Archive for the ‘HTML’ Category

Screencast: Judge a Web App By Its Title

Thursday, April 6th, 2006
You're Killing Me Here!

The second episode of “You’re Killing Me Here!” (usability and design screencast series) discusses various uses of the page title (HTML TITLE element): in particular how you can use it to communicate with users of your web application.

View the Screencast (2.5 minutes)

Bookmarklet: sort all drop-down select lists on a page

Tuesday, April 4th, 2006

Some of my co-workers got stuck using a poorly-designed web application that has huge drop-down select lists. Unfortunately the people who designed this web app didn’t forsee the need to actually present the list items in any particular order, so its nearly impossible to find anything.

I made the following bookmarklet to sort all the select lists on the page. It’s probably not much use to anyone else, but at least I got to learn how to make a bookmarklet. Unfortunately it has to work in IE, which has a strict limit on the size of bookmarklets, so I had to keep it very simple.

SortSelect bookmarklet
Bookmark this link then click it on a page that has one or more select elements. The select lists will be sorted alphabetically. Tested in Firefox and IE6.

JavaScript tabbifier v1.6 new features

Monday, April 3rd, 2006

I just released a new version of my JavaScript tab interface software.

New Features

  • You can set a custom onLoad function to be called after the tab interface has finished initializing.
  • You can set a custom onClick function to be called when the user clicks a tab. In addition to performing any other actions, this function can stop the tab from changing.

phrase of the day: seemingly innocuous

Wednesday, March 29th, 2006

I got to use this phrase in an email today:

In the CSS, if you change a seemingly innocuous bit of code you could break some functionality, so please notify me if you need to change anything.

In retrospect I probably should have said “if you make a seemingly innocuous change”.

Learn CSS positioning in ten steps

Tuesday, March 28th, 2006
CSS positioning

Here’s an interactive tutorial I’m working on:

Learn CSS Positioning in ten steps

I’m using it to give some CSS and HTML training today. It uses a customized version of my JavaScript tabs interface and triggers a styleswitcher each time you switch tabs, so you can see the CSS change right on the page.

It’s a work in progress, so let me know if you have any suggestions.

JavaScript tabbifier v1.5 new features

Sunday, March 26th, 2006

I just released a new version of my JavaScript tab interface software. It has some new features that make it crazy-easy to use, plus I eliminated a memory leak in the IE browser (damn you Microsoft!).

New Features

  • You can set the tabberOptions global variable before you include tabber.js to change any of the tabber settings.
  • You no longer have to specify a title for each tab – it automatically finds heading elements in the body of the tab. Of course you can still specify a title if you don’t have headings or to override the title of the tab. And if you don’t do either it automatically numbers the tabs. See also tabberOptions.titleElements and tabberOptions.titleElementsStripHTML.
  • Removes the title attribute from the tab so it does not appear as a tooltip when you mouseover the body of the tab. See also tabberOptions.removeTitle.
  • You can prevent tabber from running automatically in the onload event. See tabberOptions.manualStartup.
  • Fixed a small memory leak that appeared in the IE web browser.

You’re Killing Me Here! Web Usability Screencast

Friday, March 24th, 2006
You're Killing Me Here!

Introducing “You’re Killing Me Here!” a series of screencasts discussing web site and web application design, accessibility, and usability from the perspective of a power-user.

The first episode discusses “type ahead find” in the Firefox browser and the design implications that come along with it.

View the Screencast

CSS thought of the day

Monday, March 20th, 2006

Internal dialog while trying to figure out how a certain page was set up using HTML and CSS:

Ahh… clever.

Stupid, but clever.

It was using a little trick in CSS to make the page design more flexible, but the end result was that the page wouldn’t look right if CSS was not available.