In this week’s roundup of web design and development resources, you’ll discover why flat 2.0 design is better for users, learn about the new Jetpack Plugin Browser, find seven tips to speed up your website, and more.
If you’re new to my blog, each Friday I publish a post with my favorite reads from the past week for user experience, accessibility, WordPress, CSS, and HTML.
Want more resources like these on a daily basis? Follow me @redcrew on Twitter.
This week’s photo is from Lower Huron Metropark in Belleville, Michigan. I love hiking in the metroparks in the fall to see the autumn color changes. And I managed to catch a glimpse of the Red-Bellied Woodpecker before he flew off.
Tweet of the Week
— Michelle Martin (@NerdyOrganized) September 29, 2015
- Flat Design: Its Origins, Its Problems, and Why Flat 2.0 Is Better for Users: Flat design became popular in 2012, but with it came a trend toward removing clues or indicators users rely on, compromising usability. Enter Flat 2.0 design.
- People Read Only 60% Of An Online Article: Don’t assume people are reading your entire article, says Susan Weinschenk. If you want people to read your content, put it above the 60 percent point of the article.
"We convinced our stakeholder that user research was not just necessary but also useful" designer musing on #gdsteam challenges x-govt
— Caroline Jarrett (@cjforms) September 30, 2015
- Testing Versions of Your Content Might Be the Missing Link for a Useful Design: Steph Hays explains how they identified issues with content during usability testing. Additional content isn’t always the best solution to clarifying a process.
- Free Design and Business: Nice! O’Reilly Media has published a free ebook, Design and Business, which contains a curated collection of chapters from O’Reilly Media published and unpublished books. Find out to evaluate design talent, interpret user pain, conduct effective critiques, and more.
- Introducing the U.S. Web Design Standards: The talk on Twitter and various other forums was this week’s release of the online U.S. Web Design Standards by 18F, to be used by government agencies for more consistent look and feel. I did a quick review; it’s a useful guide that contains a visual style guide and common UI components and patterns. What caught accessibility advocates attention was their statement that a goal of the guide was to meet Section 508 accessibility standards. Unfortunately, Section 508 hasn’t been updated since 2000; many of the guidelines no longer apply to modern websites.
- My Slides from Accessibility Camp NYC: Thanks to Adrian Roselli for posting his slides, notes, and captioned video from his presentation at last week’s Accessibility Camp NYC. Great presentation with lots of tips and resources for making websites more accessible.
- Legal Settlement Agreements that Reference WCAG: Laura Carlson of the University of Minnesota-Duluth updated her list of legal settlements that reference Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. Note: In 2015, 25 legal agreements have been settled for cities, counties, villages, commercial, education, and other organizations.
— D'Arcy Hutchings (@poindekster) October 1, 2015
- Airports Across the Globe Begin to Discuss Accessibility: Airports shouldn’t be afraid to embrace new technology, says Eric Lipp, founder and executive director of the Open Doors Organization. How about stairways that take passengers up to the aircraft door in their own personal wheelchairs? Or accessible airport seating?
Every time an airport is rebuilt, someone has to first design it, and that person is the key in the future of access in airports.
- 10 Short Videos to Improve Document Accessibility: This week Microsoft announced a 10-part video series focused on improving the accessibility of documents. Each video is two-five minutes long, highlighting specific tips for creating and editing documents that are accessible for all.
- Remembering Alex King: Sad news to read this week. Alex King, one of the original WordPress developers, died earlier this week. He was involved in the transition of b2 to WordPress, helped to create the first WordPress VIP site, and actively involved in WordPress development.
Need more sites and people to decipher the various Make core blog posts into human readable user oriented text for the wider audience
— Jeff (@jeffr0) October 2, 2015
- New Plugin Browser: The new Jetpack Plugin Browser allows you to Ninstall plugins from the WordPress.org plugin directory on all of your Jetpack sites from a single interface. You can also manage updates, and remove plugins.
- Easy Editorial Workflows with the WordPress EditFlow Plugin: A. Hasen walks you through using the EditFlow plugin, and highlights the collaboration and scheduling features to help you streamline managing your team of writers.
CSS and HTML
- 7 Tips to Speed Up Your Website Today: Optimize your images and keep your videos short are two of the seven tips for speeding up your website. Users want websites to load quickly and efficiently.
- Enhancing Responsiveness with Flexbox : Thank you, Zoe Gillenwater, for posting your presentations slides from the EU 2015 conference. Learn how flexbox can fix those troublesome responsive design issues in forms and other page elements.
- The Cost of Mobile Ads on 50 News Websites: Whoa. Web performance makes the front page of the New York Times. Look at the performance difference after an ad blocker is added to a mobile device: 33 seconds vs. seven seconds on Boston.com.
- Firefox 41 lets developers screenshot individual page elements: The latest version of Firefox comes with a helpful feature: using the Inspector panel, you can screenshot the area of a page contained by a single element. Useful!
What I Found Interesting
- This guy bought ‘Google.com’ from Google for one minute: Imagine you’re checking out domain names and discover Google.com is available. Do you buy it? Sanmay Ved did. And explains how it happened.
- Freebie: Vector Graph & Chart Collection (AI, EPS, SVG, PSD & PNG): If you want to create your own data visualizations, check out this free collection of 36 pie charts, bar charts, grids, and plots available in optional color or black and white.
I forgot to turn off notifications. Twitter sent me an email for each:
47 gigs of notifications. #lessonlearned
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) October 1, 2015
- 10 Tips for Collecting More Meaningful Design Feedback From Your Clients: Move away from asking “What do you think?” and provide more instructions to your clients. I’m a fan of tips 1, 3, 4, and 6.