Blogging can be a very egocentric pastime, even more so when you hold a personal blog like I do. So with the holiday season arriving, it is time to look back at 2008 and list the most interesting webdesign related articles written by people who are not me. Time to put others in the spotlight, so counting back from 10 to 1, here are the best of the best I read in 2008.
10. Hijax: Progressive Enhancement with Ajax
09. Zebra Striping: More Data for the Case
Not that I am a huge fan of zebra striping or anything, but I liked this article for a different reason. Bottom line of this article is that even though there are slight changes in measured usability when zebra stripes are used, these differences are hardly stellar. Which goes to show that some ideas and concepts might sound extremely logical at first, there's always a practical side that needs to be researched.
08. HTML 5 vs. XHTML 2: An Article Roundup and Poll
A good starting place to find out about the happenings around html development. As someone who's daily involved with writing html, there's lots of drooling to be done here. It's a good glimpse of the future, as long as you realize it's probably a somewhat distant future.
Happy were the days when I switched from XP to Vista. I felt like I finally arrived in the 21st century. Big was the disappointment when I find out there was no easy way to run IE6 for testing purposes. And luckily, there was the IETester homepage easing the pain. A nice little program, so far I found little to no inconsistencies with actual IE6 behavior.
06. Highlighting thumbnails using transparency
Some css techniques are a pain to accomplish and have minimal effect, others are easy, clean and look damn nice without much hassle. This technique is one of them. Cross-browser implementation for highlighting images by using a minimal amount of css. That's how I like em best.
05. Writing good alt text
Alt text is a bitch. No matter how much you read up on it, the question marks remain. This article helped me get a little further in getting a grip on alt text. It has a marvelously simple rule of thumb which can get you a long way in cleverly applying alt text on images.
04. Automatic numbering with CSS Counters
I like to see more of this. A solid article on a css trick which doesn't work in IE. But at least the technique is out there, discussions can be started, the technique can be improved and by the time IE finally comes around, the only thing left to do is bugfix it into submission for Microsoft's browser. Good stuff.
03. Removing Microformats from bbc.co.uk/programmes
And so 2008 was a year when microformats lost a lot of their glamor. Not that they got a lot of negative attention, but somehow they disappeared from the spotlights. Can't say it really caught on, just when I was starting to get the hang of it. Anyway, this article is a good illustration of the problems surrounding microformats at the moment.
02. Designing for Dyslexics
You think you know a little bit about accessibility and usability, then comes an article which puts you back with both feet on the ground. A very interesting insight into the problems of dyslexic people and how their needs can contradict those of other impaired users. Very well written, especially the second part is a big eye opener.
01. Pseudo Pseudo-Classes
Simple you say? Could've thought of it yourself? Sure, but you didn't. At least ... I didn't. A criminally simple idea, with - it needs to be said - very little impact on any important part of the user experience. But if you like to keep clean html and css you'll probably agree that this idea is quite simply genius. I'm converted!