Your Body Text is Too Small

Several years ago, there was a big push by designers to increase the font-size of websites and I feel like we’re living in another era of accessibility improvements where a fresh batch of designers are pushing for even larger text sizing today. Take this post by Christian Miller, for example, where he writes:

The majority of websites are still anywhere in the range of 15–18px. We’re starting to see some sites adopt larger body text at around 20px or even greater on smaller desktop displays, but not enough in my opinion.

Christian attributes this to all sorts of different things, but I particularly like this bit:

Unfortunately, it’s a common mistake to purposefully design a website in a way to avoid scrolling. To the detriment of design, body text size is reduced to either reduce scrolling, or condense the layout in order to fit other elements in and around the copy.

Scrolling is a natural, established pattern on the web—people expect to have to scroll. Even when it isn’t possible, people will attempt scrolling to see if a page offers more beyond what’s initially in the viewport. Readability is more important than the amount of scrolling required—good content won’t prevent users from scrolling.

I would only push back a little bit on the advice — that legibility isn’t always tied to the font-size of a block of text. A lot of the time it has to do with contrast instead — whether the typeface is easy to read and whether it is clearly visible against the background. Overall, though, there’s a lot of great advice for designers both new and old in this post.

Building “Renderless” Vue Components

There's this popular analogy of Vue that goes like this: Vue is what you get when React and Angular come together and make a baby. I've always shared this feeling. With Vue’s small learning curve, it's no wonder so many people love it. Since Vue tries to give the developer power over components and their implementation as much as it possibly can, this sentiment has led to today's topic.

The term renderless components refers to components that don’t render anything. In this article, we'll cover how Vue handles the rendering of a component.

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CSS: A New Kind of JavaScript

In this wacky and satirical post, Heydon Pickering describes a wild new technology called Cascading Style Sheets that solves a lot of the problems you might bump into when styling things with JavaScript:

A good sign that a technology is not fit for purpose is how much we have to rely on workarounds and best practices to get by. Another sign is just how much code we have to write in order to get simple things done. When it comes to styling, JavaScript is that technology.

CSS solves JavaScript’s styling problems, and elegantly. The question is: are you willing to embrace the change, or are you married to an inferior methodology?

Yes, this is a funny post but the topic of CSS-in-JS is hot and quite active. We recently shared a video of Bruce Lawson's excellent talk on the subject and published a roundup of chatter about it as it relates to React. Chris also linked the conversation back to the age-old question of how we deal with unused CSS.

Accessibility for Teams

Maya Benari:

Accessibility is a crucial part of government product design. First, it’s the law. Federal agencies face legal consequences when they don’t meet accessibility requirements. Second, it affects us all. Whether you have a motor disability, you sprained your wrist playing dodgeball, you need a building to have a ramp for your wheelchair or stroller, or you literally just have your hands full, we all find ourselves unable to do certain things at different points in our lives. Accessible products are better products for everyone.

But accessibility is hard: It comes across as a set of complex rules that are hard to follow. Not everyone feels confident that they’re doing it right. It’s difficult to prioritize alongside other work and project needs. How do you make sure you’re building products that are accessible and inclusive?

So they set about building a guide and did a heck of a job. This is 18F work, the same team that did the U.S. Web Design System (see video presentation).

How to make a modern dashboard with NVD3.js

NVD3.js is a JavaScript visualization library that is free to use and open source. It’s derived from the well-known d3.js visualization library. When used the right way, this library can be extremely powerful for everyday tasks and even business operations.

For example, an online dashboard. We can use NVD3.js to compile data into a centralized space that visualizes the information in neat charts and graphs. That’s what we’re going to look at in this post.

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​The State of Headless CMS Market

In March and April 2018, Kentico conducted the first global report about the state of headless CMS market. We surveyed 986 CMS practitioners in 85 countries about their opinions, adoption, and plans for using headless CMS. The survey contains valuable industry insights into topics such headless CMS awareness, preferred headless CMS models, current and future uptake of the headless CMS approach, and much more, from leading industry players.

Download your complimentary copy of the full report now.

What bit of advice would you share with someone new to your field?

The most FA of all the FAQs.

Here's Laura Kalbag:

Find what you love. Don’t worry about needing to learn every language, technique or tool. Start with what interests you, and carve your own niche. And then use your powers for good!

And my own:

Buy a domain name. Figure out how to put an HTML file up there. Isn’t that a powerful feeling? Now you’ve got table stakes. Build something.

Definitely, go read other A Book Apart author answers because they are all great. My other favorite is just three words.

Automate Your Workflow with Node

You know those tedious tasks you have to do at work: Updating configuration files, copying and pasting files, updating Jira tickets.

Time adds up after a while. This was very much the case when I worked for an online games company back in 2016. The job could be very rewarding at times when I had to build configurable templates for games, but about 70% of my time was spent on making copies of those templates and deploying re-skinned implementations.

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Render Children in React Using Fragment or Array Components

What comes to your mind when React 16 comes up? Context? Error Boundary? Those are on point. React 16 came with those goodies and much more, but In this post, we'll be looking at the rendering power it also introduced — namely, the ability to render children using Fragments and Array Components.

These are new and really exciting concepts that came out of the React 16 release, so let’s look at them closer and get to know them.

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