CSS Sprites and Accessibility

Yahoo’s Best Practices for Speeding Up Your Web Site lists minimizing HTTP requests as the very first recommendation. One of the ways they suggest doing that is by using CSS sprites (which I mentioned previously in Clever Ways to Save Bandwidth).

I recently applied this technique to a series of social media icons. Here’s an example:

The example page uses a single image to display 8 separate icons from the following single image:

CSS sprites of social media icons

Be careful when using background images as links. Continue reading CSS Sprites and Accessibility

Typography on the Web

In spite of my fondness for typography, I have always been fairly antagonistic towards web typography “solutions” like sIFR. Sure, it’s a better idea than using a GIF file for every headline, but is it really necessary?

I’m skeptical. What is it buying you, and at what cost? What’s the return on investment? Is it improving conversions, improving customer/reader loyalty?

To me, content is king. I’ve visited, bookmarked, and returned to many web sites that are no-frills black-text-on-a-white-background. I remember fondly the days of Gopher, shortly before the rise of the World-Wide Web: all information, and no waste.

Let’s say there are 3 kinds of people in the world:

  1. Graphic Designers
  2. Computer Programmers
  3. Everyone Else

Let’s look at these groups from the bottom-up:
Continue reading Typography on the Web