A week in the sun
I’m just back from a week away with my Wife. We’ve both been working really hard recently and were a little bit strung out. I’d got myself into a decent amount of sleep debt and needed a recharge. We booked a fairly last-minute trip to Majorca in a nice hotel and just had a really relaxing week.
I’d planned on renting a bike whilst we were and had taken my pedals, shoes and kit, but it was just too hot. It was ~35ºC most days, up to 40ºC at times. It never got below 30ºC at night, so even if I’d gone out first thing in the morning it would have been too hot for me. So, I didn’t. I spent the week relaxing and reading and eating and drinking. I went to the gym a few times, in the hope that the air conditioning in there would make it bearable (it did, just), and I did a lot of reading (see this week’s reading list, below).
I feel so much more refreshed having had a week away, not worrying about anything other than the SPF of my sun cream or where the next cocktail was coming from.
Voiceover by the pool
On a couple of days I challenged myself to spend some time learning to use Voiceover on iOS, using only gestures and swipes and a pair of earphones to navigate my iPad and iPhone and trying to do as much as possible without looking at my phone.
As a regularly sighted user, this feels like a steep learning curve. I soon picked up the gestures, but I was becoming very frustrated when I would hit brick walls in whatever interface I was using. A lot of that was navigating iOS itself, which made me think that I might be missing a part of the puzzle.
One of the things I noticed was that most of my current workflows, for reading and dealing with emails, managing my reading list and task list, etc. were just too difficult. Those workflows would either have to change, or I’d need to be a much more accomplished screen reader user to get that stuff done the way I currently do.
Reading the web itself was surprisingly decent, but I suppose the articles and pages I was reading were largely textual content written by people who care about building the web properly and were in the large part pretty accessible by dint of using correct HTML.
It was an interesting experience and it’s something I’m going to continue to pursue. Using a screen reader regularly will make me a better, more considerate web developer.
Big gig this weekend
I’ve got a gig! Those who’ve been following along will know that since the beginning of the year I’ve been playing at open mic nights, just me and my guitar, playing indie-folk covers. This has obviously gone down well because me and a couple of friends have been asked to play a solo set each and a short set together (we used to be in a band together, a long time ago).
I’ll admit, it’s not the O2 Arena. It’s hardly rock and roll, but I’m sure St Andrews Church Summer Garden Party’s visitors will appreciate my guitar ballads and folk stylings whilst they sup their Prosecco and nibble their cream teas.
I’ll let you know how it went in next week’s update.
- Don’t disable buttons while submitting forms with ajax - A handy accessibility tip when building forms that submit asynchronously.
- The Anatomy of Accessible Forms: Best Practices | Deque - This is simple and vital Accessibility information. I love building forms and I know that the best way to build them is not to be too clever. Use these best practices to ensure everyone can interact with your forms.
- Semantics to Screen Readers – A List Apart - How semantic HTML gets read and understood by assistive technologies.
- Screen read - practice using a screen reader - Matt Bee has made this great site to help us learn how to use a screenreader.
- UX Improvements For Keyboard Accessibility — Smashing Magazine - Some great information here on optimising our websites UX with keyboard accessibility.
output: HTML’s native live region element | scottohara.me. -An interesting look at HTML’s
outputelement and its possible uses. This is a new one on me but I’m already seeing places where I wish I’d implemented it.
- Managing Flow and Rhythm with CSS Custom Properties - I like this technique demonstrated by Andy Bell to use CSS Custom Properties to dynamically control vertical rhythm in a page. Custom Properties are so useful.
- Bringing new CSS techniques to production - Si digital - With
flexand CSS Custom Properties, we’re in a better place than ever before to deliver powerful and resilient websites that work for everybody.
- The Magic of Feature Queries, Part 1 – 5/7 Resilient CSS - YouTube - CSS
@supportsis a wonderful way to build with new and partially supported CSS whilst still making our websites resilient.
- How to Build a Filtering Component in Pure CSS - One of the things I love about CSS is how powerful it can be once you get into negation selectors, sibling selectors and attribute selectors.
- Why Did I Have Difficulty Learning React? - Snook.ca - Jonathan Snook describes the troubles he’s been having in learning React.
- Chromium and the browser monoculture problem - Chromium is dominating, and whilst I’ll admit that it’s better than the old days of the browser wars where IE came out as the dominant player, I don’t like where it’s going.
- WyeWorks | Why we have engineers run interviews instead of HR - This is something we’ve been doing for a while at Logikcull - engineers run the engineering interviews and make the decisions as to who we hire and who we don’t. I think it works really well.
- Into the Personal-Website-Verse · Matthias Ott - Getting back to a world of personal websites and owning your own content.
- Going Indie. Step 1: Securing Privacy · Matthias Ott - More from Matthias Ott, this time on protecting and securing your data and privacy in a world that wants to take it from you.
- It’s high time to rewrite the hiring script - Signal v. Noise - A thoughtful piece on how we hire by DHH.