In this week’s web design and development news roundup, you’ll learn what words to avoid when writing surveys, find helpful tips for captioning videos, discover how to create and use reusable blocks in WordPress, 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
"I hope you're proud of yourself for the times you've said "yes," when all it meant was extra work for you and was seemingly helpful only to someone else."
— MisterRogersQuotes (@MisterRogersSay) February 25, 2021
- While there may be other reasons to establish a specific metric at an organization, they’re often created to increase profit. Or prevent loss, says Chris Kiess in User Experience by the Numbers.
What do we minimize when we put metrics in place? Usually, it is the user experience.
- Wording in your surveys can impact your results, says Jeff Sauro and Jim Lewis of Measuring U. Watch out for these nine words when writing your survey questions to avoid issues with how participants respond.
- If you’re a content strategist or involved with content creation at your organization, Hilary Marsh invites you to take her 15-minute content strategy survey. They’ll use the information from the survey as research on best practices in content strategy. The survey will be open until March 31, 2021.
- One of my pet peeves, as well as many other people.
– website visitor
I want to…
– be blocked from entering the website
– I can enjoy a better experience with the native app pic.twitter.com/MwXAlvpKNr
— Shit User Stories (@shituserstories) February 25, 2021
- Zoom finally joined other videoconference services in offering free automatic closed captions. Kind of. While Microsoft Teams and Google Meet provide free captions to all users, Zoom has only provided it to paying customers. This week Zoom announced they’ll make automatic closed captions available to all customers with free accounts in fall 2021. If you need accommodation before then, you can request it.
- What a nice surprise to learn Live Captions is available now on Chrome. Currently an experimental feature, you can enable Live Captions to automatically transcribe any audio playing on your Windows, MacOS, or Chrome OS versions of Chrome 88.
- I’ve updated my list of accessibility and inclusive design meetup groups around the world. Note: groups are meeting virtually, everyone can attend. Also, some groups are looking for organizing help.
- Want to learn more about captioning videos? My friend Meryl Evans presented Much Ado about Captioning Videos (1 hour 27 minutes) for the Austin Accessibility and Inclusive Design February 2021 meeting. Lots of helpful tips to improve your video captions.
- Shoutout to the Office of Accessibility at Minnesota IT Services for their explanation of high contrast mode and dark theme accessibility testing. I didn’t realize high contrast mode has been a part of Windows since Windows 95.
- Are you familiar with reusable blocks? They’re helpful when you want to add the same text or content in several places on your site, without having to recreate them each time.
- While the Gutenberg plugin will introduce a table of contents block, you’ll need to add links yourself. That’s not ideal. I prefer the Heroic Table of Contents plugin I wrote about this week: it automatically creates a linked table of contents.
- With Bluehost misusing the WordPress trademark in an ad, the longtime discussion of the recommended WordPress webhost page returned. I remember the page being a huge issue years ago, but not lately.
- Woohoo! My friend David Wolfpaw published his first WordPress theme in the public repository. Velox is a lightweight, block editor ready theme for writers. Added bonus: the theme is accessibility-ready and translatable-ready.
CSS and HTML
- Maintaining image aspect ratios across devices is a lot easier now that there is support for the
aspect-ratioproperty. Stephanie Eckles explains how to use CSS gradients and
aspect-ratioto create responsive image effects.
- In his most recent CSS Tricks post, Rob O’Leary takes a deep dive into shadows. He discusses the different types of shadows, why you want to use them, and how to add or layer shadows. Did you know shadows improve accessibility?
- As you might guess, I’m a fan of the birds. The creepie crawlies are cool, too!
What I Found Interesting
- Thank you to the Fight for the Future team for creating Who Can Get Your Book?, an online tool that educates authors and agents on the accessibility and availability of books.
- Twitter’s announcement of new features including Communities and Super Follows had the Twitter community abuzz. Personally, I’m not sure what the Communities feature adds: you can already follow a relevant hashtag or create your own list based on a specific topic or interest.
- I’ve been a fan and user of Canva, the online design platform, for years. Exciting to learn Canva bought background removal company Kaleido. Canva keeps expanding their features, I know many people who use it regularly for their design work.
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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.