[webdev] Web Design Update: September 25, 2010
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Sat Sep 25 05:07:21 CDT 2010
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 9, Issue 13, September 25, 2010.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web
design and development.
++ISSUE 13 CONTENTS.
SECTION ONE: New references.
What's new at the Web Design Reference site?
New links in these categories:
02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
05: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
07: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
10: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
University of Minnesota Accessibility Resource
By Philip M Kragnes.
"The University of Minnesota Computer Accommodations Program - a
partnership of Disability Services and the Office of Information
Technology - is pleased to announce the release of a new online
Should Sighted Developers Use Screenreaders To Test Accessibility?
By Accessibility NZ.
"There is some controversy about the idea of sighted web designers and
developers using screenreading software to test web sites for
accessibility. Some people suggest one must use a screenreader to test
their sites. Others believe it is counter productive. I think that
very few sighted people can get the correct results by using
screenreaders to test a website. I further think that too many people
think that the accessibility testing is complete once they've used a
screenreader on their website. .."
The Top 5 Roadblocks To Web Accessibility - Web
By Karl Groves.
Accessibility is often the last thing on a web designers mind when
creating a website. This is not a trait unique to newbies or people
working on a personal page. It is also a trait common to professional
web designers large and small and even multinational corporations. In
fact, most web designers have no clue about what accessibility is.
Fix the Web
By Fix the Web.
"The idea with Fix the Web is to find solutions using the power of the
network. We aim to report accessibility problems with 250,000+
websites, to start creating real change.'"
How to Enable a Long Description Attribute on Images in WordPress
By Michael Fields.
"...It seemed that no one had ever seen a plugin that did this.
Domanique asked if anyone knew how this could be accomplished and I
raised my have and offered a solution. And now I'm offering it here as
well. It was actually very simple to do and there are only two
20 Sites Assessed For Cognitive Web Accessibility
By John Rochford.
"This post summarizes the results from my assessments of the Web sites
of 20 organizations that serve people with cognitive disabilities. It
is my plan to perform 100 such cognitive Web accessibility
assessments. The Clear Helper site has detailed information and
PDF Accessibility Quick Checks
By Illinois IT Accessibility Initiative: ITaccess.
"Generally, PDF files are not created with accessibility in mind.
There are several methods to check a PDF file for accessibility as
well as make changes to the PDF to meet accessibility guidelines. Some
"Quick Checks" you can perform on your PDF document to see if it is
LONGDESC in HTML5?
By Jared Smith.
"Longdesc is not an optimal approach, but it is an accepted approach
and one that is codified as an acceptable and recommended technique in
international and U.S. laws and guidelines, including Section 508 and
WCAG 2.0. While it does not have widespread use and is often misused,
obsoleting it in HTML5 is not a viable solution - and is one that
would cause confusion and result in mixed messages..."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
Creating Shadows Around Polygons in CSS
By James Edwards.
...Both the main box and the selected tab at the top have shadows, but
there's no overlap; they combine to form a single gradiated result.
Effectively, they describe a non-rectangular polygon..."
Transparent Borders with background-clip
By Chris Coyier.
"Have you ever seen an element on a page with transparent borders? I
think Facebook originally popularized it giving birth to lightbox
plugins like Facebox. I don't think Facebook sports the look anymore,
but it's still rather neat."
Are CSS Frameworks Evil?
By Inayaili de Leon.
"CSS frameworks have a tendency to be dismissed by many CSS authors;
code bloat and non-semantic class names are usually at the top of the
list of reasons why. Even without ever using one, I shared the same
opinion, but that might have changed after trying a few of them out
while doing some research recently..."
CSS3 Support in Internet Explorer 9
By Louis Lazaris.
"If you're like me, you're probably wondering, amidst all the hype
surrounding the release of IE9 Beta, whether or not Microsoft has
finally begun to keep up with the other browser makers..."
Dreamweaver Quick Tip: Optimizing Screen Real Estate
By Greg Rewis.
"If you're like me, your screen is never big enough..."
Website Architecture and Design with XML
October 5 - December 7, 2010
HTML5 Mobile Web Development
October 5 - December 7, 2010
Accessibility Camp DC
October 9, 2010, U.S.A.
October 21-22, 2010.
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.
International PHP Conference 2010
October 11-13, 2010.
Rheingoldhalle, Mainz, Germany
October 14, 2010
Day Camp for Developers
November 6, 2010.
+05: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
Dancing with the Cards: Quick-and-Dirty Analysis of Card-Sorting Data
By Shanshan Ma.
"User researchers frequently use card sorting to understand how users
perceive the structure of a Web site and the ideal way for them to
navigate through the site."
By Lisa Herrod.
"This questioned was tweeted earlier today by a friend and colleague
of mine, Jessica Enders, Principal of Formulate, a company that
specialises in information and form design..."
Forward Thinking Form Validation
By Ryan Seddon.
"When users complete a form to buy your product or sign up for your
service, you want to reduce mistakes and guide them to success. Now,
with HTML5 form input types and attributes, you can set validation
constraints to check user input. With CSS3's new UI pseudo-classes,
you can style validation states to make form completion quick and
+07: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
HTML5 Simplequiz #1
By Bruce Lawson.
"A few years ago, Dan Cederholm published a series of articles called
Simplequiz in which he posed some options for marking up a specified
piece of content and invited readers to choose the one they felt was
the best way to mark that up. The value was in the comments in which
people said why they made that choice and debated the options (which
means it is THE LAW that you read the preceeding comments before
adding your own)..."
HTML5 Canvas Accessibility in Internet Explorer 9
By Steve Faulkner.
"The recently released Internet Explorer 9 beta implements the HTML5
specification's canvas element fallback concept. This means that the
content inside a canvas elements start and end tags is exposed to
assistive technology users even when the browser supports canvas. It
also means that any interactive elements, inside a canvas elements
start and end tags such as links or form controls will be included in
a documents default tab order even when the browser supports canvas."
The Comic Sans Strikes Back
By Alex Walker.
"...But there has to be more to it than just bad taste. Why does Comic
Sans resonate with so many everyday users? Is there anything we can
The $300 Million Button
By Jared M. Spool.
"While Luke Wroblewski was writing his well-received book, Web Form
Design: Filling in the Blanks, he asked if I could think of an example
where a change in a form's design made a noticeable difference in
business. "You mean like $300 million of new revenue?" I responded.
"Yes, like that." said Luke. So I wrote this article, which he
published in his book...."
Testing Accordion Forms
By Luke Wroblewski.
"Web forms let people complete important tasks on your site; web form
design details can have a big impact on how successful, efficient, and
happy with the process they are-especially details like form length.
Enter accordion forms, which dynamically hide and reveal sections of
related questions as people complete the form, allowing them to focus
on what matters and finish quickly. How do your smallest design
decisions affect completion speed? Which design choices make these
innovative forms feel familiar and easy? Which choices make them feel
foreign and complex, leading people to make errors? "
Web Customers Crave Speed, Not Emotional Experiences
By Gerry McGovern.
"Great websites focus on solving top customer tasks. They solve
problems as quickly as possible..."
10 Usability Crimes You Really Shouldn't Commit
By Chris Spooner.
"Over time certain conventions and best practices have been developed
to help improve the general usability of websites during their design
and build. This roundup of ten usability crimes highlights some of the
most common mistakes or overlooked areas in web design and provides an
alternative solution to help enhance the usability of your website."
Goodbye Web 2.0, Hello Usability
By Alex Dumitru.
"The Web 2.0 stuff has been a trend for a few years now and everybody
wants a web 2.0 website. It doesn't matter it loads in 5 minutes and
90% of the visitors don't figure out how to navigate the menu, post a
comment or contact the webmaster. Well, I think this really need to
end, because people really don't understand what web 2.0 is about. We
will always get more and more new and better technologies, intended to
bring the internet more features, make websites easier to use and look
better. Unfortunately many don't understand this and use them to make
anything they could imagine. Right now, an example came to my mind,
though it's not related to web 2.0, but it's still an usability
was using it during winter and it was literally killing your CPU. What
I'm trying to say is forget about the useless trends and think more
Myth #25: Aesthetics are Not Important if You Have Good Usability
By Zoltan Gocza and Zoltan Kollin.
"There are usability practitioners who completely dismiss the
importance of aesthetics, often citing unattractive but popular
websites such as Craigslist..."
[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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