A List Apart

Issue № 303

What the FAQ? Or: Is this FAQ really necessary? Plus: in the land of the colorblind, contrast is king.

Contrast is King

by Leslie Jensen-Inman · 33 Comments

Being colorblind doesn’t mean not seeing color. It means seeing it differently. If colorblindness challenges the colorblind, it also challenges designers. Some of us think designing sites that are colorblind-friendly means sticking with black and white, or close to it. But the opposite is true. Using contrast effectively not only differentiates our site’s design from others, it’s the essential ingredient that can make our content accessible to every viewer, including the colorblind. By understanding contrast, we can create websites that unabashedly revel in color.

Infrequently Asked Questions of FAQs

by R. Stephen Gracey · 30 Comments

We take FAQs for granted as part of our sites’ content, but do they really work, or are they a band-aid for poor content? FAQ-hater R. Stephen Gracey explores the history and usability of FAQs. Learn how to collect, track, and analyze real user questions, sales inquiries, and support requests, and use the insights gained thereby to improve your site's content, not just to write a FAQ. Find out when FAQs are an appropriate part of your content strategy, and discover how to ensure that your FAQ is doing all it should to help your customers.

More from A List Apart


Rian van der Merwe on A View from a Different Valley

The Analog Revolution

Back in the day, when software was released (on physical media), it was considered done. In the present, some products could benefit from a limitation like that. To tie development to something immutable, such as a physical thing or a hard deadline, might just foster a sense of responsibility to design our product so it has what it takes to last a few years.

From the Blog

URLs Beyond the Web

As the newest operating systems for Android and iOS enable deep-linking directly into third-party apps, Anthony Colangelo sees an expanding definition of “the web” and an opportunity to better serve our users.

It’s Time We #FEDtalk

One person focuses on HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Another writes JavaScript tests all day. And they both have the same job title: front-end developer. Mat Marquis talks about why that’s okay, and introduces our latest event, "The State of Front-End Dev."