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All Posts Tagged: usability

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

My Priority of Methods for Labeling a Control

Here is the priority I follow when assigning an accessible name to a control: Native HTML techniques, aria-labelledby pointing at existing visible text, Visibly-hidden content that is still in the page, aria-label. Too often folks will grab ARIA first to provide an accessible name for a thing. Or they may…

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Tags: accessibility, ARIA, ARIAbuse, css, pattern, usability, UX

Showing File Types in Links

Links to files can be a surprise for users, especially those who cannot use, do not notice, or do not have the status bar to show a link destination. Some users may appreciate knowing a link points to a file, sometimes even a particular file. For links with the download…

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Tags: css, html, usability, UX

Responsive Type and Zoom

Typography that responds to viewport width (‘fluid’ or ‘responsive’ typography) can be useful when you want to ensure text does not get clipped or spill out of some design elements. Carousels, widget controls, or my Venn diagram are some examples. I say viewport width because I rarely see responsive type…

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Tags: accessibility, css, design, usability, UX

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

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