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By Starshine Roshell | Sunday, October 05, 2014

Barriers? Ha! Web Design Expert Champions Accessibility

UX accessibility expert Derek Featherstone

Derek Featherstone has spent his life leaping over barriers—and helping others do the same.

“I was born with a club foot,” says the accessibility expert, “but I never let it get in my way. I’ve been in sports all my life and try never to make excuses.”

Though his left leg has always been weaker, and occasionally in casts, he teaches fitness classes and played competitive rugby for many years.

Oh, yeah—and he completed the Ironman Triathlon (a 2.4-mile swim and 112-mile bike ride followed by a marathon run) three times.

By Scott Fegette | Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Get the 411 on 404s: Website Error Page Templates

404-error-web

No one likes to run into website errors, but they inevitably occur: Links are changed, pages are moved, a post is taken offline, and your site visitors end up following a link to a virtual dead end and an error page.

It’s easy to accept this as a fact of life—but armed with a little knowledge, technical know-how, and some inspiration, you can transform your website error page templates from vague and embarrassing to helpful and informative.

And maybe even inject a little humor into an otherwise awkward situation.

By Morten Rand-Hendriksen | Thursday, September 04, 2014

WordPress 4.0: Improved Internationalization and UX

morten-wp4-hero

To cap off the summer, WordPress is crossing the 4.0 milestone with its newest release code-named “Benny”, named after jazz great Benny Goodman.

For an open-source application that now powers 23% of the web, this is a very big deal. In response to its widespread adoption, the WordPress development team is putting a strong emphasis on user experience and accessibility in this release. The result is a 4.0 release that feels more like the maturing of a young and feisty wine than a box of new goodies.

Some will see this as a bit of an anti-climax; we’ve come to expect big additions and UI changes with full number releases of WordPress. But in reality it’s more exciting than a new set of features as it shows that WordPress has reached a point in its development where it can start refining itself more often than throwing new features and ideas at the wall to see what sticks.

That said, there are plenty of innovations and updates to talk about in WordPress 4.0.

By Chris Converse | Thursday, August 14, 2014

Improve Website Performance on Mobile Devices

2014_08_14_slashHTTPone

When considering user experience for mobile, speed of download is a huge factor. People are typically using a cellular data plan when browsing on phones, and website performance is rarely optimal under these circumstances.

One factor in a web page’s download speed is the number of external file requests the HTML page needs. This includes CSS files (style sheets), JavaScripts, images, audio and video, applets, online feeds and services, and well … you get the idea.

Here are some techniques for reducing the number of times your web page needs to go back to the server to “ask for more” files.

By Scott Fegette | Tuesday, August 12, 2014

An Interview with UX Guru Steve Krug

krug-podcast-web

When Steve Krug’s first book Don’t Make Me Think hit the shelves, it took the UX world by storm and brought the discipline of usability and building strong user experiences to a much wider audience than ever before.

lynda.com author Jen Kramer recently sat down with Steve for a podcast around his upcoming keynote session at the Northeast PHP and UX conference.

By Chris Converse | Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Optimize Web Content for Mobile

figure_3_loading_crop

Your site’s performance can make as much of an impression as its content. When considering the many ways users will be accessing your site, it’s also important to consider what content you show, based on screen size. The two techniques discussed below will allow you to tailor content, animation, and overall user experience.

By David Powers | Saturday, July 19, 2014

Send Email from a Web Form with PHP

Use PHP to send the contents of a web form via email

Sending the contents of an online form to an email address is one of the most useful applications of PHP. It’s not difficult; but it’s easy to make a mistake. In this article, I’ll show you how to avoid common pitfalls that arise when sending the contents of a form with PHP.

By David Powers | Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How Do I Learn PHP?

How do I learn PHP?

One piece of advice sticks in my mind from the days when I started learning PHP: “Just read the PHP online documentation. You don’t need anything else.” PHP’s online manual is excellent, and contains lots of practical examples. But it was like throwing me a Chinese dictionary and telling me it contained all I needed to learn the language. I had no idea where to start.

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