News : June 2002
Eddie Traversa tells us that he is sponsoring the Life is But A Dream Contest, a Web site building contest ($1000 US first prize) based on XHTML standards. All entries must conform to either a XHTML 1.0 strict DTD, XHTML 1.1 DTD or alternatively can use an XML Schema. Check it out!
Meet-Up started out as a good idea... it just needs some minor changes: 1) the ability to change the time and date of the local meetup. 2) the ability to "vote" on an alternative venue 3) only list venues actually in the city of the meetup you are attending.
Going to be in Las Vegas on September 9th? Why not swing by Caesar's Palace and hear me speak at Web Builder about turning hits into users through good web design. The session is entitled "Avoid the Web Death Sentence: Design Strategies for Keeping Your Customers Around." I hope to see you there!
A while back I made some comments about a small net survey whose results may be skewed toward a single audience... well, it looks like even the bigger fish are skewed... or should I say, on the skewer: Jupiter Media Metrix to be sold at a rock bottom price of $250,000 USDs. The entry is pretty opinionated but probably justifiable.
Peter Van Dijck asks, "Jakob [Nielsen] on drugs?" ...we would like to say "yes" and have it done with, but I fear that the proper answer is "No, he was just born that way." That is my official response and I am sticking to it. [from LucDesk]
George Olsen tells us that a new issue of Boxes and Arrows is out. In this issue Nathan Shedroff writes about "Computer Human Values" and Steve MacLaughlin reviews Hillman Curtis's book "Making the Invisible Visible: Process, Inspiration and Practice for the New Media Designer." Happy reading!
For those of you in the Portland area, Tom Cocklin is giving a 2 day tutorial for CHIFOO on User-Centered Design: A Practical Introduction on Friday, July 26th and and Saturday, July 27th from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Hope to see you there.
While stuck at home sick with a sinus infection, I have noticed that A List Apart has published issue 146. In this issue Jeremy Wright writes about Time Management, the pickle jar theory. Speaking of time management, we must return to bed for some much-needed rest.
Here is another great article on CHI and the future of computers; The world is not a desktop by Mark Weiser. The quote that stands out the most to me in this article is "A good tool is an invisible tool. By invisible, I mean that the tool does not intrude on your consciousness; you focus on the task, not the tool." Which is in sync with Tracy Keaton Drew's quote in Web Design Studio Secrets, "The most successful design is the one the viewer doesn't even notice." [from WebWord]
IBM/Ease of Use/Simplifying Tasks poster which is, ironically, near impossible to order. "Leave it to a multi-billion, multi-national corporation to make getting a poster about simplicity, difficult." [from SVN]
The white padded boxes design trend? ideo.com, Design is Kinky, Australian INfront, SurfStation, Kiiroi, Misprint, Limmy, plus about 5 other sites I can't remember the URLs of. Well, at least they aren't using 45 dregree angles anymore... what?
Another great read is Jeff Veen's article about the first step in moving to a CMS system. The article is entitled "Doing a Content Inventory (Or, A Mind-Numbingly Detailed Odyssey Through Your Web Site)" ...a must read if your company does not currently have a Content Management System yet and static HTML pages are stacking up to the size of a considerable mountain. [from Info Design]
Generating Simple URLs for Search Engines by Avi Rappoport is a good read. It covers how to convert complex URLs into simple, user-readable URLs. Several older articles on the same subject from ALA, Evolt and other sites are linked down near the bottom of the article as well. [from Info Design]
Usability Testing: You Get What You Pay For by Deborah J. Mayhew, Ph.D. speaks mountains about not only the theory of "you get what you pay for" in any profession but also what it really takes to run a fairly accurate usability test. It all goes back to knowing your target audience, knowing your user.... don't know who they are? Why not survey them? We did. [from InfoDesign]
Community Costs ... or so says this article. Now, speaking as someone who has met and talked with Rusty, I don't think his logic was that far off. You can't speak for Kuro5hin unless you are Kuro5hin. Take another perspective on the issue at hand: artists live out of city gutters in hopes that one day their hobby will pay off. I think in Kuro5hin's case, they have the audience that can back them. In other related news, Digital Web Magazine is a week or two away from paying off our first issue's contributors thanks to your donations.
The winners for the 2002 The Webby Awards and the People's Voice Awards have been announced. Much to our chagrin, a lot of the sites we wanted to win did not... however, some sites that we expected to win, did. I mentioned it before, but I'll say it again. We need an awards show for web sites that is judged only by web experts and web professionals, not celebrities.
Digital Web Magazine is in search of a good writer to take on a monthly column spot. Candidates should have a proven track-record of quality content and at least 4 years of experience in web development, web design, or a web related field. If you feel you have the skills to be a part of our core team, we want to hear from you.
A new issue of Digital Web Magazine is out, but it's not just any old issue. This week we are happy to add a new columnist, David Wertheimer, to our ranks. David joins us with years of editorial, writing and design experience. His column, Wide Open, will focus on imperatives and limitations of Web usability. This week David writes about the use of CSS on mainstream retail and media sites in relation to usability. Check it out!
A new issue of Boxes and Arrows is up. In this issue Erin Malone covers the root of it all in Foreseeing the future: The legacy of Vannevar Bush and Chiara Fox talks about Re-architecting PeopleSoft.com from the bottom-up.
I stumbled across this page entitled Design Rants by Phillip Randolph Carter. Last updated in January 1999, it's a bit outdated yet still very relevant on some levels. Owen Briggs has a more recent view on the same subject in his article Design Rant where he focuses more on the technology rather than the design. This all roots down to the core issue: Graphic Designers are not necessarily Web Designers. Good Web Designers understand concepts like good information architecture, usability, visual design, as well as what web technologies to use where and how.
Speaking of mass chaos, cats and dogs living together, etc. PixelSurgeon interviews Jakob Nielsen. I rarely link to anything Jakob has to say mainly because I feel he is too critical and assumes users are non-intelligent, but please understand that I agree with the base principle of sites being usable. It has been phrased as "Form ever follows function"... not "Form can sometimes follow function" or "Function does not need form". [from Zeldman]
Survey says... if you are looking for Web and Internet related statistics, this is the first place to look: Stats Toolbox: Statistics. The toobox stats page contains data compiled from a variety of sources making the skewing factors near irrelevant. [from DesignFlea]
I stumbled upon this jewel: (warning: 1.7 MB PDF file) Discovering Logo Design Tends - Methodology and Practice: An Analysis of the Logos of Top Advertising Spenders in the American Market, a Master of Arts thesis by Andela Lynn Stahle of Georgetown University. There are some really good facts here. The thesis is dated April 22nd, 2002 so it contains pretty recent data.
A new issue of New Architect magazine is up with a great feature by Jeffrey Veen called Joint Venture: A Commitment to Consistent Interface, Complementary Services, And User-Centered Strategy... it's all about cobranding and user experience. As expected with anything authored by Veen, this article is a must read.
The title says it all: RSS 0.92: A Step-by-Step Beginner's Guide to Creating Your First Document by Matthew Trump. [from LucDesk]
Here is a interesting if not handy site to know about... globe of blogs is basically a weblog directory listing and sorting blogs based on your search. Also of interest is Guest Map much like a Guestbook, Guest Map allows your users to indicate their location on a map of your choice as well as add comment and such.
Kevin Airgid writes about Monkey See Monkey Do, the theory of design trends.
A new issue of Digital Web Magazine is out. In this issue we have a great interview with CSS expert Eric Meyer by Meryl Evans. We also have two mini product reviews for Adobe After Effects 5.5 and VisiBone's Web Color KiloChart both by Jesse Nieminen. See you next week with more on CSS.
A Return to Simplicity talks of just that, simplicity, the web's influence on newspaper design, and tips for the newspaper designer.
Dan Brown returns with the second article of the Special Deliverables series on Boxes and Arrows. This article is entitled Coherence, Context, Relevance. Also in this issue is Challenging the Status Quo: Audi Redesigned by James Kalbach.
For those in Portland, tonight is the 2nd Portland Blogger Meet. Festivities kick off at 5:00 PM at Kells ... I hope to see your there!
Meryl interviews Bruce Lawson and Molly Holzschlag, editors of Usability: The site speaks for itself. "The book features case studies from the designers behind six different sites who demonstrate how they created their usable sites. It accurately declares itself a guru-free zone." [from Meryl's Notes]
Unemployeed in Oregon? Juanita Benedicto, of NewBreed Librarian fame, tells us that there are two openings for Interactive Media Project Manager in the Media Services department of the University of Oregon's Knight Library. Web Designers, Web Developers, Project Managers and Information Architects should check these openings out.
Unemployed in downtown Portland? Gabe Kean, of Born Magazine fame, tells us that Second Story is seeking an experienced Web Programmer. Web Programmers, Web Developers, DBAs and SysAdmins should check this one out.
Ann-Marie Cheung tells us that Flash Goddess has just launched. A site dedicated to showcasing talented female Flash designers, animators, coders and artists.
"Destroy Fn": Designers artworks against antisemitism and rascism.Featuring: Onlab, Perfornika, Spectre7, and more. Destroy Fn: Against all upcomming fascism!
Christina Wodtke's comments in her article "Fear of Design" on Boxes and Arrows really strikes a note with me. As I said before, I don't really consider myself an IA. Why? Because I have been doing IA for seven years under the title of "Web Designer" IMHO, good Web Designers are already IAs.
Columnist wanted: Digital Web Magazine is in search of a good writer to take on a monthly column spot. Candidates should have a proven track-record of quality content and at least 4 years of experience in web development, web design, or a web related field. If you feel you have the skills to be a part of our core team, we want to hear from you.
Summer is in the air and so is word that a new issue of Digital Web Magazine is up with a new theme. This month's much-anticipated topic is Cascading Style Sheets. To kick things off we have a new feature by Mark Newhouse, which hits the topic right square between the margins. He lists all of the promises you have heard about CSS and compares it with the reality and a Look to the future too. In addition to that, we have some new cover art by Christopher Schmitt entitled "Made with CSS" and you will notice we have been tweaking the home page layout a little more. As always, let us know what you think about these small changes (special thanks to Jose Illenberger), as there are more major changes on the way. And last but not least, we are again looking for a new columnist to join the ranks of Digital Web Magazine, more details below. See you next week with more great content on CSS.
Joe Gillespie wraps up the 50th issue of Web Page Design for Designers' Editorial in which he looks at the things that have happened, and not happened on the Web. Also in WPDFD is part 3 of Style Sheets without Tears in addition to some tips on the PNG image format.