In this week’s web design and development news roundup, you’ll learn about recruiting backup participants for user research, find tips for accessible virtual meetings, discover a helpful intro to CSS variables, 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
Don't brag about how busy you are, instead let your work speak for itself.
Don't brag about how much you know, instead teach, coach and mentor.
Don't brag about who you know, instead connect like-minded people.
Don't brag about the past, instead add real value in the present.
— Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar) October 9, 2020
- The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted one company to release a new app for ‘touchless’ touchscreens for hygienic interface which allows users to interact with touchscreens in mid-air.
- For your one-on-one studies, be sure to budget and recruit backup participants for user research to account for last-minute cancellations and no-shows.
- When you don’t display filters on product lists, how will users know their choices have been applied? Learn the importance of displaying applied filters to product lists (32 percent of sites don’t) as well as three desktop solutions and two mobile solutions for implementing them.
- The first three questions of the tweet are a good reminder for every user researcher looking for participants.
What are you giving back?
When you ask people for their time?
When you ask for their answers?
When you convene people to solve “their” problems?
When you ask people to trust you with their hopes and fears?
When you lead?
— Edafe Onerhime (FRSA) (@ekoner) October 9, 2020
- In a recent study, Measuring U benchmarked the user experience for vacation rental websites to learn about their services and what improvements could be made. Not surprised to learn there was high mobile usage nor that misleading fees were a top issue reported by the respondents.
- In this CBS 60 Minutes episode, Leslie Stahl interviews Chris Downey, an architect who went blind and has gotten better at his job.
- The latest Microsoft At a Glance video shares four tips for accessible virtual meetings. My favorite tip: use meeting software that has been confirmed to be accessible (of course, Microsoft teams is highlighted). [one-minute video]
- In my takeaways from Essential HTML Tweaks for Accessible Themes I recap useful reminders and tips from Martin Stehle’s presentation from the first WordPress Accessibility Day. One key point: Always provide structure for your content. Separate content from design.
- A new bill proposing a change to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has been introduced in the United States Congress. If passed, the bill would hinder the civil rights of disabled people and the changes in the ADA will be bad for digital inclusion, says attorney Lainey Feingold
- With the release of Jetpack 9.0 this week, users will find long awaited features, including publishing WordPress posts to Twitter as threads, a new block to embed Loom recordings, and a fix for Facebook and Instagram embeds.
- If you’re wondering how hosted WordPress.com chooses fonts, check out Ian Stewart’s recent post on how they updated fonts on WordPress.com.
- If you’re a theme developer, you’ll want to read about block-based themes and WordPress 5.6 in the latest theme team’s post.
There is currently no plan to deprecate the way themes are built today. Your existing themes will continue to work as they always have for the foreseeable future.
- I can’t say it too many times: update your plugins regularly. Wordfence announced vulnerability exposes over 4 million sites using WP Bakery.
CSS and HTML
- Shoutout to Ahmad Shadeed for his deep dive into CSS variables (also known as custom properties), with helpful examples and use cases.
- Impressive work by Twitter user abxlfazl1. (I normally credit with the person’s name, but their Twitter and CodePen biography has no name.)
- Ever been frustrated trying to design a layout with images that fill the width of the page while providing a readable experience for text? I think you’ll enjoy Kilian Valkhof’s article on creating a full bleed layout using simple CSS with CSS grid.
What I Found Interesting
- This is a step in the right direction for privacy in browsers. DuckDuckGo, EFF, and others just launched privacy settings for the whole internet, allowing users to set privacy with a single setting in their browser or extension.
- What happens when a government agency stopped having meetings and sending emails while working remotely?
The biggest benefit for most people was having bigger blocks of free time, which allowed them to focus on a piece of work without interruption.
- What helps to craft a blog post people will want to read? Creating a good flow with a detailed blog post outline, as Ginny Mineo explains in her Hubspot article. Added bonus: six free downloadable blog post outlines.
- Turn off your building lights at night during migration. Sad news to read that up to 1,500 birds flew into some of Philly’s tallest skyscrapers one day last week. The slaughter shook bird-watchers.
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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.