An open-source site for style guide resources, settlement agreement between the U.S. Department of Justice and online grocer Peapod for web and mobile application accessibility, and checking the mobile-friendliness of your WordPress site are a few of the resources you’ll find in this week’s roundup.
If you’re new to my blog, each Friday I publish a weekly roundup of the latest resources for user experience, accessibility, WordPress, CSS, HTML, and responsive design.
Stay-up-to-date daily with resources like these by following me @redcrew on Twitter.
This week’s photo shows the mix of snow and leaves on our lawn. Like many places across the United States, snow came early this year. When I shoveled our walk earlier this week, I was shoveling half leaves and half snow.
"To say the very thing you really mean, nothing more or less or other than what you really mean; that's the whole art and joy of words.”
— C. S. Lewis (@CSLewisDaily) November 17, 2014
- Traci Lepore discusses how her theater background prepared her to be a successful user experience designer. Lapore highlights the soft skills, communication, presentation, and team focus, required for the job.
Design is only obvious in retrospect.
— Luke Wroblewski (@lukew) November 20, 2014
- Great conversations about style guides on Twitter this week led me to Brad Frost’s discussion about the different types of style guides, including code style guides, voice and tone, writing, etc. Two days later, Styleguides.io, an open-source site for people to share resources about style guides, was announced.
- Google made it a lot easier for users to find mobile-friendly websites this week. Want to find out if your site is mobile-friendly? Test it with Google’s mobile-friendly site test tool.
- Jonathan Hicken and Stef Miller share useful tips for writing great questions for your next user test in this excerpt from their free ebook A Complete Guide to User Testing Your Next Project.
- The big news in the web accessibility community was the settlement agreement between the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and online grocery retailer Peapod. Check out my summary of the agreement, describing what DOJ found on the Peapod website and mobile apps, as well as the deadlines Peapod must meet.
- Is it possible automatic captioning will replace people adding alternative text to images? Not likely, but Microsoft’s rapid progress in automatic image captioning research project and Google’s work building a natural description of images are impressive to read about.
role="presentation" removes semantic meaning an element. Slap that on a table, and it will be a "layout table" and not a "data table" #wcto
— Shawn Hooper (@ShawnHooper) November 15, 2014
- Billy Gregory from The Paciello Group explains what ARIA is and how to use it in your web project in his overview of ARIA presentation.
- Heading structure is a hot topic among WordPress developers. Rian Rietveld discusses how HTML5 headings should be set up in a WordPress theme, and shares the pros and cons for her decisions.
- For checking the performance of your website, take a look at the Google Pagespeed Insights for WordPress plugin. Instead of you entering the URL for each page of your website, the plugin automates the task by checking all your site pages, providing a breakdown of what needs to be fixed, and telling you what pages have the highest/lowest scores.
- It’s time to start testing. The beta version of WordPress 4.1 was released late last week. The team would like everyone’s help to test it. As usual, don’t install it on production sites.
- With Google’s announcement of its mobile-friendly tag, Google Developers have published a helpful guide to make sure your WordPress site is mobile friendly.
- Congrats to Scott Jehl on the publication this week of his Responsible Responsive Design book. Check out Tim Kadlec’s review earlier this month; he recommends the book for anyone building responsive websites.
- Are you surprised? According to the latest Business Intelligence report on mobile shopping and buyer behavior, only nine out of the top 100 retailers have a responsively designed website.
— zeldman (@zeldman) November 18, 2014
CSS and HTML
- Now that you’ve decided to have your team start using Sass, Charlie Owen has some recommendations that will make the migration to Sass go a lot easier.
Document every step as you go—you may discover some surprising gaps in your assumptions—and make that document available to everyone.
— Scott Jehl (@scottjehl) November 20, 2014
- Front-end developer Tim Severien walks you through the different viewport units: vw, vh, vmin, vmax, explaining their usage and providing code snippets.
- Creating a great 404 error page doesn’t need to be difficult if you keep the user in mind. Apologize. Make sure the page matches the tone of the site. Include information on how the user got to the error page, provide links to search, home page, and sitemap, and include a call to action.
What I Found Interesting
- Glad to hear New York City has found another use for their pay phones by converting them to wifi mobile charging stations. The stations will also include touchscreen interfaces for residents to access city services and get directions.
- Using the new Sway application from Microsoft is a breeze, says Owen Williams in his review of the online application. A replacement for PowerPoint, Sway is currently only available by invite, but you can get an invitation from Neowin. Thank you Christopher McMillan for the tip for the invitation.
- In this month’s University of Michigan School of Information Monthly, my friend and graduate student Maria Gosur is profiled. A part-time masters student, full-time web developer in higher education, and entrepreneur, Maria is working on a team developing the health care mobile application she designed. I’m so happy to see her recognized for her achievements. Well done, Maria!