[webdev] Web Design Update: April 3, 2013
lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Wed Apr 3 06:04:41 CDT 2013
+++ WEB DESIGN UPDATE.
- Volume 10, Issue 41, April 4, 2013.
An email newsletter to distribute news and information about web
design and development.
++ISSUE 41 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.
11: What Can You Find at the Web Design Reference Site?
++ SECTION ONE: New references.
Identifying Web Accessibility Issues
By The National Center on Disability and Access to Education (NCDAE).
"While it takes a fairly technical background to detect all
accessibility issues and features, there are many accessibility
problems that can be quickly and easily identified without the need
for a highly technical background. This handout will suggest a few
free accessibility tools and offer 4 simple techniques to help you
identify some common web accessibility problems..."
Web Accessibility Still an Anomaly
By Ken Nakata.
"Imagine driving into a shopping mall with no handicap parking spaces,
no ramps to get on the side walk and no automatic doors to even get
in. It wouldn't happen in the US today because the ADA requires equal
access to 'public accommodations,' such as restaurants, retail stores,
movie theaters, recreational facilities and other physical spaces. So
why in today's age of online shopping and access to information is it
that Web inaccessibility is still the norm?..."
Civil Rights Agreement Reached with South Carolina Technical College
System on Accessibility of Websites to People with Disabilities
"The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
today announced that it has entered into an agreement with the South
Carolina Technical College System (SCTCS), the state's largest higher
education system, that will ensure that the websites of SCTCS and its
16-member colleges are accessible to persons with disabilities..."
Universal Accessibility: A New Conversation About Web Accessibility
By Dominic Tarn.
"Time we fixed the web for everyone with dyslexia."
PDF Accessibility: Adding Alt Text to Images
By Virginia DeBolt.
"These examples use Adobe Acrobat Pro 8 for Mac. Other versions of
Acrobat Pro may not function exactly the same, although it will be
Requirements for an Accessible PDF: Part 2 - Common Accessibility Barriers
By Denis Boudreau.
"...Some of the most common, and perhaps easier to understand
accessibility problems untagged PDF documents impose on users are
related to missing or poor: 1. Document titles, 2. Alternate text for
images, 3. Content structure, 4. Language indicators, 5. Navigation
Using NVDA to Evaluate Web Accessibility
"This article is designed to help users who are new to NonVisual
Desktop Access (NVDA) - external link learn the basic controls for
testing web content, and to serve as a reference for the occasional
NVDA user. NonVisual Desktop Access (NVDA) is a free and open source
screen reader for the Microsoft Windows operating system. It supports
over 20 languages and can run on any computer entirely from a USB
drive with no installation..."
+02: CASCADING STYLE SHEETS.
A Response to 'Responsive Web Design is Not the Future'
By Brad Frost.
"I fundamentally disagree with this entire article. Let's address each point..."
SOLID Object Oriented Principles And CSS: Part 1
By Steven Bradley.
"One principle of object oriented design that I've been wanting to
talk about is the single responsibility principle. It's not an
isolated principle, but rather one of five principles grouped under
the acronym SOLID. Together these principles aim to help developers
create systems that are maintainable and extendable..."
Using Decimal Percentage Values in Responsive Design
By Divya Manian.
"At work I get many samples of code to be reviewed, most of them with
a warning 'only works in Chrome'. Nevertheless, I open these pages in
Safari & mostly they work. Yesterday I came across something that
didn't. This post is a result of that investigation..."
CSS Architectures - New Best Practices
By Denise Jacobs.
"As you are well aware, the world of front-end development has evolved
a lot over the past several years, as fresh minds have devised new
approaches to solving age-old problems. Here are some of the latest
best practices for front-end coding that will help your stylesheets
and HTML considerably..."
CSS Architectures - Principles of Code Cleanup
By Denise Jacobs.
"All too often, the CSS for major (and minor) websites is a textbook
case of code bloat and redundancy, with lines of code that boast
unnecessary use of qualifier elements, overly specific selectors from
unnecessarily long selector chains, overdependence on descendent
selectors when other selectors would be more appropriate, and the
inappropriate or unnecessary use of !important. We can all institute
several basic, solid CSS writing practices to vastly improve the
maintainability of any organization's stylesheets. Ultimately,
however, what we should really shoot for is structuring a given site's
stylesheets to dramatically increase scalability..."
How to Use CSS3 Columns
By Sara Vieira.
"With increasing diversity in monitor sizes, it's not practical to
design single blocks of text that take up the entire width of the
screen. The traditional solution is to split text into columns
manually, which is very time intensive; or to split text dynamically
a presentation issue, we should be able to style it with CSS without
the use of grid systems or floats shouldn't we? CSS3 actually does
provide a way for you to style your text into various columns.."
Accessibility (a11y) Checklist
"Similar to the SEO Checklist and QA Checklist modules, this module
provides a checklist of accessibilty-related modules and tasks to
perform on a Drupal site."
Creating Custom Menus in Drupal
By Abbas Suterwala.
"Drupal has a very customizable architecture so that you can extend
Drupal to suit your needs..."
Advanced Custom Menus in Drupal
By Abbas Suterwala.
"In the last article 'Creating Custom Menus in Drupal' we saw how to
respond to URLs, how to create menus and sub-menus in Drupal and how
to pass parameters that can be used to alter the output of the menu
+04: EVALUATION & TESTING.
These are a | few of my | fav- or- ite | things...
By Steve Krug.
"If you've ever done usability tests using mobile devices you know
that it can get very complicated very quickly: sleds, goosenecks,
document cameras, converters, physical restraints (well, maybe not
physical restraints, but 'Don't move the device beyond this point'
markers), and a lot more..."
Do-It-Yourself Usability Testing - The Workshop
April 18, 2013.
Boston Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Webinar on Accessibility with WordPress
May 23, 2013.
hgroup Removed from the HTML5 Specification
By Ian Devlin.
"The hgroup element has been on the at risk list for a while and the
decision to remove it from the HTML5 specification has finally been
An Event Apart: HTML5 APIs
By Luke Wroblewski.
"At An Event Apart in Seattle WA CA 2012, Jen Simmons walked through
new capabilities coming to the Web and their impact in her
presentation HTML5 APIs Will Change the Web: And Your Designs. Here's
my notes from her talk..."
How Design Principles Help you Make Design Decisions
By Steven Bradley.
"While some principles are more important than others and are likely
to be thought about first, I don't think you apply design principles
in sequence. The principles of design are about how to communicate
ideas and concepts graphically. Understanding them leads to better
design decisions. While this post will focus on design, please note
much of what's here could be applied to many other aspects of life. As
a general rule I think understanding more about any subject is
valuable in helping you make better decisions."
Flat or Skeuomorphic is the Wrong Question. It's About Satisfaction.
By Adam Faja.
"A great deal of digital ink has been spilled of late regarding the
relative merits of Flat Design versus Skeuomorphism. On one side of
the spectrum, both Microsoft and Yahoo! are embracing elements of Flat
Design while Apple famously incorporates facets of so-called
skeuomorphic design across its application portfolio..."
Information Wayfinding: A Not-So-New Metaphor (part 1)
By Tyler Tate.
"Browsing the Web. Surfing the Net. Navigating a Web site. Traversing
a hierarchy. Going back. Scrolling up and down. Returning home. We've
seen such metaphors throughout our history of using computers to
interact with information. Haphazard though they may seem be, these
metaphors highlight a universal reality of human psychology: we
perceive the world - both physical and digital-in spatial terms."
Validating the Longdesc Attribute
By Site Validator.
"We've upgraded our HTML validation server so that it now validates
the recently introduced longdesc attribute for images, as defined in
Are Homepage Carousels Effective? (AKA the Brad Frost Carousel Challenge)
By Paul Kelly, University of York Web Team.
"After reading Brad Frost's blog post about the effectiveness of
carousels a couple of months ago, I decided to take up his challenge
and see just how well the carousel on the University homepage was
Looking Into the Screens of the Future
By Ken Yarmosh.
"...The design challenge of adapting interfaces to different screen
sizes will seem trivial compared to developing experiences that work
across mediums and contexts. That's why it's an exciting time be
creating digital experiences. I believe we're up to the task even if
we'll no longer be able to find those brilliant ideas in our
touch-enabled, voice-activated, Internet-connected showers."
What UI Really Is and How UX Confuses Matters
By Ryan Singer.
"People mix the terms UI and UX together. UX is tricky because it
doesn't refer to any one thing. Interface design, visual styling, code
performance, uptime, and feature set all contribute to the user's
'experience'. Books on UX further complicate matters by including
research methods and development methodologies. All of this makes the
field confusing for people who want to understand the fundamentals."
[Section one ends.]
++ SECTION TWO:
+11: 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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