A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Are Designers Focused Enough on User Needs?

I find that many designers give much more of their time to learning the latest standards trick than learning the latest “designing for users” trick. Here are a few reasons why this may be so.

Porter, Joshua. Bokardo (2008). Articles>Web Design>Standards>User Centered Design



A blog about interface design for social web sites and applications. I write about recommendation systems, identity, ratings, privacy, comments, profiles, tags, reputation, sharing, as well as the social psychology underlying our motivation to use (or not use) these things.

Bokardo. Resources>Web Design>Blogs>Social Networking


Common Ways Links Fail Users

I’ve thought of a few ways that links can fail users. By preventing these sorts of things (which admittedly, aren’t all that easy to prevent) we can design better links with the hopes of attaining that place where users never get lost.

Porter, Joshua. Bokardo (2008). Articles>Web Design>Usability>Hypertext


The Effect of Web Standards on Users

The current crop of web standards (XTHML & CSS) have had a dramatic effect on the work of the web designers who have adopted them. Writers of the best kinds have trumpeted the benefits of these standards over the coding practices that had become second nature to most (image spacers, anyone?).

Porter, Joshua. Bokardo (2008). Articles>Web Design>Standards


Five Points Concerning Designers Vs. Usability Folks

Web designers and usability folks don’t seem to get along very well. Web designers say that they don’t need usability folks because they design with inherent usability: it’s simply a part of good design. Usability folks, on the other hand, say that everything must be tested. Who’s right? Can both be right?

Porter, Joshua. Bokardo (2008). Articles>Web Design>Usability


Seven Reasons Why Web Apps Fail

I’m not one to believe that we’re in a Bubble 2.0 or anything like that (aren’t we always bubbular?), but here are a few ideas about why some of the web apps out there fail.

Porter, Joshua. Bokardo (2006). Articles>Web Design>Programming>User Experience


Some Reasons Why Web Standards Are Difficult to Learn

It seems like the box model shouldn’t be difficult to learn, but it is. I’m not sure why, but I think it may have to do with complexity that arises when you have boxes within boxes. At that point, it becomes an exercise of adding margin here, taking away padding there, and setting margins and paddings to 0 over there. Combine that with floating and positioning: relative, absolute, fixed, and it gets hard to know where the spacing between objects comes from, even when you’re working in standards-supporting browser like Mozilla. On top of this you have the box model hack…which only complicates things further. Even browsers get the box model wrong.

Porter, Joshua. Bokardo (2008). Articles>Web Design>Standards>CSS


Who Cares How Pretty Web Sites Are?

A few weeks back, I wrote about why I think web standards are difficult to learn. I wrote that because I was spending 80% of my time getting my code into XHTML 1.0 and styling it with CSS so that it rendered consistently across 5 or 6 browsers. What was I doing the other 20% of the time? Creating content, of course. I was putting together what a huge percentage of my site visitors come for. When I thought about it in these terms (time spent), I felt like styling with CSS was a lot of work for comparatively little gain. After all, people will still be able to find the site, read the content, and click on the links, whether or not I’ve styled it.

Porter, Joshua. Bokardo (2008). Articles>Web Design>Standards>Usability

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