In this week’s web design and development news roundup, you’ll learn about ethical considerations in user research, find out how to make websites easier to talk to, discover the second annual Web Almanac, 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
People are free when they can move. Ideas are free when they can travel.
The way to increase freedom is to increase movement.
Technologies that move people increase physical freedom: bike, car, plane.
Technologies that move ideas increase mental freedom: book, phone, internet.
— James Clear (@JamesClear) December 10, 2020
- When conducting user research, we need to be aware of and comply with ethical standards of research so we can avoid potential issues, says Victor Yacco. At all times, we need to be respectful and compassionate while avoiding misleading users or setting up false expectations.
- I love Doug’s explanation!
— Doug Collins (@DougCollinsUX) December 8, 2020
- When a rebrand with a new logo doesn’t go quite right, it’s time to try everything. Which is what Jessica Harllee did as she shares her story of the Primary rebrand. Lesson learned: trying everything helps you understand what doesn’t work and can spark new ideas.
- I give a shoutout to Workforce Software event page as my monthly UX win. Their event page allows people to find event info, speakers, topic summaries, schedule, and registration in a well-designed one-page layout.
- Join the Design Justice Principles at Work group for a virtual book talk of “A Civic Technologist’s Practice Guide” with author Cyd Harrell on December 16, 2020 at 11:00 AM Eastern Time. Pre-registration required.
- With more people using home speakers, phone assistants, and screen readers, it’s crucial for web designers to make websites easier to talk to. Screens are no longer essential for web browsing.
Developers, designers, and writers alike should be prepared for the possibility that that work will not be seen or clicked at all—it will be heard and spoken to.
- If you’re thinking an accessibility overlay will improve your website, watch this 11-minute video from Karl Groves.
- Shoutout to Ben Myers for this helpful resource explaining the difference between aria-label, aria-labelledby, and aria-describedby.
- Google rolled out a new version of their Voice Access app that uses artificial intelligence to make the phone easier to navigate. Added bonus: the new Voice Access app works on any Android device running version 6 and above (meaning it will work on older Android devices).
- Mark your calendars! The annual WordPress keynote address State of the Word returns Thursday, December 17, 2020 with Matt Mullenweg sharing WordPress achievements in 2020, updates, and answering Q&A. Glad it’s back, even though WordCamp US will not be held this year.
- The WordPress 5.6 version has been released. Nicknamed “Simone”, the version brings an improved editor, new Twenty Twenty-One default theme, more block patterns, and better video captioning.
- iThemes provides an excellent deep dive of the Twenty Twenty-One theme, highlighting theme features, post formats, dark mode support, block pattersn and styling.
- In his WordPress 5.6 introduces a new risk to your site: what to do, Ram Gall highlights security risks and other issues you need to be aware of, including the second phase of the jQuery update.
CSS and HTML
- Did you know only vertical margins collapse in CSS? Collapsing margins can be confusing, which is why I’m glad for Josh Comeau’s 8 rules of margin collapse helpful interactive tutorial.
- I think we can all agree with Natalya Shelburne: 2020 was not a good year for learning. Her first tip for recovering your creating: waste your time.
initialin your CSS? What you need to know:
Reminder when you use `initial` in CSS, you *probably* want `revert` or `unset`:
– initial: use the spec default (always eg display: inline; color: black)
– revert: use the browser/user styles (different per element)
– unset: use inheritance where available, fallback to initial
— Mia || Miriam (@MiriSuzanne) December 7, 2020
- You’ll want to make time to read the second annual Web Almanac. The free open-source 22-chapter ebook written by 40 expert authors and 116 contributors documents the state of the web in 2020.
What I Found Interesting
- The photos are incredible. And the setup to take the photos is complicated: special, high-speed LED lights, a large camera capturing the objects as they settle on black foam in freezing cold temperatures. Check out Nathan Myhrvold’s stunning images of snowflakes in high resolution.
- It’s that time! For 2021, Pantone announced their color of the year: Ultimate Gray and Illuminating (a citrus yellow). According to Pantone the two colors
expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude.
- Have to admit I chuckled a lot while reading Eric Karkovack’s the grumpy designer looks ahead to 2021. Which one of his predictions do you think will come true?
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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.