Academic and scientific papers have a huge readability and usability problem. They are often jargon-filled and hard to comprehend. It has been getting worse for decades. Using best practices for writing on the web could help increase readability and scannability for a wider audience. Continue reading
Academic papers can be quite densely formatted. Using best practices for writing on the web could help increase readability and scannability for a wider audience. Continue reading
Accessibility on the web not only benefits people who are considered disabled, but a much wider, often aging, population.
Some people still claim that people with such needs don’t use the web (see further below). Watching people use the web using assitive technology may however, change perceptions.
Web pages often benefit from some text that may not be necessary from a visual design perspective, but offer additional context to say blind users using a screen reader. Some CSS techniques to achieve this include moving text off the screen in such a way that screen readers will still read them out. However, there is a concern that search engines may not like this technique as it could be abused for keyword stuffing and other such practices. What are the implications? Continue reading
A useful article compares tagged PDFs generated from Acrobat, Office 2007 and OpenOffice, looking at how each tool (or plugin) provides various options for tagging PDFs so that the output will be more accessible. The test document is just a simple one, and even there differences can be seen! Continue reading
HTML 5 is gaining increasing interest, with the potential to improve accessibility, make richer web sites more consistent and help make developing web sites that bit easier. A lot of new useful elements are proposed and some big companies are backing this. Yet, it will still likely be a long time before we see this. Continue reading
Simple things like using wider fonts (e.g. verdana instead of arial, or georgia instead of times), generous line height, and good use of white space (e.g. margins and paddings) can dramatically improve the accessibility, usability and aesthetics of your pages. Use them! Continue reading
For professional web developers, WYSIWYG editors are usually inappropriate, because they may encourage bad practice; may not give the developer full control of the output they need to create; is the wrong paradigm when seemingly competing requirements for web sites are considered; and many WYSIWYG editors rely on Internet Explorer which produces poor quality markup. Fortunately, being able to hand edit your markup output is not only easier than it may initially appear, but gives you flexibility to get what you need. Continue reading