January 24, 2014: Weekly Roundup of Web Design and Development Resources

Snow-covered courtyard with leaves and twigs popping through the snow

Though I loved the warm weather and sunshine at WordCamp Phoenix last weekend, it’s good to be back home in Michigan. Even with wind chills bringing today’s temperature to -20 degrees Farenheit. Ouch. I hope you’re staying warm!

In this week’s roundup of web design and development resources, you’ll find a free eBook on lessons learned from watching 200,000 user testing videos, discover how to create accessible user experiences, learn what’s fixed in the latest WordPress maintenance release, find out what the Net Neutrality court decision last week means for you in your everyday life, and more.

Hope you find the resources helpful in your projects.

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User Experience

  • Lessons Learned from Watching 200,000 User Testing Videos: In their latest eBook, UserTesting.com shares the most useful lessons learned from their testing videos. Great free resource.
  • Create your own Mac-based usability testing lab with viewing room: If you’ve been tasked with setting up a Mac-based usability testing space, you’re faced with a few challenges. Morae can’t be used since it doesn’t run on a Mac and Wirecast has issues on MacBooks. Harry Brignull explains his solution, the products used, and infrastructure changes his team implemented.
    usability testing room with two TV monitors for viewing participants
  • Microsoft Enhances Usability with Refresh of Office Web Apps: With the new flat look and better spacing, the Office Web Apps interface has caught a lot of attention. What do you think of the new “Tell Me” bar at the top of documents?
  • Scrolling is Easier than Clicking: With analytics supporting it, and usability testing confirming it, Joshua Porter says scrolling is likely an easier gesture than clicking for people to use. People don’t have to make a decision to click something; they can continue to do what they’re already doing.



Responsive Design


  • 10 Tougher Tasks to Reduce Page Weight: Consider these tips from Craig Buckler to reduce page weight: replace your social sharing buttons with fat-free social buttons, use CSS3 animations instead of JavaScript, consider lazy loading for your images, and more.
  • HTML, CSS, PSD and More: 22 Free Design Resources from December 2013: The monthly roundup of helpful design and coding resources from Noupe will help you get your projects started quickly. Note: some of the resources are free, others require registration.
  • The section element: Updated this week by Steve Faulkner, I’m glad to read this info from the updated post With very few exceptions, section should not be used if there is no natural heading for it. and

    What we’ve been doing wrong is using section to wrap content in order to style it, or to demarcate the main content area from the nav, header, footer etc. These are jobs for div, not section.

  • 10 HTML Tags You May Not Be Using: I knew about meter and progress but didn’t know about how to use dfn. Have you used dfn in your markup?

What I Found Interesting

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, or watching tennis.

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