In this week’s web design and development resources roundup, you’ll learn how to make your personas more meaningful, find an in-depth review of 15 WordPress page builders, discover how to make your fonts more legible, and more.
If you’re new to my blog, each Friday I publish a post highlighting my favorite user experience, accessibility, WordPress, CSS, and HTML news I’ve read in the past week.
Hope you find the resources helpful in your projects!
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Tweet of the Week
— Knight Foundation (@knightfdn) September 29, 2016
- Problem with Personas and Some Solutions: Make your personas more meaningful, base them on field research with real users. Better yet,
Invest in direct partnerships between designers and real users, enabling users to work closely with designers.
- A Little Sketchy: Sometimes words can’t describe the concept you envision. That’s when a simple sketch can provide clarity.
- When you design, invest time in understanding the problem first.
— Sarah Doody (@sarahdoody) September 28, 2016
- 28 Tips for Creating Great Qualitative Surveys: You’ll find a slew of useful tips for your next qualitative survey in this Nielsen Norman Group post. Three of my favorites: Test your survey on paper first, don’t make your own survey tool (use one of the existing platforms), and to prevent people skipping questions, provide responses such as, “Not applicable” and “Don’t use.”
- Don’t forget! 2 hours every 6 weeks: Regular user research gives your team perspective, be sure to get your two hours every six weeks, says Katie Taylor of the UK Government Digital Service user research team.
- Accessibility by Design in Office 365: Learn how Microsoft engineers and developers are incorporating accessibility into the design of Office 365 products.
- In the shadow of Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter take potshots: Imran Khan, the president of Snapchat says
In my humble opinion, a video ad that plays without sound is not a video.
For people who are deaf/hard of hearing, speak English as a second language, or work in a loud environment, a video without captions is not accessible.
- A reminder from the web’s godmother.
Just because you can re-engineer the Web doesn't mean you should, particularly when it comes to stomping on #a11y and fundamentals of Web.
— This Miss Molly (@mholzschlag) September 26, 2016
- Coding for Diversity: Do you really need that form field asking for gender? Stewart Lamb Cromar asks developers to consider gender and accessibility as they develop solutions.
- Building accessible websites: What not to do: If you’re going to bake chocolate chip cookies, you add chocolate chips to the batter before you bake the cookies, right? That’s exactly how you build accessibility into a website, from the beginning.
- 25 Most Common WordPress Errors and How to Fix Them: No matter whether you’ve been working with WordPress for years, or just started, you’ll likely come across one of these errors on your WordPress site. It’s a long read; thanks to WP Beginner adding the table of contents.
- WordPress Page builder plugins: a critical review: If you’ve been curious about page builders, you don’t want to miss Pippin Williamson’s in-depth review of 15 WordPress page builders. Another long read, but worth it. You’ll learn about ease of use, how page builders impact display, compatibility issues, and whether the page builder locks you into their system.
- Page Builders And Accessibility: In a follow-up to Williamson’s post, my colleague Amanda Rush comments about the poor coding practices of developers creating page builder plugins.
If you can’t, or won’t, ensure that end-users deploy standards-compliant markup and proper CSS, then you have no business releasing a page builder. It’s that simple.
I completely agree, Amanda!
- Glad to see the number is low!
PHP 5.2 is officially below 7% for active reporting WordPress installs.
— Macho Pirate Mick Rackam (@tw2113) September 29, 2016
CSS and HTML
- CSS Grid Layout: Using Grid Areas: In the fourth post of the Understanding CSS Grid Layout series, Ian Yates explains how to define grid areas, position items, and nest grid areas.
Don't ever let somebody tell you that focusing on CSS doesn't make you a "real developer". Being good at CSS is rare, has *tremendous* value
— Eli (@EliFitch) September 28, 2016
- Methods for Controlling Spacing in Web Typography: Did you know there is a
font-kerningCSS property? Me neither. Geoff Graham offers useful methods for making your fonts more readable.
- Set Your Name in Lights with HTML5 Canvas and CSS Blend Modes: Though it brought back memories of the dreaded
blinkHTML element, it was fun to to read Dudley Storey’s post on how to create a sparkly lighting effect.
What I Found Interesting
- Breaking: There Really is a Craig of craigslist: Yes, there really is a Craig of Craigslist. Craig Newmark is the founder of Craigslist; he currently works in customer support at Craigslist. And this week he celebrated 40 years in the workforce.
- 10 Common Phrases You Should Stop Using In Client Emails Immediately: Good reminders to everyone writing email messages. And a reminder to myself to stop using “should” in my email messages.
- You don’t have to be an expert speaker.
“I’m not ‘an expert’ on this stuff. But I understand it enough to share what I know with you.” Great advice on speaking from @SaraSoueidan.
— Ethan Marcotte (@beep) September 27, 2016
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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.