[webdev] Web Design Update: January 28, 2011
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Fri Jan 28 06:46:41 CST 2011
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 9, Issue 31, January 28, 2011.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web
design and development.
++ISSUE 31 CONTENTS.
SECTION ONE: New references.
What's new at the Web Design Reference site?
New links in these categories:
02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
04: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
07: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
10: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Text Alternatives for Images: Some Examples
By Dey Alexander.
"When writing text alternatives for your images, you need to consider
the: role of the image-what are you using the image for? What is it
meant to do, say or mean?; context in which it is used-what else is on
this page that might affect how you should provide a text alternative
for the image?"
Better for Accessibility
By Derek Featherstone.
"You may have heard that display:none is bad for accessibility and
that you should use off-left positioning instead. It isn't about using
display: none; or off-left positioning. It isn't just about screen
reader users. It's about making an interface work for everyone with
efficient keyboard access for everyone that needs it-sighted or
Testing Accessibility of Pre-populated Input Fields
By Terrill Thompson.
"...It's becoming increasingly common for web pages to include input
fields, especially search fields, that prompt the user with
placeholder text inside the input field, rather than a separate
visible label. The main argument I've heard for doing so is to
conserve scarce screen real estate."
Should the ADA Require WCAG 2.0 Level AA Conformance?
By Terrill Thompson.
"...In Jim Thatcher's Response, he argues that "level AA is too
strong, too complicated, too much." Instead, he recommends that the
DOJ require Level A conformance, plus just one Level AA success
criterion, 2.4.7 (visible indication of current keyboard focus). He
says the DOJ should recommend all of WCAG 2.0, but not require it..."
HTML5 & Annotations for Assistive Technology
By Virginia DeBolt.
"I was scrounging around in the HTML5 spec on the W3C site looking for
something else and found an answer to a question I had asked about
earlier on Web Teacher. In the section titled Annotations for
assistive technology products (ARIA) I found the answer to my question
Facebook Needs Accessibility Help
By Matt May.
"That title looks a little confrontational, I know. But no, seriously.
They're actually looking for someone with the skills necessary to help
make the most popular site on the web a little more accessible to its
users. Okay, there's the good news. Here's the bad: while they're
looking for that person, they're also busy reinventing my greatest
nemesis: the CAPTCHA..."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
Margins and Ems, Outside the Box
By Niels Matthijs.
"There's more to understanding css than just getting to know the rules
or assigning values to a list of properties. The css language was
constructed based on a rule set, a series of paradigms that define the
way the language is supposed to behave. Once again (remember css
proximity) we're going to try and find out how and where the
programmer's mind is clashing with the human mind, causing confusion
and mishaps in cssland..."
By Eric A. Meyer.
"...allow me to pose this to you as a challenge. Given the following
ideal rendering, how would you arrive at the depicted result using the
single 5-pixel-by-5-pixel image shown within the content?..."
Border Imaging Redux
By Eric A. Meyer.
"To follow up on my border-image post from Monday, it turns out that
as currently written, border-image literally cannot take an image of a
single symbol and repeat it around the border of an element. Instead,
you have to create an image with at least eight copies of the symbol
in a 3x3 grid pattern...."
By Eric A. Meyer.
"Earlier today, I updated the CSS Tools: Reset CSS page to list the
final version of Reset v2.0, as well as updated the reset.css file in
that directory to be v2.0. (I wonder how many hotlinkers that will
surprise.) In other words, it's been shipped. Any subsequent changes
will trigger version number changes..."
CSS Validation Will Soon Be More Realistic
By Jens O. Meiert.
"A brief update on making use of vendor-specific CSS extensions
warnings, not errors: the development version of the CSS validator
contains an update that doesn't penalize for use of such extensions.
(To try the update customize the 'Options' by setting 'Vendor
Extensions' to 'Warnings'.)"
Breaking Development 2011: Design and Development for the Mobile Web
April 11-12, 2011.
Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.
+04: INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE.
Developing a Site Structure
By Karl Dawson.
"The information architecture (IA) work for the current website
project I'm involved in has been chunked into four phases with the
intention of redesigning the website from a 'content out' point of
Five Questions with Zoe Mickley Gillenwater
By Chris Coyier.
"Zoe is a hero of the modern web. I first heard of her from her book
Flexible Web Design, which is a super comprehensive and sensible look
at building fluid width websites (and other techniques to make
websites take advantage of a variable width browser window). At the
time, 'media queries' weren't really a thing. While it's a different
concept, it's related in spirit. Zoe tackles that, and a slew of other
CSS3 techniques in her new book, Stunning CSS3: a project-based guide
to the latest in CSS. I met Zoe once at ConvergeSE and heard her talk.
She knows her stuff! I thought I'd catch up with her and get the
The Art of the Design Critique
By Aarron Walter.
"...Despite its value to the outcome of the design process, it's far
too often avoided like a trip to the dentist because we subconsciously
feel criticism of our work is not just a reflection on our design, but
is a spotlight upon our personal shortcomings. Nothing could be
farther from the truth. Proper design criticism focus on goals,
outcomes, and the needs of the users..."
Best Menu Option Ever: See Fewer Choices
By Jared Spool.
"Online banking is notorious for poorly thought-through interactive
experiences. Chase Online is no exception. Their mortgage screen
contains this list of menu options, with one of my most favorite menu
+07: STANDARDS, GUIDELINES & PATTERNS.
HTML - The Standard that Failed?
By Neil McAllister.
"HTML is a standard dictated by browser vendors -- not an independent body..."
By Steve Faulkner.
January/February 2011 update.
The HTML5 CSS Starter Page Series
By Sheri German.
"Unless you have been impersonating Rip Van Winkle and have been
sleeping the past year, I am sure most of you are aware of the tsunami
of CSS3 and HTML5 techniques that are flooding the web tutorial and
blog sites. Adobe released its Dreamweaver CS5 11.03 updater with new
HTML5 and CSS3 capabilities, as well as two HTML5 CSS Starter Pages.
With two mainstream CSS Starter Page series behind us, I hope you are
ready to embark on a freewheeling look into the future-is-now through
this new HTML5 CSS Starter Page series."
HTML Beyond HTML5
By Roger Johansson.
"...Thankfully the W3C has not moved to a living standards model. For
browser vendors the 'living standards model' may be desirable, but to
me as a developer continuing to refer to the latest HTML specification
from the W3C makes much more sense since it provides stability. I
suppose that means you can have it both ways, which is probably not a
bad idea. That still leaves us with the problem that there is no
version indicator in HTML5, which is… well, let's just say that it's
not exactly my favourite HTML5 feature."
The Zen of HTML5 - London Web Presentation
By Bruce Lawson.
"Last week, 120 Londoners were locked in a room and made to listen to
me talk about HTML5, specifically its origins and design
HTML(5) and Text-Level Semantics
By Harry Roberts.
"As an absolute type nut and militant web standards advocate, one of
the most exciting things that HTML5 brings for me is not the new
structural elements like <header>, <aside> et al (although they are
pretty awesome) but rather the text-level semantics it brings with the
addition and redefinition of certain elements..."
The Current Problem with the @poster Attribute of the <video> element.
By John Foliot.
"Earlier this week, I posted a Change Proposal to the W3C HTML WG
around a topic which seems to have drawn a bit of controversy and
outright rejection from some members of the Working Group. I have
suggested and proposed that when an author specifies an image file as
a placeholder image for the video, that a means of properly ensuring
the accessibility of that image be accounted for. To date, it has been
a vigorous debate, one fueled by the fact that I can get very
passionate about accessibility issues :-). But as I continue to
discuss this and try and explain why I believe this is a problem, I've
also had a chance to bettter refine what the root of the issue is, and
at this time I think I've boiled it down to one of pure-play
architecture and mechanics. Allow me to explain..."
HTML5 vs. HTML
By Jeffery Zeldman.
"...That kink is also not surprising and not entirely unanticipated.
Just when the W3C figures out that HTML5 is hot, the WHAT Working
Group (the splinter group that created the actual HTML5 specification
in the first place) has decided that HTML is the new HTML5:..."
Older Web Users and Text Size
By Roger Hudson.
"Our research into use of the web and other information and
communication technologies by people over the age of sixty is
producing some interesting results. In this article I want to comment
briefly on some of the responses relating to the size of text on web
Using CSS3 and @font-face To Use Any Custom Font on a Web Site
By Robert Nyman.
"I should have written about this long ago, but better late than never
- time to share my experiences. Typography is an important part of
user experience, and with CSS3 @font-face we can offer users any font
we want to."
5 Tips For Improving Readability On Your Website
By Jon Phillips.
"A more readable website means improved usability and an enjoyable
reading experience. We all want that for our users, don't we?..."
[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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