February 19, 2021: My Weekly Roundup of Web Design and Development News

In this week’s web design and development news roundup, you’ll learn about the state of user research, find a guide for implementing accessibility in your organization, discover a visual guide to CSS Z-index, 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

It landed!

User Experience

  • The third annual State of User Research report has been released, based on 525 user researchers in 44 countries participating. Not surprised to learn 90% of user researchers have worked entirely remotely since the start of the pandemic, compared to 21% in the prior year.
  • Think contrasting color schemes and micro interactions produce a pleasing design for users? Not when those users are on the autism spectrum or have developmental disabilities. Discover the three lessons the Very Big Things agency learned when they used empathy to design for inclusion.
  • One of the first things I learned in my user experience class: keep confirmation actions far apart from destructive or highly consequential actions. Prevent errors with dangerous UX when consequential actions are close to benign options.
  • Oops. Users can get easily frustrated when plain language and microcopy aren’t prioritized in a design. And it can be costly, as Citibank learned the importance of user interface design. Rather than making a $7.8 (USD) million interest payment, it sent $900 million.


  • Learn how to introduce, evangelize and gain buy-in for accessibility within enterprise organizations at the Feb 23, 2021 The Business Impact of Creating Accessible Experiences webinar featuring Ashley Schroeder, Brian Crumley, and Whitney Quesenbery. The webinar is free, but requires preregistration.
  • Do you create custom checkboxes? Are they screen reader friendly?
  • If you’re planning to conduct an accessibility audit, register for one of the free online introduction sessions for Hugr on February 24, 2021 or March 3, 2021. Created by Dig Inclusion, Hugr is a collaborative tool to test and report accessibility.
  • Digital accessibility applies to your website as well as the digital services you use for your online community, job board, or learning management system. Discover how your organization can implement an accessibility plan in this four-step guide.



  • I’m loving all the helpful articles Ahmad Shadeed publishes about CSS, and this week’s visual guide to understanding Z-index in CSS is no different. And the rubber ducks and fish make it a fun read! Definitely something you’ll want to bookmark.
  • If you found Litmus’s solution for fixing Microsoft Outlook replacing body with div in your emails, you’ll be glad to know Microsoft implemented an update that rolled out this week.
  • What you need to be prepared for:
  • I’m definitely a front-of-the-front-end developer, one who focuses on writing HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Thank you to Brad Frost for describing the difference between a front-of-the-front-end and back-of-the-front-end developer.

What I Found Interesting

  • For anyone who uses Chrome for their browser, you’ll want to review this list of helpful Chrome extensions. One that’s not on the list that I’ve used daily for years: Nimbus for screenshots and videos (runs on Firefox and Chrome).
  • I enjoyed reading Samuel Lee Miller’s three do’s and don’ts recommendations of icon design Clear, concise advice on creating effective icons. First tip: don’t design icons without research.
  • Want to stop your email from being tracked? One quick method: choose to not download images in messages (tracking pixels are often hidden in an image). Thanks to The Verge for providing directions on how to disable images in Apple Mail, Gmail, Outlook, and other mail apps.

If you like what you’ve read today, share the post with your colleagues and friends.

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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.

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About the Author

Deborah Edwards-Onoro helps small businesses, consultants, nonprofits, and higher ed with creative and distinctive websites. Deborah shares her expertise with web design, user experience, and accessibility on her blog, social media, and at meetup events. As organizer of Refresh Detroit, West Metro Detroit WordPress, and Metro Detroit WordPress, she encourages members to share their knowledge and experiences. In her free time, you'll find her birding, shooting photos, reading, or watching tennis.

2 thoughts on “February 19, 2021: My Weekly Roundup of Web Design and Development News”

  1. An interesting read as always.

    I’ve had image tracking in my emails turned off for years! If you do this though, prepare for regular emails about people wanting to throw you off their email marketing lists because you “are not opening any emails”! Many seem not to understand how their own tracking pixels work, even when you try to explain it!

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