TechComm Today
Oct. 23, 2013

7 trends that have dominated Web design and development in 2013
Cygnet Infotech
The number of Internet users increased rapidly this year. This has a lot to do with the rising sales of Internet-enabled smart mobile devices. In 2013, Web developers and designers are focusing on creating websites that render well over mobiles. The practical application of websites has changed, and this has in turn changed the Web design elements that dominate websites. Here, we take a look at seven Web design and Web development trends that have almost become best practices in 2013.More

Eyetracking and the neuroscience of good Web design
Fast Company
Fabian Stelzer, EyeQuant's CEO, believes there's a science to how we view the Web. Whether on desktops or on mobile, whether we're male or female, young or old, our eyes will be drawn to certain common elements of Web design — a combination of contrasts, locations, contours and colors. Stelzer's also sure of something else: Knowing what these common elements are, and integrating them into websites, mean ecommerce sites can snag hesitant buyers and magazines can convince readers to click on articles.More

Experts: Obamacare website stymied by its poor design
CBS News
VideoBriefThere have been plenty of disruptions this month as people tried to buy health insurance on line. The new insurance exchanges set up under the president's health care law have been impossible to navigate for many. "CBS Evening News" has been doing a lot of reporting on how things went wrong with the software — and there is more news behind the problems.More

Tell a colleague and win: Member Get a Member in full swing
STC
Is there someone you know that would benefit from STC membership? Why not invite them to join! Our recent membership survey showed that one-third of our members found out about STC from another member. Who do you know that needs to know about STC? Refer or recruit a new member by 13 December and be entered to win great prizes! For recruitment tips, links, and more information, click "read more" below or contact Megan McBroom at megan.mcbroom@stc.org. Thanks to the hundreds of members who have already joined or renewed for 2014!More

Usability and Accessibility Virtual Conference rescheduled
STC
The STC/UXPA virtual conference, Applying Accessibility and Usability In Your Workplace, has been rescheduled for 5-7 November, from 12:30-3:15 PM EST (GMT-5) each day. This unique, three-day, online event will include presentations on many aspects of accessibility and usability and how they fit into the bigger picture of Web and product development. With the application of usability and accessibility skills, your products and services will show a commitment to understanding your customers and accommodating those who may have challenges. The virtual conference speakers will cover a wide but important variety of topics in a short and convenient time frame. If you have never seen usability testing conducted with the differently abled, you will have your opportunity. Concerned about 508? We'll provide you an update. From ethics to design, communication to gaming — this conference is for the novice through the experienced professional. More

New to the profession? STC has a membership level for you!
STC
The New TC Professional membership costs $160 per year and is aimed at recent graduates new to the technical communication profession. It's a step between Student Membership and Classic Membership to help recent graduates continue their STC membership at an important time in their careers. It includes membership in one professional chapter and one Special Interest Group, plus everything all members receive: online access to Intercom and Technical Communication, free archived education seminars, access to the Salary Database, education discounts, and so much more. To qualify for the New TC Professional membership rate, individuals must have graduated from a college or university within the past three years. If you have any questions, please click below or email Megan McBroom at megan.mcbroom@stc.org.More

Expand your writing with an STC online course
STC
Time is running out to sign up for two STC online courses focused on writing. Undiscovered Country: Master Writer and Writing Effective User Documentation, both presented by Sharon Burton, start in early November. These multi-week courses are perfect to help you take the next step in your career. Undiscovered Country: Master Writer, runs on a compressed schedule, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 November through 19 November, from 5:30-7:00 PM EST (GMT-5) each session, and focuses on information design. Writing Effective User Documentation takes place every Wednesday from 6 November through 12 December, Noon-1:30 PM EST (GMT-5), and helps you learn what “good” user documentation is and how to create it, how to plan meeting deadlines and deliverables, and how to meet the cost requirements of your company. Sign up for one of these courses today!More

Building a Web app with Symfony 2: Development
SitePoint
Part 1 of this two-part series illustrated how to set up Symfony 2 and link up the database. It also covered some fundamental concepts of the framework. In this part, we will link things up by creating routes, controllers, entities/repositories, and views to get the site up and running.More

Dash is a free coding course that'll teach you how to make CSS robots
The Verge
General Assembly has launched a new online service that teaches basic web development for free, in your browser. It's called Dash, and it lets users learn how to use HTML, Javascript, and CSS by working through four projects of increasing difficulty.More

What developers are saying about Windows Phone 8 Version 3
FierceDeveloper
For Microsoft and its Windows Phone 8 operating system, the third time may, in fact, be the charm. The company recently announced a major update to its mobile OS, which is designed to show off apps on larger smartphones with brighter screens, is expected to launch later this year. Microsoft also announced a developer program to encourage more app creators to make new titles for its platform.More

How and why responsive Web design goes wrong
SitePoint
By many commonly accepted practices for mobile design integration, your best bet for creating a mobile site that works is through the use of responsive design techniques. On the surface, this seems to make sense: Under the right circumstances, responsive design can look elegant and impart enormous functionality. But it can also lead to some serious Web design failures under the wrong sorts of circumstances.More

The 10 hottest JavaScript framework projects
InfoWorld
Trying to decide which JavaScript UI framework will best meet the needs of your project and organization? With 10 strong contenders, there's a lot to consider. But often overlooked are the metrics tracking the size, strength, and momentum of the communities and ecosystems surrounding these open source projects. These stats should play a key role in your selection.More

5 killer Web design tips that will make your life easier
The Huffington Post
We all want to have a beautifully designed website and yet, it's surprisingly hard. So what is it that great designers know that the rest of us don't? The key to great Web design is really very simple: you've got to understand the universal rules of good design and follow them, all the time.More

Visual narratives: Telling a story through visual design
Econsultancy
Today, UX professionals are using the basic tools of visual communication to provide clearer, more intuitive user journeys. Visual communication can be thought of in terms of two intertwined parts: "personality" and visual organization. The personality of a website or other customer touchpoint is driven by its look and feel. But an equally important part of the user experience is less immediately obvious. The usability of a page, whether printed or displayed on-screen, relies on an intuitive visual organization.More

22 spooky Halloween-inspired horror designs
SitePoint
The vast majority of design projects are meant to be warm, friendly, and appealing to customers, which is why some designers relish a sharp change of pace in their work and an opportunity to show off creativity and skills that are rarely called upon for their typical projects. More