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  • Awkward Cousins

    by Anthony Colangelo · · 5 Comments

    As users we switch seamlessly between the web and apps, yet as designers and developers we huddle in separate rooms. Wouldn’t this party be livelier if we mingled?

  • Watch: A New Documentary About Jeffrey Zeldman

    by Sara Wachter-Boettcher · · 10 Comments

    Jeffrey Zeldman has been sharing, educating, and inspiring web designers for 20 years. A new documentary from Lynda.com tells the story.

  • 10 Years Ago in ALA: Pocket Sized Design

    by Ethan Marcotte · · 3 Comments

    The web doesn’t do “age” especially well. Any blog post or design article more than a few years old gets a raised eyebrow—heck, most people I meet haven’t read John Allsopp’s “A Dao of Web Design” or Jeffrey Zeldman’s “To Hell With Bad Browsers,” both as relevant to the web today as when they were first written. Meanwhile, I’ve got books on my shelves older than I am; most of my favorite films came out before I was born; and my iTunes library is riddled with music that’s decades, if not centuries, old.

  • Valediction

    by Jeffrey Zeldman · · 5 Comments

    When I first met Kevin Cornell in the early 2000s, he was employing his illustration talent mainly to draw caricatures of his fellow designers at a small Philadelphia design studio. Even in that rough, dashed-off state, his work floored me. It was as if Charles Addams and my favorite Mad Magazine illustrators from the 1960s had blended their DNA to spawn the perfect artist.

  • My Favorite Kevin Cornell

    by ALA Staff · · 11 Comments

    After 200 issues—yes, two hundred—Kevin Cornell is retiring from his post as A List Apart’s staff illustrator. Tomorrow’s issue will be the last one featuring new illustrations from him.

  • Measure Twice, Cut Once

    by Anthony Colangelo · · 1 Comment

    Not too long ago, I had a few rough days in support of a client project. The client had a big content release, complete with a media embargo and the like. I woke up on the day of the launch, and things were bad. I was staring straight into a wall of red.

  • The Most Dangerous Word In Software Development

    by Anthony Colangelo · · 30 Comments

    “Just put it up on a server somewhere.” “Just add a favorite button to the right side of the item.” “Just add [insert complex option here] to the settings screen.” Usage of the word “just” points to a lot of assumptions being made.

  • Ten CSS One-Liners to Replace Native Apps

    by Håkon Wium Lie · · 63 Comments

    Håkon Wium Lie is the father of CSS, the CTO of Opera, and a pioneer advocate for web standards. Earlier this year, we published his blog post, “CSS Regions Considered Harmful.” When Håkon speaks, whether we always agree or not, we listen. Today, Håkon introduces CSS Figures and argues their case.

  • Longform Content with Craft Matrix

    by Anthony Colangelo · · 17 Comments

    Jason Santa Maria recently shared some thoughts about pacing content, and my developer brain couldn’t help but think about how I’d go about building the examples he talked about. The one fool-proof way to achieve heavily art-directed layouts like those is to write the HTML by hand. The problem is that content managers are not always developers, and the code can get complex pretty quickly. That’s why we use content management systems—to give content managers easier and more powerful control over content.

  • Ten Years Ago in ALA: Dynamic Text Replacement

    by Yesenia Perez-Cruz · · 2 Comments

    Ten years ago this month in Issue 183, A List Apart published Stewart Rosenberger’s “Dynamic Text Replacement.” Stewart lamented text styling as a “dull headache of web design” with “only a handful of fonts that are universally available, and sophisticated graphical effects are next to impossible using only standard CSS and HTML.” To help ease these pains, Stewart presented a technique for styling typography by dynamically replacing text with an image.

The Latest Issue

Issue № 418 ·

  • What Really Matters: Focusing on Top Tasks

    by Gerry McGovern · 29 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.