In this week’s roundup of web design and development resources, you’ll learn tips for running online surveys on a shoestring, discover eight reasons to embrace web accessibility, find out how to use graphical effects in CSS, and more.
Each Friday I publish a post with my favorite resources for user experience, accessibility, WordPress, CSS, and HTML I’ve read in the past week.
If you’d like to learn about resources like these on a daily basis, follow me @redcrew on Twitter.
Today’s photo is the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory on Belle Isle, taken at dusk earlier this week. It was a gorgeous night; the golden colors from the sunset were beautiful on the conservatory windows.
Pro tip of the day – the web is not a project. Projects, by definition, have an end. More attention needs to be paid post launch.
— Mark Greenfield (@markgr) May 1, 2015
- Online Surveys On a Shoestring: Tips and Tricks: While Amazon Mechanical Turk (mTurk) and SurveyMonkey Audience are great for low-budget surveys, be aware of the drawbacks and plan accordingly says Gabriel Biller and Lada Gorlenko. Check response time, add a dummy question, and throw out duplicates.
- There Is No Fold: Placing call to actions or ads “above the fold” doesn’t mean they’ll be noticed, says Luke Wroblewski. Place your call to action where someone is expected to take action.
- Rebooting UX in Denmark–UX Camp CPH 2015: My friend Karen Mardahl gives a great summary of Day 1 from last week’s UX Camp Copenhagen. Loved her personal comments about Thomas Madsen-Mygdal’s talk about believing in your idea, your vision, and yourself.
Friendly reminder that frameworks don’t set breakpoint values: content does.
— James Steinbach (@jdsteinbach) April 27, 2015
- Password Creation: 3 Ways to Make It Easier: One of my biggest gripes about creating a password is when the rules aren’t shown to me until after I enter the password. We can make it easier, let’s not make our users jump through hoops.
- An update on office solutions in the browser and on mobile: Marco Zehe shares the latest news about accessibility in Google Apps, Microsoft, Apple, and Open X-Change. Who comes out first? Google Apps closely followed by Microsoft apps.
- 8 Reasons to Embrace Website Accessibility: Treat accessibility as part of the web design process, not an afterthought. My favorite reason from Emma Grant’s article is number 6: It is not difficult to include accessibility features.
True accessibility is about providing universal access. That means anyone who wants to access information on the website can do it, regardless of platform or physical ability.
- Chrome Accessibility Extensions: I knew there were several extensions to improve accessibility in Chrome, but didn’t realize there was a curated page for the extensions. You’ll find extensions to improve contrast, replace images with ALT text, access long descriptions, and browse text on web pages using arrow keys.
- Netflix quietly adds audio description link to website: The link is only available on the main Netflix page (at the bottom), and you must be logged in.
- WordPress 4.2.1 Security Release: WordPress 4.2.1 is a critical security release for a cross-site scripting vulnerability. If you have automatic background updates enabled, your sites should have been updated earlier this week. If not, update now.
- WordCamp North Canton Schedule: The schedule for the May 8-9 WordCamp North Canton conference has been posted. I attended last year, and it was a blast. It’s only a three hour drive from Ann Arbor.
- The Best WordPress Plugins Ever Created Since the Dawn of Time: Not sure about the
dawn of timereference, but this is is one of the best collections of useful WordPress plugins I’ve seen. Thank you Rob Neu, for your in-depth review of over 40 plugins.
- Data Shows 24% of Themes Hosted on WordPress.org Support the Customizer: Despite being introduced three years ago, the customizer isn’t being used by the majority of themes on WordPress.org. With new rules this year, any theme submitted to the directory will have to use the customizer. Existing themes have six months to comply; any existing theme can’t be updated unless it uses the customizer.
CSS and HTML
- HTML5 Forms: Web designers and developers need to take advantage of semantic HTML5 markup and stop using older approaches, says Mark DuBois.
- An Introduction To Graphical Effects in CSS: Imagine being able to blend three colors into a background image using CSS. That’s right, no Photoshop.
— Stephanie Rewis (@stefsull) April 30, 2015
- Mac Plus CSS: Donovan Hutchinson shows how to recreate a Mac Plus using CSS, making use of the
gradientsproperties. Seeing the Mac Plus brought back memories of the first software startup I worked at years ago.
What I Found Interesting
- Feedback made easy: Add comments on Dropbox files: Having conversations about Dropbox files is a lot easier with their new comments feature, announced this week. However, many Pro users aren’t happy with the change; there’s no option to turn off comments globally.
- Farewell Project Spartan, Hello Microsoft Edge: At this week’s Build 2015 conference, Microsoft announced the name of their new browser, Microsoft Edge. The new browser is faster than Internet Explorer 11, has built-in note taking and sharing features, as well as extensions (similar to Chrome).
- Celebrating 10 Years of YouTube: YouTube is celebrating its tenth anniversary with a daily video every day for the next 26 days. The “Letter A Day Throughout May” celebration spotlights some of their more memorable moments on the YouTubes Trends blog.