Blog: Content that makes you happy

Global accessibility awareness starts at home

Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) logoTo celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2015, FixTheWeb has produced an excellent animated video on web accessibility. Of course, the video is itself a model of accessible media.

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Spot-check your own web content

We all hope and trust that our content authors are creating findable, usable, valuable content for both web and mobile. But how can we be sure? Here's a quick way to spot-check your own web content without user-testing. 

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Google boosts ranking of mobile-friendly pages for smartphone searchers

Search results on mobile phoneSince April 21, Google has expanded its use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. They say, "This change ... will have a significant impact in our search results." Wow. Huge implications for web designers, content managers, content strategists and web writers. 

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When web accessibility goes down the drain

WCAG 2.0 and S.508 go down the drainWe work with many government agencies on web accessibility. And sure, our whizz-bang accessibility experts can get your web sites to comply with national web standards, whether that's S. 508 or WCAG 2.0 or some other variation. So what's the problem?

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How to understand a bad communicator: active listening

Boss and stenographer, 1896, MetLife Office NY

It takes two to communicate! How do you work with people whose communications are incomprehensible?

Maybe they send you cryptic emails ... smother you with gobbledegook ... expect you to read their minds ... give you mixed messages ... confuse opinion with fact ... 

Whatever the cause, you just don't understand what they mean.

And whatever their communication crimes, the solution is the same: active listening. That's much more than just absorbing the words they utter. It means playing an active part in the communication, taking the lead so that you get the information you need.

1. Pay close attention: the message may be buried somewhere in a grunt or a raised eyebrow or a P.S.

2. Prompt them for clarification.

  • So what do you need me to do right now?
  • I don't quite understand.
  • What do you mean, exactly?
  • Who? What? When? Where? How much? Why? 

3. Paraphrase what you think the other person means. Don't repeat their exact phrases: use your own words. Find an approach that feels comfortable for you.

  • So what you're saying is...
  • Have I got this right? ...
  • I need help here. Do you mean that ...

RESULT: you get the information straight.

BONUS: you make those bad communicators aware of the problem and may even help them to improve.


Image: Boss and stenographer, 1896, MetLife Office New York.

With regards to a grammar question

Man says "With regards to", thinks "What will I say?" Hello, can you help me with a grammar question? What is the difference between: With regards to beauty, attitude is more important than appearance and  A beautiful attitude is more important than a beautiful appearance.

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How do you write useful survey questions? Good question!

Senior person conducting street survey. Noah KazisWhat is a useful survey question? Without any context, that's a meaningless question. You can't just click your fingers and
produce the perfect questionnaire. As always, a writing process is involved, step by step.

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