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Topic: State of the Web

  • Conversation is the New Attention

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    Baby’s got backchannel! If everybody at the conference is staring at their Twitter stream instead of at the person who’s doing the speaking, maybe the speaker should meet them halfway. Migrating speaker presentations to the backchannel can empower the audience while enabling the speaker to listen carefully to their responses. The broadcast model of presentations is dead! Long live the conversation model.

  • Orbital Content

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    Bookmarklet apps like Instapaper and Readability point to a future where content is no longer stuck in websites, but floats in orbit around users. And we’re halfway there. Content shifting lets a user take content from one context (e.g. your website) to another (e.g. Instapaper). Before content can be shifted, it must be correctly identified, uprooted from its source, and tied to a user. But content shifting, as powerful as it is, is only the beginning. Discover what’s possible when content is liberated.

  • The ALA 2010 Web Design Survey

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    Nobody has ever compiled even the most basic data about the salaries, titles, educational background, and so on of people who make websites—nobody, that is, but the readers of A List Apart. Other surveys compile helpful data about which software packages web designers use to do their work, and which technologies they’re keen on, but only the A List Apart survey gets down to the business of business. It’s time once again to let your voice be (anonymously) heard. As you have each year since 2007, please take a few minutes to complete the survey for people who make websites.

  • Findings from the Web Design Survey, 2009

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    The findings are in from the survey for people who make websites. Once again, we have crunched the data this way and that, figured out what the numbers were telling us, and assembled the sliced and diced data-bytes into nifty charts and graphs for your edification and pleasure. As in years past, what emerges is the first true picture of the profession of web design as it is practiced by men and women of all ages, across all continents, in corporations, agencies, non-profits, and freelance configurations.

  • Web Fonts at the Crossing

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    Everything you wanted to know about web fonts but were afraid to ask. Richard Fink summarizes the latest news in web fonts, examining formats, rules, licenses, and tools. He creates a checklist for evaluating font hosting and obfuscation services like Typekit; looks at what’s coming down the road (from problems of advanced typography being pursued by the CSS3 Fonts Module group, to the implications of Google-hosted fonts); and wraps it all up with a how-to on making web fonts work today.

  • A Brief History of Markup

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    Hot off the presses! In his brand new, brief book for people who make websites, HTML5 For Web Designers, Jeremy Keith cuts through the confusion surrounding the web’s new markup language and presents what every accessibility- and standards-focused web designer and developer needs to know about it—from semantics to strategy. Not only is HTML5 For Web Designers a great, fast read, it is also our first A Book Apart publication. To celebrate, A List Apart proudly presents all of “Chapter One: A Brief History of Markup.” Enjoy!

  • Flash and Standards: The Cold War of the Web

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    You’ve probably heard that Apple recently announced the iPad. The absence of Flash Player on the device seems to have awakened the HTML5 vs. Flash debate. Apparently, it’s the final nail in the coffin for Flash. Either that, or the HTML5 community is overhyping its still nascent markup language update. The arguments run wide, strong, and legitimate on both sides. Yet both sides might also be wrong. Designer/developer Dan Mall is equally adept at web standards and Flash; what matters, he says, isn’t technology, but people.

  • The Survey, 2009

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    For the third year in a row, good citizens of the web, we ask that you take a few minutes to tell us about your professional skills, educational background, career prospects, job benefits, and more.

  • Burnout

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    Does every day feel like a bad day? Blurry boundaries between work and home, and the “always on” demands of the web can lead to depression and burnout. Learn the signs of burnout and how to maintain your bliss.

  • Findings from the Web Design Survey, 2008

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    If we, the people who make websites, want the world to know who we are and what we do, it’s up to each of us to stand up and represent. This year, 30,055 of you did just that, taking time out of your busy work day to answer the detailed questions in the second A List Apart Survey. Find out what we learned about our profession and ourselves.

  • The Details That Matter

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    We no longer lay out pages with composing sticks and straight edges, and design is no longer a trade position requiring a lengthy apprenticeship, but an eye for details is every bit as important today as it was in the early days of graphic arts. Learn the habits of successful designers, who think critically as well as creatively, and who see the forest while never losing sight of the trees.

  • Brighter Horizons for Web Education

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    No industry can sustain itself if it doesn’t master the art of cultivating new talent, an art that requires close ties between practitioners and educators. Yet web design education consists mainly of introductory Flash classes and the occasional 90s-style HTML table layout tutorial. How drastic is the web design education gap, and what can be done to close it? Designer, developer, and web design educator Aarron Walter of The Web Standards Project surveys the state of the curricula.

  • Elevate Web Design at the University Level

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    Web education is out of date and fragmented. There are good people working hard to change this, but because of the structure of higher education, it will take time. As part of a year-long journey to discover where we are in web education and where we need to go, Leslie Jensen-Inman interviewed 32 web design and development leaders. The consensus: technology moves too fast for college and university curricula to keep up. How, then, can educators create a sustainable foundation for the future?

  • This is How the Web Gets Regulated

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    As in finance, so on the web: self-regulation has failed. Nearly ten years after specifications first required it, video captioning can barely be said to exist on the web. The big players, while swollen with self-congratulation, are technically incompetent, and nobody else is even trying. So what will it take to support the human and legal rights of hearing impaired web users? It just might take the law, says Joe Clark.

  • Working From Home: The Readers Respond

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    We asked. Our gentle readers answered. In A List Apart No. 263 we inquired how you walk the blurry line when you work from home. Here are your secrets—how to balance work and family, maintain energy and focus, get things done, and above all, how to remember the love.

  • Ten Years

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    When Google was little more than a napkin sketch and the first dot-com boom was not even a blip, we started a magazine for people who make websites. Celebrate A List Apart’s first decade. Join Zeldman for a look back at the way we were—and why we were that way. Find out what we’ve done and who did it with us, peek into our process, and get a clue about what’s next.

  • Understanding Progressive Enhancement

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    Steven Champeon turned web development upside down, and created an instant best practice of standards-based design, when he introduced the notion of designing for content and experience instead of browsers. In part one of a series, ALA’s Gustafson refreshes us on the principles of progressive enhancement. Upcoming installments will translate the philosophy into sophisticated, future-focused design and code.

  • Web Standards 2008: Three Circles of Hell

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    Q. Why did the semantic web cross the road? A. @#$% you. Standards promised to keep the web from fragmenting. But as the web standards movement advances in several directions at once, and as communication between those seeking to advance the web grows fractious, are our standards losing their relevance, and their ability to foster an accessible, interoperable web for all?

  • Putting Our Hot Heads Together

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    The web is a conversation, but not always a productive one. Web discussions too often degenerate into whines, jabs, sour grapes, and one-upmanship. How can we transform discussion forums and comment sections from shooting ranges into arenas of collaboration?

  • The Survey, 2008

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    Calling all designers, developers, information architects, project managers, writers, editors, marketers, and everyone else who makes websites. It is time once again to pool our information so as to begin sketching a true picture of the way our profession is practiced worldwide.