In this week’s web design and development news roundup, you’ll learn about the difference between use cases and user stories, find free online accessibility sessions, discover the importance of personal websites, 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
A brief guide to success
1) Lots of research. Explore widely and see what is possible.
2) Lots of iterations. Focus on one thing, but do it in different ways. Refine your method.
3) Lots of repetitions. Stick with your method until it stops working.
Research. Iterate. Repeat.
— James Clear (@JamesClear) December 12, 2020
- While many users don’t like to read, help and documentation are important elements of user experience. Create help that provides relevant, timely information in a format that supports users in completing their goal, says Alita Joyce.
- In her 10-minute Google Chrome Developers video, Web Ecosystems Consultant Garima Mimani discusses steps to optimize UX patterns to deliver a better user experience, without affecting Core Web Vitals.
- Have you taken the survey? Share your feedback in UX Matters The Role of UX Benchmark Study. Takes less than 10 minutes to complete.
- What’s the difference between user stories and use cases? When I first began my user experience studies, I was confused by the two. And when to use which one in my projects. Appreciate Patrick Joseph Downs explanation and examples in this UX Magazine article.
- If one of your goals in 2021 is to learn about web and digital accessibility, or you want to expand your current knowledge, take a look at the free accessibility training sessions from Rutgers University. Online sessions start in January 2021.
- In how we made GOV.UK more accessible, Richard Morton shares useful information about improving accessibility along with lessons learned that small and large organizations will find helpful. What I liked: the emphasis on documentation and updating guidance.
- LinkedIn and Facebook may add automated alternative text to your images. Always edit them. Or better yet, add your own alternative text to images you add on LinkedIn as well as alternative text to Facebook images.
If I could only give one piece of accessibility advice for the rest of my life it would be to never, ever rely on auto-generated alt text. It serves practically no purpose whatsoever. Edit your auto-generated descriptions, I beg.
— Carys Llewellyn 🌻 (@blindandb0ujee) December 17, 2020
- In Day 15 of the A11yAdvent 2020 calendar, Hugo Giraudel discusses content warnings as well as trigger warnings, what they are, why they are important, and how to do them right.
- Launched this week, the new LearnWordPress platform offers free courses, workshops, and lesson plans for people and meetups to learn WordPress at their own pace.
- If you’re using Contact Form 7 on your website, update immediately. The Contact Form 7 version 5.3.2 patches a critical vulnerability in file uploads.
- From this week’s State of the Word annual address Q&A:
Using a strong password, and keeping core, themes and plugin updated will provide you with more security than trying to hide the login page, or the WordPress version number in the <head> code.
— Shawn Hooper (@ShawnHooper) December 17, 2020
- Depending on your web host, sending WordPress emails via the built-in PHP mail function won’t always work. Which is why I’ve used some SMTP servers for client sites. Thanks to WPBeginner for describing four methods to use a free SMTP server to send WordPress emails.
CSS and HTML
- Hard to believe it’s been 24 years! I started coding with CSS when I started creating websites in 1997.
Can you imagine the web w/o CSS? Ya me neither. How boring would that be? So offering a Happy Bday 🎉 to everyone’s fave language, ✨ CSS ✨ – which turned 24 today. Félicitations @wiumlie, @csswg and ppl like @jensimmons @rachelandrew @MiriSuzanne @LeaVerou … 🧵 pic.twitter.com/pFCNg390Ik
— Henri Helvetica, h12a 👩🏾🚀 (@HenriHelvetica) December 17, 2020
- Did you know you can change the file name of a downloadable file with the
downloadattribute? I didn’t. Until I read Manuel Matuzović’s post Slow Movement on CSS Tricks.
- Thanks to Stephanie Eckles for this throwback photo gallery tribute to Web 2.0, where our designs were filled with gradients, patterns, and textures.
- Personal websites are more important than ever, says Simon Collison in his this used to be our playground reflection about owning our digital space.
What interests me specifically is the commitment to growing a site; using it to document ideas and experiences; sharing a life or career by design.
- If not knowing GitHub is holding you back from improving your knowledge, this online six-hour community driven software projects on GitHub course from Microsoft is an excellent option for learning guidelines, codes of conduct, and best security practices.
What I Found Interesting
- With the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine distribution starting this week in the United States, many people are wondering how they made a vaccine so fast. A number of factors came into play, including processes happening in parallel instead of sequential order.
- It’s back! Once again, NORAD continues their Santa Tracker tradition of telling us where Santa is as they circle the planet to deliver holiday gifts this Christmas.
- If setting goals for your blog in 2021 is on your to-do list this month, Darren Rowse from Problogger says to be specific in your goal.
You should be setting significant goals that will get you closer to your long-term goals.
If you like what you’ve read today, share the post with your colleagues and friends.
Want to make sure you don’t miss out on updates? Subscribe to get notified when new posts are published.
Did I miss some resources you found this week? I’d love to see them! Post them in the comments below.