Websites that auto-play music (MySpace most notably) are extremely difficult because the sound makes it hard for the user to listen to screen readers. Further, the flash music player is usually inaccessible for screen reader users, so the music can not be stopped and the page is completely unusable.
I recently had the opportunity to take Edward Tufte's one day course, Presenting Data and Information. Tufte is the master of the subject, and everything I've heard about his course was positive, I can now concur and recommend that anyone interested in data visualization and usability should take this course of you have the chance, it's really quite affordable and you get a set of his books with registration.
This week I came across three interesting articles that deal with non profits, website usability and donations. Taken together, I think they can be useful and instructive to non profit organizations working on developing new websites or optimizing existing websites and communication strategies.
Like any relatively new field of study Information Architecture is still trying to define itself. Is it a practice in and of itself? Or is it/should it be part of a broader field that uses other tools and produces additional artifacts? The IA Summit endeavored to create a dialog around what this practice can actually encompass when considering users' interactions with information.
The summit itself intimated at our need to begin bridging the gap between traditional IA (links and pages) and the burgeoning social and semantic web (contexts and connections). First, the theme of the summit was "Expanding Our Horizons," suggesting the practice look beyond those tools and techniques we've come to know and love (hi sitemaps).
I created the Translation Links module as a way of making translations of nodes easily accessible on partially translated multi-lingual websites. Such websites will have Drupal 6 core's Content Translation module enabled, but not many or perhaps any of i18n and it's modules that enable multi-lingual features for menus, views and taxonomy.
Vertical Tabs module by Dmitri Gaskin is a Drupal module-ification of prototype work I did for the usability of Drupal's node forms, and was inspired partly by ideas in the discussion and design process of Views 2 UI – which was all part of my Season of Usability project.
For a long time I have wondered how the teams that design car stereos can fail so miserably at making car stereos easy to use. The function of a car stereo is not complicated, and there are few tasks that need to be considered in the design of a car stereo interface. Approximately in order of importance these tasks are;