Usability

Anything that isn't usable is pretty useless, so avoid creating websites without considering usability.

The HTML5 placeholder attribute is not a substitute for the label element

The placeholder attribute is meant to give the user a nonessential hint before filling in a form field, not replace the label element.

Posted on April 9, 2012

How to adjust an iframe element’s height to fit its content

In some cases JavaScript can be used to resize an iframe element to make it as tall as its content, making it look like the content is part of the parent page.

Posted on December 16, 2011

Please provide a usable fallback for Flash content

The number of people browsing the web without Flash Player installed is non-negligible, so if you use Flash it is worth your time to give them a better impression.

Posted on October 20, 2011

Time to make the title attribute device independent

The contents of the title attribute in HTML is difficult or impossible to access in current browser implementations if you do not use a mouse.

Posted on April 26, 2011

Restaurant websites

Many restaurant websites suffer from bad usability problems. Never said about restaurant websites highlights some of these by using quotes of things people won’t actually say.

Posted on March 29, 2011

Writing useful page titles

A few simple guidelines that will help you create readable, usable, and accessible titles for your web pages.

Posted on February 8, 2011

FeedBurner URLs without querystrings

FeedBurner may be adding querystring parameters that mess up the URLs of your posts without you knowing about it. Unless you actually use those parameters, here’s how to remove them.

Posted on January 6, 2011

Controlling text size in Safari for iOS without disabling user zoom

How to prevent your website from having unreadably small text when it is first loaded in Safari on iOS and how to prevent auto-scaling of text when you change orientation from portrait to landscape on your iPhone/iPod/iPad

Posted on December 21, 2010

Use uppercase text judiciously

Text set in all uppercase letters may slow readers down and may cause some screen readers to spell words out letter by letter. Use good judgement when capitalising text.

Posted on December 13, 2010

Style visited and unvisited links differently (most of the time)

Browsers give visited and unvisited links different colours by default for a reason. Make sure you have a really good reason to make them look identical.

Posted on October 20, 2010

IE 9 does not resize text sized in pixels

Internet Explorer 9 (in beta at the time of this writing), still does not let the user resize text whose size has been specified in pixels.

Posted on October 18, 2010

Please don’t resize my browser window

One of the most annoying things a website can do when I visit it is use JavaScript to resize my browser window. Just don’t do it.

Posted on August 16, 2010

Frustrated by the Web

During my time off from work I’ve still been using the Web. It makes me very frustrated more often than it should.

Posted on August 10, 2010

Be careful with non-ascii characters in URLs

Unless you have really strong internationalisation requirements, consider sticking to the following characters in URLs: a-z, A-Z, 0-9, -, ., _, and ~.

Posted on June 14, 2010

New windows with JavaScript and the target attribute

A better, less obtrusive way of using JavaScript to open new windows than using window.open() is to programmatically set the target attribute.

Posted on June 8, 2010

Heading navigation in web browsers

Very few web browsers allow users to step through the headings on a page. This functionality would benefit keyboard users, so I would like to see more browsers implement it.

Posted on March 22, 2010

Reverse chronological order comments

A few suggestions for sites that display reader comments in reverse chronological order, especially in combination with paging.

Posted on March 11, 2010

Specify a text colour for img elements

Make sure the alt text most browsers display when an image cannot be rendered is readable. If necessary, specify a text colour for images.

Posted on February 11, 2010

A call for consistent display of alt text across browsers

How browsers display alt text for missing images varies, so it would be nice to see this standardised by specifying the recommended behaviour in HTML 5.

Posted on January 20, 2010

If you must use a dropdown menu, make sure it’s keyboard friendly

Many dropdown/flyout/DHTML menus are not keyboard friendly. Next time you implement a dropdown menu, make sure it can be used without a mouse.

Posted on December 21, 2009

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