In this week’s web design and development resources roundup, you’ll find out how to improve user experience with analytics, discover a better way to use shortcodes on WordPress, read a point/counterpoint on web fonts, and more.
If you’re new to my blog, each Friday I publish a post with my favorite resources I’ve read in the past week about user experience, accessibility, WordPress, CSS, and HTML.
Hope you find the resources helpful in your projects!
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Tweet of the Week
I love and hate those eureka moments where you find a simple solution to a UX problem, then feel like a ding dong for not seeing it sooner.
— Meagan Fisher Couldwell (@owltastic) March 24, 2016
- Improve your UX with Google Analytics: My friend Mike Beasley explains how you can use analytics to for user research: characterising user behavior and inferring users’ intent.
Analytics data works best when used as the starting point for a hypothesis, and is combined with other kinds of research data.
- Why We Need to Give New Designers a Chance: You have lots of knowledge and experience to offer someone in their early years of working as a designer, says Jennifer Aldrich. Step up and become a mentor! Give new designers a chance; they’re the future of our industry.
— Misty Weaver (@meaningmeasure) March 22, 2016
- Focusing On What Our Users Shouldn’t Focus On: Jared Spool shares a story about the frustrations of an airline passenger who’s unable to board her flight, simply due to poor design decisions about security for the airline’s application. Designers need to focus on better microinteractions to create delightful experiences, says Spool.
- BISG Quick Start Guide to Accessible Publishing: Book Industry Study Group (BISG) released their quick start guide to creating accessible EPUB 3 documents this week. The guide is available for download as a PDF file.
- The Great Big List from the 2016 CSUN International Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference: You’ll find resources, presentations, notes, meetups, and links to social media conversations about this week’s CSUN (California State University, Northridge) Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference.
— Ellen King (@ellenking) March 23, 2016
- Sweetgreen’s blind spot?: The Washington Post delves deeper into the lawsuit filed against Sweetgreen after the grocer neglected to build accessibility into their website and application. Sweetgreen was informed about accessibility issues, initially said they would resolve them, then allegedly updated their response to say it would take years to resolve.
- WordPress Goes WCAG: Wonderful news this week! The WordPress Accessibility team announced that all new or updated code released into WordPress core and bundled themes must conform with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 at level AA.
- WordPress 4.5 Release Candidate: The first 4.5 release candidate is available. With plans to ship on April 12, the WordPress team could use your help testing. Here’s notes for developers for the 4.5 version.
- Improve Shortcode Experience using Shortcake: Shortcodes on a WordPress site can be problematic for several reasons, including codes getting lost when deactivating themes/plugins and users not remembering the syntax. Bill Erickson explains how using the Shortcake UI plugin can improve the experience and editing process.
- 10 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a WordPress Forms Plugin: With over 1,500 free form plugins in the WordPress repository, dozens of paid form options, as well as numerous online form builders, where do you start looking for form solutions? My ten questions will help you narrow down your choices.
- 12 Facebook Instant Articles insights for WordPress content creators: Trying to prepare for when Facebook’s Instant Article is open to the public on April 12? These 12 tips from 10up will get you started on setting it up and help you understand how content, images, and videos will be displayed.
- End of an Era: After eight years working for Automattic in various roles, most recently with the WordPress community, Jen Mylo is leaving for new adventures. I first met Jen online years ago, when I became a leader for our Metro Detroit WordPress community. Thank you for all your contributions and work, Jen! Wishing you the best.
CSS and HTML
- Attribute Selectors: All the Bells and Whistles: Do you know about the three new attribute selectors in CSS3? Virginia DeBolt explains their syntax, and how you can use them in your work.
- Houdini: Maybe The Most Exciting Development In CSS You’ve Never Heard Of: Imagine how nice your design/development life would be if you could use any CSS property, and know it works the same, in every browser. It’s not a question if Houdini will happen; it’s a question of when it will happen.
- Using Web Fonts at All: Point/Counterpoint: Adam Morse and Robin Rendle makes their cases for the pros and cons of web fonts. What are you thoughts? Love them as a designer/developer? Hate them as a user when they slow down page display?
If even a small percentage of people don’t consume your content due to a use of webfonts, your typography is failing.
- How Good Are Your HTML and CSS Comments?: Good reminders for providing concise, useful comments in your code. Personally, I love the recommendation for commenting
!important; tracking why it’s needed always takes time.
- CSS and Scalability: Adam Morse shares what he’s learned in the past five years about scaling CSS. From writing CSS, content semantics, code bloat, Morse highlights what’s wrong with our broken CSS model. His parting thought: read your outputted CSS. From start to finish. It’s eye-opening. Long read, worthwhile.
What I Found Interesting
- The PSD2HTML Easter Egg Hunt: Hey, it’s Easter week! And that means a treasure hunt from PSD2HTML to look for secret Easter eggs on their site. Find an Easter egg, and you’ll discover some sweet discounts on PSD2HTML services as well as other products and services.
- Thank you! Love, Twitter: Hard to believe it’s been 10 years since Twitter launched! Twitter users around the world celebrated the anniversary by sharing their love for Twitter with the hashtag #TwitterLove. Me?
I thought back on how much Twitter has meant to me in terms of my personal life, career, friends, as well as the wonderful people I’ve met on Twitter, who I would never meet in person.
- Team Work Made Simple with Guilds: Trivago discovered what drove collaboration among over 100 developers were guild meetings and working groups. Do you use a similar approach at your work?
A group of people who have joined together to enhance the quality and understanding of their craft within our company.
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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.