Hope you enjoyed your Halloween! We had a wet, but warm night here in Michigan. Do you have any candy left over?
In this week’s roundup of web development and design resources, you’ll read about eight low-cost tools for user testing, find out why you shouldn’t fear the auto-update feature in WordPress, learn how not to make ten common CSS mistakes, and more.
Which resource did you find most useful? Let me know in the comments.
Great point from audience that digital needs strong leadership. Success happens when senior managers are digital champions #capitaconf
— James Coltham (@prettysimple) October 31, 2013
- User Testing on a Budget: 8 Cheap and Easy Tools: Whether you’re just beginning user testing, or you’re looking for an alternative service, this collection of low-cost tools will get you started.
- E-Commerce Navigation: Show Sibling Categories for Easy Scope Adjustment: Though not widely implemented by major e-commerce sites, sibling categories benefit the user by the information scent they provide in helping find alternative and supplementary products.
— UXPA International (@UXPA_Int) October 30, 2013
- The 4 pillars of successful content: In this Web Designer Depot article, Rick Sloboda highlights four key principles to consider when creating content. What steps do you take to ensure your content fits your audience?
- Free eBook: UX Design For Project Managers from UXPin: If you’re thinking this is a short ten-page book, think again. Marcin Treder of UX Pin has provided a well-written 76-page overview of user experience design, how product managers fit in the design process, case studies, and an excellent resource section.
- WebAim: Great to see one of the best accessibility resource sites on the web with a redesign. The new look of the WebAIM site is refreshing, easy to use, and yes, responsive and accessible.
- FCC Adopts New Video Accessibility Rules: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted rules that will make accessing digital video programming on electronic devices easier for people who are blind or visually impaired easier. People who are hard of hearing or deaf will be able to more easily activate closed captioning on electronic devices.
- BPOW: Accessibility Tips for Users with Dyslexia: Improve readability and accessibility for users with dyslexia by limiting the use of multimedia, avoiding unusual fonts and writing clearly.
- The 5 best tools for responsive design: Good list of recommended responsive design tools, though I have to say I have never used the drawing app in Google Drive for wireframing. Check the discussion for more recommendations.
There’s still no relationship between screen size and bandwidth. Instead, we should ensure our work’s as light as possible *for everyone*.
— Responsive Design (@RWD) October 28, 2013
- Responsive Web Design: Relying Too Much on Screen Size: Don’t rely on screen resolution as the only factor in creating responsive designs, says Luke Wroblewski.
- WordPress 3.7.1: A Historical Maintenance Release: Version 3.7.1 is the first WordPress maintenance release where you don’t have to do click anything. Given you’ve updated to version 3.7, the 3.7.1 update is automatic. As Mark Jaquith says in his release haiku,
Just a few fixes
Your new update attitude:
Zero clicks given
- How to Fix Common Image Issues in WordPress: An overview of working with images, from uploading to your site, adding to a post, alignment, fix thumbnail images, and more.
- Get Started With WordPress Custom Fields: A Simple Beginners Guide: Joe Fylan gives an overview of custom fields, what they are and how they can be used. Note: you’re probably already using custom fields (through a plugin you installed), but don’t realize it.
- Don’t Fear the Auto Update: The default setting for auto updates in version 3.7 has caused a lot of discussion and concern. Mika Epstein explains why the auto update default is a good thing.
CSS and HTML
- Our new button and background generators, taking the hard work out of HTML email: What a timesaver for those of us who constantly seek solutions for dealing with Outlook’s quirkiness with HTML newsletters.
- 10 CSS mistakes every web designer must avoid: Good tips from Pam Selle on how to eliminate your bad CSS habits, including overspecificity, long selectors, top-down CSS and using multiple units of measurement.
- Six Essential CSS Resources: Want to stay current on CSS techniques? Check out this collection of resources, including resources from Mozilla, Adobe, and the W3C.
What I Found Interesting
- How to Break Into a Computer (and Prevent It from Happening to You): I was surprised how remarkably easy it is to break into a computer. Key takeaways: use strong passwords and encrypt your data.
- Sony 4K – Behind the scenes–Four times the detail: Amazing to read what was behind creating the stunning Sony video of eight million flowers (three-and-a-half tons worth of petals) erupting from a Costa Rica volcano to create an ad for 4K TVs in the UK.
- Search Education Online: Stay safe online with these free, self-guided Power Searching and Advanced Power Searching online courses from Google.
- Love Your FrontEnd Tools on Windows: If you work on Windows, this is one resource worth bookmarking. Find out how to install and run Ruby, Sass, Compass, NodeJS, GruntJS, Git for Windows.