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Articles, columns, and blog posts for people who make web sites.

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Webwaste

The Web is obese In 1994, there were 3,000 websites. In 2019, there were estimated to be 1.7 billion, almost one website for every three people on the planet. Not only has the number of websites exploded, the weight of each page has also skyrocketed. Between 2003 and 2019, the average webpage weight grew from about 100 KB to about 4 MB. The...

Connecting the Dots

Two plans: one for design, one for culture. What I’ve found is that the DNA between both dynamics must be inextricable from one another. Creating with compassion in an environment fueled by compassion means we never lose sight of what it’s all about: people. Beyond functioning in this manner because “it’s the right thing to do,” quality of...

Mr. Roboto: Connecting with Technology

People don’t always need another human being to experience a sense of connection. The deep emotional bonds many people have with their pets proves this. (So might the popularity of the Pet Rock in the 1970s but that’s just speculation.) Even Link in The Legend of Zelda had an inanimate companion: his trusty sword (see Figure 9.1). Fig 9.1 Even...

Color Craft & Counterpoint: A Designer’s Life with Color Vision Deficiency

So, what is it like to be color blind and also work in the web design and development industry? I'll answer that question throughout this article, but it's something that's always factored into my thoughts, given my passion for design and now my career. I wonder if having “normal” vision would have made me a better artist growing up. Would it make me...

Building the Woke Web: Web Accessibility, Inclusion & Social Justice

What would your life be like without the internet? Not if it didn’t exist at all, but if you were locked out of it? Would your days be different? Unrecognizable, even? Keeping your answers to that in mind, do you think access to the internet is a human right? Do we need to be able to access it to fully participate in modern society? To answer “yes”...

Figure It Out

Color is, without a doubt, the visual element most often misunderstood and misused. As mentioned earlier, when designing visual representations, color is often the first visual encoding that people use. It’s also quite limited to about a dozen, distinguishable colors. It’s a potent visual element, but one fraught with accessibility and perceptual...

Jobs To Be Done

In this chapter, you’ll learn about these plays: How to create a jobs-driven roadmapUsing job stories to solve specific design problemsHow to architect the structure of a solutionTesting assumptions directed by JTBDA software company I once worked for held what were called “hackweeks” once a quarter. This was a time for developers to work on...

Usability Testing for Voice Content

It’s an important time to be in voice design. Many of us are turning to voice assistants in these times, whether for comfort, recreation, or staying informed. As the interest in interfaces driven by voice continues to reach new heights around the world, so too will users’ expectations and the best practices that guide their design. Voice...

Cross-Cultural Design

When I first traveled to Japan as an exchange student in 2001, I lived in northern Kyoto, a block from the Kitayama subway station. My first time using the train to get to my university was almost a disaster, even though it was only two subway stops away. I thought I had everything I needed to successfully make the trip. I double- and triple-checked...

Standards for Writing Accessibly

Writing to meet WCAG2 standards can be a challenge, but it’s worthwhile. Albert Einstein, the archetypical genius and physicist, once said, “Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius—and a lot of courage—to move in the opposite direction.” Hopefully, this entire book will help you better write...

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