Web Design Resources: News

Deadlines
“ I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they go by. ” — Douglas Adams , March 11, 1952 – May 11, 2001
The “How Are You Different” Question
Over at BF , we’re doing some preliminary work for our new website, which has got us all thinking about story telling, explaining who we are, and providing compelling reasons to go with us, versus the competition. It’s got us asking: How, exactly, are we different? A few answers to that question come to mind: Our process is structured differently than a lot of agencies. As often as we can, we try to eliminate unnecessary processes and deliverables, so we can...
InterAct translations and localizations
Work is well and truly underway to get WaSP InterAct translated into multiple languages. With an army of over thirty volunteers working in eighteen languages we hope to get localized versions of the Curriculum into schools colleges and universities near you soon. It’s a huge project and we’re looking for as many volunteers as possible. If [...]
Listening Between the Leading
It was my pleasure to be interviewed last night by Aaron Heth and Matt McInerney, two self-proclaimed extremely passionate design students from the Savannah College of Art & Design, for their Read Between the Leading podcast. We had a nice chat about where I got my start, from school to my first job, and a good bit about the state of web design and where we’re headed. Thanks very much to Aaron and Matt for having me on! Be sure to check out a few of the past episodes with...
Owltastic
Deputy Designer here at SimpleBits, Meagan Fisher, rebrands/redesigns her personal site. It's beautiful... and incredibly owly (that's a good thing). Congrats Meagan! #
Choices
Craig directed me to this piece today after I complimented him on the new version of Twitterrific for the iPhone, stating how much I love seeing different approaches to Twitter client design. I hadn’t seen his post (from December 2008) before today, but it’s a good read that gives insight into some of the decisions behind Twitteriffic’s design that are still applicable now. Personally, I welcome this competition. Seeing the work of other developers whose work I respect...
Web App Expert Interviews - Part 1
Do you prototype your web app projects? Can Ajax techniques really improve accessibility? Do you wonder how components and patterns stack up to style guides and which is more efficient to use? The answer to these questions, and many more, are in a series of podcast interviews I did with web app experts. Twitter has been abuzz over these interviews [...]
On vacation for a week or so
Just to let you know, I’m on vacation for a week or so. If you send me email or tweet in my direction, don’t expect a reply for a while.
The Medium is the Mess
Stan has written a thoughtful piece called What’s Golden . Therein he examines the tried and trusted golden ratio and finds it very difficult to apply to the unpredictable dimensions of the web browser: I?m not saying that using these principles is a dead end, what I am saying is their usefulness is questionable for web design. … I?m not in favor of restricting content to a scrolling box, or jumping through hoops to regulate the size of content, pages, and...
Fixed Position and Opacity Filter Bug in Internet Explorer
I think I have a knack for discovering weird edge cases but here was a wacky one that had me scratching my head for awhile. In working on some interface development, I wanted to have an element with fixed positioning, locking it to the viewport. In this particular case, it quickly animates in by adjusting the opacity of the element from 0 to 100. Straightforward enough, right? But in Internet Explorer 7 and 8 (even in standards mode), I wasn't able to scroll and while I could type in my...
Think Brownstone's AEA Seattle sketches
I especially like the macro/angle framing. #
Jeremy Keith on Zoomfusion
I?m perplexed. Either a whole swathe of my peers are confusing elastic and liquid layouts or I?m missing something fundamental. #
SpoolCast: Company Culture Meets Customer Experience with Brian Kalma
This week I wanted to share my interview with Brian Kalma, Director of User Experience and Web Strategy for darling of Internet retail, Zappos.com. In case you've somehow missed out on their meteoric rise to top of online retail, now conducting over a billion dollars in sales a year, you're in for a treat.
Authentic Jobs: Advice for Staying Gainfully Employed
The redesign for Authentic Jobs , which is coming along swimmingly thanks to your feedback, will include a blog to allow myself and others to post articles on the topic of employment, freelancing, and the like. The following is one such article. I've been bookmarking the links below over the past few months in anticipation of the new blog. However, because the redesign is taking longer than I had hoped, I've decided to post the article now given the timeliness of the subject. The...
CSS background images cannot and should not have alternate text
I sometimes see people asking how they can provide alternate text for CSS background images . The answer is that you can?t. Neither should you need to. The reason, as Chris Heilmann explains in So how do you add alternative text to background images? , is that a background image should be used for presentational purposes only, i.e. it should not be essential for understanding the content or functionality of the page. If you turn off CSS in your web browser and find that vital...
Zoomfusion
I know I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer but there’s one recurring topic that makes me feel downright stupid. I’ve heard a lot of my fellow designer/developers talking about how page zoom (rather than text zoom) spells the death of liquid layouts. Now, forgive me for being dense, but I just don’t get it. I totally understand how page zoom could spell the death of elastic layouts; using ems for layout won’t be necessary if browsers natively resize...
Placing a CSS background image horizontally right on an h2 using a span element
This CSS tip is really basic, and I?m sure a lot of people who are comfortable working with CSS won?t probably learn anything new here, but I thought I just share this anyway. I believe this is a very useful tip for people just starting out. It?s about how you add a background image to a heading 2 element and have it perfectly aligned on the right side of the text while keeping the default block element behavior.
Shifting my Opinion on CSS Animations
When CSS animations were first introduced in Webkit back in 2007, I expressed my concerns that CSS may not be the best place for it . Sound cool? I don't think so. Not only does it make CSS more complicated, it makes JavaScript more complicated, too. Having actually taken some time to implement CSS animations in an example , a light bulb clicked. The way I looked at how animations were declared and in what situations you would declare them suddenly changed. I believe I have...
What?s Golden
The rule of thirds and ratios such as the golden section are fantastic methods for achieving designs that feel cohesive. The problem is these principles don’t really apply to web design. Golden Ratio: When the ratio between two numbers is the same as the ratio of the sum of those numbers and the larger number. Bascially, a+b is to a as a is to b . Also referred to as the “divine proportion” from its frequent occurrence in nature. Rule of...
Taking the Guesswork Out of Design
Clients, like other humans, often fear what they don't understand. Daniel Ritzenthaler explains how sound goal-setting, documentation, and communication strategies can bridge the gap between a designer's intuition and a client's need for proof.