Aleksandar • Vacić

iOS bits and pieces

ADxMenu accessibility update for IE6

Aaron J. Young from OUHSC recently wrote with question:

I was wondering how one might be able to modify your ADxMenu so that if someone has IE6 and Javascript disabled it would simply show the entire tree menu.

I prefer to add actual links to main menu items and have sub navigation shown on each of those pages. However, this is reasonable request that improves the accessibility of the menu, thus I looked into possible solution. I wanted to avoid changing HTML for the menu and I think I came up with good solution – keeping in mind that this will be seen and executed only by IE6.

The main four menu examples are updated, as well as downloadable archive. There’s also one new example that shows how you can create two different styles, one when Javascript is enabled and one when it’s disabled.

em-based typographic grid

I have recently concluded the re-design of my serbian blog. It presented itself as perfect opportunity to try out grid-based design. Unlike most of the ready-made grid systems like BluePrint and 960.gs which are based on pixels (at least the examples I have seen) – I wanted to base it all on ems.

Another goal was to create as typographically good design as I could. It should follow the vertical rhythm, use the appropriate characters for given context and feature nice readable font faces.

Typographic examples

I have created demo page that showcases all that nice typography. Another demo showcases some grid options.

Photography section updated

I have upgraded the My photography section to ZenPhoto 1.1.5, which brings along several long awaited features:

  • SPAM-protected comments - most notably Akismet integration

  • EXIF info extraction

  • Ratings, per album and per phot``` objective-c

There’s also bunch of new developments, all very welcome and which shows that this project is in good hands. Introduction of Akismet allows me to re-enable the comments, which I had to turn off due to massive SPAMfection after just a week of the original gallery being online. I have good experience with Akismet in blog comments - I expect it to work the same here.

If you havent looked recently, there’s bunch of new photos of my little kid, as well as nice gallery of my last visit to London.

I also corrected some of the display issues with IE7 in the overall site layout.

formula1.com - wow!

The official F1 site has, over the years, seen more than a good share of changes. Year after year I was visiting it, hoping to be something usable and pleasant. Alas, it wasn’t the case. From the Flash-all-over-the-place stages to the designed-for-640px - this site had all the signs of a site being designed by agencies going for bling-bling instead of usability and friendliness.

It was so horrible, that I often went to f1-live.com, because official site rarely offered anything interesting or up to the minute news. The only usable thing was a race countdown. The track and driver’s information were fine, but often so poorly executed that I had no inclination to read through.

Imagine my surprise when Damir sent me an IM how come you have not commented on the new F1 site. The current site is almost fantastic. It finally uses a decent amount of screen real-estate. It has normal columns with just the right use of whitespace in between. Design is clean with the right amount of speed spiciness, navigation is understandable and well organized. Underlying code is XHTML Strict and the whole layout makes heavy use of CSS.

They have not stopped with technicalities and graphics - the content is a-must-read. I spent half a day reading through Hall of Fame articles. Gerald Donaldson writes with so much passion and wit that I couldn’t stop grinning every second paragraph. It’s passages like this that drives you to explore the site and look for more:

He affected an aura of bravado and cut a dashing figure to match. With his flowing moustache, untamed mane of long blond hair and swaggering walk he resembled a swashbuckling pirate who might plunder and pillage for pleasure. He used his car like a sword, swinging it about ferociously, cutting a swathe through the corners, kicking up dust, grass and tyre smoke and carving great chunks of time out of each circuit.

(On Keke Rosberg, 1982 F1 champion)

This section alone is a prime example of copy-writing being the important part of the overall site quality, just like good design and technical fluency.

Web site is not perfect and there are some stuff that could be changed, but I don’t want to nit-pick - I’m gonna read the rest of the Hall of Fame articles instead.