In this week’s roundup of web design and development resources, you’ll discover what the Google Webmaster team had to say about mobile-friendly sites in their live Q&A session, find out how to improve the pages and posts on your WordPress site, learn what we need to do have more moms working in web design, 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.
Keep up with resources like today’s roundup on a daily basis—follow me @redcrew on Twitter.
This week’s photo was taken from Belle Isle, looking across the Detroit River to downtown Detroit. I was surprised to see so much ice near Belle Isle; there’s little ice in the river when you look out from downtown. You’ll see the faint outline of the Ambassador Bridge to Windsor, Ontario, Canada in the background.
Tweet of the Week
✬ Don't “create content.” Create meaningful, useful, or entertaining info, articles, illos, videos, etc., not content for its own sake.
— Carolyn "Hi We're All High-Risk At My House!" Wood (@carywood) March 24, 2015
- I Paid a UX Expert $100 to Get Drunk and Evaluate Gizmodo’s Design: When UX designer Richard Littauer announced he was available for testing designs while he was drunk, the requests poured in. Check out his review of Gizmodo and Kinja.
The response has been absolutely incredible. I’ve received many requests, ranging from sober work to people asking if they could be my intern.
- 5 Takeaways from Google Webmaster Q&A on Mobile-Friendly Ranking Signal: In their live Q&A session this week, the Google Webmaster team said it’s more important to focus on user experience on your website than chasing their algorithm.
- UX Reactions: When your families and friends don’t understand the work you do as a user experience designer, point them to this hilarious site.
— Raks (@raqsilvestre) March 25, 2015
- What is web accessibility certification?: Web accessibility isn’t about certificates; it’s about making the web work for everyone.
- MOOCs for Everyone, But the Deaf: Netflix has captioned their videos (after a lawsuit was brought against them) and other companies are publishing their videos with captions. Howard Rosenblum asks why higher education schools aren’t captioning their MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) videos.
If a small non-profit organization like the NAD (National Association of the Deaf) can caption its videos, then why can’t everyone else?
- No accessibility for disability conference held in Australia: I was sad to read this news today. People attending the event complained about the lack of accessibility. Some speakers had to be lifted to the stage, since it wasn’t wheelchair accessible. It’s odd the event planners didn’t catch this issue before confirming the venue space.
— Steve Faulkner (@stevefaulkner) March 24, 2015
- Web Accessibility: Is Your Content Ready for Everyone?: It’s a long read, but Mindy Charski’s article covers a lot of ground about web accessibility, including how inaccessible content impacts people and how to incorporate accessibility into your workflow. Kudos to Charski for interviewing several accessibility advocates, authors, experts, and developers.
- Integrating Accessibility Into Your Work: If you’re just starting out trying to integrate accessibility in your work, take it one step at a time. Focus on one thing in your work.
- WordPress 4.2 Beta 3: The third beta release of WordPress 4.2 is available for testing (no production sites, please). Shoutout to the WordPress 4.2 development team for all their hard work.
- 12 Not-So-Obvious WordPress Tweaks to Improve Posts and Pages: From Jetpack to setting up subscription-based content protection to adding old posts notification automatically based on time (something I’ll be adding for my site), you’ll find useful tips for improving your website posts and pages.
- DNS Providers Performance: If you’re using WordPress.com or CloudFlare for your WordPress DNS (Domain Name System), you’ll be glad to know they rank in the top three leaders for performance (thanks to Matt Mullenweg for the note about performance).
- WordCamp London 2015: Saturday 21st March: My WordPress and accessibility colleague Claire Brotherton has published a great recap of the sessions she attended at this month’s WordCamp London 2015. Thank you Claire, loved the recommendation from Jason King’s Planning and Managing Your Nonprofit’s Website:
Make sure you have a ‘website champion’
- Taking Your Visual Content in WordPress to the Next Level: Not only does Sally Wood walk you through how to edit images in WordPress, she shares a boatload of third-party image editing and design tools. And includes plugin recommendations for keeping your Media Library lean and clean. Excellent resource!
- Designing a Responsive Website for Higher Education: If you’re involved in developing a responsive website for a large organization with hundreds or thousands of pages, set aside time to read this long (Yes, it’s long. Honest. Helpful. Useful.) recap of the past 12 months building the responsive website for Richland College.
I firmly believe this is the golden age for scrapping legacy and re-building as much as possible thanks to the massive shift in mobile/responsive design.
- We’ve Made It: After almost four years of work, the BBC News team has pushed their responsive site live. Congrats!
“iPhone screen goes to sleep before finishing loading site” is a surprisingly common performance metric, I'm finding this week roaming on 3G
— Scott Jehl (@scottjehl) March 24, 2015
CSS and HTML
- We Need More Moms in Web Design and Development: My colleague Zoe Gillenwater says if we want more women working in web design and development, we have to make it easier for them to stay after they have kids. Absolutely.
- Numeric Inputs – A Comparison of Browser Defaults: Chris Coyier looks at the different approaches browsers take in handling numeric inputs. Check the comments for good discussion and additional tips.
- Color Blender: Eric Meyer has added new features to his online color blender tool. It can now save colors, format, and blend steps in the URL for easy sharing.
What I Found Interesting
- The Illusion of Free: We need to take control of our data, says Laura Kalbag in her A List Apart article. Question how companies are using your data. If you’re not satisfied with their policies, stop using their product or service.
When you don’t know the solution, you don’t want to talk about the problem.
Skill + Love + Need + Payment = Perfect Purpose. pic.twitter.com/fQEocBwvJ1
— Steve Cohen (@Jusque) March 24, 2015
- The Question of Rates: My friend David Brooks shares a story about his recent search for a developer to help on a specific project. His request was clear, but the results weren’t what he expected. How do you explain your pricing structure when someone requests pricing?
You aren’t your hourly rate or your yearly salary. Your skills and time aren’t so easy to match with a value.
- What You Don’t Know about Internet Algorithms is Hurting You, and You Probably Don’t Know Very Much: Personalization isn’t perfect. The algorithms used by websites to display content they think you want don’t always work. Example: Facebook’s algorithm isn’t customized for you; it’s customized for advertisers.