Thanks Paul, I’ll definitely give a pre-lesson explaining the structure, markup, css and how they work together. Then I’ll hold their heads in the code until it makes sense.
I’ll make some obvious usability and content enhancements and give it the mum test. @ralph my mother is a bit younger than that but I doubt she’s more computer savvy She can break the most user friendly interfaces I have ever seen…
One thing I will praise about Google’s products is they always seem to pass the mum test with flying colours.
Yeah, my dear mother has given me a whole new perspective on usability testing. I showed her a web page with a standard contact form on it, which had the instruction to “fill in this form to contact us”. She was looking all over the page for a form… it took me a while to realize that she did not associate the word “form” with what we call an online contact form…
This might be somewhere between intermediate and beginner, I dunno, but one thing I do not like about (otherwise nice) tutorials such as HTMLdog’s is that, when it comes to positioning with… positioning, those pages only mention what the specs say… position relative for relative positionig (what a misleading name), absolute for what looks like absolute control… but no mention of other uses and, to use a programming term, side effects of position.
What’s the first thing you see on a newbie’s page, esp when they’ve already learned how to do stuff like write basic HTML, set colours and fonts etc with CSS? Ok maybe not everyone gets the cascade thing at first, but newbs seem to get the whole “set colours and fonts” thing pretty easily. What they screw up is using positioning for everything. Their screen is their canvas, and they usually realise the hard way and much too late that other people have differently-shaped canvasses.
I would totally want more sites out there for newbs-who-went-thru-w3schools.com about positioning. It can be a difficult concept(s) to grasp, and we could definitely use more sites that explain/show it better! Esp since you’re making an interactive page. A lot of people seem to like the little Try It editor at w3schools (I never knew it was there until recently cause you need JS on to see it!). So I suspect your pages could get quite popular.
it took me a while to realize that she did not associate the word “form” with what we call an online contact form…
I remember it being helpful when instructions said “fill out the form below to contact us” even tho stating page positioning can be dangerous. But anyway first thing you do is look down for something that looks like you can fill it in. Still, mum tests ++
Looks real nice Mark - good luck with the concept. I did all my initial learning over at lyndia.com. I’ve learned one thing over the last couple years - people don’t read, they skim. So aside from speaking with little words, make it to the point and brief. Anyways, that’s my only suggestion.
I respectfully disrespect your opinon There is an abundance of back-end developers, a shortage or front-end - I used to enjoy back-end development and was quite competent at Java(I was actually labelled as gifted :)) and .NET, then I was enlightened to web standards and my work took on new meaning for me - a somewhat hippie spiritual experience.
Apples and oranges.
If I hadn’t seen so many ‘real developers’ tire of learning CSS because it’s just too picky, hard to learn, you need to worry about browser quirks etc. I might agree with you.
I believe front-end development is considerably harder. In all those other languages there is room for entry level skills. If you know a little you can still get a lot done, just not as efficiently as a more highly skilled developer.
Essentially I am saying that it takes more time in study before you can be paid for that skill. Whilst saying all that I do believe CSS is much simpler in many ways too - you can learn the syntax in 2 minutes.
For me learning the “basics” i.e. selectors, properties, values, wasn’t so hard, although I still use references from time to time. And I guess writing for a single browser at a single viewport dimension isn’t all that difficult once you get the basics down. But it’s easy to forget that although it’s “art”, everyones “canvas” is different. Far too many CSS authors blame the browser at this point and balk at the prospect of really learning CSS.