Welcome to the weekly roundup! If you’re new to my blog, each week I publish a collection of some of my favorite web development and design news, articles, and tweets I’ve discovered in the past week.
In this week’s roundup, you’ll learn how imagery placement and design affects online shoppers behavior, discover best practices for writing secure WordPress plugins and themes, find out how to use Sass mixins for themes and color, and more.
Today’s photo of maple tree buds honors the first day this year our temperatures in will get close to 40 degrees. Do you know what that means? Maple syrup season is near!
If you like the resources you see, share this post with your colleagues and friends.
Irony: We have never had more data…or less transparency.
— Dan Saffer 🇺🇸 (@odannyboy) March 6, 2014
- Avoid These 5 Types of E-Commerce Graphics: Results of testing 19 e-commerce sites show that poor designs and incorrect placement of internal ads and banners are confusing to users. In some cases, users abandon the site.
Image courtesy of Baymard Institute
- The Value of Involving People with Disabilities in User Research: Seeing how people with disabilities interact with your content or access your website/application controls is critical to your user research, says Sarah Horton.
If you have to pop up a tutorial on how to use the navigation on your site, the navigation on your site is broken.
— Jared Spool (@jmspool) March 3, 2014
- Doing it right vs. doing it over: Why do we always find time to do it over, rather than do it right the first time?
- Online seminar: Introduction to ARIA: If you’re not sure where to start with Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA), register for the ADA Online Learning March 27 online seminar. My friend Virgina DeBolt will be leading the seminar which focuses on ARIA landmark roles and how to use them in your work.
Instead of detecting AT, why don't we make all sites accessible & give the option to use a badly-coded, keyboard unfriendly version? 😉
— Billy Gregory (@thebillygregory) March 6, 2014
- Introducing A Podcast for Everyone, with Adam Churchill, Sarah Horton, and Whitney Quesenbery: In the premiere episode of the “A Podcast for Everyone” Adam Churchill of User Interface Engineering interviews Sarah Horton and Whitney Quesenbery about their recently released book, A Web for Everyone. I was glad to see the podcast includes the transcript of the interview.
- How To Set Default CSS Background Properties in WordPress Themes: Sarah Gooding explains how to add custom background support to the customizer by making changes to your theme’s functions.php file.
- Beginner’s Guide: How to Use Google Analytics for Your WordPress Site: Understanding what the numbers mean in your Google Analytics reports will help you to learn more about your audience, how they find your site, how fast your site is loading, and what’s happening on your site in real time.
- Code with Care: Write Secure Plugins and Themes: Rachel Baker has published her slides from her presentation at last week’s WordCamp St. Louis. Check out her tips for filtering input, escaping output, and verifying data sources.
- Eight things you should do after building your WordPress site: If you don’t have a checklist for the final steps of launching your site, use this post from Steven Gliebe to create one. The comments have additional tips.
- Great Walls of Fire: Depending on third-party services for your site or your plugin can affect who can see your site and actually use it. Think carefully about your decisions, says Mike Epstein, as she shares her personal story of how third-party services affected sites she supported in the past.
- A New TIME: The new TIME magazine website was released this week, sporting a responsive design focused on busy, mobile readers. What do you think of the new site?
- On Progressive Enhancement: Scott Jehl discusses how serving something basic and useful to everyone frees up time to focus on building features for modern browsers, without leaving anyone out.
The hard part of building with Progressive Enhancement isn’t supporting older browsers, it’s supporting newer browsers.
- Responsive Design Tester: Check out your responsive design with this online tool that allows you to view side-by-side size versions of your site.
CSS and HTML
- Dealing with Color Schemes in Sass: Using mixins in Sass, you can easily create a function to take a name of a theme and color and output the CSS. What a time savings!
- StackEdit: An online Markdown editor, StackEdit stores your documents in your browser (after the application has been loaded for the first time). The local documents are not shared between browsers or computers. Note: clearing browser data may delete your local docs; be sure to back up online.
- A Detailed Introduction to Custom Elements: Peter Gasson walks you through the steps of creating Custom Elements with their own behaviors and properties. It’s a long read, but I found it delightful and informative. Peter has an engaging writing style that captured my attention.
What I Found Interesting
- Retooling: I loved reading the story about Charles Schultz buying up the entire stock of the Esterbrook & Co.’s Radio Pen No. 914 when the company stopped producing it. Whether you’re a web designer, user experience professional, or content strategist, you likely have a favorite tool for your work. Do you remain faithful to that tool or do you transition to new tools?
It’s easy to remember, folks:
A font is to a typeface as an MP3 is to a song.
(I think @jontangerine might’ve coined that phrase.)
— Elliot Jay Stocks (@elliotjaystocks) March 6, 2014
- What Happens When 3D Printing Turns Consumer Products Into Digital Content?: Fascinating read from Forbes on how 3D printers will change how consumers purchase products and how those products can be customized. Are 3D printers the next step toward creating a Star Trek-style replicator?