UDM Blog – Web Accessibility, Development, Marketing and Trends

Keeping you informed on the lastest web development and accessibility information.

Archive for the ‘Accessibility’ Category

5 Easy steps to web accessibility.

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Many people starting out in web development can be easily overwhelmed by all the terminology. Just look at the following sentence…

Just ping the API using PHP and SOAP, parse the XML and apply the correct XSLT to generate valid XHTML and apply your CSS.

Add in terms like WAI, WCAG, and US Section 508 and a beginner, and even mid-level programmer, can easily get lost.

To help budding developers, and those who want to learn more about accessibility and implement it into your web site, I’ve put together this list of 5 easy steps to help you get on the right path.

Web Accessibility in a down economy

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

We all know that the economy isn’t in the midst of a boom. Heck, it’s nowhere near that. And we all know that many companies are holding back on new development work, or trying to save as much as possible on the projects that are moving forward. But where does accessibility come into the overall financial considerations?

Many companies take the attitude that web development with accessibility in mind only increases the overall cost of a development project. Not so. In fact, I would argue that properly setting up an accessible and semantic web site from the beginning is significantly less expensive than the losses you will incur down the road. Losses realized either through reduced traffic or reduced sales, or reduced advertising. Additionally, in this economy, the last thing you want to do with your web site is give up on any visitors. Every one of them is a potential sale or lead. Now is the time to make sure your web site is reaching the absolute most people possible. Ignoring accessibility can potentially block anywhere from 5 – 25% of your user base. When faced with declining sales, leads, or other metrics, why add insult to injury?

The stark reality is that costs related to accessibility, just like costs related to many other aspects of a project, are more directly related to the overall management, planning and implementation of the project than the actual time and materials to implement the feature. Sure, a poorly implemented accessibility strategy can cost a lot of money. But so can a poorly implemented registration system, e-commerce solution, or any other web-based application. The key is all in the planning. If you go in with a solid path to success, and manage the development well, the impact to your budget will be minimal, and the benefits through increased traffic, leads, sales or advertising revenue will more than offset any additional costs related to accessibility implementation.

Accessibility isn’t a “nice to have” in a bad economy – it’s a must have!

Announcing the UDM4 Blog

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

As part of our 2009 resolutions to better serve the UDM4 and web development community, we’re please to announce the addition of the UDM4 blog to our site.

In the coming months, we will be focusing on providing you with timely, useful, and relevant information in the fields of accessibility, web development, marketing and search engine optimization.

If you would like to contribute to the UDM4 blog, we are currently accepting applications for blogger. Please submit your application to info@udm4.com with the subject “Blog Application” and indicate which area of interest you would like to discuss.

We hope that the addition of the blog, in conjunction with our already successful forum, will help you grow in your web development and accessibility career.  Hopefully this new blog will help me pay my high monthly car insurance bill.


Ultimate Dropdown Menu 4.5

UDM is a fully-featured and accessible DHTML dropdown menu, that provides useable content to all browsers - including screenreaders, search-engines, text-only browsers and any web enabled device such as PDAs, iPhones ®, and Blackberrys ®. But having a dropdown menu that makes use of the key benefits of accessibility shouldn't mean compromise, and so UDM includes a sophisticated range of design and usability controls, to give you a tool with unique capabilities:

We'll customise for you!

With our in-depth knowledge we can save you time and money in development.

Get a quote today!

Server-Side Frameworks

UDM is available in a range of server-side frameworks, that generate CSS and scripting on the server, and can bring the total filesize to only 20K!

Recent articles

Initialization trigger element
Defining a trigger element allows the menu script to initialize before window.onload!
The implications of initializing before window.onload
Any scripting you do which is tied into the API "Ready" event (event "010") may need to be checked to make sure it still behaves correctly.
Setting the character-match value for allowed filenames
The file path in the PHP configuration can now contain "\" (backslash) and ":" (colon), for greater compatibility with Windows server paths.
Refreshing the tree after dynamic changes
Using the um.refresh method, you can add or remove items after page load, or populate the menus using AJAX.

Popular extensions

"You are here"
Tells you where you are in the navigation tree.
Load XML
Use an XML document as your menu data source.
Scrolling Menus
Adds up/down scrolling behavior to overlong menus.

See all available extensions


UDM 4 is valid XHTML, and in our judgement, meets the criteria for WAI Triple-A conformance.