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Table with Expando Rows

I regularly work on projects with HTML tables that have been pushed to the edge with styles, scripts, and widget features. A common pattern is where rows are hidden until the user opts to show them. Unfortunately, the pattern is often over-complicated with unnecessary script and styles that regularly break…

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Tags: accessibility, css, pattern, standards, tables, usability

evolt.org Browser Archive 20 Years Old

The Browser Archive home page as captured on 13 October 1999. On August 18, 1999, we at evolt.org launched the Browser Archive. At launch browsers.evolt.org contained 80 different browsers. It started with my personal testing suite built up from 1996, and just kind of went from there. Those links point…

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Tags: browser, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Netscape, Opera

Basic Custom Control Requirements

If you are working on a custom control, a complex widget, or a novel interface element to integrate into a project, library, or framework, there are some core features you need to build. These represent not just what works for users across the most contexts and preferences, but also what…

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Tags: accessibility, pattern, usability, UX

Under-Engineered Toggles Too

Updated Intro Whether you use a <button> or <input type=”checkbox”> for your toggle depends on a few factors: Use <button> if: you can count on JavaScript being available, flipping the toggle has an immediate effect, the toggle will never have an indeterminate state. Continue reading this post. Use <input type=”checkbox”>…

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Tags: accessibility, css, html, pattern, usability, UX, WHCM

Maybe Ignore type=search

Another case of the headline saying it all. If you have a valid, accessible search field (with a useful, sensible label) then you can probably ignore type=”search” and use type=”text” instead. I made a code sample you can use for testing in your preferred set-up; it is what I used…

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Tags: accessibility, ARIA, browser, html, standards, usability, UX

Maybe You Don’t Need a Date Picker

Calendar controls, date pickers, date widgets, whatever you call them, however they are described, they follow the same basic principle — present the user with a calendar to enter a date (and sometimes a time). Chris Blakeley, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 The native implementations come from browsers when authors use <input…

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Tags: accessibility, html, JavaScript, pattern, usability, UX

Link + Disclosure Widget Navigation

Early in 2017 I filed an issue against WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices (APG) requesting a change to the menu navigation pattern. Despite a great deal of feedback in agreement, it languished. In late 2017 I wrote Don’t Use ARIA Menu Roles for Site Nav and started actively campaigning against the APG…

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Tags: accessibility, ARIA, html, pattern, standards, usability, UX, WAI, WCAG

Group Labels Do Not Guarantee… Uniquity?

Heading this off early: uniquity uniq·​ui·​ty; \ yüˈnikwətē, -wətē, -i \Uniqueness; quality of being unique. There is a place where accessibility practitioners hang out and try to out-do each other with niche knowledge of nuance. While loitering in one, a question came up about text fields that have the same…

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Tags: accessibility, browser, Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, usability, UX

Hydrox Was First to Market

Published in Family Circle magazine, September 1957, Vol. 51 No. 3. CC BY-NC 2.0, by Classic Film. I am no longer active in the start-up community in any meaningful way. I do, however, continue to mentor founders and start-ups. I have recently noticed start-ups set their goal as being first…

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Tags: clients, food, UX

Scraping Burned Toast

Google engineers have proposed a new HTML element, <toast> or <std-toast>, that is a container for presenting brief or simple notifications to users. But of course it is not quite that straightforward. Backlash It is going to be impossible to extricate this proposal from the reactions it has garnered. So…

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Tags: html, standards

Target Size and 2.5.5

TL;DR: Regardless of what accessibility conformance level you target, try to ensure that interactive controls are at least 44 by 44 pixels in size. Links in blocks of text are exempt. Overview In real life there is typically both a visual and tactile component to an interface. You have to…

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Tags: accessibility, standards, usability, UX, W3C, WAI, WCAG

A Model for WordPress Accessibility

I am going to propose a way to increase the overall accessibility of the WordPress ecosystem. It requires acknowledging some mistakes and using those as the base for building a better platform. I long for a world where a metric for featuring #WordPress themes and plugins in the repo is…

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Tags: accessibility, usability, UX, WordPress

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