In this week’s web design and development resources roundup, you’ll discover how data can inform your design decisions, learn about building accessible modal dialogs, find out what to expect next in CSS Grid Layout, and more.
If you’re new to my blog, each Friday I publish a post highlighting my favorite news about user experience, accessibility, WordPress, CSS, and HTML I’ve read in the past week.
Hope you find the resources helpful in your projects!
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Tweet of the Week
The best events I've ever been to, hands down, were those with intentionally diverse speakers. The ideas get more interesting, more nuanced.
— Sara Watch her butcher them all 🔪🔪🔪 (@sara_ann_marie) December 15, 2016
- You never know what you will encounter while conducting user research. And that’s why its important to adapt to change says Steve Portigal, as he shares a story in Semper Gumby: embracing flexibility in user research.
- Data can inform writing choices and help us think more objectively about what we write, says John Saito in design words with data.
- Save the date! Registration for World Information Architecture Day 2017 in Ann Arbor is open. Mark your calendar on February 18, 2017 for the full-day event.
- One approach toward making your language simpler:
Never use "should" in official guidance. Do the hard work to make it simple: "must" when people must do it, "may" when there's a choice.
— Caroline Jarrett (@cjforms) December 12, 2016
- Mark Dubois from the Web Professionals.org interviews Glenda Sims, team accessibility lead at Deque Systems, on what’s happening with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and how accessibility skills for web professionals are in hot demand.
- Move beyond asking people with disabilities to help you find problems in the services and products you create. Learn by involving people with disabilities in your user research and design to make better products.
- Did you know about this new wayfinding feature in Google Maps?
— Google Accessibility (@googleaccess) December 12, 2016
- Focus management is critical in building accessible modal dialogs and benefits all users.
- If you’ve been working on your development site and want to merge your changes into a production site without losing updates and new content on the production site, you’ll be interested in learning about the new Mergebot plugin service that provides simple database merging. Note: it’s currently in beta.
- WordPress.com continues to add new features users want with this week’s announcement introducing virtual reality and 360° content for all WordPress.com sites.
- Looking for an alternative to the Jetpack plugin (because you can’t connect to WordPress.com or for some other reason)? Check out the Slimpack plugin. A lighter version of Jetpack, Slimpack has no requirement to connect to WordPress.com.
- It seems every week this month there’s another announcement of an acquisition of another WordPress company. This week it’s UpdraftPlus announcing they’ve acquired the WP-Optimize plugin. WP-Optimize will become part of the UpdraftCentral suite of plugins.
CSS and HTML
- When you build for the web, ideas from the past influence your decisions. You learn from the history of web design how to build websites of the futures, says Jeremy Keith in his new free book Resilient Web Design. Available on the web for free, you can also read the book as a PDF (in portrait or landscape mode).
- The past few years has seen an increasing number of web developers and designers promoting CSS preprocessors. For a different point of view, read why Jens Meiert doesn’t use CSS preprocessors.
I don’t use CSS preprocessors, either (never so in my personal projects), because CSS preprocessors are like a solution in need of a problem to me, too.
- With CSS Grid Layout Level One features shipping in Chrome and Firefox early next year, Rachel Andrews discusses what features we can expect next for CSS Grid Layout and how the feature set of Level Two will be informed by the use cases people share.
What I Found Interesting
Less than 24 hours after his clarification, Evernote announced they were scrapping the new policy. But that was too late for many customers, including James Walters.
— James E. Walters (@jedwardwalters) December 16, 2016
- Just in time for holiday giving season, my favorite virtual private network (VPN) has a holiday sale. Until January 2, 2017, TunnelBear’s holiday sale offers one year of unlimited data for five devices for only $39.99 (USD). No affiliate link, I just think it’s a great service (and I love their bear graphics!)
- Earlier this year, I wrote about adding real-time Q & A to your Google Slides presentation. By adding Poll Everywhere, you can enhance your Google Slides Q & A with interactive images, graphs.
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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.