[webdev] Web Design Update: August 27, 2010
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Fri Aug 27 00:34:12 CDT 2010
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 9, Issue 09, August 27, 2010.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web
design and development.
++ISSUE 09 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.
05: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
09: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
13: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Three Rules for Creating Accessible Forms
By Dan Stringer.
"As part of my role at Nomensa I have spent a significant amount of
time evaluating the accessibility conformance on a range of websites.
When auditing these websites I have been consistently surprised at the
way in which web forms have been implemented. Forms can be a source of
confusion for everyone, not least for people with cognitive
disabilities and visual impairments..."
Voluntary Compliance To Web Access Standards 'Inadequate'
By Tristan Parker.
"Voluntary application of technical standards on accessibility of web
sites to people with disabilities has proved 'inadequate', suggesting
more formal regulation is needed, the US government has said..."
How Do We Save Longdesc?
By Vlad Alexander.
"The longdesc attribute, although potentially useful, was removed from
the HTML5 specification, despite recommendations to retain it from the
HTML Accessibility Task Force. The decision to drop longdesc was a
lazy response on the part of the HTML5 team: the attribute isn't
popular, so let's ditch it. At the same time, the Task Force's
attempts to simply reinstate the longdesc attribute won't suddenly
make the attribute popular, or ensure it is used as intended. What
both parties need to do is remember their obligations. Once they do
that, a proper solution will emerge..."
Creating Your Own Accessible HTML5 Media Player
By Terrill Thompson.
"HTML5 introduces the <audio> and <video> elements, which enable web
browsers to natively support media without requiring users to download
and install a plug-in. It also greatly simplifies the code required to
add media to a web page..."
Developing an Accessible Star Ratings Widget
By Thierry Koblentz.
"...You might think that most rating systems would be based on some
markup proven to be semantic and 'operational' across many User Agents
— that is, that rating systems would be based on a specific set of
HTML elements and attributes to which one applies behavior and style
via JS and CSS. That would make sense, but it is far from the truth.
When it comes to markup, authors try just about everything..."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
How to Remove Textarea Scrollbars in IE
By Craig Buckler.
"...When you're using a form textarea, Internet Explorer always shows
a scrollbar even when it's unnecessary..."
More CSS Drop Shadows For All Browsers
By Martin Kliehm.
"hanks to the unstoppable advancements of web standards aiding mankind
to overcome the real burdens of the 21st century, adding drop shadows
to boxes became much easier in recent years..."
The CSS3 Song
By Brad Neuberg.
"Don't be bummed it's Monday, 'cuse the CSS3 Song is here to cheer you up..."
Adding HTML5 Video with Dreamweaver CS5
By Greg Rewis.
"I actually had this post written right before my vacation this summer
(the reason for not posting here for 6 weeks!), but somehow managed to
lose it. But oh well, the topic is just as hot as ever, as witnessed
by several blogposts recently from the likes of the BBC and YouTube.
My favorite quote from the YouTube article is 'Today, Adobe Flash
provides the best platform for YouTube's video distribution
requirements, which is why our primary video player is built with it.'
I think that basically sums it up..."
Dear Adobe, Can Dreamweaver do this?
By Virginia DeBolt.
"...I'd like to see Dreamweaver do some new things. Or maybe, do some
old things differently..."
+04: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Usability Test Reporting: It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over
By John Sorflaten.
"...testing is not the hardest part. It's the quality of your
recommendations that tips the scales..."
+05: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
Personas: Explorations in Developing a Deep and Dimensioned Character
By Traci Lepore.
"If we are going to begin to address these issues, we need to get at
the root of the problem-our empathetic understanding of our users.
Having empathy for users and understanding their needs doesn't come
from reading words on a page. It doesn't come from statistical
analysis of demographics either. It comes from truly embodying and
experiencing the character of a persona, so it becomes ingrained
emotionally and physically in our memories. Actors understand this.
>From the time Stanislavski began teaching Method Acting - a process of
transformation in which actors begin to take on the true nature of a
character - actors have referred to this moment when they realize a
character's emotional memory and have truly become the character as
the moment of embodiment."
By Tom Barker.
of those AHA! moments with the class that makes teaching
Mystery Meat Navigation
By Christian Watson.
"Surprised to see that mystery meat navigation is still alive and
kicking (on an otherwise very nicely designed site)..."
10 Productivity-boosting Tools for Your PHP Development
By W. Jason Gilmore.
"Frustration can quickly set in when you are dealing with menial and
often repetitive tasks such as manual code testing and deployment, yet
you strive to become a more efficient programmer by staying DRY. So
why not extend that quest to other parts of the application lifecycle,
streamlining and automating such tasks? In this article I'll introduce
you to ten PHP development tools that will help you do exactly that,
leaving you with more time to concentrate on building great
+09: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
Is HTML5 Accessible?
By Sandi Wassmer.
"Apart from the fact that no specification as such, can be deemed
accessible or not, what has become evident is that there seems to be a
rapid proliferation within the web design and development community of
the misnomer that if you build a website using HTML5, it somehow
CSS 3.0 Maker
W3C Backs the WOFF WebFont Standard
By Craig Buckler.
"The W3C announced today that the Web Open Font Format (WOFF) has been
published on their Standards Track. Assuming all interested parties
agree, the format will become a royalty-free standard and a W3C
Should You Copy a Famous Site's Design?
By Jakob Nielsen.
"Although successful websites typically have high usability, average
sites can hurt their business by copying design elements that don't
work well in other contexts."
Perception and the Design of Forms - Part 4: Figure Ground
"We're making our way through a series of articles on how the visual
design of forms should be influenced by the way humans see..."
A Design Is Only As Deep As It Is Usable
By Louis Lazaris.
"...In this article, I hope to provide a clear demarcation between
what is perceived by most to be beautiful in Web design and what is
truly beautiful, along with some guiding principles to help designers
today create websites whose beauty is not superficial, but rather
improves and enhances the user experience..."
How Choice Impairs Your Visitors
By Alexander Dawson.
"Many sites provide an array of methods to interact with their
offerings, but excesses in decision-making pressure can render less
empowered visitors into a cyclone of stress from the barrage of
questions being asked. As an industry, we place a great deal of
emphasis on getting visitors to make decisions, but are we turning a
straightforward path into a labyrinth with our need to know?"
Getting to Grips with Content
By Felicity Evans.
"Here are some things you can do now to improve your content. 1. Prune
it. 2. Put it in front of users. 3. Give it purpose"
[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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+ 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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