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links for 2010-11-15

  • from Web Axe who wrote: Here is my feedback on a recent article A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Web Accessibility on 1stWebDesigner.com. Some good points, but I'd like to clarify a few things:

    * Item 1 is good, I think the main point is "follow conventions", to continue established design patterns. This may be beneficial for those with cognitive disabilities, but it's somewhat more of a usability issue rather than accessibility.
    * For Item 2, remember that a text-alternative is now frowned upon; it's almost always not equal content, nor a comparable experience. Also, many Flash websites can now be done with accessible HTML/JS/CSS.
    * Don't agree with your point on Pagination. Not directly related to accessibility, but again, more of an opinion on usability.
    * For item 4, I think the point is to use semantic markup. A great place to start!

  • some commonly held beliefs about web accessibility are incorrect. Early this year, Ian Pouncey posted a few other Web accessibility myths.

    Here is a quick roundup of the myths from these two articles.

    From Accessibility myths and misconceptions:

    * Accessibility is just for blind people
    * Accessible websites are ugly and boring
    * Accessibility is expensive and difficult
    * Offering a text-only version is good enough
    * Customisation and read-aloud functionality make a site accessible

    From Web accessibility myths:

    * Validation equals accessibility
    * If it works with a screen reader it is accessible
    * Sites are either accessible or inaccessible
    * Content that isn’t 100% accessible shouldn’t be published

  • Style guides are complements to identity projects. Ranging from simple logo usage tips to full-blown corporate identity style guides, these documents are sometimes asked by clients but should always be provided by the designer, at least in their basic form.
    Designing a style guide can be as simple as putting together a couple of pages of usage examples for the identity designed or as complicated as designing an entire book that covers every possible application of the identity.
  • On November 11th – World Usability Day – I will have the honor of giving a keynote "talk" at the Dayton-area event. I say "talk" in quotes because I really want it to be a more interactive session, where I provide enough background to get the discussion going, then the audience (participants, really) take over from there.

    In the spirit of trying to make it easier for attendees to become participants, Douglas Gardner, the awesome organizer of the event at LexisNexis, has asked me to compile some pre-work / questions that he can distribute to people who have signed up to attend the Dayton event. I feel like a teacher giving students homework to do, but here goes!

    (tags: IA WUD)
  • What kind of discipline is computer science? I thought it was a science when I received my BS. I believed its subdiscipline software engineering was engineering when I received my PhD. I’d heard, and would continue to hear, “This isn’t any kind of science/engineering I know!” from physicists and electrical engineers. I tried for years to prove them wrong. But now I think they’re right.

    I’ve seen computer science described as many things—a blend, usually, of disciplines: mathematics and electrical engineering, with psychology thrown in, and occasionally more exotic area like physics (quantum computing) and molecular biology (biological computers). Certainly CS research and practice draw from these areas, but drawing from is different from being, or even being derived from. And none of these descriptions quite hits the mark. In my opinion, we would be best served by viewing CS as a branch of philosophy.

  • How times change. Yesterday Michael Dell took to the stage at the KACE conference to discuss not only a pocketful of Android phones (apparently he made a show of pulling them from his pockets), but also to talk of a future where he anticipates the workplace is full of Apple, Android, and Microsoft computing devices. Dell also briefly confirmed a planned 10-inch tablet running Android.

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