Not Our (Accessibility) Problem

I was walking around town with my 1-year-old daughter, who was in a push-chair. We were at the basement level of a new shopping center, following the signposts to get to the exit nearest to a bus stop. At one point, there was a flight of stairs, with a small lift next to them, so of course I assumed that lift would take us to ground level.

Continue reading “Not Our (Accessibility) Problem”

Express Review: Going Offline by Jeremy Keith

Jeremy nails it again with this beginner-friendly introduction to Service Workers and Progressive Web Apps. The foreword to the book says “you’ll gain a solid understanding of how to put this new technology to work for you right away” and I’d say that is very accurate.

One of the important things the book emphasizes is that any existing website can benefit from service workers, not only fancy single page apps.

If you’re like me and don’t know much about service workers, get this book now:

Moving from CSS Frameworks to CSS Grid

This is a long-overdue blog post version of a talk I did at WordCamp Stockholm in November 2017.

I’ve been playing around with various CSS frameworks for the past eight years. All these frameworks like Foundation, Bootstrap and Blueprint have really only served one purpose for me: to disguise the fact that until now, layout in CSS has been a hack.

Continue reading “Moving from CSS Frameworks to CSS Grid”

Thoughts on the Contrast Swap Technique for Improving Performance

In her post three days ago on CSS Tricks, Una Kravets described a clever technique she discovered for significantly reducing image sizes on the web with little loss of quality. Essentially the idea is this: 

  1. Reduce the contrast of the image in Photoshop
  2. Re-apply contrast using CSS filter()

With this process, Kravets managed to get between 23% to 28% reduction in image size, which can add up to a lot of KB if you have many images on the page. I think this technique is a great discovery and a boost for image-heavy sites that don’t need to worry much about good IE support… but. But, I can’t help but think it does smell a bit hacky.

This kind of contrast trickery shouldn’t be done in CSS, it should be in the image format. And to be clear, I don’t mean to criticize Una’s discovery. If it’s possible to reduce contrast and then re-apply it on the fly with little perceptible loss in quality, surely those instructions could be passed along in the image files themselves and not have to rely on a separate stylesheet which may or may not load? I guess we’d need a new image format for that…

Posted in Web