Mike Cherim’s Blogging Past

These are older articles. Please bear in mind the further back you go, the more dated the material may be — in some cases.

Twelve Things Most Sites Need

Posted February 25th, 2008 by Mike Cherim

Web Page Design For Designers. I was recently contacted by David Rodriguez and asked if I was interested in writing an article for the Web Page Design For Designers site. I was, so I wrote a two-part article titled “Twelve Things Most Sites Need” covering what I feel are some web site must-haves. The first part of the article has been published. Enjoy.

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Are Lists Becoming the New Tables?

Posted February 15th, 2008 by Mike Cherim

Misusing specific elements in a way not intended, especially for presentational purposes, while creative and admirable on many levels, simply isn’t right.

A number of years ago some members of the scientific community and the United States government were involved in a new way to share text and data documents over phone lines. This became the Internet. It didn’t take long for people, call them web designers, to adopt and subsequently exploit this technology by using and even misusing the use-specific elements interpreted and rendered by “web browsers.”

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Inaccessible Label-Wrapped Form Inputs

Posted February 8th, 2008 by Mike Cherim

Not too long ago I wrote an article on keeping forms accessible. That was in September of ‘07. It’s an okay article, mostly accurate and helpful. I’ll stand behind its recommendations (it’s not that old), but one of those recommendations, an allowance actually, is seriously flawed. I am compelled and obligated to correct this. You see, I learned that a normal form-building practice of mine — wrapping a form input with its label — can seriously impact the accessibility and usability of a web form. Like hiding an input under a blanket.

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What’s Best for Web Standards?

Posted January 30th, 2008 by Mike Cherim

This page tested in... Firefox v87.0.1, Opera v110.1, Safari v91.6, oh, and, Internet Explorer v7 I’ve been reading the various facts and opinions (links at the end of the article) and the pros and cons about the plan proposed by Microsoft that will make “DOCTYPE Switch” obsolete beginning with the up-and-coming Internet Explorer 8 (IE8). This news has angered some standards-compliant web developers, while others are finally seeing light at the end of a seemingly endless tunnel — a tunnel filled with various IE versions of past and present partially blocking the way. Immediately I was against the idea, but I do see the good side of it, too, what with never having to deal with IE version fussing and constant updating again. And if other browser developers jump on board with this idea we will never have to update our sites again (yeah, sure, ha ha). Like a good sales pitch it has appeal. But maybe this is a surface sheen.

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Making the WordPress Menu Smarter

Posted January 29th, 2008 by Mike Cherim

Why do this? Consistency, style, and usability. It’s a progressive enhancement.

It was almost a year ago that I published the article “Building a Dynamic WordPress Nav Menu” in which I described the how-to of my BeastBlog v2 theme’s navigation menu. I thought I’d revisit the subject since it’s been revisited through my projects lately. The menu’s gotten smarter. This won’t be needed on many sites, and WordPress blogs without “pages” wouldn’t need this, but on others it might be a nice enhancement. That’s your call.

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The New Accessigooglability

Posted January 20th, 2008 by Mike Cherim

If you told someone they could lose weight if they quit smoking, would they be in the wrong or, worse, be a bad person, to quit smoking for the sole purpose of losing weight? Let’s examine: Losing excess weight is a good thing, and so is quitting smoking, right? So does their motivation leave something to be desired? I strongly suspect most of you wouldn’t care one way or the other. The net result will be the same, the benefits will be realized regardless of their reasoning, and nobody will be hurt by their choice. It’s seems that the motivation is actually sort of irrelevant.

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Inside a Microburst

Posted January 17th, 2008 by Mike Cherim

Boating in New England has provided some unparalleled experiences for my family and I. Some of these experiences were fantastic in the most positive sense. Others, though, scared us: stormy seas, rough passages, and even one emergency. But all of these experiences have something in common: they all gave us a broader view of life, on the ocean and off, and all taught us lessons we couldn’t have learned elsewhere. The following is an reprint of an article I wrote in 1998. It was formally published in Points East magazine in the summer of 1999. This is a true account.

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Accessible Web Developers on Facebook

Posted January 10th, 2008 by Mike Cherim

Facebook isn’t exactly an icon of web accessibility, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for Accessible Web Developers, and that’s exactly the reason for this post. A couple of days ago I started an accessible web developers group — borrowing the name from my top-ten Ma.gnolia group — and I’m inviting you to join. And I’m also asking that you extend the invitation to your like-minded friends and colleagues. Already there’s an all-star membership, so you’ll be in good company.

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Hiding Content for Screen Reader Users

Posted January 7th, 2008 by Mike Cherim

This practice, while it does carry risks, like most things we do, can be successful, but it must be used intelligently and in moderation.

My friend and colleague, Mel Pedley, brought up a point recently — as we were discussing a site being graded at Accessites — about hiding text for screen reader users using an “offset class,” where one uses absolute positioning to send the element outside the viewport, usually by thousands of pixels. Our grading discussions are under lock and key, available to the team members and site submitter only, so there’s no sense providing a link, but here’s an excerpt:

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