Hello and welcome to the weekly roundup of web development and design resources. For my readers in the United States, I hope you’ve enjoyed all the turkey leftovers over the past week. I did!
In this week’s roundup, you’ll discover how small changes on a web page or application can delight your users, learn five ways to improve the accessibility of your responsive design, find out about a 24-hour free WordPress online learning opportunity, and more.
This week’s photo is of the Art Deco ceiling and architecture of Detroit’s Fox Theater where I saw a concert this month. I’m always amazed at the vibrant colors and ornate detail.
If you really like this kind of information and resources, subscribe to get notified of new posts.
First you make it work, then you make it work well, and then you make it so people can't imagine life any other way. That's #UX.
— Karl Fast (@karlfast) December 4, 2013
- 15 tiny UX elements that can make a big difference: From Lands End’s color swatches that allow you to quickly view products in different colors to Gmail’s warning message about an attachment (saved face for me many times in the past week), small touches make a difference in the user experience for your customer.
- How Vimeo Onboards New Users: I love this series from User OnBoarding explaining screenshot-by-screenshot how companies introduce users to their services and products.
- The Out-of-Touch Effect: The Impact of Isolating Yourself From Your Customers: It’s easy to lose perspective in your design work. Reconnect with your users to movitate and energize your work. Watch in person how the end-user works with and uses your product.
- The UX Explorers at Ford: An Interview with Parrish Hanna and Chris Thibodeau: Steve Tengler, User Experience Director at Altia, Inc. (my friend and speaker at last month’s World Usability Day Detroit event) sits down with Ford Motor Company’s Parrish Hanna, Director of Human-Machine Interface and Chris Thibodeau, Global and Executive Manager of Global Product Planning for User Interface, Connectivity, and Infotainment to discuss Ford’s new direction for user experience.
- Five Fundamentals of Accessible Responsive Web Design: Did you know adding “maximum-scale=1.0” or “user-scalable=no” to
meta name="viewport"in your header causes accessibility issues? Learn four more fundamentals for creating accessible responsive web design.
“Special needs” is contextual. Good accessibility can prevent problems for everyone. #a11y
— Anne Gibson (@perpendicularme) December 5, 2013
- Good Accessibility is Good Web Page Design: Developing good websites means including accessibility in the process, it’s a part of what you do along with all your web standards methods.
Accessibility isn’t something that should be added onto a web page, it should be baked in.
- Android KitKat: Closed Captioning: The new KitKat (Android 4.4) version provides better accessibility experience across apps by adding system-wide preferences for Closed Captioning. It also extends the accessibility APIs to support more precise structural and semantic description.
- Coding Towards Accessibility: Charles Perrin dispels myths about coding for accessibility and discusses simple methods to improve accessibility. Check the comments for further discussion and tips.
- WordSesh 2: 24 Hours of WordPress Presentations: Want to improve your WordPress knowledge this weekend? For free? Twenty-four hours of livestream online presentations from WordPress experts around the world starts today at 7pm EST. I attended the first WordSesh, great event!
- 6 Things You Must Do to Get Your WordPress House in Order: If you haven’t kept up with maintaining your site, these six steps will get your site back in shape. The first thing to do: back up your site.
- First Look at WordPress 3.8: Check out this quick summary (text and video) from Easy WP Guide author Anthony Horton to learn what to expect in next week’s 3.8 release. Good info. I know Anthony through an online WordPress designer/developer group I belong to.
- Making the Perfect WordPress Theme: Maintenance, Compatibility, and Customer Care: In part 5 of his Making the Perfect WordPress Theme Session, Barış Ünver shares tips on maintaining your theme. What I liked: steps for making your theme compatible with WooCommerce, BuddyPress, and WPML.
- WordPress Glossary Terms for Beginners: Do some of the terms used in WordPress confuse you? Here’s where to find out what they mean, in plain English.
- Responsive Web Design Testing Tool: Handy online tool for quickly checking your responsive design.
- Five Steps to Building a Responsive Email With Ink: Ryan from Zurb discusses the reasons behind creating their Ink product as a framework rather than a template, and steps you can take for building responsive emails. My takeaway: testing is key.
CSS and HTML
- Why The HTML5 Vs. Native Debate Obscures The Real Challenges Of Mobility: Nolan Wright, Chief Technology Officer of Appcelerator, argues that HTML5 vs. Native is the wrong question. We need to upgrade our Web architecture and the investment strategy for mobile apps.
- Colorpeek: A Simple Way to See and Share CSS Colors: This is one tool that will save you lots of time in Photoshop. Colorpeek is a Chrome extension that makes it easy for you to see all the CSS colors on a page, create a color palette and share it with others.
What I Found Interesting
- Five Good Online Tools for Creating Infographics: Try your hand at creating an infographic with one of these five free online tools. Canva looks very interesting, has anyone used it?
- Here’s How To Undo A Sent Email In Gmail: It’s not a cure-all, but can help you out, if you’re quick. Once you’ve configured this option in Gmail, you have 30 seconds to undo a sent email in Gmail.
- How to Hire a Remote Employee: I had no idea what was involved with hiring a remote employee. Thanks to Emily Lewis, I do now. I’m looking forward to her next two posts in the series covering human resource responsibilities and payroll requirements.