Archive for the 'Accessibility' Category

“A List Apart” Surveys 33,000 Web Workers

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

A List Apart Survey“In April 2007, A List Apart and An Event Apart conducted a survey of people who make websites. Close to 33,000 web professionals answered the survey’s 37 questions, providing the first data ever collected on the business of web design and development as practiced in the U.S. and worldwide.” Get the survey results here.

CSS Support in E-Mail: 2007 Edition

Friday, May 4th, 2007

E-Mail Campaign Monitor, one of the largest online services for newsletter management and deployment, has written up a new edition of the definitive guide to CSS support in e-mails. If you create newsletters, I recommend reading this, as Microsoft has managed to set back HTML e-mail by several years thanks to Outlook 2007. This info should prove very useful as a time and sanity saver.

position: absolute goes nude

Thursday, April 5th, 2007

cssnakedday07.gifYup, you read correctly. It’s CSS Naked Day, where sites all across the intarwebs drop their pants and go nude for a day. The point? To promote web standards, proper markup and a clean semantic structure of content. And since we’re firm believers in all of that, position: absolute is joining in on the fun. You’ll note that position: absolute is still completely accessible without all the pretty pixels, and that pretty much sums up why web standards are a Good ThingTM. Text/Braille readers and search engines see it this way pretty much every day.

Our stylesheets are now getting a long deserved back rub, having a few drinks and catching up on the latest episodes of Scrubs. They’ll be back tomorrow, so until then, have a look around and let us know how it went!

Update 2007-04-06: And we’re back to full style glory!

Opera Mini Simulator

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

Opera Mini SimulatorIf you need to test your sites on a mobile phone but you don’t have the possibility (mobile online fees are expensive!), then how about giving Opera’s very own Mini Simulator a try? Naturally, this one only supports Opera Mini, but it renders the page exactly as the real thing does. I’m surprised at what a good job this browser does. Opera Mini renders only the most necessary CSS while leaving the page very readable and easily navigatable. Larger images can be downloaded in their original size or resized exactly to what you would need on your mobile, if, say, you wanted to use it as a background. I’ve tested position: absolute on it and while it reduces it to pure text and links, it does leave the general feel of the site intact, in a “mini” version. A nice addition is the built-in RSS reader. I’m definitely putting this browser on my next phone. Now if someone could please come up with sane mobile online fees…
Update 2009-11-06: new URL

Stop The Text Highlighting Already!

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

I’m having my really-bad-mood-day today, so I’m going to vent some of that here, and you can’t stop me. If there is one thing that really annoys me, it’s when people make their sites highlight keywords I searched for when I come to them via Google. Gah! Stop doing that! The worst are the ones that even persist on highlighting when I deliberately refresh the page to get rid of them. I know, I know, it’s supposed to be user friendly, helping us find the text passage and all. Well guess what: it isn’t. It’s really disturbing when reading text,, it breaks reading and line flow, it distracts the eye, and I’ve rarely ever seen a site that gives me a visible “TURN OFF” feature. I use the Firefox “find-as-you-type” feature, which is great when I ask for it, but hitting ESC quickly turns it off again. If you feel you must use it, at least let me turn it off easily. And use more discreet colors like 37signals do. That will be all.

Web Application Form Design

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

There are few things on the web as annoying as having to fill out complex web forms. Luke Wroblewski has an excellent article up on how to design and structure complex web forms for optimal user guidance, making everyone’s lives a little easier. The article is expanded by another one.

And while we’re at it, I must recommend Defensive Design by the usability gurus of 37signals. There’s lots of insight here into creating websites with bullet proof user guidance and I’ve learned a lot reading it. Worth every penny.

Google Accessible Search

Friday, July 21st, 2006

Google Accessible SearchSome good news for everyone relying on accessible websites: Google is experimenting with a new search engine: Google Accessible Search. The official Google Blog states:

Accessible Search adds a small twist to the familiar Google search: In addition to finding the most relevant results as measured by Google’s search algorithms, it further sorts results based on the simplicity of their page layouts. (Simplicity, of course, is subjective in this context.) When users search from the [..] site, they’ll receive results that are prioritized based on their usability.

To see the difference to regular search results, Philipp Lenssen of Google Blogoscoped has created a comparison tool.

I hope this will pick up. With Google now (quasi)officially supporting accessibility standards, it might help further push the issue into the public eye and increase awareness. It’s just too bad that the Google search page, as well as most other Google pages, does not produce valid code itself.

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