For my readers in the United States, I hope you enjoyed Thanksgiving with family and friends.
In this week’s roundup, you’ll discover three ways to show, not tell, with text, learn about a free webinar for evaluating accessibility of electronic documents, find out about features in the new Jetpack release, and more. If you use the resources in your projects, share how they are worked out in the comments.
Today’s photo is from yesterday’s America’s Thanksgiving Parade in downtown Detroit. Thanks to my friend Nathan Hughes of Detroit Labs, along with several other individuals and families, I was able to watch the parade from the comfort and warmth of their offices.
- 3 Ways to Show, Not Tell, with Text: Many people rely on imagery to show how a product or service works, but using case studies, testimonials and examples allows you to show outcomes and put the reader in our shoes.
A user journey defines an engagement strategy, based on motivation, behavior, context-of-use, location, and touch point.
— Jonathan Lupo (@userexperience) November 28, 2013
- Doing User Research at an eCommerce Startup: A panel of user experience experts offer good suggestions and tips for planning user research, including identifying what you want to discover from the research, getting to know your users, setting up interviews, and asking users questions.
- The average web page has grown 151% in just three years: Page size keeps getting bigger and performance keeps getting slower. In one six-month period, page size increased 26%. And the main culprit behind the increase in page size? Images.
If you're designing with icon fonts, be sure to test in screen readers. Some unicode characters are described to the user, some aren't.[1/2]
— Scott Jehl (@scottjehl) November 26, 2013
- Three quick accessibility tips for HTML5: Video from Russ Weakley’s recent presentation at OzeWAI 2013. Did you know the
summaryattribute, used for tables, is obsolete? Or that it’s best to always include a heading in your
sectionelement? You can download the slides from his presentation on SlideShare
- Using WCAG 2.0 to Evaluate Document Accessibility Webinar (December 5): Sign up for a free 1 1/2 hour webinar to learn how to evaluate the accessibility of electronic documents using Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0).
- WordPress Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2013 Steals & Deals: If you’ve been holding off purchasing new WordPress themes, plugins, hosting, or resources, check out this post from WP Explorer.
- Black Friday / Cyber Monday 2013 WordPress Deals–Big Savings: Another deals and savings post, this one from WP Beginner, highlights more savings for WordPress designers and developers. Some of the deals are duplicates of the WP Explorer post, but each post has unique deals.
- New Release: Jetpack 2.6: The new Monitor module is one of the new features I’m excited about. Once activated, the Monitor module will track uptime of your site every five minutes. If the site goes down, you’ll be notified by email. There’s a slew of other features included in the release, including Single Sign-On, support for WP-CLI and more. I’ve really enjoyed how quickly Jetpack keeps adding new features.
- Using aria-hidden to help provide better link context in WordPress Admin screens: In this post, Graham Armfield explains how using the
aria-hiddenattribute provides assistive technology with more meaningful “Publish” links as well as provide better internationalization support.
- Accessible Video in WordPress: Adding subtitles and caption files to videos on WordPress sites hasn’t been supported in the past. But with the release of the new Accessibile Video Library plugin this week, Joe Dolson (who is also the developer of WP Accessibility) has fixed that issue. The plugin uses the MediaElementJS video player built into WordPress core. I hope to publish a post next week with more details on the plugin.
- BreakPoint Tester: An online tool and bookmarklet that allows you to test your responsive design by breakpoints, not be resolution. Have you used it?
- Free Responsive Email Template: Thanksgiving Theme: Created by EmailCraft, the template supports Outlook 2007+, Outlook Express, Apple Mail, Windows Live Email, Mozilla Thunderbird, Google Mail, Opera M2, AOL Webmail, Yahoo! Mail, and Outlook.com. I’m happy to see the support for Outlook, which is a troublesome client to support for email newsletters. You can use the template with MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, and Constant Contact.
- 15 excellent responsive email templates for small businesses: Another resource for responsive email templates, this template roundup from EConsultancy includes both free and low-cost templates.
CSS and HTML
- Typekit’s second CSS Zen Garden theme: Apothecary: Trent Walton discusses his new Apothecary theme, one of three themes commissioned by Typekit for CSS Zen Garden. Trent highlights his font choices, flexbox, and image optimization strategies.
- IE11 “Emulation” and Conditional Comments: If you’ve been using the recently released Internet Explorer version 11, you’ve probably noticed that the previous “document mode” and “browser mode” IE10 options are now combined into the IE11 “Emulation” tool. Not an issue, until you discover the “Emulator” mode no longer supports conditional comments.
What I Found Interesting
- Freebie: Smallicons Icon Set (54 Icons, SVG, PNG, PSD): Thanks to Smashing Magazine for offering this free set of 54 clean, flat icons, created by Nick Frost and Greg Lapin of Smallicons.
- How To Get Started With Adobe Photoshop CC – 10 Things Beginners Want to Know How To Do: In this YouTube video, Adobe design evangelist (and founder of MacGroup-Detroit) shares how you can quickly get started using Adobe Photoshop CC.
- The Question Pitch: Do you use the question pitch? Have you found it effective? Check out this video from Daniel Pink. who says, “When facts are strongly on your side, pitch them questions. When they’re not, get new facts.”