In this week’s web design and development news roundup, you’ll learn how to design user interfaces for both new and expert users, find out what’s in the WordPress 5.3.1 version released this week, discover how to read a WebPageTest waterfall chart, 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
Major recommendations from the #ReadabilityGuidelines include:
— Content Design London (@ContentDesignLN) December 11, 2019
- A user interface intended for both new and expert users needs to provide accelerators to increase efficiency and allow users to complete tasks easily, says Aurora Harley.
- I’ve been battling this issue wherever I’ve worked and on every client site. Here’s sound advice from Jens Meiert on when to open links in a new tab.
- For everyone taking time off at the end of the year and looking for some good reads, check out this list of 15 web design books of 2019 that you should read. Several of the user experience and information architecture books are on my reading list.
- Love this idea! FoolProof UX is having a different kind of Christmas this year. One where they are giving time (a day of their time) to work on a social issue. They’ve identified three issues to work on and want us to help pick the issue.
- If you’re considering launching an email newsletter in 2020, you’ll get helpful advice and tips on creating a good user experience from Paul Boag’s how to successfully encourage newsletter signup with good design.
- The New York-based Ford Foundation’s $10 million grant to The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan will improve accessibility at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, Greenfield Village, and the Ford Rouge Factor Tour. One of my favorite local places to visit!
It’s all about equity and inclusion and making sure we have friendly environments for all needs.
- Are you a designer, developer, content author, digital marketer looking to learn about web accessibility in 2020? Free online course, Introduction to Web Accessibility from the World Wide Web Consortium, launches January 28, 2020.
- What steps can we take to make the web for real people, asks Ian Pouncey in his 24 ways article.
The web at the tail end of 2019 is slow, clunky, bloated and inefficient.
- In a follow-up post to his November 2019 post about WordPress and Gutenberg, the new block editor, Marco Zehe offers a quick introduction to using Gutenberg from a screen reader user’s perspective.
- The WordPress 5.3.1 security and maintenance version has been released with 46 fixes and enhancements, as well as four security updates. Unless you’ve disabled automatic background updates, your site will be automatically updated.
- Fascinating story from Yoren Change about why they changed lanes after freelancing for a decade.
Changing isn’t always just about being better or worse, I believe if we could properly document the difference, we can learn from history and help newcomers.
- Looking to create a column-based layout in the Twenty Twenty theme? Check out Mel Choyce’s post on four Gutenberg column layouts you can download and use on your Twenty Twenty theme site.
- I’m a fan of Uptime Robot; I use it on my client sites as well as my own. Glad to see WP Beginner listed it as their first tool for monitoring server uptime on your website.
CSS and HTML
- In her Does It Work? Using the New CSS Layout presentation this week at the East Bay WordPress Meetup Group, Rachel Andrew discussed the layout systems we now have available in CSS. Check out her code examples and resources in her post.
- You’re probably familiar with CSS reset styles, something that has been around for years. Miriam Suzanne explains where browser styles come from in this seven-minute video. I didn’t realize that browser settings (identified as user agent) were disabled by default.
- I’ve talked with many people who are frustrated that Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) has ruined their experience on mobile devices. Content doesn’t display and you’re not directed to the original URL. Here’s how you can fight back against Google AMP, whether you’re a developer or a user.
- Sometimes it’s hard to remember all the HTML elements.
#CodeTidbits30 Day 7 🎄
HTML <mark> tag – Need to emphasize text by making it appear highlighted? Use the <mark> tag! I've always just styled a <span> tag, not realizing this more semantic option existed. HTML5 is filled with all sort of goodies 😆#100DaysOfCode #CodeNewbie pic.twitter.com/ClkzYO37n2
— Samantha Ming (@samantha_ming) December 7, 2019
- Testing one of your sites in WebPageTest and bewildered with the waterfall chart? Here’s a tutorial for everyone on how to read a WebPageTest waterfall chart.
What I Found Interesting
- Woohoo! Our Grand Island Ice Caves in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula will be on a new U.S. postal stamp. Beautiful stamp! The new stamp will be available on January 18, 2020.
- With the release of the Chrome 79 browser, you’ll find tab freezing, a built-in Password Checker tool, and real-time Safe Browsing detections. Note: some new features are enabled by default, including sending your browser history to Google. After upgrading, review your settings to confirm you want features enabled.
- To end the roundup with some humor, have you heard of a birb? When is a bird a “birb”? What you need to know: they’re usually small, round, and cute.
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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.