A brief round up of what I did this year, mainly for myself but you can read it if you want.
Posted in: General
Today I got a comment on Autoplay is bad for all users which asked:
So why does this high-traffic site designed by a former top-Google UX designer use it?
The comment has linked to a page which has video as a background element playing underneath the introduction text and call to action button, the images are moving but there is no sound on page load. At times this apparently important information is completely invisible.
Using video as a background is on the increase so it’s important to know how to make it accessible for everyone.
My professional life as a front-end developer started just before the Web Standards Project, everyone was working to make sure style was separated from content. It was drummed into me and I drummed it into you for many years, so it’s been difficult to forget.
Are you bored of looking up which vendor-prefixes are still required for a particular rule on a particular day, or you want to remove the bloat that a catch-all mixin gives you? Then read on.
For years designers have overlaid labels onto input fields in order to save screen real-estate. As front-end developers we implement this using absolute positioning and event handlers to move the label offscreen once the user has focused into the field. User focuses; label disappears.
The placeholder attribute was introduced in HTML5 and has since been misused in order to replicate the functionality described above. Let me set this out very clearly before we move on, the placeholder attribute IS NOT a replacement for a label.
Just over three years ago I wrote an article called Autoplay is bad for all users. It was written a few months after WCAG 2 became a formal recommendation but before HTML5, particular the
video element, had really gone into mass production.
Much, if not all, of that article still holds true today but there are a couple of points to add to it.
A new domain is born—wai-aria.punkchip.com—a place for me to keep all the great articles and links I found about ARIA.
A while ago I wrote ‘It’s not HTML5! But that’s ok’ and then I finished a web standards version of The Guardian’s interactive in order to prove they do not require Flash. So when I saw I had been mentioned on The Guardian website’s technology section I was excited!
The Guardian Interactive Team use Flash, almost exclusively, to create data visualisations and infographics for interactive content on guardian.co.uk. The two main reasons are that it is quick to build and that it looks identical in all browsers.
Web 2.0, AJAX and now HTML5 – all buzz words that have got non-developers a little bit more excited about web development and me using a lot more /facepalm.
As a developer you know what these buzzwords mean and can read between the lines when asked for an HTML5 site. They don’t really want a site full of offline-storage, data-* attributes, video and audio elements but you can give them one that is progressively enhanced and standards compliant.
This is the second in a series that should form the building blocks to being a good all-round front-end developer. Previously I explained the basic ideas behind user interface design and here I’ll discuss why accessibility and web standards are important.
Autoplay is a bad idea not just for accessibility but for usability and general sanity while browsing. This article will explain what the problems are, where to find backup for arguments and what you can do if autoplay is a must have.