Happy New Year! If you celebrated the holidays, did you travel to visit family and friends? Our family enjoyed a week in Florida before returning to the cold and snow in wintry Michigan.
This week’s photo was taken this morning of the the snow in my yard. We had -3 degrees Farenheit this morning when I woke up. Brrr! Hope it’s warmer where you live.
In this week’s roundup of web design and development resources, you’ll find out about a daily user experience (UX) crash course, get the 2013 highlights of audio accessibility news, find out why WordPress isn’t easy in the first post in a series on building and running a WordPress business, and more. Enjoy!
Always a good question: How will this help the end user? #ux
— Christoph Trappe (@CTrappe) January 3, 2014
- Understanding Cancelations: Getting feedback from clients canceling accounts is next to impossible. Read how Garrett Dimon of Sifter tried six different processes before finally finding one that worked well. It’s not just about the process, Garrett explains. He discovered key factors that improved their approach.
- It’s time: We’re making a school: I was thrilled to read this update from Dr. Leslie Jensen-Inman about the Unicorn Institute, a brick and mortor school focused on closing the gap between what companies need from recent graduates who want to work in UX design and the skills those graduates have from their studies.
- Are You Browsing Comfortably?: While many of us are focusing on creating sites that work well on smaller resolutions, Steve Workman takes a look at designing for the TV.
I wish news outlets would indicate a link is going to a video and not an article.
— Nathan Reimer (@natedogreimer) December 30, 2013
- Daily UX Crash Course: Not sure how to get started with learning user experience design? Check out experience architect and author Joel Marsh’s concise posts.
- New Android App Uses Phone Camera to Read Out Loud: Using Text Detective, a $1.99 Android app available on Google Play, you can point your smartphone camera at text and hear it read aloud. Text Detective also allows the user to edit, copy and paste the text into documents, emails or other apps.
- Teaching WordPress 3.8 to Visually Impaired Managers: Rian Rietveld shares her experience and advice teaching a WordPress workshop to visually impaired managers who brought a diverse number of devices to the workshop, including laptops, iPads with a keyboard attached and VoiceOver, screen readers, Braille displays, screen enlarging software, and glasses with loops.
- Year 2013 in Review: Nice summary from Svetlana Kouznetsova highlighting audio accessibility news and updates for deaf and hard of hearing people in 2013.
- Google Docs Accessibility and Export/Import Options: Since the Google Drive interface isn’t accessible for screen reader users due to ARIA and focus-related accessibility issues, screen reader users face many challenges working with Google Docs.
- Why blind internet users are angry with Google, CAPTCHA: While Google recently made improvements to its CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) service, CAPTCHAs continue to frustrate users. Learn about the efforts to have CAPTCHAs removed from websites or replaced with other security protocols.
- How to Send a Custom Welcome Email to New Users in WordPress: If you’re using WordPress for a membership site, here’s how to send a custom welcome email message to new users to provide more info about the site, highlight features, discounts, and other information.
- Best WordPress snippets, hacks and tips from 2013: Jean-Baptiste Jung from Cats Who Code has gathered some really helpful code snippets to crop uploaded images instead of scaling them, add custom text to the WordPress login page, link Twitter usernames in WordPress, and more.
- WordPress is not easy – and that’s OK: The first post in a WordPress series from Morten Rand-Hendriksen focuses on dispelling the myths that WordPress is easy. Excellent points to use with future clients who question time and cost involved with WordPress projects. Good discussion in the comments.
WordPress is easy relative to the alternatives. And when I tell people WordPress is easy I always point this out.
- WordPress Plugin Repository Now Rejects Commits With PHP Errors: If you’re a WordPress plugin developer, be sure to check your PHP syntax before committing files to the WordPress Plugin Repository. If you don’t, you’ll received an error message and you won’t be able to commit your files.
- New Year Resolutions Beyond Responsive Design: If your New Year resolution is to make your web applications and website responsive, make them easy to use, offer valuable content, and ensure they can be accessed by any device.
CSS and HTML
- Why We Still Need Web Safe Fonts: Yes, there’s still a need for CSS font stacks when you use Web fonts.
- What is the DOM?: Chris Coyier gives an easy to understand overview of the Document Object Model (DOM). Helpful resources at the end of the post for how to learn more about the DOM.
- Nth Test: Are you confused with nth-child and nth-of-type in your CSS? Freelance designer and web developer Paul Maloney has created an online site to test your nth rules.
What I Found Interesting
- Create Direct Links to your Files on Google Drive: Finally, a way to open up files you’ve stored on Google Drive in their native application. I don’t know about you, but I really dislike viewing Photoshop PSDs and Word documents in the browser with the Google Docs web viewer.
- Caulking a Website, Pre and Post-Launch Strategies: Great checklist from Simon Cox for all those website activities that take place before and after the site goes live.
- Seven 52 Week Challenges for an Incredibly Productive Year: Do you always complete your New Year resolution? I’ve had mixed results with mine, but these challenges look pretty interesting to me. I like the 52-week saving money challenge where you start small and build up your savings. The organizing my home in 52 weeks would be really helpful to me. The reading a new book every week was my resolution three years ago. What’s your New Year resolution?