for students with learning disabilities. I am helping to make the
program’s Web site more accessible to its students..."
By AEGIS project.
"Personas are hypothetical archetypes of actual users. Although they
are imaginary, they are defined with significant rigour and precision.
This level of accuracy can only be reached by founding the personas on
real data obtained from field research studying real people. The aim
here is to make them approachable for all members of a project-team so
that developers, designers, managers and other stakeholders can
develop empathy for their end-users. The persona can almost become a
real person, which will facilitate all layers in a project team to
keep thinking from the user's perspective without being influenced by
personal biases. During the entire design-process all developers,
managers and other team members can refer in a critical manner to the
personas to assure the work progresses on the right path. Design
efforts can be prioritized or given a specific weight per
functionality which will help prioritise the different use cases
The accesskey Attribute - Do We Still Need It?
By Emma Sax.
The accesskey attribute has been part of the HTML specification for
over ten years and its purpose is to give keyboard users a shortcut to
access a specific area of the page or to jump to a different page. In
HTML5 the accesskey may be used on any element, but do web developers
still need to use it?
Remaining Challenges of Measuring the Accessibility of Web Sites
According to WCAG 2.0
"The paper identifies the following challenges. The described
challenges are in the authors experience unclear parts WCAG 2.0, which
often means that the testers need interpret the texts and take
decisions of how it should be understood. This could easily lead to
inconsistency among testers as the testers may understand the texts
Creating Sites Accessible to People with Cognitive Disabilities
By Gian Wild.
HTML5 Working Group Decision on ISSUE-30 longdesc
By Sam Ruby, Maciej Stachowiak, and Paul Cotton.
"The HTML 4.01 Specification includes an attribute named longdesc,
intended to make images and frames more accessible to people using
non-visual user agents. The HTML5 draft does not include this
attribute. Some Working Group members have suggested that it be
added/reinstated...the HTML Working Group hereby adopts the Change
Proposal to not include the longdesc attribute in the language."
Notice of Impending Formal Objection to HTML5 Issue 30 Decision (@longdesc)
By John Foliot.
"Please be advised that I intend to work with a group of others to
create a Formal Objection to this decision. In particular, I am
appalled by the comments..."
Strategic Decisions in a Strategy-less Environment
By Shelley Powers.
"...The W3C cannot afford to be so cavalier as to arrogantly pronounce
itself above government and other organizational mandates. The browser
companies may deem themselves to be above such consideration, but the
W3C cannot be so short sighted, and thoughtless. The W3C also cannot
possibly afford to undermine its own credibility by introducing
conflicts between its own recommendations: to recommend longdesc in
one of its documents, while, at the exact same time, making it
obsolete in another. The whole point of deprecation is to prevent such
anomalies from occurring. Folly. Pure folly..."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
Expanding Images Using HTML5 and tabindex
By Chris Coyier.
"...you can give attributes a tabindex attribute, like you would a
form element, which allow allows :focus without the editability. This
article has been updated to go that route instead..."
Data Theft With CSS
By Zachary Weinberg.
"...This attack works because a webpage in quirks mode can load
anything as a style sheet, even if its really a HTML page coming from
someone elses server..."
29 Useful Things You Can Do With CSS3
By Underworld Magazines.
"CSS is growing every year with new a creative ways to code your
website, with css3 it give you great ways to make creative buttons,
shadows, gradients , and a lot more things. Here is 29 Useful Things
you can do with CSS3. Take the time to check some of them and start
learning some css..."
+03: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Creative Ways to Use Unmoderated User Research
By Demetrius Madrigal and Bryan McClain.
"Over the past year or two, unmoderated usability testing has become a
popular option to help guide product design. It is especially popular
for Web sites, providing startups the opportunity to get relatively
quick-and-easy user feedback on design iterations. From a user
research perspective, the improper use of unmoderated research
services presents a certain amount of danger. However, there are a
number of ways you can use unmoderated user research tools that can
provide a great deal of value. This month, well discuss some of the
more interesting ways in which you can derive value from unmoderated
Douglas Crockford: Loopage
August 27, 2010.
Sunnyvale, California, U.S.A.
September 30, 2010.
ARIA - A Quick Overview
By Virginia DeBolt.
"ARIA is Accessible Rich Internet Applications, a set of standards
under development by the W3C. It’s part of the WAI (Web Accessibility
By Ray West.
"As more and more data retrieval moves to AJAX to provide a more
dynamic user experience, we start to lose much of the server side data
formatting that is so convenient in most languages. When sending raw
data back over XML or JSON, there is no opportunity for the server to
reformat to display dates, times, and currency values as you would
want them shown. This is especially tricky for currency formats, since
By Jeremy Keith.
"m not a big fan of acronyms in general but I like the word WWILF:
What Was I Looking For. Its such a webby word..."
When The Axe Man Cometh - the Future of Institutional Web Teams
By Brian Kelly.
"'The doom and gloom of the impending cuts rang out loud and
clear'described Deborah F. in her report on the IWMW 2010 event. I
introduced this concern in the opening talk and then, in the second
talk at the event, Susan Farrell asked Are web managers still needed
when everyone is a web expert?' As described in a report written by
Amy Chamier and published on the IWMW 2010 blog Susan, former head
of Web Services at Kings College, London, explained how those with
front-end skills are most at risk. Susans advice was to demonstrate
the competitive advantage we deliver in turbulent times. We must show
how websites run by web managers cut the cost of: (a) generating new
customers (b) back office administration and (c) service delivery. And
also, how websites run by amateurs can put an organisations reputation
at risk. In her conclusions Susan left the audience with a final
question: 'Without recognised qualifications and a professional body,
do web managers and their specialist skills run the risk of
extinction, as our duties are absorbed into other roles?'"
Shlock and Awe: Little Things on Your Website that Drive People Nuts
By Kim Stearns.
"...Death to dropdown menus - These pesky little menus will end up
costing you a ton on development costs while delivering no value to
the experience of your website. In fact, the annoyance factor of
difficult-to-navigate menus may decrease the usage of your site,
costing you more than you can calculate. Simple, usable menus will
always provide the most accessibility and reduce the frustration that
users feel when trying to jump around your website."
Best Practices To Design a Perfect HTML Navigation Bar
By Antonio Lupett.
"The navigation bar is an inevitable element in every website. In this
post I want to share with you some simple practices and suggestions
aimed at designing a perfect HTML navigation bar."
Breadcrumb Trail Design Showcase
By Christian Watson.
"Breadcrumb trails can be a useful secondary navigation tool.."
+08: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
Your Questions Answered Number 12
By Richard Clark
"The latest round of HTML5 prescriptions is in! This week, we’ll
briefly cover the HTML5 vs Flash debate, whether to use <body> or
<div>, HTML5 rich text editors, and the HTML5 charset and doctype..."
HTML5 Reset (HTML5 and CSS templates)
By Monkey Do.
"...Now that modern browsers are starting to support some of the
really useful parts of HTML5 and CSS3, it's time for an update, and we
thought we'd put it out there for everyone to use. By no means do we
see this as the end-all and beat-all, but we think it's a fairly good
starting place that anyone can take and make their own..."
HTML5: Introduction to <canvas>
By Estelle Weyl.
drawings. The canvas API allows the definition of a canvas context
object as the <canvas> element on your HTML page inside which we can
By Mike Plate.
"Use this web application to experiment and learn about new css3
capabilities. The styles applied when changing the different settings
should follow the principles of progressive enhancements and will work
in all browsers that support the setting. Just change the settings and
see how the rectangular box changes according to your changes..."
No to Text Resize Widgets
By Dennis Lembree.
"...Say no to text resize widgets. To enlarge text for users, the
browser should be used (many reasons below). See this video from
OpenConcept on how to text-resize in your browser..."
Myth #23: Choices Should Always be Limited to 7+/-2
By Zoltan Gocza.
"...research shows that broad and shallow menu structures generally
work better than deeper menus. Also, link-rich e-commerce homepages,
like that of Amazon with 90+ product category links, are found to be
more usable than homepages with only a few links...."
Corporate Blogs - Front Page Structure
By Jakob Nielsen.
"Showing summaries of many articles is more likely to draw in users
than providing full articles, which can quickly exhaust reader
Avoid Being Embarrassed by Your Error Messages
By Caroline Jarrett.
"Put a person and a computer together, and you have the possibility of
an error. Put two computers together: more possibilities for error.
People make mistakes and computers do unexpected things. We try to
design out the errors as much as possible, but inevitably, we end up
dealing with error messages. Its easy to find plenty of
recommendations about creating error messages. For example..."
Updating Our Understanding of Perception and Cognition: Part II.
By Jeff Johnson.
"This is the second of my two articles for UXmatters, summarizing some
of what researchers have discovered about human perception and
cognition over the past thirty years. These articles are not meant to
be comprehensive; they are just an overview of what I learned while
preparing to write my new book: Designing with the Mind in Mind. The
first article in this series focused on visual perception, while this
article focuses on cognition and cognitive / perceptual speed."
Don't Use a Long Word When a Short Word Will Do
By Rachel McAlpine.
"...Plainer English is not Nobrainer English..."
[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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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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