Weekly Roundup of Web Design and Development Resources: June 13, 2014

Pink and white peonies at the Peony Garden in Nichols Arboretum

Welcome to the weekly roundup! Each week I gather resources for user experience, accessibility, WordPress, CSS, HTML and responsive design and compile it in my weekly resource post.

In this week’s post, you’ll learn about a great collection on online user experience tools, find out what the future is for Automattic from CEO Matt Mullenweg, learn how to create your own responsive CSS grid layout, and more.

If you want to stay-up-to-date daily with resources like these, follow me on Twitter.

This week’s photo was taken last Monday at the Peony Garden at Nichols Arboretum in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The garden was opened to the public in 1927; several of the peony varieties date back to the early-mid nineteenth century.

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User Experience

  • 30 Useful User Experience (UX) Tools: If you haven’t already started your own collection of online user experience tools, this roundup from Usability Geek is a great place to start. You’ll find an assortment of useful tools organized by research, design, and collaboration categories. Check the comments for a few more suggestions.
  • Fixing Six Mistakes Companies Make when Working with UXers: Making user experience a priority at your organization goes beyond hiring a UX team to work with you. My thoughts: these tips apply whether you have an in-house or outside UX team.

    Do not choose a launch date before you consult with your UX team.

  • The next big thing and its impact on UX: As smartwatches develop, more usable methods are needed for displaying and inputting information to create better use experiences, says Peter Kennaugh of Nomensa.
  • 6 Ways to Improve the UX of Your Email Unsubscribe Page: Just because your email subscribers no longer want to receive your email doesn’t mean their customer journey with your organization stops. Your subscribers may have decided to get information from you in another manner. Offer your subscribers a personal, quick, and easy-to-use experience.


  • Accessibility Regulation Confusion from U.S. Government: Recent news from the U.S. government on accessibility is a mix of good and bad news, says Adrian Roselli, as he points out recent H&R Block Consent Decree, another delay in the release of web accessibility standards, and the lack of accessibility on the Department of Justice’s own website. What’s a web professional to do?
  • 3% of users browse with IE9 and 14% of users have a disability. Why do we only cater for the former?: This post from Fiona Taylor Gorringe echos what I’ve heard from many web designers and developers: we’ve been taught how to manage browser behaviors, but haven’t learned how to create accessible websites.

    It’s definitely a training issue. Once developers know how, they will naturally adapt the way they code to be more accessible without thinking about it.

    Fiona Taylor Gorringe

  • Accessibility Summit: The fifth annual two-day online Accessibility Summit conference, hosted by Environments by Humans, returns September 9-10, 2014. It’s one of the best ways to learn about and stay current on web accessibility methods and practices.
  • Articulating and Advocating for Accessibility: As a web worker, you want to learn more about and advocate for web accessibility. Where do you start? Matt May, Adobe’s Accessibility Evangelist, shares his approach and offers advice for accessibility advocates


  • An Extended Interview With WordPress Creator Matt Mullenweg: J.J. Colao of Forbes sat down with Mat Mullenweg last March to talk about Matt’s transition to CEO, what’s next for Automattic, the distributed workforce, and more. It’s a long read, but worth it. What stood out for me were Matt’s comments about the mobile direction for Automattic.
  • Optimizing Contact Form 7 for Better Performance: Downloading Contact Form 7 code on every page on your website is bad for performance. Check out these steps for only loading it on the pages that include Contact Form 7.
  • Use CSS for Equal Height Column Post Grid:My friend Marcy Diaz highlights how you can easily create equal high columns. Really helpful when you have different title lengths.
  • WP Remote Now Supports Zapier: If you’re a WP Remote user, the recent integration with Zapier (the tool that allows you to connect your apps to move data and automate tasks) offers you more opportunities to monitor and log website events.

Responsive Design


  • All About Style Guides: Love this series on style guides from TutsPlus. There are eight posts in the series; five posts published in the past week. From resources, to tools, to creating style guides for specific audiences, you’ll get your questions about style guides answered.
    All About Style Guides
  • Everything You Need to Know About the CSS will-change Property: In the past, web designers and developers have used the translateZ() or translate3d() hacks to trick browsers into pushing our animations and transforms into hardware acceleration. With the new will-change property, you can inform the browser of changes that will occur. Learn about the do’s and don’ts in this explanation from Sara Soueidan on the Dev Opera site.

What I Found Interesting

  • Court Rules It’s Illegal for Police to Track Your Cellphone With No Warrant: Privacy advocates celebrated this week’s ruling from the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that police will now need a search warrant to obtain phone records from your carrier.

    The decision is binding in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama, but the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) believes it is “likely to be used by courts around the country that take up the issue.”

  • Why We had a Code of Conduct: Thrilled to see this video and transcript from web designer and Rustbelt Refresh co-organizer Brad Colbow explaining why this year’s conference included a Code of Conduct.
  • Email? It’s So Last Decade. How To Communicate With Generation Y: Pretty bold statement to say email is so last decade. I realize many people don’t like to read email, but without a link to a research study on email behavior, I’m skeptical. I’m encouraged to hear about the success of their intranet being developed and used as a social communication tool. That takes a lot of research from the team developing it, as well as support and resources from management.
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, or watching tennis.


  1. Thank you for including me in this week’s roundup, Deborah!

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