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A better birthday input, by Vitaly Friedman

I recently signed up to Vitaly from Smashing Mag’s Smart Interface Design Patterns newsletter. This latest edition regarding “date of birth” inputs was interesting, and well timed as my work colleagues and I are about to revisit our form patterns. It’s a nice explainer on why we should approach UI for dates the user knows differently from UI for dates the user will choose.

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Tables and pseudo-tables: lessons and tactics

At work I have to think about complex HTML tables a lot. The challenge with doing tables well is that 99% of online table tutorials use fairly simple examples… whereas in reality design and product teams often want to squeeze in lots more. It’s really hard to balance those needs against accessibility, systemisation, styling and responsiveness.

Heads up: I’ve published this post early while it’s still a work in progress because it’s better for me to have it available for reference than languishing in drafts and forgotten. Apologies if you read it in a temporarily rough state.

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Improved focus indicators for keyboard navigation (on GitHub’s blog)

GitHub have recently done some good work on improving keyboard navigation for (and general usability of) their focusable elements such as links, buttons and form controls by improving focus indication. And then they wrote a short-but-sweet article about it, then tweeted to share that and their work is getting lots of positive recognition from all the right people. Nice job all round, GitHub!

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Web components as progressive enhancement, by Cloud Four

By enhancing native HTML instead of replacing it, we can provide a solid baseline experience, and add progressive enhancement as the cherry on top.

Great article by Paul Herbert of Oregon’s Cloud Four. Using a web component to enhance an existing HTML element such as <textarea> (rather than always creating a custom element from scratch) feels very lean, resilient and maintainable.

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Note · 2:18 PM · Malaga, Spain

April 2022 mixtape

I put together a fairly spacey and mellow selection of laidback electronic sounds with a little nod to summer.

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Improving alternative text for images

Some colleagues at work have recently been asking interesting questions about “good/appropriate alternative text for images”. I definitely reckon it’s a topic worth revisiting because it feels like the landscape has changed a bit on this front over the years.

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SVG: collected tips

SVG is an amazing technology which I regularly use for icons and occasionally for logos and illustrations. I’ve also dipped my toe into animated SVG. But if I’m honest I still find some SVG concepts confusing so I’ve gathered some useful tips here for future reference. Note: this is a living document which I’ll expand over time.

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