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a11yWeekTO Recap

This year the a11yTO team put together its third conference, adding a day for the built environment (#a11yIRL) and another day for gaming (#a11yTOGaming), bringing the entire conference to four days. The collection of three conferences has been branded #a11yWeekTO. Throughout the conference, attendees were incredibly positive about the venue,…

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Tags: accessibility

Accessible Drop Caps

Since the early days of the web, when images could be floated and text would wrap around them, designers have wanted to bring drop caps onto the web. Then we learned how terrible a pattern like <img alt=”M” align=”left”>atthew is for users, and CSS introduced :first-letter, letting us believe all…

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Tags: accessibility, ARIA, css, design, html, pattern, usability, UX, WCAG

Stop Giving Control Hints to Screen Readers

TL;DR: for standard HTML controls and standard ARIA patterns (widgets), you do not need to add instructions for screen readers on how to use them nor what they are. When a screen reader encounters an element on the page that invites interaction beyond reading, it typically provides users with instructions…

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Tags: accessibility, ARIA, ARIAbuse, browser, html, standards, WCAG

Smashing / Web We Want Video Pitch

At Smashing Conference in New York on Tuesday, October 15, Microsoft is hosting a lunch session as part of its The Web We Want initiative. Developers are pitching their wants. I was invited to pitch my request, but since I will not be at the conference I was asked for…

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Tags: accessibility, browser, slides, standards, WAI, WCAG

W3C Turns 25, I Make it about Me

In 1994 the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) formed to help wrangle the web into a standards-based platform. The W3C has persisted and created piles of material for web developers. Pulling from its anniversary post: Some of the Web Consortium’s most important contributions to the Web include: Hundreds of open…

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Tags: standards, W3C

Slides: DevOpsDays Buffalo

The first DevOpsDays Buffalo conference just wrapped up and it was great inaugural local event for an international conference brand. The organizers did a great job and it was encouraging to see so many local companies sending groups and teams, not just one or two people. It was also a…

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Tags: accessibility, slides

An HTML Element Potentially Worth $18M to Indiegogo Campaigns

The title of this post is a play on Jason Grigsby’s recent post An HTML attribute potentially worth $4.4M to Chipotle. In it he asks: How many other people have failed to finish an order because the form doesn’t support autofill and the error messages aren’t helpful? An HTML attribute…

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Tags: accessibility, html, standards, usability, UX, WCAG

Under-Engineered Text Boxen

Others in this sorta-series: Under-Engineered Custom Radio Buttons and Checkboxen Under-Engineered Toggles Under-Engineered Toggles Too This is the latest, and not last, in my informal series of posts on under-engineered controls. Generally I am looking at the minimum amount of CSS necessary to style native HTML controls while also retaining…

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

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, ARIAbuse, 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