In this week’s roundup, you’ll discover tips for surviving design by committee, learn about the Section 508 Refresh news announced this week, find out how your choices for CSS lengths can impact design, and more.
If you want to stay-up-to-date daily with resources like these, follow me @redcrew on Twitter.
This week’s photo shows the blooming crocuses in my front courtyard last year. After this cold and snowy winter, I’m looking forward to spring. How about you?
Tweet of the Week
#WhatIBlewMyA11yBudgetOn Rewriting all the code because we said "we'll add accessibility later."
— Sarah Bourne (@sarahebourne) February 19, 2015
- The Art of Questioning as a UX Skill: Jason Grant shares his insights and a basic framework to help UX designers ask better questions before starting a design project.
- Review: Online UX Courses: If you’re looking to expand your knowledge of usability, user experience, and interaction design, you’ll find Arun Joseph Martin’s review a helpful resource with its comparison of four online learning sites.
- How to Survive Design by Committee Situations: Ever found yourself in the frustrating situation of multiple stakeholders with conflicting requests? My user experience colleague Jennifer Aldrich shares an approach that can help you avoid tearing your hair out and lead to a more positive outcome.
- Embracing Uncertainty in UX Research: As a UX researcher, it can be easy to fall into the bad habit of overgeneralizing.
In the current digital product landscape, UX research’s real value is in helping to reduce uncertainty.
Design is like a refrigerator. When it works, no one notices. When it doesn't, it stinks!
— Irene Au (@ireneau) February 14, 2015
- World Information Architecture Day 2015, Ann Arbor: One of 38 events being held around the world, World IA Day Ann Arbor returns Saturday, February 21 for a full-day of learning, sharing, and shaping the future of information architecture.
- Understanding Accessibility in Digital Learning Materials: Simply Said: Just because learning materials are digital doesn’t make them accessible. This short (less than seven-minute video) highlights the need to focus on the content and how the materials are delivered to the user.
Weird, large organizations toss band aids at #a11y while the culture remains "we don't have time, $ for a11y, & product would be ugly"
— David MacDonald (@davidmacd) February 17, 2015
- Section 508 Refresh News: The U.S. web accessibility community was pleasantly surprised this week with the news that the Office of Management and Budget cleared the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for Section 508 standards.
- An Uncomfortable Missing Part of the Accessibility Discussion: Viget’s senior project manager Josh Korr makes an argument I believe many project managers think: accessibility is an additional project cost. I would argue spelling, unit tests, design, discovery, and content management systems are also project costs, but you wouldn’t leave them out of your project. They’re a part of the project from the start, as accessibility should be.
- Access Optional: Tim Kadlec questions why we have our web process backwards. Why do we say we’ll improve performance or accessibility later?
If it’s not a priority at the beginning of a project, why would we expect it to be a priority later?
- WordPress 4.1.1 Released, Fixes 21 Bugs: If your WordPress site is configured for automatic backups, your site has been updated by now. If not, download the 4.1.1 version and update your site.
- How to Declutter WordPress in 12 Easy Steps: For a cleaner interface on the WordPress backend, faster site, and smoother workflow, implement these 12 steps to get rid of the clutter on your WordPress site.
- Mayer WordPress Theme is Now Open Source on Github: Designed with writers, authors, and bloggers in mind, the Mayer WordPress theme in now open source on Github.
- Our Development Roadmap is Now Public: Kudos to the WP Rocket team for making their development roadmap public. I look forward to other companies following WP Rocket’s lead (hint, Evernote).
- Tour of the WordPress Database: What’s the most important table in the WordPress database? What information does the wp_postmeta table hold? Find out in this tour of the WordPress database from Iain at Delicious Brains.
- Microsoft Responsive Grid: What a treat! Microsoft has published their responsive grid system on Github; a demo is available.
- Responsive Web Design for eCommerce Web Sites: You need to factor in cost, time, and accessibility as you make a decision about creating a native app, mobile, or responsive ecommerce site, says this panel of user experience experts.
From what I’ve seen, most advertising industry-commissioned studies on the future of responsive, cross-device advertising are PDFs.
— Responsive Design (@RWD) February 20, 2015
- Responsive Web Design Podcast with NPR: I was thrilled to discover this week’s Responsive Web Design Podcast show featured National Public Radio (NPR). It was exciting to hear the NPR staff discuss how responsive web design fit into their digital strategy as they dealt with limited resources, and legacy code.
CSS and HTML
- Why You Should Be Excited About CSS Shapes: Chen Hui Jing’s post is an easy-to-understand guide of how CSS shapes work and how you can use them in your projects.
- Responsive Image Support for Firefox: Responsive images will be on by default in Firefox 38, which is expected to be released May 12, 2015.
- Font Loading Revisited with Font Events: Hopefully this will solve the issue with web fonts and Flash of Invisible (FOIT), where the browser hides all text that should be styled with a custom font until that font has finished loading,
— Shawn Hooper (@ShawnHooper) February 19, 2015
- CSS Ruler: Use this interactive site to see how your choice for CSS lengths—font relative, viewport percentage, or absolute—can impact your designs.
What I Found Interesting
- Microsoft Is The New Google, Google Is The Old Microsoft: This post has many of my web professionals colleagues talking; it points out the initiatives Microsoft has launched in the past year as Google struggles with its products.
- Big in Japan: Web Design in the Land of the Rising Sun: Sit back for a delightful article about web design, ecommerce, culture, and aesthetics by Rich Mirocco, who has lived in Japan for the past five years.
Slice the sashimi, pour some sake and get comfy under the heated coffee table. I’d like to tell you about this wonderful country I call home.
- Happy 25th Birthday, Photoshop: Hard to believe it’s been 25 years since Photoshop first launched. My friend Rob Huddleston takes a look back at some of Photoshop’s major milestones in his first post for GeekDad. Congrats Rob!