Welcome to the new year! If this is your first time visiting my blog, each Friday I publish a weekly roundup of the latest web design and development resources for user experience, accessibility, WordPress, CSS, HTML, and responsive design.
In this week’s roundup, you’ll learn four simple ways to improve the mobile shopping user experience, discover how to improve the accessibility of your WordPress site, find out how to not to shoot yourself in the foot with CSS, and more.
If you want to stay-up-to-date daily with resources like these, follow me @redcrew on Twitter.
Today’s photo was shot New Year’s Day at Kensington Metro Park in Milford, Michigan. First time I’ve spotted sandhill cranes in southeast Michigan this late in the winter.
Tip for 2015: Disable background notifications on all your devices. Check for updates when you’re ready, not when some device beeps at you.
— Peter Schmalfeldt (@mrmidi) January 2, 2015
- In 4 simple ways to perfect the UX of mobile commerce, Paula Borowska explains how you can create a more fulfilling mobile shopping experience for your users. My favorite: reduce clutter in the design.
- For 2015, the National Library of Medicine will implement agile development practices in their website processes, with plans to incorporate hallway testing as a low-cost and efficient usability testing method.
HAPPY 2015–May your communications be clear and easy to understand the first time people read them. #plainlanguage
— plainlanguage.gov (@govplainlang) December 31, 2014
- It’s not the projector that’s making your presentations look bad; projectors don’t lie. Your users don’t have the latest MacBook Pro with retina display. Make your presentations better: check color contrast, ask about your users’ screen resolutions, and review site analytics.
- Jenni McKinnon walks you through how to make your WordPress site accessible, how to check your themes for accessibility and highlighting free themes and plugins to improve site accessibility.
- I loved reading this post from Matt Mireles on how he created the perfect computer setup for Grandpa as a Christmas present for his father. In the final stages of writing a 600-page book, Matt’s father has difficulty using the computer due to reduced vision caused by macular degeneration. Matt carefully reviewed different technology options for improving the accessibility and usability of the computer setup for his father.
- Face the truth, says web accessibility consultant Karl Groves. You don’t have accessibility problems, you have quality problems. Since many web developers are self-taught, accessibility hasn’t been an area of focus. Ignorance about accessibility is no longer an excuse, says Groves. Learn it.
- WebAIM has updated their tutorial for advanced accessible forms with information on using
- Thanks to Andrea Whitmer for this helpful checklist for launching a Genesis project. Note: though several steps are customized for Genesis, you could use this checklist as a basis for a general website launch list.
- Next time someone complains about Jetpack’s impact on site performance, point them to this post about the Jetpack bloat myth written by one of the founders of BruteProtect.
- Shawn Hooper explains one method to protect PDFs in a members-only area of a WordPress website. In addition to protecting the PDFs, I liked that Shawn’s solution tracks how many times the file has been downloaded (within the WordPress dashboard) as well as what version of the file was downloaded.
- There’s nothing more frustrating when you reading about a WordPress plugin, but can’t find the screenshots of the plugin. In Dear WordPress developer: please add screenshots, Sara Gooding describes the benefits of adding plugin screenshots.
It's almost 2015 and I can't believe I'm still fighting PSD pixel perfection on a responsive site with client & design agency #rwd
— Tuukka Uskali (@tuskali) December 30, 2014
- As 2015 starts, Kezz Bracey takes a look at the state of responsive web design. It’s a long read, but worthwhile as Bracey explores what’s changed in responsive web design, what’s remained the same, and what we can expect in the future. And he shares his definition of responsive web design:
Responsive Web Design is an approach to creating websites that can respond to all known web browsing devices, with content delivery and UI interaction optimized to the greatest degree possible for all visitors.
CSS and HTML
- If learning Git is on your list of goals for 2015, this roundup of interactive Git tutorials will get you started.
Today I discovered the power of the CSS viewport units (vh and vw). OMG, I have a new hammer and everything looks like a nail!
— Devon Govett (@devongovett) January 2, 2015
- Every week there seems to be another article with advice on how to create your CSS. It can get overwhelming. But Chris Coyier’s CSS: just try and do a good job post with practical advice made sense to me. Hopefully it will for you, too. Use tools that are useful to you. Name things how you want to name them; it makes you more efficient.
- Five ways to not shoot yourself in the foot with CSS is a good reminder for the new year. It’s a quick less-than-one-minute read. I liked #3.
What I Found Interesting
- I have my favorite Chrome extensions, but I found a few more in 10 useful Chrome extensions you may not have tried I’ve used OneTab for managing my Chrome tabs, looks like TabSnooze does something similar.
My goals for 2015 will not happen if I do not lead my team. I have to remind myself that this is the year of the team, not the me.
— Angie Meeker (@angiemeeker) January 1, 2015
- Nice roundup by Brian Krall of the past year in web design, with a focus on front-end design.