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Radio Buttons Are Like Selects; Checkboxes Are Like Multiple Selects

May 20th, 2020

I was reading Anna Kaley’s “Listboxes vs. Dropdown Lists” post the other day. It’s a fairly straightforward comparison between different UI implementations of selecting options. There is lots of good advice there. Classics like that you should use radio buttons (single select) or checkboxes (multiple select) if you’re showing five or fewer options, and the…

List Style Recipes

May 5th, 2020

Lists are a fundamental part of HTML! They are useful in things like blog posts for listing out steps, recipes for listing ingredients, or items in a navigation menu. Not only are they an opportunity for styling, but they have accessibility implications. For example, the number of items in a list is announced in a…

Some Innocent Fun With HTML Video and Progress

April 30th, 2020

The idea came while watching a mandatory training video on bullying in the workplace. I can just hear High School Geoff LOL-ing about a wimp like me have to watch that thing. But here we are. The video UI was actually lovely, but it was the progress bar that really caught my attention – or…

How to Redirect a Search Form to a Site-Scoped Google Search

April 28th, 2020

This is just a tiny little trick that might be helpful on a site where you don’t have the time or desire to build out a really good on-site search solution. Google.com itself can perform searches scoped to one particular site. The trick is getting people there using that special syntax without them even knowing…

SVG, Favicons, and All the Fun Things We Can Do With Them

April 24th, 2020

Favicons are the little icons you see in your browser tab. They help you understand which site is which when you’re scanning through your browser’s bookmarks and open tabs. They’re a neat part of internet history that are capable of performing some cool tricks. One very new trick is the ability to use SVG as…

Front-End Challenges

April 17th, 2020

My favorite way to level up as a front-end developer is to do the work. Literally just build websites. If you can do it for money, great, you should. If the websites you make can help yourself or anyone else you care about, then that’s also great. In lieu of that, you can also make…

Better Form Inputs for Better Mobile User Experiences

April 17th, 2020

Here’s one simple, practical way to make apps perform better on mobile devices: always configure HTML input fields with the correct type, inputmode, and autocomplete attributes. While these three attributes are often discussed in isolation, they make the most sense in the context of mobile user experience when you think of them as a team….

Learn Eleventy From Scratch

April 7th, 2020

The latest edition of Andy Bell’s Piccalilli landed in my inbox this morning with a sweet offer: preorder Andy’s course on learning Eleventy from scratch at a third of the price. Why the plug? No, not sponsorships or anything like that. I just happen to hear a heckuva lot about Eleventy these days. Like how…

Why Do Some HTML Elements Become Deprecated?

April 2nd, 2020

The internet has been around for a long while, and over time we’ve changed the way we think about web design. Many old techniques and ways of doing things have gotten phased out as newer and better alternatives have been created, and we say that they have been deprecated. Deprecated. It’s a word we use…

How to build a bad design system

March 31st, 2020

I didn’t realize this until it was far too late, but one of the biggest mistakes that are made on a design systems team is a common mismanagement issue: there are too many people in a meeting and they have too many dang opinions. Is there a conversation about the color of your buttons that’s…