In this week’s web design and development news roundup, you’ll learn how UX researchers can become leaders, find out how to volunteer for the first WP Accessibility Day, discover a new high-quality design resource site, and more.
If you’re new to my blog, each Friday I publish a post highlighting my favorite user experience, accessibility, WordPress, CSS, and HTML posts I’ve read in the past week.
Hope you find the resources helpful in your work or projects!
Want more resources like these on a daily basis? Follow me @redcrew on Twitter.
Tweet of the Week
What we need are people who can break down large and complicated tasks, manage those, and understand the future ramifications of their decisions.
We need more people who aren't focused on perfection but know what "good enough" looks like and have back up plans for when they fail
— Jeff Lembeck (@jefflembeck) August 26, 2020
- When I started my user experience courses over 15 years ago, one of the first things I studied was Jakob Nielsen’s guiding principles for user interface design. Love the examples UX All The Things include in their explanations of Nielsen’s guiding principles in 10 critical usability heuristics to improve a digital experience post.
- All those large monitors web professionals use for our work are nice to have. But they’re not something every person has.
Dear developers/designers: please remember that not everyone is working on a 27" screen.
— Robin Cornett (@robincornett) August 27, 2020
- The first step in doing research with people: do no harm. Stay ethical, says Michelle Nguyen in 6 ways UX researchers can be advocates for humans. Be curious, but avoid being invasive.
Make sure to continuously check in with how participants feel to ensure you are protecting their well-being.
- Interesting contrast: designers who become leaders improve the overall craft of designers on the team while researchers who become leaders tend to be more inclusive and
embrace the wider perspectives of the team, according to Mike Oren in his UX researchers can become leaders in a designer’s world article for UX Booth.
- On Thursday, September 3, 2020, Knowbility is hosting Inclusive Design: The Big Picture, a half-day online interactive workshop focused on demystifying inclusive design. I’ve attended several Knowbility workshops and always walk away with new knowledge. Hope you’ll join me at next week’s workshop!
- Can you lend a hand for WP Accessibility Day? Volunteers are needed to help with the first WP Accessiblity Day 24-hour event, which will be held on October 2-3, 2020.
- Masks have made life more difficult for people who are deaf and hard of hearing. Make some extra time, and don’t walk away.
Folks, if someone says they’re deaf and you’re in a mask zone, be prepared to spend an extra minute writing down what you were going to say, talking into a phone (eg @mstranslator) or standing 6ft+ back, pulling down mask so folks can see/hear.
Whatever you do, don’t walk away.
— Jenny Lay-Flurrie (@jennylayfluffy) August 26, 2020
- The COVID-19 pandemic reminds us that web accessibility helps all users, not only the disabled.
Designing accessible digital products also holds wider benefits for organizations beyond day-to-day customer and user interactions.
- The first release candidate (RC1) of the WordPress 5.5.1 version is available for download and testing. RC1 contains 28 bug fixes and 4 enhancements. The final version is expected to be released September 1, 2020.
- Wondering what the new block patterns feature in WordPress 5.5 is all about? WP Lift has you covered with this in-depth tutorial on WordPress block patterns: what they are and how to use them. I like how the described the difference between block patterns and reusable patterns.
- I published WordPress backup services and plugins: read the fine print part 2 this week to share the story of a former client whose site no longer displayed their custom content and theme. And to highlight some popular backup services and their limitations.
- Some of the most talked about news over the past week has been about Apple’s App Store blocking Automattic from updating the WordPress iOS app, unless the app included in-app purchases. Agreement was reached, Apple apologized, but not before Automattic said they would include in-app purchases. It’s a bit confusing, but WP Tavern offers good summary and opinion about Automattic tangling with Apple over lack of in-app purchases.
- Now that WordPress 5.5 enabled native lazy-loading images by default, learn how lazy-loading works and how you can customize it in this helpful post from WP Rocket.
CSS and HTML
- Many people wondered about the future of MDN, one of the best resources on the web, when news of Mozilla’s layoffs and restructuring was announced earlier this month. Good to read Rina Jensen, director of Mozilla Contributor Experience, give an update on MDN Web Docs. But I’m concerned since their cutbacks included MDN tech writing.
- Thanks to Tympanus for their review of Design.dev, I learned about a new resource site for templates, illustrations, icons, and UI kits. Hat tip to my friend Brad Czerniak for sharing it on Twitter.
- Semantic HTML is crucial.
We need to teach the right way of building web UIs, not just how to style divs to look like whatever we want. Our tools should reinforce this. Browsers and dev tools should be far more aggressive in enforcing semantics. It’s far too easy to build things incorrectly and not know.
— Devon Govett (@devongovett) August 27, 2020
- Need some inspriation? Check out these fun animals, all made with CSS by Suzanne Atchison. Amazing work. Which one is your favorite? I love the cow! Hat tip to CSS Weekly for highlighting her work in this week’s newsletter.
What I Found Interesting
- Congrats to Dolly Parton, who was honored this week as one of USA Today’s Women of the Century. In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, USA Today is showcasing 100 women who made an impact in our lives over the past 100 years.
- The ultimate test of integrity.
You can learn a little about people's principles by listening to their words and a lot by watching their actions.
But you don't truly know what they stand for until you see their sacrifices.
The ultimate test of integrity is what we're willing to risk to uphold our core values.
— Adam Grant (@AdamMGrant) August 27, 2020
- When Windows 95 was released, I had been working for a software company for seven years; we were excited to check out the new platform. Took me back in time to read Anil Dash’s What Windows 95 changed.
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Did I miss some resources you found this week? I’d love to see them! Post them in the comments below.