For the past two days, I’ve attended the second annual HighEdWeb Michigan conference. As part of the conference planning team, I’m thrilled to see and participate in an event that brings together over 160 higher ed web professionals in Ann Arbor to learn, share, and network.
In this week’s roundup, you’ll learn why accordions aren’t always the best choice for complex content on desktops, find out about a free web accessibility course, discover how you can speed up the performance of your WordPress website, and more.
This week’s photo is from Erik Runyon‘s talk on responsive design at the HighEdWeb Michigan conference, where he demonstrated a 13-foot-long web page. Check out more photos from the conference on Flickr.
There are no "one-day UX" classes for the same reason there are no "one-day brain surgery" classes.
— Alan Cooper (@MrAlanCooper) May 17, 2014
- Dear Diary, It’s Hard to Say Goodbye: Diary studies, where people record their actions and tasks daily, are an excellent way to better understand how people use products or services over time. But what happens when a person changes the relationship by sharing something personal, or thinking of you as a friend?
Remember: everyone in a diary study is a person, not a participant.
- Accordions Are Not Always the Answer for Complex Content on Desktops: Accordions may be useful for shortening long content pages on desktops, says Hoa Loranger of the Nielsen Norman Group. However studies have shown that for relevant page content, it’s better to show all the content at once.
If I need to verify a new account via email and that email doesn't come through basically instantaneously, you are doing it wrong…
— John Allsopp (@johnallsopp) May 19, 2014
- Magical UX Fairy Dust: User experience isn’t magical fairy dust, says Jennifer Aldrich. It’s part of the design process, not something you sprinkle on at the end (I could say the same thing for accessibility).
- Web Accessibility Fundamentals Course: In celebration of Global Accessibility Awareness Day, new users can take Deque Systems Web Accessibility Course free. The offer expires June 15, 2014.
Dear people writing accessibility feature files. I love you're doing this but please don't say 'As an accessibility user'. It means nothing.
— Henny (@iheni) May 20, 2014
- Mobile and Accessibility: Why You Should Care And What You Can Do About It: If you’re looking for a primer for mobile accessibility, this post by TJ VanToll is for you. He describes some of the more common issues people with disabilities face on mobile sites and provides best practices for providing better experiences. I loved his walkthroughs of the Big Three auto company mobile sites.
- Real-Time Tracker for Global Accessibility Awareness Day Tweets: It’s wonderful to see how often and how far the #gaad hashtag traveled last week for Global Accessibility Awareness Day. An accessible Excel file with the information is available, on request by Keyhole.
- WordPress at Peak Performance: If you’re looking to improve the speed of your WordPress site, Jared Smith’s 24-slide presentation from WordCamp Charleston will get you started.
- Registration Honeypot: A Simple WordPress Plugin to Combat Spam: A honeypot is one of my favorite tools for combatting spam. If you’re not familiar with the term, a honeypot refers to creating a hidden field on your form. People won’t fill it out since it’s hidden, but spambots complete the field and get caught in the “honeypot” similar to how an insect can get caught in honey. It’s simple and effective way to reduce spam.
- Should You Give Admin Access to Plugin Developers for Fixing Bugs?: Imagine you found a bug in a plugin, contacted the developer, and the developer can’t reproduce the bug. They’ve asked you for access to your site to see the issue and hopefully fix it. What do you do?
- Wait what? How to Enhance your Responsive Process with Content Questions: Even if your responsive web project doesn’t have the budget for a content strategist, you need to ask the content questions, says Eileen Webb in her presentation at this month’s Artifact 2014 conference.
- Group of Plugins for Responsive Tables: Coding responsive tables is challenging. But The Filament Group has made it a lot easier for you with their set of plugins for creating responsive tables. Check out the demo.
CSS and HTML
- HTML Wireframes: Rather than creating high fidelity wireframes, Brad Frost recommends creating HTML wireframes to get into the browser quicker, more easily demonstrate interactions, lay the foundation for the final product, and iterate until they’re your final product. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
- YouTube Switches to HTML5 Player in Chrome: Have you seen this already? In Chrome, the HTML5 player is enabled by default for YouTube. In other browsers, the Flash player is enabled by default, though you can enable the HTML5 player. In Chrome, there is no option to enable the Flash player without installing the Disable Youtube™ HTML5 Player extension.
- Learn to Code HTML & CSS: I was excited to read Shay’s announcement tweet that he updated his online HTML and CSS training site with a new look and new lessons. One of the best free sites on web to learn to code CSS and HTML, Shay’s site offers a basic and advanced set of comprehensive tutorials.
- HTML5 Forms Markup: First in a three-part series about HTML5 web forms, this post from Craig Buckler explains the basic markup in HTML5 forms with a review of HTML5 input types, input attributes, datalists, validation, and browser support.
What I Found Interesting
- Get All Your Social Network Feeds In One Place With Feedient: Keeping up with all your social networks in one place sounds like a win-win situation to me. Feedient is a web app, now in beta, that allows you to get an overview of your social networks from one browser window.
- Customer Dissatisfaction: Comcast, Time Warner Cable Score Lowest Across 43 Industries: You’re not alone if you’re frustrated with the service you get from your television or Internet service provider. According to the American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI)’s 2014 Telecommunications and Information Report), Comcast and Time Warner Cable were at the bottom for customer service.
- How to Tell If Someone Is Lying to You in an Email: Watch out for unanswered questions, vague answers, and inconsistencies.