In this week’s web design and development news roundup, you’ll learn a framework for approaching design debt, find out why accessibility specialists need to look beyond conformance, discover how and when to use WordPress multisite, 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
Web things that I used to stress over building:
– floated, non-table layouts
– panels that pushed down the whole page
– fake inset borders
– skeumorphic everything
– jquery mobile skins
– swapping images on hover
– rounded corners
– pixel perfection in IE6-10
– holy grail layout
— Stephanie Eckles (@5t3ph) January 22, 2021
- To take full advantage of the benefits of voice, add voice to your current user interface. In six reasons your touch-screen apps should have voice capabilities, Ottomatias Peura discusses why adding voice rather than a skill for a smart speaker to your mobile app will create a more unified user experience.
- How do you approach design debt? Alex Potrivaev, senior product design at Intercom recommends a three-step framework to tackle complex design debt.
…it’s important to build a strong customer and business case on why tackling debt is so important.
- I agree with Jeremy Keith: initialisms and acronyms are letters of exclusion. When you use them at your organization, you have no idea if the person you’re talking with has a shared understanding of what the letters mean.
- Can you help? Take The Role of UX Benchmark Study, hosted by UX Matters and User Fountain. Help the UX community better understand the current state of user experience within businesses and other organizations.
- Woohoo! The W3C Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 3.0 First Public Working Draft has been published. Noteworthy: the W in WCAG stands for W3C, not web. Second: bronze, silver, and gold ratings replace A, AA, and AAA levels.
- Is accessibility a foundational principle in your organization?
Accessibility itself IS NOT hard.
But, accessibility at scale IS hard.
Doing accessibility consistently well IS hard.
Accessibility where it hasn't been done before IS hard.
Creating a culture that values accessibility IS hard.
Don't confuse one with the other.
— Derek Featherstone (@feather) January 18, 2021
- Thank you to Julie Romanowski who accepted my invitation to guest blog this week about accessibility specialists needing to look beyond conformance.
- Glad to read about Facebook using artificial intelligence to improve alternative text of photos. Their automatic alternative text I used a couple years ago was not the best, I always had to edit it to provide more details.
- With the release of version 16.3 of the WordPress for Android app, users will find a new feature currently in public beta: the ability to publish Story posts.
- I’m sorry the plugin team had to deal with so much abuse. Mika Epstein explains why plugin emails are now anonymous.
They were clear attacks on people, many times misguided and misdirected, that prompted us to change the emails to anonymous.
- Learn about the latest updates on WordPress Site-Editor and themes at the next Gutenberg Times Live Q &A on January 29, 2021 at 11:00am Eastern Standard Time.
- Many WordPress users, developers, and designers rejoiced when they saw the Biden White House unveiled a new whitehouse.gov site using WordPress.
- Wondering about WordPress multisite? Check out Tom Rankin’s post on how and when to use WordPress multisite for client projects. I remember the first time I helped set it up at the community college, when I worked on the web services team.
CSS and HTML
- Learn what steps Smashing Magazine took to improve web performance on their site, taking a closer look at critical CSS to web font loading and more. Good tips on what you can do to improve speed on your own site.
- Interesting approach for optimizing JPEG images: JPEG.rocks is a privacy-aware JPEG optimizer that processes images in the browser. Settings allow you to choose quality
- Great suggestion!
Actual web development tip — try writing all your HTML for your project before you go to style or interaction layers, and do some accessibility audits at that point. I literally save myself so much work on projects by nailing semantics and document structure at the very beginning
— henry (@xdesro) January 21, 2021
- Creating buttons with good color contrast is a lot easier with ButtonBuddy, an online button generator created by Stephanie Eckles who also authored the ModernCSS.dev tutorial series.
- I’m a fan of Koko Analytics for site analytics; it’s free, has a small footprint, and is privacy focused. If you’re looking for a Google Analytics alternative that is privacy-focused, take a look at Microanalytics.
What I Found Interesting
- Checking boxes off on your list of keeping score in your life won’t make you happy, says Arthur C. Brooks. Stop keeping score and you may find you’re more satisfied with your life.
- In this short (three-minute video) Google Search Central explains the steps and process for you to remove potential illegal or unauthorized content on Google.
- With the release this week, you’ll find a slew of new features in Android 11, including a new power menu and native screen recording.
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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.