Articles

Trans-inclusive Design

Design decisions across our projects can mean the difference between affirmation and invalidation—and sometimes safety and danger. Erin White explores the repercussions for trans, non-binary, and gender-variant users and what we can do about it.

Nothing Fails Like Success

Money and tech have a complicated relationship. We trained our users to expect things for free. Quickly we realized that wasn’t a sustainable business model, so we sold their data and served ads, which invites its own problems.

Now, we’re trying to undo this tangled web. How do we get back to a democratized web? Our own Jeffrey Zeldman invites us to discuss how and to #LetsFixThis.

Responsible JavaScript: Part I

The web is drowning in a sea of JavaScript, awash with unnecessary bloat, inaccessible cruft, and unsustainable patterns. Jeremy Wagner plots a course to navigate the JavaScript Sea responsibly by building the right things the right way and using the web platform the way it was meant to be used.

Canary in a Coal Mine: How Tech Provides Platforms for Hate

Like a mine can fill up with toxic gasses, technology can become a toxic platform for hate. As the people building the web, we have an ethical responsibility for how these products are used—whether we intended it or not. ALA’s own Tatiana Mac lays this out using her own experience as a woman of color in tech.

Semantics to Screen Readers

As an extension to our From URL to Interactive series, designer and front-end developer Melanie Richards takes a deep dive into how our content is accessed by a wide array of screen readers, which are highly customizable to users. Understanding the nuances of accessibility APIs, thorough testing approaches, and the wealth of resources available, site creators can create the most widely accessible content for the most users possible.

Designing for Conversions

Quantifying the success of creative work may not be easy for designers and developers, but for many clients, it’s a necessity. Through tools like A/B testing and conversion rates, formerly nebulous qualities like user satisfaction can take on clear measures of success. Developer Brandon Gregory provides an overview of these and other tools, and discusses the benefits of designing for conversions, which allows products to reach their targets and serve the right people.

Paint the Picture, Not the Frame: How Browsers Provide Everything Users Need

Designers want to create fully branded experiences, which often results in customized highlighting colors or pixel-perfect typography. While these design touches can enhance the experience for some, they can render the experience inaccessible for others. Designer Eric Bailey makes a case for leaving key accessibility features to the browser to ensure the most accessible experience possible.

UX in the Age of Personalization

There is a watershed moment approaching for personalization design. Most strategy is still driven out of marketing and IT departments, a holdover from the legacy of the inbound, “creepy” targeted ad. According to Colin Eagan, fixing that model requires the same paradigm shift we’ve used to tackle other challenges in our field. In this piece, he takes a detailed look at the UX practitioner’s emerging role in personalization design: from influencing technology selection, to data modeling, to page-level implementation. It’s now 2019, and the timing couldn’t be better.