In this week’s web design and development news roundup, you’ll learn how to recruit participants for your usability testing, find a collection of five books on digital accessibility, discover what the CSS cascade means, 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
Today's card. When you feel powerless, practicing efficacy is good medicine. Set goals you know you'll crush. Do simple things each day that give you a sense of accomplishment. We live under systems designed to teach you that you are not powerful. Train your brain to know better. pic.twitter.com/KoOWX0GDrp
— Jessica Dore (@thejessicadore) January 23, 2020
- If your team is spending more time fixing problems in your existing applications, it’s likely your team needs to invest more time in exploratory user research, says Michael Morgan. He’s heard all the popular excuses for not conducting exploratory research and offers ways to overcome them.
- We all look at successful technology companies for design inspiration. But there’s a risk to blindly copying their design, thinking their designs have been carefully thought out. Example: Google’s Material Design change to underlines for traditional rectangle form field inputs.
- In this guide for recruiting participants for user research studies, you’ll learn what you need to consider for choosing who to recruit, the recruitment criteria, and costs for your research.
You should recruit participants who represent your target group/end users.
- The first step in making your content successful and not producing wasted content for your business? Avoid producing content when you don’t have to. Identify your content goals and think about whether your audience needs that piece of content.
- We have more educating to do about web accessibility. I wasn’t surprised to read,
Of all the failures I encountered, not one was due to an edge case scenario with my browser/screen reader combination, and the vast majority of errors came from ‘low-hanging fruit’.
in Nic Chan’s usability testing popular Shopify themes post.
- Impressive collection from Ryerson University, who have released five Creative Commons-licensed books on accessibility. You’ll find books for web developers, an intro to web accessibility, how to audit a site, and more.
- In the Standards for Writing Accessibly excerpt from their Writing is Designing book published this month, Michael J. Metts and Andy Welfle offer tips on what to keep in mind for screen readers users as you write your content.
- Health care providers must lead the way in providing websites that are accessible to everyone. Here are four ways healthcare websites can be more accessible to people with disabilities.
- Have you nominated your favorite plugin for Torque’s Plugin Madness 2020? Nominations are being accepted through Sunday, January 26, 2020.
- Troubleshooting a 503 error message on your WordPress site is a lot easier with this helpful guide from Elegant Themes.
- Kinsta has updated their this week, with new info on Google Pagespeed Insights. Their 24 ways to improve performance section offers helpful recommendations for your WordPress site.
- If you’re planning to launch a newsletter in 2020 or you’re looking for an alternative to your current newsletter service, check out this comparison of MailPoet and WordPress newsletter plugins vs. Mailchimp and Drip.
CSS and HTML
- It was a blast from the past reading Adam Laki’s my history with outdated web design tools, technologies and solutions post. Brought back memories of 10, 15, and 20 years to when I used several of the same technologies Laki mentions.
- Here’s one of the best explanations of what the cascade in CSS means and how it works. Thank you, Amelia Wattenberger
- When you need to move something off the page…
Want to use margin-left to move something off the page to *infinity*?? Yeah, here ya go:
looks like we are about to make this work, too:
— Jen Simmons (@jensimmons) January 22, 2020
- Found some new design and development tools for color contrast testing, CSS, and more in this online tools collection for web developers from Tiny Helpers.
- In this step-by-step tutorial, Kilian Valkhof explains how you can use flexbox and grid to create four responsive layouts without using media queries.
What I Found Interesting
- Submitting a proposal to speak at an upcoming conference? Here are some excellent tips:
It's CFP season! Here's the abstract template I use for crafting effective proposals:
1⃣ State the problem
2⃣ State your solution
3⃣ What the audience will learn from your talk (optional: how you plan to teach it)
3-5 sentences max.
— Peggy Rayzis 👩🏼💻 (@peggyrayzis) January 22, 2020
- Need to capture ideas or notes at your online meeting or workshop? Check out the free online Web Whiteboard. No installation required. Create the whiteboard and share the link with others.
- Respecting your website visitors privacy is crucial. For many digital professionals, that means changing old tacticss and adopting new strategies that are ethical, respect privacy, and offer better values for online marketing. Glad to see one of my newest tools, Koko Analytics, is highlighted.
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.