This week’s collection of web resources includes a great checklist to use before you launch a WordPress site, a post highlighting what you can learn from Johnny Depp about user experience, a cool contrast ratio tool from Lea Verou, and more. If you found some great resources this past week, share them in the comments.
- Refine your Web type with this crash course on the CSS line-height property: Viewing Russ Weakley’s slideshow is one of the easiest ways to learn about line-height. I’ve been a fan of Russ’s work for years; articles on his Max Design website helped me learn about CSS layouts.
- What the Heck is CSS Specificity?: If CSS specificity confuses you, this post from Joshua Johnson of Design Shack will clear up your questions about the rules, difference between class and ID, and more. Good discussion in the comments about first-child, inheritance and specificity.
- Google Web Fonts Support CSS Effects: A new beta feature, these easy-to -CSS effects work best in larger font sizes. Note that the effects don’t scale well.
- Simple, yet amazing CSS3 border transition effects: Cool transition effects in CSS. Only thing I would change is to add :active and :focus to the a:hover rule.
- Box-shadow property vs. drop-shadow filter: a complete comparison: Though their techniques are similar, check out this side-by-side comparison of the differences and drawbacks of the two. Note: the filter version will not work in Internet Explorer.
- HTML5 ranked headings for screen readers: Leonie Watson points out that since Jaws 13 is the only screen reader that supports HTML5 headings, it’s best to use explicitly ranked headings in HTML5.
- Five User Experience Lessons from Johnny Depp: Following on his earlier Five User Experience Lessons from Tom Cruise, Steve Tengler shares what we can learn from Johnny Depp about user experience. (I hope he continues the series, and includes female leads.)
- Tips on Prototyping for Usability Testing: Test early, test often, use different fidelities, don’t let prototyping drive design—you’ll find a lot of great tips and examples in this post by Jim Ross on UX Matters.
- Ryan Singer on user experience: Ryan Singer of 37 Signals discusses interface design, the best way to make UX part of the process, answers the question on whether it’s possible to measure UX, and more.
- Content and the journey: Building a good user experience for news sites: Eight tips for improving the user experience for readers of news sites. Love the advice to avoid “information overload”—links, advertisements, and pop-ups.
- Here it is: Marissa Mayer’s New Yahoo.com Homepage: First peek at the new Yahoo! homepage, showing a smaller logo, static top search bar, and the current list of headlines replaced with story summaries. The new home page will be slowly rolled out. I haven’t seen it yet, have you?
- WordPress + about.me = awesome: The just-released about.me widget/plugin allows you to add your about.me background, biography, and services to your WordPress site (both WordPress.com and self-hosted WordPress).
- Thesis 2.0 Review: 4 Reasons why I’m not a Convert: From lack of documentation to hiding features and two other major issues, Chris Lema points out where the recent release of Thesis fails.
- A Primer on Ajax in the WordPress Frontend: Actually Doing It: Tom McFarlin of wp tuts+ walks you through building a plugin using Ajax, following WordPress best practices.
- Common WordPress Malware Infections: In her Smashing Magazine article, Siobhan McKeown discusses the four most common attacks on WordPress users:
- Drive-by downloads
- Pharma hacks
- Malicious redirects
- The Ultimate Site Finalization Checklist for Professional WordPress Websites: Great checklist of items to confirm and configure before launching your WordPress site.
- A Complete Guide to WordPress SEO by Yoast (Part 1): First in a two-part guide from ManageWP on getting started, configuring and using WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin.
- Contrast Ratio: Easily check whether the text colors you use on your website/application are readable. Thank you Lea Verou.
- Kindle Paperwhite Omits Audio and Text-to-Speech Capabilities: You would think that as Amazon releases new Kindle versions, that it would add accessibility features, not take them away. Not in the case of the Kindle Paperwhite which removed text-to-speech, also known as the “read to me” option. For more discussion about the removal of the text-to-speech feature, read the LibraryCity post.
- Accessibility as a Design Tool: Slides from Derek Featherstone’s talk at this weekend’s UXcamp Ottawa 2012 conference.
- App for voice-disabled users reinstated on App Store after patent fight: The $300 Speak for Yourself app, removed last June from the App Store for patent infringement, will be reinstated due to a settlement and licensing agreement. The app is used by nonverbal children and adults to improve speaking skills.
- Accessibility features on Firefox on Android: Firefox 17 (beta version for Android) now supports Jelly Bean’s advanced accessibility features.
When Firefox for Android launches for the first time on a blind user’s device, it should start talking and be responsive to the user’s input.
- Speech Recognition: Yesterday’s science fiction is today’s reality: Love the audience reaction to the speech recognition in the 35-second video. I didn’t know Windows 7.5 can use your voice to dictate and send messages via SMS or Facebook.
What I Found Interesting
- Getting the most mileage from branded video: If you want your video to be more successful, check out these strategies from San Tong, social media relationship manager at RPA, on making and marketing your videos.
- Wufoo and Stripe Join Forces to Power Payments in Online Forms: If you’re a Wufoo user, you now have an easy way to accept online payments. No merchant account or gateway needed. Note: no recurring transactions, yet.
- How Cell Phone Data Could Slow Down the Spread of Malaria: Mapping cell phone data of 15 million Kenyans to the spread of malaria offers new insights for improving public health in Kenya.