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  • Content-First Design

    by Steph Hay · · 10 Comments

    Video game designers start with the story. What would our work look like if we did too? Steph Hay advocates for a content-first approach to design and walks through how to start prototyping your content.

  • Context Makes Our Devices

    by Anthony Colangelo · · 3 Comments

    When it comes to new devices, context is everything. Smartphones and tablets gained popularity because they were useful in situations where our laptops weren't. Will smartwatches do the same? Anthony Colangelo looks at the context of these new devices and how they might reach their full potential.

  • Accepting Our Lack of Control

    by Susan Robertson · · 5 Comments

    Accepting the “ebb and flow of things” is as challenging today as it was 15 years ago. Susan Robertson explores what it means to accept our lack of control on the web and shares how she acknowledges this in her work—from the CSS she writes, to the conversations she has with team members.

  • Coming May 6: Sass Talk

    by Sara Wachter-Boettcher · · 1 Comment

    To preprocess or not to preprocess? ALA: On Air will cover just that—live on May 6. Featuring Rachel Andrew, Lyza Danger Gardner, Jeff Lembeck, and Susan Robertson, “Sass Talk” will discuss when, how, and whether to use Sass, taskrunners, and other tools.

  • 15 Years of Dao

    by ALA Staff ·

    15 years have passed since we published John Allsopp's “A Dao of Web Design.” Join us as we take a look back at John's piece and consider what it means for the web today.

  • Designing Social Tools for Tweens

    by Debra Levin Gelman · · 4 Comments

    Kids these days. When they're not on our lawn, they're using the web in some pretty unique ways. Debra Levin Gelman encourages us to take their needs into account and offers a fresh new method to help us design social tools for kids ages 8–12.

  • On Our Radar: Self-Centered Edition

    by ALA Staff · · 1 Comment

    It's all about us this week at ALA. From steps to sleep to social activities, we're counting every kind of personal data you can think of. But what's all that data add up to? How could we look at it—and ourselves—differently? In this week's On Our Radar, we ask ourselves—and our self—the tough questions.

  • Don’t Forget About Contrast

    by Susan Robertson · · 7 Comments

    That old monitor you've got lying around? Time to put it to work. Susan Robertson reminds us of how important it is to test our designs on older screens and ensure the things we build work well for everyone.

  • On Our Radar: Present Tense

    by ALA Staff · · 2 Comments

    The future is here, for better or for worse—and this week, the ALA staff has been thinking about what that means: for our code (the impending arrival of HTTP/2), our content (publishing on Medium), and the cost of constant noise.

  • Brevity vs. Clarity

    by Anthony Colangelo · · 10 Comments

    Why did we all start using btn? Anthony Colangelo considers whether a lack of clarity is worth the benefits of brevity in our code.

The Latest Issue

Issue № 418 ·

  • What Really Matters: Focusing on Top Tasks

    by Gerry McGovern · 39 Comments

    Every piece of web content is important—or so every stakeholder insists. But what happens when dozens, even hundreds, of different tasks battle for space on your homepage and in your navigation? It’s time to make some hard choices about what does and doesn’t belong. Gerry McGovern demonstrates how to zero in on the tasks that matter most to your users.

  • Standardization and the Open Web

    by Jory Burson

    How do web standards become, well, standard? Although they’re often formalized through official standards-making organizations, they can also emerge through popular practice among the developer community. If both sides don’t work together, we risk delaying implementation, stifling creativity, and losing ground to politics and paralysis. Jory Burson sheds light on the historical underpinnings of web standardization processes—and what that means for the future of the open web.

Recent Columns

Rian van der Merwe on A View from a Different Valley

Why?

Little kids have an endless supply of Why! Why is everything the way it is? Why do people do the things they do? We grownups don’t pester each other with a relentless stream of why?, and that’s mostly good. But kids could teach us to ask why when it needs to be asked: why are only some people able to build lives they love and find fulfilling work? Does everyone truly have the same chance, or do some of us start the game already a few rolls of the dice ahead? In order to grow, we have to ask the hard questions.

Lyza Danger Gardner on Building the Web Everywhere

WAI-finding with ARIA Landmark Roles

Between the intricacies of documentation and the risk of wielding too much power over the browser, WAI-ARIA can be daunting. For the dev uncertain on how to fold accessibility best practices into their daily workflow, Lyza Gardner sets out to summarize one category of roles—the landmark roles. They help user agents map out the territories on a page so the user can navigate them with greater ease, and they’re a great place to start getting familiar with ARIA’s part in assistive technology.