Welcome to this week’s roundup of web design and development resources. It’s been busy for me as three of the groups I help lead held events this week, culminating in last night’s World Usability Day Detroit. I’m in Orlando, Florida now, looking forward to attending WordCamp Orlando tomorrow.
In this week’s roundup you’ll find a quick summary of World Usability Day Detroit, read about user experience and healthcare trends in the digital space, learn about two new CSS books, and more.
This week’s photo was taken this morning from the Light Tunnel at Detroit Metro Airport’s McNamara Terminal. Whenever I fly out of Detroit, I stop by the tunnel to catch the light and music show. It’s amazing.
Accessibility and usability are hard, but if you don't care enough to push for them, you shouldn't make websites. The web is too important.
— Erin Kissane (@kissane) November 12, 2013
- World Usability Day Detroit: Quick Notes: Our World Usability Day Detroit event last night was a great success. Informative talks and an engaged audience made for an entertaining evening learning about usability in healthcare. The post is a short summary; I’ll have more complete notes and thoughts posted in a few days.
- Is It Usable Yet?: Slides from Dan Klyn’s presentation at World Usability Day Bristol.
- A Dose of UX: Healthcare Trends in the Digital Space: Good discussion of what user experience professionals can do to better understand usability in healthcare, and what to consider as we create digital experiences to improve the lives of users and improve lives.
- An Open Letter to Project Managers: Thoughtful commentary from Michael Lai about the need for time and resources to do effective user experience research. Good discussion in the comments.
The more time you can spend thinking about UX and talking about it, the less time you will spend on fixing your products later.
- 14 ways to improve the UX of on-site search results: Nice review from EConsultancy on how you can improve search results pages. The three steps I found most helpful were: provide different layout views for the user, include loyalty points, and offer alternative products rather than displaying “no results”.
- Apache OpenOffice 4.1 to Bring Enhanced Accessibility Support: Apache announces integrated support for the Microsoft Active Accessibility (MSAA) and IAccessible2 interfaces, which will enable screen readers and other assistive technologies to work with Apache OpenOffice. Plans are for the new features to be included in OpenOffice 4.1, expected in early 2014.
- AFB Access World Magazine: November 2013 edition: The latest edition of the American Federation of the Blind magazine features a review of the BIG launcher Android app, online holiday shopping guides, a discussion of the wayfinding innovations being done by Mike May and Sendero Group, and more.
- How easy is it to create accessible web sites using Twitter Bootstrap?: While Bootstrap doesn’t currently provide full accessibility, Mike Giffords recommends being more vocal so it will get added to the road map.
- WordCamp Phoenix Tickets On Sale!: Yay! One of my favorite WordCamps has announced early bird tickets. I’ve attended and volunteered at WordCamp Phoenix for the past two years.
- The ABC Guide to WordPress: My friend Michelle Schulp shares some of her favorite plugins, services and tips to make your WordPress site stand out. Glad to see one of my favorites, BackupBuddy, made her list.
- New Forum Available For WordCamp Organizers: I was thrilled to hear about the new online forum for WordCamp organizers. I’ve spent a lot of time chatting with my friends in Phoenix, Columbus, and Florida to get ideas/tips on WordCamps. Now we all have one place to share tips and ask questions.
- How to Turn Off Related YouTube Videos in WordPress: If you’re frustrated with the related videos that display at the end of embedded YouTube videos on your site, you have two options: manually turn them off by adding a parameter or by using the Hide YouTube Related Videos plugin.
- Responsive Images End of Year Report: Bruce Lawson gives an overview of the various approaches towards responsive images. End result, in Bruce’s words:
Our doctors’ report: must try harder.
Varying densities, differing canvas sizes, inconsistent text rendering, unknown devices — we have the most interesting problems to solve.
— Jordan Moore (@jordanmoore) November 11, 2013
- What is the current status for the Responsive Images Community Group’s efforts: Mat Marquis, designer/developer at the Filament Group and chair of the World Wide Web Consortium (WC3) Responsive Images Community Group shares where different browsers stand on the various responsive image approaches.
CSS and HTML
- A CSS Book for Beginners: If you’re looking for a good book for beginner CSS, JumpStart CSS by Louis Lazaris of Impressive Webs and published by SitePoint is an excellent guide.
- Sass for Web Designers: Just announced this week by Dan Cedarholm, Sass for Web Designers looks like a book I’ll be purchasing soon. I’ve enjoyed Dan’s books over the years; they’re on my bookshelf with bent-over yellow sticky notes in them from me trying to capture a snippet of code or good advice.
- How to write simple, elegant CSS with Compass & Sass: Following up on Dan Cedarholm’s new Sass book for designers is a quick introduction to Compass and Sass by Sara Vieira.
- Caption Everything: Dave Rupert shows how to use HTML5 to create a real-time closed captioning system.
- Talk HTML Email With the Experts: Transcript: The transcript of Nicole Merlin’s chat this week on HTML Email includes many helpful HTML email resources, templates, and, of course, good tips on creating HTML emails.
What I Found Interesting
- How Can I Take Control and Host My Own Photos Online?: Want more control over how your photos are managed online? Tired of using Flickr, Picasa and other online photos site? Check out this Lifehacker guide on how to build your own photo portfolio on your own site.
- Adobe makes 100s of design tutorials available for free: If it’s design related, this site from Adobe will likely have a tutorial for it. The title of the post is misleading; there are many tutorials that cost money. And I couldn’t find any way to only show free courses, other than typing in “free” in the search box. Which brought up eight courses. Did I miss something?
- Plugins Minimalism: How to Use .htaccess to Redirect URLs: You don’t need a plugin to create rules for .htaccess. Check out this step-by-step guide from Tom Ewer on how to create and manage URL redirects.