In this week’s roundup of web design and development resources, you’ll learn why companies need to focus on experiences first, find out how to preview your designs as someone who is color blind, get tips on how to get your team excited about creating websites with good performance, and more.
Each Friday, I publish a post of the latest resources and articles I’ve read. If you find the resources helpful in your projects, share them with your colleagues and co-workers.
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This week’s photo is of the Detroit River, taken from the One Woodward Building in downtown Detroit. Those white spots in the blue river? They’re what’s left of the ice in the river.
Two weeks ago, ice filled the river. In the background is the city of Windsor, Ontario, one of the few places where Canada is actually south of the United States.
Tweet of the Week
For 20 years the 'internet' meant a web browser, mouse & keyboard. We've moved past that, but are nowhere near settling on what comes next
— Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans) March 12, 2015
- Every Moment Counts: Why Companies Need To Focus on Experience First: Our users interact with a company through several channels–email, phone calls, the web, and mobile apps–and it’s essential that everyone at the company to improve the experience to meet customers’ expectations.
- Welcome to Design: Twitter announced the launch of their new design blog this week, where they’ll share updates on what went into their design decisions, findings from their research, how they run their team, and strategies for building greater diversity on design teams.
— Moin Shaikh (@moingshaikh) March 12, 2015
- Black Hat UX and How to Fight It: Have you ever been in the position at your work where your manager required you to create a sub-optimal user experience? Peter W Szabo stresses how black hat UX is unethical and offers advice on how to combat it.
- Accessibility as a Framework: Rather than creating a framework for accessibility, David Kennedy suggests viewing accessibility as a framework.
- On Adding Captions to Videos:When my friend David Brooks announced the launch of the Mr. Meaner app last weekend, I was excited to try it out. And recommended he add captions to the promotional video, which he did.
That was really painless. Why on Earth do people not caption things?
- AccessAbility: At the Talk UX conference, Elizabeth Chesters and Becky Topps discussed web accessibility, the benefits of accessible websites and applications, and how inaccesibility prevents people from achieving their goals.
- How to design (in Sketch, Photoshop and Web) for color blind users: Did you know there are several tools and built-in features in Photoshop, Sketch, and on the web that allow you to preview your designs as someone who is color blind?
- Please Update the WordPress SEO By Yoast Plugin: A critical security issue was discovered in the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin. If you use the plugin on your sites, update now.
- On Automatic WordPress Updates: When Nick Haskins, creator of the Aesop Story Engine, discovered WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin was updated automatically on his site, he was upset, since the Codex states automatic plugin updates are disabled by default. The Codex has since been revised, with new info about “special cases.”
I did not enable automatic plugin updates, and they updated anyways.
- How To: Update Old Posts Correctly to Help Your Visitors & Boost Your SEO: Help your readers out by updating your old posts the right way with new information and updated screenshots. But remember, don’t change the URL, says Oli Dale.
- Foundation and WordPress: From frameworks to themes, James George explains the different ways you can get started using Zurb’s Foundation with WordPress. He also discusses why you want to use Foundation.
- The Path to Performance: How do you get your team excited about creating websites with good performance? In her presentation at RWD Summit 2015 conference this week, Katie Kovalcin discussed how performance is part of everyone’s role in the team and how to integrate performance budgets into projects.
Responsive design is so omnipresent even my sister, an international tax accountant, is hearing about it. pic.twitter.com/XLFxtGxVP2
— Brad Frost (@brad_frost) March 13, 2015
- Responsive Typography: Just because your typography looks good on your desktop doesn’t mean it’s going to look good on screens with different resolutions, says Clarissa Peterson in this week’s CTRL+CLICK CAST podcast. Good conversation about typography; I enjoyed Clarissa’s comments about using rems, ems, and pixels for font sizing.
- What Your Site Costs: Most people creating websites have no idea how much sites cost in terms of data. And that’s why Tim Kadlec built What Does My Site Cost?, an online site that allows you to see the importance of performance and page weight in good responsive web design.
CSS and HTML
- Understanding CSS Grid Systems from the Ground Up: Ryan Morr explores the advantages of grid systems, how they work, and how you can create your own. Tip: math is the hardest part in creating your own grid system.
- Break up With IE8: It’s time to break up. “March 19, 2015 is your six year anniversary with IE8. It doesn’t have to go on.”
- How to Get Started with CSS Shapes: In her tutorial, Rachel Andrew explains what CSS Shapes are, walks you through basic shapes, and discusses browser support. Did you know CSS Shapes can be used as progressive enhancement on your site?
- Enhancing Responsiveness with Flexbox presentation at RWD Summit: At this week’s RWD Summit 2015, Zoe Gillenwater demonstrated how you can use flexbox today in your designs. Thanks to Zoe for uploading her slides, sharing helpful resources, and providing links to the presentation demos in this post.
What I Found Interesting
- How to Write More Betterer: Gregory Ciotti from HelpScout offers ten tips for improving the quality of your writing. I wasn’t surprised to see tip #9: “Just write” is tired advice, but still needed. Looking at a blank screen is one of the biggest issues I face daily when it comes to writing.
- Infographic: The Client’s Guide to Creating a Website: Helping a client to understand what it takes to build a website is a lot easier with this infographic by Richa Jain. The only thing I would add to the infographic: the importance of content and how it impacts each step of the website creation process.
- Thought Germs, Anger, and Spreading Memes (Video): Fun video about “thought germs” and how social media exposes you to everyone’s mental sneezes.
But it’s useful to be aware of how thought can use our emotions to spread and how the more rapidly a thought is able to spread, the more chances it has to become *even better* at spreading through random changes made to it.
I hope you enjoyed my hand-picked list of resources this week. If you found some helpful resources, share them in the comments.