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Eric Bailey

Inclusive design and accessibility advocate. Recovering curmudgeon.

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A Complete Guide to CSS Functions

Like any other programming language, CSS has functions. They can be inserted where you’d place a value, or in some cases, accompanying another value declaration.
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SVG, Favicons, and All the Fun Things We Can Do With Them

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 a favicon. It’s something that most modern browsers support, with more support on the way.… Read article “SVG, Favicons, and All the Fun Things We Can Do With Them”

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Revisiting prefers-reduced-motion, the reduced motion media query

Two years ago, I wrote about prefers-reduced-motion, a media query introduced into Safari 10.1 to help people with vestibular and seizure disorders use the web. The article provided some background about the media query, why it was needed, and how to work with it to avoid creating disability-triggering visual effects.

The article was informed by other people’s excellent work, namely Orde Saunders’ post about user queries, and Val Head’s article on web animation motion sensitivity. … Read article “Revisiting prefers-reduced-motion, the reduced motion media query”

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Reader Mode: The Button to Beat

As a young nerd, I loved to immerse myself in digital worlds, learning the ins and outs of the rules someone else had created for me (intentionally or not). But the older and crankier I get, the more I find myself losing patience when navigating these “delightful” experiences.

This fascination was great for my eventual career as a designer, but unfortunately, it was also like teaching someone kerning—once you learn how to quantify a bad user experience, you can’t … Read article “Reader Mode: The Button to Beat”

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The possibilities of the color-adjust property

The Open Web continues to show up in places we would have never originally expected to find it: our phones, televisions, watches, books, video game consoles, fast food menus, gas pumps, elevators, cars—even our refrigerators.

By not making too many or too strict assumptions about how the web should be used, it remains flexible and adaptable. These qualities have allowed it to outperform closed technologies like Flash and Silverlight.

With the web’s growth comes new features to better accommodate its … Read article “The possibilities of the color-adjust property”

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Building a Good Download… Button?

The semantics inherent in HTML elements tell us what we’re supposed to use them for. Need a heading? You’ll want a heading element. Want a paragraph? Our trusty friend <p></p> is here, loyal as ever. Want a download? Well, you’re going to want… hmm.

What best describes a download? Is it a triggered action, and therefore should be in the domain of the <button></button> element? Or is it a destination, and therefore best described using an <a></a> element?… Read article “Building a Good Download… Button?”

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ARIA is Spackle, Not Rebar

Much like their physical counterparts, the materials we use to build websites have purpose. To use them without understanding their strengths and limitations is irresponsible. Nobody wants to live in an poorly-built house. So why are poorly-built websites acceptable?

In this post, I’m going to address WAI-ARIA, and how misusing it can do more harm than good.… Read article “ARIA is Spackle, Not Rebar”

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Keeping track of letter-spacing, some guidelines

Considering that written words are the foundation of any interface, it makes sense to give your website’s typography first-class treatment. When setting type, the details really do matter. How big? How small? How much line height? How much letter-spacing? All of these choices affect the legibility of your text and can vary widely from typeface to typeface. It stands to reason that the more attention paid to the legibility of your text, the more effectively you convey a message.… Read article “Keeping track of letter-spacing, some guidelines”