If you’re new to my blog, each Friday I publish a weekly roundup of the past week’s web design and development resources for user experience, accessibility, WordPress, CSS, HTML, and responsive design.
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This week’s photo was taken is the 1950’s era Oscar Mayer Wienermobile at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan where I attended a company party last weekend. It was so much fun; we had the entire museum to explore to ourselves.
It’s really more about working hard than it is about luck, isn’t it?
— Val Head (@vlh) January 22, 2015
- Selecting the Right UX Research Method: To choose the right UX research method, it’s not as simple as deciding whether you need quantitative or qualitative research, says Juliet Richardson of Nomensa. You need to understand the problem, ask the right questions, identify the data that will answer those questions, and select the research methods that will provide the necessary data.
- I Did My Taxes On My Phone This Year! Turbotax Mobile Site FTW!: Who says doing your taxes can’t be delightful? That’s what my online colleague Jennifer Aldrich experienced when she finished her taxes this week on a smartphone. In her thank you to the TurboTax design team, she said:
Your clean, seamless mobile UI and absolutely fab UX have me looking forward to doing my taxes in 2016!
- List of Content Strategy Meetup Groups: Thanks to Hillary Marsh who compiled a list of all the content strategy meetup and community groups on the web. Is your group listed? If not, contact Hillary so she can add it.
- Updated mobile apps for Docs, Sheets and Slides: This week’s updates to the mobile versions of Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides adds screen reader support for TalkBack on Android and VoiceOver on iOS.
Sometimes when you audit a site for accessibility, the most positive thing you can say is that it doesn't cause seizures. That's about it.
— Alastair Campbell (@alastc) January 19, 2015
- Making Web Services Accessible with Universal Design: Accessibility is one part of creating universal design for the web, along with user experience, usability, best practices and standards, says Cynthia Ng of the British Columbia Libraries Cooperative.
- Breaking the sound barrier in deaf communication: Fascinating story about Thibault Duchemin, the University of California-Berkeley engineering graduate, who created the Transcense mobile application I’ve mentioned in past weekly roundups. Transcence offers the first real-time captioning technology for smartphones, allowing group conversation between deaf and hearing people. It’s currently in private beta testing on Android.
- The Evolution of UI vs. UX In WordPress Web Design: Brenda Barron explains the difference between user interface(UI) and user experience(UX), shares the UI and UX changes in WordPress over the years, and talks about future of WordPress UI and UX. I only wish she had included screenshots of past WordPress UI in her post.
- High Risk Security Vulnerability Discovered and Patched in Pagelines and Platform Themes:If you use the PageLines and Platform themes, update now. Sucuri discovered two issues, privilege escalation vulnerability and a remote code execution issue, which have been fixed in the latest versions.
- How to Customize Twenty Fifteen to Make it Your Own: Daniel Pataki explains how to customize the Twenty Fifteen theme with the built-in theme customization options, plugins that allow you to add Google Fonts, and steps you through the CSS code and functions.php code to change color boxes, create borderless boxes (for images), and more.
- Ultimate Checklist for Building a Brand New WordPress Site: If you haven’t already created a WP Core collection of the plugins you install on a regular basis, this post from Brenda Barron explains the tools and plugins to get started with building a WordPress site.
- WordCamp Dayton 2015 Tickets On Sale: You can now purchase tickets for WordCamp Dayton, which will be held March 20-21, 2015. This year’s event has three ticket levels: student tickets at $20, freelancer tickets at $75, and general admission at $40.
- Over It: It’s time to stop getting frustrated with the differences between devices and browsers, says Brad Frost. Instead focus on making great experiences for your users.
— Lindsay Holst (NARA) (@Holst44) January 21, 2015
- Shopify 2014: In their review of 2014, Shopify highlights their success and growth, as well as the launch of their mobile-friendly responsive checkout, more responsive themes, and improved mobile app for iOS and Android.
CSS and HTML
- Center and Crop Images with a Single Line of CSS: Set a width and height on your images and add
object-fit: coverand your image is centered and cropped. I’d never heard of
object-fitbefore, but it looks like I’ll be using in for my future project. It crops the same way
background-size: coverdoes, but you use it for images, videos, and other media tags rather than background images.
- Should You Switch to a Flat File CMS in 2015?: Faster performance, better version control, and easier setup are three reasons you might consider a flat file content management system (CMS) over a database-driven CMS. But a flat file CMS also has disadvantages: you’ll need to learn a new system and there’s not a large community to help troubleshoot.
What I Found Interesting
- Web Devvy Ways to Practice Gratitude and Empathy: Take the time to say thank you, review that email reply you’re sending to make sure it’s clear and you’ve addressed all the points, and thank people who go out of their way to help you. I’ll never forget the lovely thank you from a web designer when I surprised him by purchasing and sending a book on his Amazon wish list.
- Software Quality Academy: While Garrett Dimon’s online Software Quality Testing Academy is geared toward software testing, the tips and insights he shares can easily be applied to websites and applications.
- 10 Women Who Changed the Tech Industry Forever: How many of these women did you recognize? I admit there were several I didn’t know. Judy Malloy wrote and programmed the first hypertext novel, Uncle Roger, in 1986. Yet, Michael Joyce’s Afternoon novel published in 1987, was proclaimed by the New York Times as the first hypertext novel in 1987.