News : April 2008
The Potential of LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn debuted a Groups feature a while back. Being the habitual UX explorer that I am, I set up a few groups, including one for Digital Web readers. While LinkedIn has been slow to open up the directory to display all the new groups, external networks are making their own effort to publicize them. Airbag Industries recently formed an already popular geek group, Web Standards Design + Development. The future of groups in LinkedIn isn’t exactly clear. But as a member, you can connect to other members strictly through group membership which is new and more open-ended than previous methods.
All this goes to say that I spent some time looking through web professionals’ profiles, and noted early Groups relevant to web professionals (warning, URLs might not quite work):
- Digital Web Magazine
- Web Standards Design + Development
- An Event Apart
- Boxes and Arrows
- New Media, Social Media
- Mobile Experience Design
- Info Arch
- Mac user
- Usability Professionals
- ASA Architect
Know of more I missed? Please comment and add an invitation link. Web professionals are all about early adoption. Wherever LinkedIn Groups go, I’m sure geeks will be well networked and represented.
New Issue: User Interface Implementations of Faceted Browsing
This week, Digital Web contributor Mike Padilla returns with an extremely thought-provoking article about information architecture, Ajax, filtering, user experience and more, in User Interface Implementations of Faceted Browsing. Dense sites have interaction rules all their own, and knowing how visitors navigate and filter your content is of paramount importance. Keeping an eye on searching and browsing strategies can help a great deal. Give Mike’s article a read and add faceted browsing to your appreciation of IA.
Talking Point: Matthew asks, ‘Is it time to re-introduce sound to the web?’
Digital Web’s Editor in Chief, Matthew Pennell, today asked an intriguing question on his personal blog, “Is it time to re-introduce sound to the web?” Web interfaces—and web apps in particular—now achieve a degree of interactivity previously reserved for desktop apps. But while desktop apps use lots of sound effects for passive information, the web remains largely silent (except for the .mp3s automatically blasting from MySpace page). Is there a new degree of human engagement to be gained from subtle, interaction-oriented sound effects in websites? Given bandwidth, is the time ripe? Discuss!
New Zealand Webstock workshops
New Zealand-based web types are in for a treat next month, when the popular Webstock conference presents workshops by Andy Budd and Tantek Çelik. Andy will be presenting on guerilla usability testing, while Tantek is unsurprisingly talking about microformats, in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch.
Talking Point: Should we stop using ajax?
James ‘Brothercake’ Edwards opened up a controversial can of geekiness with his recent Dev.Opera post, Stop using Ajax!. Brothercake argues that we are far more inclined to chase the latest-greatest technology than truly commit to accessibility, and Ajax methodologies are a prime offender. Using not-very-accessible technologies because they’re cool is at odds with the implicit humanistic idea underlying web standards—universal access. His point speaks to the very heart of the standards movement, and how widely we see that challenge. So, what do you think about ajax use v. accessibility? Or, even wider, what do you think about universal access v. technology trendiness? Should there be ebb-and-flow between the two?
New Issue: Introduction to Django
Developers, take note. This week, Digital Web explores the mysteries of Django with contributing writer Dan Ellis. While it might seem intimidating at first glance, Django provides a flexible framework that can make development a breeze. Check out Dan’s article and see if Django can elbow its way in front of Rails as the framework du jour.
New Issue: Photoshop /files/includes/10.css1
This week Digital Web is happy to welcome Anton Peck to our list of contributors. Anton is a noted illustrator and designer, who is also known for a series of how-to video Artcasts explaining his working style, as well as tools, tips and tricks with design software. With such an extensive background, Anton is the perfect person to tackle Photoshop in our ongoing Web Design /files/includes/10.css1 series. While some of us consider Photoshop to be as natural as breathing (and we’re happy to boast of it), it can make-or-break a newbie’s enthusiasm for design. In Web Design /files/includes/10.css1: Photoshop, Anton covers the basics for anyone looking to get into Photoshop quickly and easily.
A little bit of a shameless plug here, but I thought I would share the news that Blue Flavor’s website has been redesigned. We took an interesting approach to the way we display our clients, including an illustrated poster for each project we worked on (not all of our projects have posters yet tho). These illustrations are in addition to the standard project case study and screen shots. Also you may notice that down at the bottom of the page we have a link from Blue Flavor to Digital Web Magazine to tie it all in. Special thanks to D. Keith Robinson, Jeff Croft, Tom Watson, Kevin Tamura and Tiffani Jones for helping make the redesign possible.
No Longer Naked
Just in case you couldn’t stand the sight of Digital Web naked, I’m happy to announce we’re back to our normal stylesheet coverage. So if you delayed reading Lea Alcantara‘s new article about Presenting: Preparation, Process, and Pizzazz, give it another try! While some of us might not join the speakers rotation for conferences and workshops, devoting time to your presentation skills is good for everyone. Following Lea through her process and attention to personal branding is a big help, too.
New Issue: Presentations by Lea Alcantara, and We’re Naked!
If you regularly read Digital Web via our News RSS feed, you might want to hit the site today…because we’re naked! In the spirit of CSS Naked Day, Digital Web has dropped our styles and exposed our underlying markup for all to stare. It seems fitting given our topic this week, because our newest contributor, Lea Alcantara, is all about getting back to basics when it comes to presenting yourself. (Get it? Presentations…naked…okay, fine.) In Presenting: Preparation, Process, and Pizzazz, Lea digs into the most important things to keep in mind about presenting—first and foremost, do you have anything worthwhile to present? Lea shares her recent presentation experience from SXSW and expert tips on keeping your presentation style in line with your personal brand.
New Issue: The Web Beyond the Desktop
Digital Web is very happy to bring you The Web Beyond the Desktop, courtesy of notable web designer, conference organizer and general all-around, web-friendly Dave Shea. The article is a variation on a talk given by Dave and John Allsopp this winter at Web Direction North ’08. Dave questions whether we really understand the ways in which people use our websites, and gives some very clear suggestions of how to keep other interaction models in mind when designing.