[webdev] Web Design Update: November 20, 2010
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Sat Nov 20 04:04:55 CST 2010
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 9, Issue 21, November 20, 2010.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web
design and development.
++ISSUE 21 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.
05: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
09: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
12: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
A Better Way to Author Alternate Text
By Vlad Alexander.
"The function of alternate text is to make content that contains
images understandable when images cannot be seen, either by users with
limited vision, by search engines, or when users turn off image
rendering in their browser. Instead of being a description of an
image, alternate text is a textual substitute for an image, that must
coherently fit into content surrounding the image. Let's take the
following screen shot as an illustration..."
By David Sloan.
"Yesterday, two unrelated events made me think about accessibility and
communication - and in particular the impact of accessibility and
usability on a communication system...Casting aspersions on the whole
system based on the accessibility of its own site - which is, after
all, an intermediary in a wider communication chain - is a waste of
energy, particularly by accessibility advocates. Let's not break Fix
the Web before it has a chance to make a difference...Web
accessibility advocates may recognise parallels with screen reading
technology too - so be forgiving of people who are not intimately
familiar with their AT, and be conservative in your assumptions of the
role a user's AT plays in enhancing the quality of their web
Engineering Software for Accessibility
The book Engineering Software for Accessibility is available as a download.
Google CAPTCHAs Nearly Blocked Me from Completing Work
By Glenda Watson Hyatt.
"One task on today's to-do list was to set up a Google group for a
client to discuss migrating the organization's static site to
WordPress. I haven't used Google groups, but I have previously used
Yahoo groups. Setting up a group in Google shouldn't be that much
Understanding Assistive Technology (Video)
By Suzanne Robitaille.
"Here's a simple, quick video that really does the trick in explaining
what assistive technology is, who uses it, and how to get your hands
on some. It's put together nicely by The PACER Simon Technology Center
and includes closed captions as well as a neat interactive
The Job of Captioning
"...Jared Smith tweeted: Purdue University finds that using/fixing
YouTube automatic captioning costs more than using an external
captioning vendor. Then he followed up with: To clarify last tweet,
YouTube was more expensive for transcription. It would obviously be
cheaper for simple time-coding. Vendor was AST..."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
CSS Positioning 101
By Noah Stokes.
"If you're a front end developer or a designer who likes to code,
CSS-based layouts are at the very core of your work. Designer slash
developer Noah Stokes scrutinizes the CSS position property to show
how you can use it to create standards-compliant, table-free CSS
layouts. Test or refresh your knowledge of static, relative, absolute,
fixed, and inherited positioning, and how they work together to create
any web layout the mind can conceive..."
Understanding CSS3 Transitions
By Dan Cederholm.
"From advanced selectors to generated content to the triumphant return
of web fonts, and from gradients, shadows, and rounded corners to
full-blown animations, CSS3 is a universe of creative possibilities.
No one can better guide you through these galaxies than world-renowned
designer, author, and CSS superstar Dan Cederholm of SimpleBits and
Dribbble fame. We are delighted to present an excerpt from his new
book (and the second publication from A Book Apart), CSS3 For Web
IE9, Vendor Prefixes, and Developers
By John Hrvatin.
"The Sixth Platform Preview of IE9 includes support for CSS3 2D
Transforms. Similar to the use of 'ms' in the Web Timing APIs, the 2D
Transforms properties begin with -ms: -ms-transform and
-ms-transform-origin. This post explains the purpose of vendor
prefixes, how we decide when to use vendor prefixes, and how we
recommend developers treat these properties..."
Inline Boxes with Bottom Alignment
By Thierry Koblentz.
"The challenge: Keeping a submit button at the bottom of a line box,
aligned with form controls positioned below their label..."
+03: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Top Tasks Identification Method Explained
By Gerry McGovern.
"Whenever you get people to vote on a list of tasks, clear trends will
Google Instant Previews - Eye Tracking Shows It's Game Changing
By Simple Usability.
"...Google Instant Previews could change the way that users browse
search engine results pages, but only if they find and become aware of
Exploring the Usability of E-Health Websites
By Curtis V. Lauterbach.
"...The purpose of this study was to evaluate the usability of the
WebMD.com (WebMD) and HealthCentral.com (HealthCentral) (see Figure 1
and Figure 2 respectively) websites for usability, satisfaction, and
Web Accessibility/Section 508 for Developers - Intro
January 11, 2011.
April 11, 2011.
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A.
Web 2011 Conference at Penn State
June 13-14, 2011.
University Park, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
+05: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
Wireframes are Dead, Long Live Rapid Prototyping
By Neil Turner.
"Wireframes, your time is up. You've served your purpose. You've
brought order where there was once chaos and provided gainful
employment for thousands of UX designers, but I'm afraid now it's time
for you to go to the big recycling bin in the sky. You're just no
longer cut out for the cut and thrust of UX design and have been
replaced by that young upstart called rapid prototyping. In this
article I argue why you too should ditch wireframes and embrace rapid
Long Live the Web
By Tim Berners-Lee.
"The Web is critical not merely to the digital revolution but to our
continued prosperity-and even our liberty. Like democracy itself, it
Web Style Guide, third edition
By Patrick J. Lynch and Sarah Horton.
YUIConf 2010 Panel Discussion: The Future of Frontend Engineering' (79 min.)
By Eric Miraglia.
"One of the highlights of YUIConf 2010 was a panel discussion on the
future of frontend engineering, facilitated by Dion Almaer and Ben
Galbraith (of Ajaxian, Bespin, Mozilla, and Palm fame). Panelists
included Elaine Wherry, founder and frontend architect at Meebo;
technologist and author; Ryan Dahl, creator of Node.js; Joe Hewitt of
Facebook, creator of Firebug and one of the most downloaded mobile
applications of all time (Facebook for iOS); Thomas Sha, YUI founder
Mega-Menus Gone Wrong
By Jakob Nielsen.
"Big 2-D drop-downs can facilitate site navigation - if they're
properly designed. Two examples illustrate some mega-menu usability
Drop-Down Menus; No Thanks!
By Jamie Freeman.
"...If you want an accessible website that is usable by the widest
possible range of people, is expandable, logical, and reflects the
best practice of the world's leading web developers then what you
don't want is drop-down menus."
10 Productive PHP Tools for Testing and Debugging
By W. Jason Gilmore.
"...PHP developers have a great deal to choose from when it comes to
testing and debugging tools, and in this article I'll highlight 10 of
Using Callback Functions in PHP
By Quentin Zervaas.
"A commonly used technique when programming is to use callbacks. A
callback is a piece of code that is passed to a function that is later
executed by that function. In this article I will show you how to
define and call callbacks in PHP, as well as a practical example of
how callbacks can be useful."
Top 10 MySQL Mistakes Made by PHP Developers
By Craig Buckler.
"...database is a fundamental component for most web applications. If
you're using PHP, you're probably using MySQL - an integral part of
the LAMP stack. PHP is relatively easy and most new developers can
write functional code within a few hours. However, building a solid,
dependable database takes time and expertise. Here are 10 of the worst
MySQL mistakes I've made (some apply to any language/database)."
+09: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
Using HTML5's New Semantic Tags Today
By Emily Lewis.
"HTML5. Everybody's talking about it. If it isn't my friend who threw
together a pretty sweet drum kit app, it's that buzzword-loving Vice
President of Marketing who read somewhere that Flash is dead and HTML5
is the future. But just because everybody's talking about it, doesn't
mean everyone understands it..."
Insights on Text Resizing
"Need some insights on the text resizing success criteria of WCAG 2.0.
As per WCAG 2.0, the page should be readable and functional even when
the font size is doubled. In this context, by how much percentage does
IE increases the font size when we change it from medium - larger and
larger - largest using the options provided in text size..."
Web Typography: Educational Resources, Tools and Techniques
By Smashing Magazine.
"...In this post we present an extensive overview of educational
resources, tools, articles, techniques and showcases all related to
Creatures of Habit or Convenience? Users Still Use Browser Bookmarks
and Email to Save Information
by J. Owens, A. D. Shaikh, and B. Chaparro.
"...This study examines the current state of saving to determine how
it has changed in recent years by surveying individuals. In
particular, we discuss how often users save information, the methods
by which they save, why they save, and the difficulties they encounter
while saving. In addition, we provide feedback from users on how the
saving process can be improved..."
[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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+ 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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