In this week’s roundup of web design and development resources you’ll learn how to improve your link text, get a basic guide on how to improve the accessibility of your website, find 16 free ebooks for web designers and developers, 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.
Today’s photo is the cilantro still growing in my garden, the third week of December. Cilantro doesn’t typically grow this late in southeast Michigan, but the warm weather this month has kept it alive.
Have to say I’m enjoying the fresh cilantro in my salsa!
Tweet of the Week
- “Learn More” Links: You Can Do Better: You can do better than using “learn more” in your links. One alternative: add context by using keywords to describe the destination of the link.
— THE UX CHAP (@theuxchap) December 16, 2015
- Ignite UX Michigan 2016 Call for Speakers: With the move to a new date in March, you’ll want to submit your talk proposal for Ignite UX Michigan 2016 soon. Deadline is January 10, 2016.
- Usability and the Mobile Web: There’s more than one strategy for developing for the mobile user, says Ayrald Hubert. Identify what’s important to your users.
We can’t force people into having a great experience when they visit our pages.
- The complete guide to scenarios – part one: In part one of his two-part series on scenarios, Neil Turner of UX for the Masses, discusses how scenarios help you to focus on the ‘what,’ rather than the ‘how’ of a product or service.
- The Web Accessibility Guidelines: Over the years, so many developers asked Marco Zehe for the basics of web accessibility that he decided to share his tips and knowledge in one helpful guide. You’ll find recommendations for alternative text, color contrast, using semantic HTML, and more. A post worth bookmarking!
- The Accessibility Mindset: Eric Eggert, who works for W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative, shows you how to move beyond the basics in creating an accessible website.
Imagine how much would change in tech if every potential investor asked startups "What's your plan to make your product/service accessible?"
— Cordelia (@cordeliadillon) December 13, 2015
- 15 Website Accessibility Tips That Increase Everyone’s Engagement: Making accessible sites benefits all your users; create an inclusive user experience for everyone who uses your site.
Layout and color rule web design, but not everyone can access the web the same way.
- Accessibility Advocacy and Pragmatism: Be practical in our advocacy for accessibility, says Pratik Patel. He highlights two examples of how we’ve lost sight of the goal of making the world a better place for everyone.
- WordPress.com Open Sources Desktop App, Linux Version Now Available: This week’s news from Automattic announced the WordPress.com desktop application as open source. In addition, a Linux app is now available along with the Windows and Mac apps released over the past few weeks.
- The future of Woo support: how we’re planning to grow and improve: It’s been a challenging past few months for Woo support, and customers haven’t been happy. Folks at Woo have listened, and have plans in place to improve support (hey, do you want to work at Woo?).
We are looking to add enough people over the next several months to get ahead of the growth, then focus on quality improvement.
- WordPress Access Monitor Plugin: If you’re a WordPress developer, designer, or user looking for tools to help you improve the accessibility of your sites, you want to check out the integration of the Access Monitor plugin with the Tenon.io accessibility analysis application. Run web page tests and get a report on existing accessibility issues from the dashboard.
- WP-CLI for Development: My colleague Luke Pettway shares some of the cool things he’s learned about WordPress Command Line (WP-CLI). If you’ve been hesitant to try WP-CLI, Pettway’s post may encourage you to give it a whirl.
- 17 Of The Best Code Editors For WordPress Developers And Users: Thinking of changing code editors? Nick Schäferhoff explores what you should look for in a WordPress code editor in his roundup of 17 editors.
CSS and HTML
- Write What You Know (Now): This post hit home for me, as it describes why I publish regularly. Write what you know, now. Don’t wait until you can find time to write the right words. Share your knowledge and expertise with others, now.
If that were you, you wouldn’t care that the blog post wasn’t polished. You’d just thank your lucky stars that someone took the time to bang something out and hit publish.
CSS is how the interface looks.
HTML is the interface.
— overflow: heydon !important (@heydonworks) December 11, 2015
- New Book: The Little Book of HTML/CSS Coding Guidelines: Thanks to Jens Meiert for his free (37-page) ebook on the theory and practice of coding standards. I’ve downloaded my copy and plan to read it this weekend. Want to join me?
What I Found Interesting
- Witnessing a Rule Change: Singular ‘They’: Do you use the word “they” to refer to a single person? Anne Curzan, University of Michigan professor of English, discusses how new usage of “they” has made its way into our language. (I met Curzan in 2014 at TEDxUofM where we chatted about word origins and Frindle.
"We’re not truly interested in just making websites. We want to help people discover information." – @hillary
— 18F (@18F) December 17, 2015
- Freebie: Christmas Icons Set (AI, PSD, EPS): Just in time for the holidays, check out this lovely set of 110 Christmas icon illustrations. The Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license allows you to use the gorgeous illustrations in any of your projects, but don’t resell bundles of them.
- Google’s new Chrome experiment turns your phone into a lightsaber so you can fight Storm Troopers: Given the release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” this week, I would be remiss if I didn’t make some mention of Star Wars. Here’s your opportunity to turn your phone into a light saber.
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