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Design + Interface

Posts related to best practices of visual communication for web design and the user interface (UI). Topics include the significance of elements such as color, layout, appearance and usability along with tools such as JavaScript and Ajax. The importance of a "user-friendly" experience to allow the user to interact with the software or hardware in a natural and intuitive way. This includes the aesthetic appearance of the device (menu, toolbar, windows), response time, and the content that is presented to the user.

Healthcare content too complex, a study

A new study accepted for publication in the British Journal of General Practice asserts that the majority of general practice websites contain content well above the recommended reading level for online content. The study analyzed 3,823 pages of content scraped from 813 Scottish general practice websites.  Analysis showed that 2,942 pages…

The absurdity of the fight against accessible websites

2019 was an interesting year in website accessibility.  The simple and elegant premise of accessibility has been pushed aside by aggressive law firms, miserly corporations and apathetic regulatory agencies. In October the Supreme Court decided not to hear the appeal of Guillermo Robles v. Domino’s Pizza LLC.  The background is...

Don't Wait for the Lawsuit - Make Your Website Accessible Now

Although no formal set of guidelines have been released, website owners are encouraged to immediately comply with level A and AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines as published by the World Wide Web Consortium. Aggressive law firms have had success bringing suit against organizations whose websites are not...

Django CMS Plugin Authenticated User Variations

Note: a companion app for this post can be found here:  https://github.com/ImaginaryLandscape/cmsplugin-auth-content-example In a recent project using django CMS, we found ourselves in need of serving alternate plugin content to authenticated users. This is not the first time a request such as this has been made, and on past occasions...

A Python Solution for Making Custom PDFs from HTML

The client wanted to give their users the option of printing completed forms to a pdf file. They also wanted the pdf to be rendered with formatting and style that varied slightly from the online display of the completed form, and so desired a solution other than the browser’s own...

Got Rot?

A 2014 study released by the Harvard Law Review shows that an alarming number of hyperlinks go bad in a surprisingly short time. Link Rot has been a problem from the very beginning of the web.  Over time, websites can come-and-go and redesigns can change the location of content -...

Django Internationalization

A few weeks ago I gave a talk at the Chicago Djangonauts meeting on Django Internationalization. Apparently this isn't a task that a lot of people need to do frequently, as the crowd was not too familiar with the content of the talk. Luckily, internationalization isn't too complicated a concept and...

Better UI prototyping with a Django twist

As part of our new appreciation for start-up organizations and their love of Django, we thought we’d share how we approach the concept of rapid UI prototyping. Early stage start-up companies often need a proof of concept to help convey the vision of the new business model. Yes, there is...

Security for Mobile Applications

As people put more faith in mobile devices, the impact of security breaches can be all the more devastating.  From the perspective of a mobile Web application developer, mobile devices can be an additional entry point into an application.  Creating mobile-friendly Web applications with security as a top priority is...

New Study: 93% of Passwords Protecting Medical Records Cracked

The study was conducted by researchers at Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute and the University of Ottawa in Ottawa, Ontario.  The test was conducted using files provided by volunteer stakeholders in 15 clinical trials.  And, although the samples were not representative of all clinical trials in Canada, they...

Django Template Tags

It seems like I frequently find myself needing to write template tags for the various projects I work on here at Imaginary Landscape. The most common reason is generally so that I can adhere to the ideas of the DRY principle. For instance, YaBa has the potential to craft a...

Keep masking passwords, for now

I always find Jakob Nielsen's usability columns interesting. I rarely disagree with his mostly common sense approach, however I found myself at odds with a recent Alertbox column, entitled "Stop Password Masking." In a nutshell, he believes the common practice of displaying dots or asterisks when typing in a password...

Form security, under the hood

I recently wrote a feature article for eHealthcare Strategy & Trends magazine entitled, "How secure are your Web-based forms?" The article explored what happens after you press the submit button. It turns out that lots of things can happen - many of them bad. To clarify, "bad" is the wrong...

New study compares short and long "contact us" form

I've been experimenting with the contact form on our Web site. It is an important - perhaps the most important - aspect of our Web presence. For all the blogging and news releasing and testimonials and marketing, our primary method of gathering online feedback is the contact form. We have...

Are Web forms really secure?

So, how secure is that sensitive information? Most people are familiar with the front-line form security - the secure Web page. This is the Web page that contains the form and is characterized by a lock icon appearing on the browser (also indicated in the address bar with https preceding...

Web site accessibility takes a front seat

It is a class action suit brought against Target alleging that target.com is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act because the site is not accessible to the blind. Specifically, the site lacked alternative text used by screen reading software. This week a federal judge certified the class action...

The placement of links on a page affects click rates

The Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication is a peer-reviewed Internet journal that contains some deep and informative research papers. To wit, a study released in the January 2006 issue goes into great depth about click habits as they relate to positioning. In short, two experiments demonstrate an increased tendency for visitors...