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All Posts Tagged: usability

Under-Engineered Select Menus

Others in this sorta-series: Under-Engineered Custom Radio Buttons and Checkboxen Under-Engineered Toggles Under-Engineered Toggles Too Under-Engineered Text Boxen I am still confounded how many developers and designers see a <select> and immediately reach for a library or framework to re-create the features from the ground up. Though, frankly, I am…

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

Multi-Function Button

Table of Contents Example The HTML Live Region Button Decoration Accessible Name The Styles Hide the Live Region Color and Contrast Active Animations Text Resize and Reflow Windows High Contrast Mode The Script The Click Event Manipulate Outcomes Screen Reader Output WCAG Success Criteria What This Does Not Do Wrap-up…

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

More Accessible Skeletons

I had this post queued up for Halloween because, come on, skeletons, and then life did its thing and now it is a … Thanksgiving post? Many skeleton patterns do a poor job presenting themselves to screen reader users in any meaningful way. They often stuff aria-busy into their widget,…

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

Alternative Text for CSS Generated Content

Relying on images that come from CSS has always been risky from an accessibility perspective. CSS background images, in particular, must either be purely decorative or be described to the user in some way. The risk is no different for images coming from CSS generated content using content: url(foo.gif) (typically…

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Tags: accessibility, browser, css, standards, usability, UX

Dialog Focus in Screen Readers

Creating an accessible dialog on the web is trickier than it should be. Lack of support for the <dialog> element, the need for fundraisers to get inert into WebKit, inconsistent support for the ARIA dialog role, and other annoyances make them problematic. Scott O’Hara has spent a few years covering…

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Tags: accessibility, browser, html, usability, UX

Sortable Table Column Mad Libs

Visually and functionally sortable column headers on tables are straightforward (I have a post coming on that soon). However, making them accessible can be a bit frustrating. To clarify, making them accessible to screen readers is frustrating. There are two critical areas where screen readers fall down here: lack of…

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Tags: accessibility, ARIA, html, pattern, standards, tables, usability, UX

Speech Viewer Logs of Lies

The headline is intentional hyperbole, chosen mostly for the sloppy alliteration. When sighted users test with a screen reader it is common to rely on the visual output — checking to see where focus goes, confirming that controls behave, watching the spoken output in a text log. The problem is…

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Tags: accessibility, usability, UX

When Is a Vetted Pattern No Longer a Vetted Pattern?

The moment you change it. As soon as you start to tweak the underlying code or aspects of the design, you run the risk of introducing bugs. That part should be easy for any developer to understand. The tougher part to get your arms around is that once you add…

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Tags: pattern, usability, UX

I Don’t Care What Google or Apple or Whoever Did

Please do not use this post as an excuse to beat up the devs at Apple or Google. If you are doing that, you have missed the point of this post and you are being unnecessarily mean to individuals who may have no control over broader organizational decisions. Do not…

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Tags: Apple, Google, usability, UX

Block Links, Cards, Clickable Regions, Rows, Etc.

Whether you call them cards, block links, or some other thing, the construct of making an area of content clickable (tappable, Enter-key-able, voice-activatable, etc.) is not new. While hit area size is mostly a usability issue, marketers often want a larger click area around their calls to action (CTAs) to…

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Tags: accessibility, css, design, html, pattern, tables, usability, UX

Link Targets and 3.2.5

TL;DR: Regardless of what accessibility conformance level you target, do not arbitrarily open links in a new window or tab. If you are required to do so anyway, inform users in text. Overview Throughout this post I am going to use the terms browser window and tab interchangeably. While they…

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Tags: accessibility, html, usability, UX, WCAG

Defining ‘Toast’ Messages

In current user interface terms a toast is a message that appears on the screen; it is often short, often appears only briefly, and often animates up from the bottom (like a piece of ghostly yet precisely-crafted toast), though other directions and a fade-in/-out is common. The Name When Google…

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Tags: accessibility, ARIA, pattern, usability, UX