August 4, 2013: Weekly Roundup of Web Development and Design Resources

Praying Mantis metal sculpure amidst the backdrop of trees at Chadwick Arboretum
In this week’s roundup you’ll learn how to create a CSS transition with a minimum amount of code, find out about responsive and mobile testing resources, learn five lessons about user experience from a comedian and more.

If you’re new to my blog, each week I publish a post with CSS, HTML, responsive design, user experience, accessibility, and WordPress resources I’ve read and found useful in the past week. The weekly roundup started when my social media followers kept saying they loved my resources, but would rather have them in one place. This post highlights some of those resources.

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CSS and HTML

  • The Minimum Code for a CSS Transition: While it’s possible to create a CSS transition by setting only one property, be aware of performance and user experience issues.
  • Re-visiting the secret power of block formatting context: In a guest post on Nicole Sullivan’s blog, Fiona Chan explains block formatting context, a lesser known technique, with both slides and video. The video is well-worth six minutes of your time (wish the video had captions and transcript).

Responsive Design

User Experience

Accessibility

  • The Story Behind the BBC Mobile Accessibility Guidelines: Henny Swan, senior accessibility specialist at the BBC, explains how their team want about developing the guidelines and their goal to

    develop technology-agnostic standards and guidelines with technology specific techniques

  • How I came to grudgingly accept aria-hidden: As a staunch opponent of aria-hidden, Mozilla accessibility engineer Marco Zehe shares how using aria-hidden in Firefox OS solved problems and changed his mind.
  • WCAG 2.0 sceptics: should we be afraid?: Scott Hollier of Media Access Australia responds to André Pimenta Freire’s thesis conclusion that complying with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 is ineffective in providing more accessible websites for users who are blind or print-disabled.

WordPress

  • WordPress 3.6 “Oscar: Yay! Excited the latest version of WordPress, 3.6 named Oscar to honor Oscar Peterson, was released last week. And with it, the new Twenty Thirteen theme.
    Twenty Thirteen WordPress theme
  • WordPress 3.6: What’s new, and why it matters: Review from Morten Rand-Hendriksen, who creates many of the Lynda.com WordPress tutorials, covers the custom menu changes, revisions, post locking, and modal login as well as the new Twenty Thirteen theme. Have you upgraded your sites to 3.6?
  • How to Duplicate Content: If you insist on doing it, or your client insists, here’s one method to duplicate content, without multisite. I love the caveat Mika gives at the beginning of her post:

    100% duplication of content on multiple sites is bad.

  • A Sustainable Business: WooThemes announces a change in their business model, including:
    • New pricing model (dropping their unlimited pricing tiers and instituted a 25-site license tier)
    • Consolidated licensing system
    • Capping support and updates to one year after purchase, with option to extend
  • The Magic Potion of Newsletters: WordPress, Gravity Forms and MailChimp: My friend Rebecca Gill of Web Savvy Marketing explains how she configured the three tools to send out her weekly newsletter without a lot of effort, and how happy she is with the results.

What I Found Interesting

  • Moto X:  The new Moto X smartphone announced last week by Motorola, now a Google company, has captured my curiousity.  The phone will be available later this summer for $199 on contract, and features something no other smartphone has offered: the ability for you to customize it’s look.
  • 10 points to consider when redesigning a website: Practical questions about legacy data, codebase, information architecture, business cases and more will help you in your next redesign review.
  • Five Best Online Backup Services: If you’re looking for a new backup service for your digital files, this Lifehacker review does a good job of explaining key features and costs. I’ve used several of these backup sites, which one do you like?
About Deborah Edwards-Onoro

Deborah is a web developer and user experience professional focused on usability and accessibility. She's active in local groups as a leader for Detroit User Experience, Refresh Detroit, and Metro Detroit WordPress. In her free time, you'll find her birdwatching, shooting photos, reading, and watching tennis.

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