September 20, 2013: Weekly Roundup of Web Development and Design Resources

Columbus Multi-cultural mural on red brick side of building
This week’s roundup is one of my favorites, it has many resources I’ll be implementing on my site as well my client sites. Learn all about the table element from Chris Coyier’s comprehensive guide, discover why responsive email design is important, find out about optimizing user interface icons, and how to improve your company blog. Enjoy!

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CSS and HTML

  • A Complete Guide to the Table Element: Chris Coyier has written one of the most comprehensive explanations of the table element. Syntax, code examples, accessibility, sorting; this post has it all. Thank you Chris, great resource.
    jQuery code to enable table searching
  • Normalizing Designs for Better Quality CSS: Slides from Harry Roberts’ presentation at this month’s CSSconf.eu conference. Key takeaways: Keep frontends lean, scalable, sane and maintainable, focus on performance, write less code, make compromises for the sake of build quality.
  • An Introduction to Topcoat: A new open source CSS library from Adobe, Topcoat is currently in beta, and focuses on improving performance. Anyone used it yet? Share your results in the comments.

Responsive Design

User Experience

  • Why iOS 7 forced developers to redesign their apps for experienced smartphone users: Apple’s new iOS Human Interface Guidelines allow developers to target users who no longer had to be instructed on how to use a touch-based phone. While the guidelines streamlined work, it changed the flow of applications, causing additional work by developers.
  • Optimizing UI Icons for Faster Recognition: Longer read, but very much worth your time. I had no idea what semiotics was about, but after reading this article, I have a better understanding of signs and icons. And that it’s easier for users to recognize icons by their resemblance to the actual item, rather than by symbols.
  • International Design for Experience Awards Web Launch: The Design for Experience Awards are open for nominations. Since the goal of Design for Experience is to help others master their field, one of the criteria for an award is how the practices can help teach others to become better at designing for experience. Nominate your favorite product, service or team for one of the 24 different categories.
  • Kate Kiefer Lee–Voice and Tone Live!: If you missed UX Thursday Detroit in June, listen to (or read the transcript) of MailChimp’s Kate Kiefer Lee’s closing keynote presentation. I attended the event, Kate’s presentation was very helpful, with case studies of how voice and tone affect websites, applications, email newsletters, and more.

Accessibility

  • Open Captions for US Open: What a difference live open captions make for an attendee at this month’s U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York.
  • Don’t Disable Pinch to Zoom: Does it drive you crazy to not be able to pinch and zoom on your mobile device? I know it frustrates me. Jamie Knight shares two reasons for not disabling pinch to zoom.
  • Happiness Engineers Deliver ARIA Joy: If you’ve been wondering how to add ARIA roles to your WordPress child theme, here’s how to do it.
  • Guide to iOS 7 Accessibility Enhancements: Kathy Wahlbin of Interactive Accessibility describes the new hearing, learning and motor accessibility features in iOS7.

WordPress

What I Found Interesting

  • When Tech Turns Nouns Into Verbs: Today’s smartphone is an Internet browser, map, instant messenger, camera, and oh, yes, can make phone calls.

    What will it mean to live in a world where any device, even perhaps a hammer or a lamp, is potentially a two-way object, perpetually concerned with optimizing itself with me?

  • Creating a Corporate Blog That Sells: My friend Rebecca Gill has written a great guide for businesses considering adding a blog to their website, including a list of 21 quick fixes.
  • How to make your entire Internet life more secure in one day: Have you taken the steps to encrypt your email, securely backup your files, or use a password manager? If not, here’s the lowdown.
  • 10 Time-Saving Tips For The Busy Blogger: Another resource for getting your blog posts published, this one from Syed Balkhi, who I met last month at WordCamp Columbus. Make time to write, have a place to store ideas, and remove distractions are a few of the suggestions.
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, and watching tennis.

Comments

  1. Thanks for the mentions! I thought that getting ARIA roles into a WordPress theme was going to be hard, but it turned out to be very easy. Hooray for Automattic.

  2. Hi Virginia,

    Thanks for the comment. Glad you wrote about it so we can share info with others on how easy it is to add ARIA roles to child themes. I think what holds designers/developers back is the thought that it’s hard to do.

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