[webdev] Web Design Update: January 21, 2011
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Fri Jan 21 05:05:25 CST 2011
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 9, Issue 30, January 21, 2011.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web
design and development.
++ISSUE 30 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.
06: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
09: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
25 Ways To Make Your Website Accessible
By Dennis Lembree.
"Web accessibility is a vast topic and has become a field unto itself.
But don't let that scare you. Accessibility is not terribly difficult
to implement. It won't hinder aesthetics or impede interaction as some
believe. It's just a smart way to design and develop. Let's examine 25
important techniques for creating an accessible website."
PDF Test Results by Assistive Technology
By Gian Wild.
"...Several issues occurred across assistive technologies (as well as
with Read Out Loud and the keyboard only feature), which leads me to
believe that there are still a few bugs in the Adobe interface..."
Response to the Department of Justice ANPRM
By James Thatcher.
"The Department of Justice has asked for comments on their proposal to
apply the ADA to the web (Nondiscrimination on the Basis of
Disability; Accessibility of Web Information and Services of State and
Local Government Entities and Public Accommodations). The following is
the comment I plan to submit relating to the first three questions. I
welcome thoughts or comments about this. Please use my comment form
for that purpose. Thanks..."
Testing for Accessibility
"Whether you're designing a new application or access enabling an
existing one, you should plan to test the accessibility of your
product. Testing for accessibility is a bit different than standard
user-interface testing and Apple provides a couple of tools that make
the process easier."
Will You Read 45 Pages on Writing Alternate Text?
By Vlad Alexander.
"The HTML Working Group at W3C is working on a document that is an
extension to the HTML5 specification on how to write alternate text.
The document is meant to be read by non-technical content authors, and
will also become the basis for future derivative works such as
articles, tutorials, and references. This document takes the simple
concept of alternate text and morphs it into a 45-page monster tome
that is full of conditional rules. Will this effort make the Web more
accessible, or will it have the opposite effect and create the
perception that Web accessibility is overly complex?..."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
Media Queries, Viewport Width, Scrollbars, and WebKit Browsers
By Roger Johansson.
When fine-tuning some media queries I noticed that layout changes
seemed to happen at different window widths in Safari than in Firefox
or Opera. When making the browser window narrower, media queries that
specify a max-width kicked in a bit earlier in Safari..."
What's the Difference Between :before and ::before?
By Louis Lazaris.
"When using or researching CSS pseudo-elements, you may have come
across different syntax for the :before and :after pseudo-elements,
specifically in the form of a preceding double colon, instead of the
traditional single colon. This seems a little confusing at first, but
there's actually a pretty simple explanation. I had assumed that there
would be some difference in the way each functioned, but that's not
the case, as the short and long answers below make clear..."
Introduction to CSS Escape Sequences
By Mert TOL.
"...Regardless of where they appear, string values in CSS behave in a
similar way. The most important thing to remember about them is that
they are not HTML. This means, for instance, that inserting literal
angle brackets without escaping them as HTML entity references (< and
>) is perfectly legal. In other words, the rule..."
Internet Explorer User Agent Style Sheets
By Jonathan Neal.
"The UA Style Sheet is a simple set of css styles that each web
browser uses before any other css styles are applied. This chart lists
and compares the different default style sheets used to render HTML in
the four major versions of Internet Explorer; IE6, IE7, IE8, and IE9
Platform Preview. You can download each of these UA stylesheets by
using the links at the top of this chart..."
+03: EVALUATION & TESTING.
Parallel & Iterative Design + Competitive Testing = High Usability
By Jakob Nielsen.
"Three methods for increasing UX quality by exploring and testing
diverse design ideas work even better when you use them together."
By Jeff Patton.
"Knowing who will use your software is important to the software
development process. Having the end user in mind helps you develop
features that fit the user's needs. And, figuring out your end user,
as Jeff Patton reveals, is indeed easy. In this column, Jeff details
stereotypes to avoid, questions to ask, and how to implement this
pragmatic persona in your development process. "
WAI-ARIA 1.0 Candidate Recommendation in Implementation and Testing
By Shawn Henry.
"W3C WAI is excited to announce the publication of WAI-ARIA 1.0 as a
W3C Candidate Recommendation on 18 January. WAI-ARIA is the Accessible
Rich Internet Applications technical specification for making dynamic,
interactive web content accessible to people with disabilities..."
What the Heck is Shadow DOM?
By Dimitri Glazkov.
so, you are probably grateful to the nameless heroes who make these
libraries not suck. One common problem these brave soldiers of the Web
have to face is encapsulation. You know, one of them turtles on which
the Object-Oriented Programming foundation sits, upon which stands
most of the modern software engineering. How do you create that
boundary between the code that you wrote and the code that will
10 Things You Can Do to Become a Better PHP Developer
By Raphael Caixeta.
"In this article, I'll share with you ten things I wish I was told
when I was just getting started with PHP development, and I'm hoping
you'll be able to learn a thing or two if you're just taking your
first steps into this awesome web development language..."
+06: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
The Web is Changing: HTML5 and Native Media Support
By David Leggett.
"If you're a web designer, you've almost certainly heard of HTML5 by
now. The next big step in the HTML standard, HTML5 has been in the
works since 2004, and brings a lot of changes to the web. Today, I'd
simply like to aquaint you with some new media features in HTML5 in
the hopes that you'll begin implementing these features into your own
Don't Forget About HTML5's Little Guys
By Louis Lazaris.
"...HTML5 now includes a number of new elements that probably aren't
getting a whole lot of attention, so I thought I'd summarize three of
these lesser-used elements here. I'll also mention a few ways these
might be used in your projects, so you can see their value a little
Methods of Communication
By Remy Sharp.
"...This post will be an overview of the technologies available, how
well they're currently supported, and, where possible, live demos. I'm
going to touch on the following technologies..."
An HTML5 Logo
By Ian Jacobs.
"W3C unveiled a logo for HTML5 today..."
Badge of Shame
By Jeremy Keith.
"...I take issue with the scope of what this logo is supposed to represent..."
HTML5 Logo: Be Proud, But Don't Muddy the Waters!
By The Web Standards Project.
"We are writing to address a major concern we at WaSP (and in the web
professional community in general) have with the newly-unveiled HTML5
brand. While we are excited that the W3C is doing so much to promote
new technologies being developed, we are incredibly concerned that
using 'HTML5' as the umbrella for these technologies does more harm
The HTML5 Logo Conversation
By Ian Jacobs.
"...The most unified criticism has centered around the FAQ's original
statement that the logo means 'a broad set of open web technologies',
which some believe "muddies the waters" of the open web platform.
Since the main logo was intended to represent HTML5, the cornerstone
of modern Web applications, I have updated the FAQ to state this more
clearly. I trust that the updated language better aligns with
HTML Editor Dumps 'HTML5' Even As W3C Touts It
By Stephen Shankland.
"Concluding HTML version numbers are a relic of a bygone age, Ian
Hickson adopts a "living document" approach. But the W3C standards
The Science of Word Recognition
By Kevin Larson.
"...The goal of this paper is to review the history of why
psychologists moved from a word shape model of word recognition to a
letter recognition model, and to help others to come to the same
Designing for the Mobile Web: Special Considerations
By Shanshan Ma.
"...In addition to the four problems Nielsen wrote about, I'll cover
design for complex contexts of use in my discussion of constraints on
mobile Web sites. In practice, being aware of these constraints lets
us approach these problems with caution and come up with better design
solutions for mobile devices. Based on my analysis of more than 20
mobile Web sites, I'll point out some ways of working within these
People See Cues About How To Use An Object
By Susan Weinschenk.
"...If an item is missing cues, or gives you incorrect cues, you get
annoyed and frustrated. If the cues inherent in the object itself
aren't enough to convey its use, then we resort to putting labels on
to fix the cue mismatch, as in the door handle above..."
Does Prior Experience Affect Perceptions of Usability?
By Jeff Sauro.
"Are attitudes about usability constant? If we think something is
unusable today, will we think it's unusable tomorrow, next week or
next year? How much does our prior experience affect how usable we
think a websites or software is? To find out, I looked to a large
database of System Usability Scale (SUS) data that I maintain, which
contains information on prior exposure. There is data from 62
different websites and 16 consumer software products across almost
[Section one ends.]
++ SECTION TWO:
+09: 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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