News : September 2002
Luke Massman-Johnson tells me that he has redesigned his portfolio site. Luke came to me a while ago and told me he was inspired my my portfolio site's simple design and asked if he could make an interpretation of it. I decided to let him have the full design if he wanted it. Why? Well, it
While we were not looking Digital Web Magazine was a recognized Sighting (a Web site with unique and notable design or content) by the DevX editor on the 19th of this month.
Drew tells us that after 5 months of planning, collecting contents, recruiting new team members and squeezing their creative juices they are ready to present to you the new edition of HalfProject design up. More details as to what's new, what's changed and more in the Newsroom on the site. Check it out. We here at Digital Web Magazine would like to personally thank the HalfProject team for creating such a beautiful, creative and collaborative site: Drew Europeo, Nicc Balce, Jose Illenberger, Carl Chua, Melvin Delos Santos, Allan Joseph Batac, Joyce Tai, Jeff Javier, Ninoy Leyran, Denmark Yaneza, Cynthia Bauzon, Arnold Arre, J Lucas Reyes and last but not least Rex Advincula.
Although we do not know how well CSS 2 and XHTML 2.0 will be adopted in the up and coming years, we do know there are adoption patterns to all of this. These patterns help us understand why certain technologies succeed and others to fail. While searching for information on the adoption and abandon of technologies I found this diamond in the rough: "Barriers to the Adoption of Really-New Products and the Role of Surrogate Buyers" by Praveen Aggarwal, Taihoon Cha, and David Wilemon.
Stewart Butterfield and Eric Costello, the team that runs The 5k Contest, are so swamped with work (including work on a project called The Game Neverending). In order for The 5k Contest to continue, they need help from the community. They are asking for those who may be interested in taking charge of the 5k and developing an organization to keep it going to join this Yahoo Groups mailing list and decide for themselves how it will be. If you want to help code, design, translate, moderate, or over see whatever the new 5k will be.
A new issue of A List Apart is up. In this issue Mark Newhouse (who also happens to be the author of Cascading Style Sheets, Promise vs. Reality, and a Look to the Future for Digital Web Magazine) writes a great article on bulleted list design using CSS. The article is entitled "CSS Design: Taming Lists"
WebReference published a list of tips to avoiding Spam called "Spam Solutions II". Clearly the best solution is to use a server-side tool like Spam Assassin (listed in the Spam Solutions I). However, when it comes to client-side methods to reducing or eliminating Spam, simply using "johny at mydomain.com" or "email@example.com" will only foil a few spiders, but hardly make a dent in your inbox. Even methods of using escape characters can easily be deciphered by software. The best method that has always worked is to simply not post your email address (and IMC ID's) anywhere on your site, instead use a server-side script to process your emails and a simple HTML form without any visible or hidden email addresses on the client-side. While not bullet proof, it certainly keeps your inbox as clean as possible. [from Meryl's Notes]
After a day off being offline due to my computer's power supply failing, I am now back online. Any emails sent over the last few days were received, but please be patient while I respond to them at a time.
If you or your company is looking for an experienced Web design specialist, check out my resume and portfolio site for information on my skills and experience. I'm available for freelance or full-time work.
This week's issue of Digital Web Magazine includes two great columns on standards as we know them and beyond. First we have Jeff Lash returning with the second edition of his IAnything Goes column that is titled "Standards for distributed information architecture" which covers IA as a standard. We also have Peter-Paul Koch also authoring his second edition of the Keep it Simple column titled "Fluid Thinking" which hits on the topics of CSS and liquid web design. See you next week with another great issue on Web Standards.
Stephen Voss reminded me that I forgot to post a very important link. Those who were at WebVisions 2002 will remember that David Yates won the student competition with is piece: Home Street Home: Stories from the street. This is perhaps one of the most powerful pieces on the Web today. A site with more than a purpose, a site with a heart.
In all seriousness, I have been often mocked at for considering that brand and identity had anything to do with understanding users. Christine Perfetti at User Interface Engineering sheds some light on this subject through a great interview with Mitch McCasland aptly titled Understanding Users through Brand Research. [from InfoDesign]
Are an Interaction Designer? Take the quiz and find out: A Quiz Designed to Give You Fitts. Ok, I will be the first to admit that this quiz will not single handedly prove if you are an Interaction Designer and I am sure there are a lot of other aspects that this quiz does not cover that a good ID should know... however, it gets the point across. [from InfoDesign]
Two new articles up at Boxes and Arrows: "From Satisfaction to Delight" by Parrish Hanna and "Big Boxes and Shoppertainment: More Lessons for Web Design from Mall and Retail Design" by Saul Carliner.
The History of Hypertext. Ironically, I have just completed the final touches on a related graphic to be used in my presentation at next month's IPN event. It's very interesting to see how browser versioning and markup generations affect each other. [from Info Design]
Todd Dominey said it way better than I could have. I have been there, done that, won't go back. The best thing you can do as a Web Developer is to drop the markup, start from scratch and rebuild on tried and true Web standards like XHTML and CSS... or at least valid HTML 4.x and some CSS.
Cat Conner announces that Portlandweb.net has launched. This site is a collaboration of the Portland Blogger Group. If you are in Portland and you want to keep up with local blogger meets and Web tech events and user groups, this is the place to bookmark.
Jason Perkins appears to be picking up where Matthew left off in way of the workspaces project.
I am sure some of you may be already losing hair over the rumors about XHTML 2.0... rest assured, this will be a good thing. IBM's Developer Works publishes a great article by Nicholas Chase called Web's future: XHTML 2.0. Check it out! [from Meryl's Notes]
Issue 150 of A List Apart is now online for your reading pleasure. In this issue Hal Helms covers Scope Creep... a worthwhile read for anyone in volved with Web projects, not just Project Managers. Also ALA welcomes co-producer Tanya Rabourn to the staff.
To parse or not to parse, that is the question. XHTML has been under fire lately about the grounds for which it exists. XHTML is XML, but do we treat it like XML? A few good articles shed some light on this: "Sending XHTML as text/html Considered Harmful" by Ian Hickson and "XHTMLWhat
Even though David Wertheimer authored Wide Open: 99.9% of Proper Grammar Is Obsolete as a parody to Jeffrey Zeldman's piece 99.9% of Websites Are Obsolete, the New York Times seems to be taking it seriously.
Continuing the topic of web standards J. David Eisenberg, WaSP Steering Committee Member, authors a great beginner tutorial on XML aptly titled "Introduction to XML." On a lighter note regular Wide Open columnist David Wertheimer returns to write a parody to the first chapter of Jeffrey Zeldman's book "Forward Compatibility: Designing & Building With Standards." The Parody is entitled "99.9% of Proper Grammar Is Obsolete" for which yours truly can relate. See you next week with another issue on Web Standards.
Eric Meyer tells us that the W3C is working on a draft version of the box model module for CSS3. From what I can tell, this will be a step forward to simplifying the box model for practical use in page design. The document is a draft so it is likely to change quite considerably before (and if) it gets published as part of a recommendation by the W3C. Quantum mechanics involve a lot of mathematics; precise layouts with CSS should not have to.
I just checked our logs after the Slashdot-effect and for the month we have 1,131,116 hits and 35,078 user sessions. I can't imagine what kind of traffic we would get if more than one article was linked from Slashdot.
Lou comments on the Pareto Principle (AKA The 80/20 Rule). A very interesting perspective on design and IA. Check it out.
Brad Smith tells us that on Wednesday, September 18th, the Multimedia | Internet Developers Group of Portland will be hosting a great presentation by Gregory Cosmo Haun on XSLT called "Content Transformation a Go Go." The meeting will be held at PCC's Workforce Training Center next to OMSI at around 7:15 PM. I hope to see you there!
Portlanders: Keith Instone will be in town on September 17th to present CHI, IA, UE/X: How does the alphabet soup taste so far in 2002?, the final CHIFOO presentation in the series on Information Architecture. The festivities will kick off at 5:30 PM.
A new issue of Boxes and Arrows is up. In this issue: Lessons to be Learned by George Olsen. George also interviews Peter Morville in Building the Beast and last but not least MSWeb: An Enterprise Intranet #2 by Louis Rosenfeld and Peter Morville.
We came back from WebBuilder with a lot of email... "flooded" was an understatement. Apparently we have been Slashdotted (thanks for the heads up Pekka!). And a lot of readers have emailed to tell us about our design and markup issues. Please, before you email, understand that we are aware that we are currently not using a CSS layout and that our pages don't print well and that we use spacer gifs and all the ugly things people used to do quite some time ago. Yes, we know. This is because the design you see, while 100% valid according to the W3C, was created in 1998. Yes we know that it should be updated, this is why over the last year we have been orchestrating a redesign, rebranding and rearchitecting of the site. Please bare with us as we complete this over the next 3 months.
Denis Krylov curates the Mirror Project with "September 11." Denis was the project's very first contributor back in October of '99. Denis was kind enough to include my small contribution in his gallery.
We are back from Vegas but now flooded with email... we are trying to keep our heads above the water. Meanwhile here is an interesting article that I found while searching for some of the topics that were covered at WebBuilder: Faceted classification of information by Phil Murray. There are also some great resources for XFML linked in here.
Postings will be less frequent than typical over the next few days. This is because I will be out of town, speaking at WebBuilder in Las Vegas on Avoid the Web Death Sentence: Design Strategies for Keeping Your Customer Around. Be sure to check my events page for details on where I will be speaking and what I will be speaking about. You can also find older presentations there. I hope to see you in Las Vegas, and if not you will see a new issue of Digital Web Magazine either late that week or late at night on the 17th.
Jeffrey points out that much hell has been raised due to the publishing of "99.9% of Websites are Obsolete", the first of many chapters to Jeffrey's up-and-coming book "Forward Compatibility: Designing & Building With Standards." He notes that not only are the threads on What Do I know and SVN still active (see yesterday's post), but a new thread started up on MetaFilter. Jeffrey points out that many of the negative posts are due to misinterpretation more than anything... and then there are a few opinions about WaSP and even about Zeldman own character. I find that misinterpretation is often the case when it comes to negative views of standards and I believe that personal character attacks are simply childish.
Well this week's issue of Digital Web Magazine sparked some readership response. You can browse through post after post of comments on both Jeffrey's feature, "99.9% of websites are obsolete," and Meryl's interview on What Do I Know and Signal vs. Noise. Quickly reading through these posts we can confirm that in the web design and web development world ignorance is bliss. No one will come over and break your arm if you don't develop for standards, however your site may break. Sloppy markup that works in one browser and lack of adhering to standards today will only cause you headaches tomorrow. On a side note: The redesign of Digital Web Magazine is moving forward with 100% standard compliant markup and style, not that the site you are viewing today does not already validate.
Voice your opinion - The Australian INfront launch the brief for Visual Response 14 Refugee.
This month we will be covering the topic of web standards. To kick things off we have a new cover by WaSP logo designer Peter Fielding. Also in this issue we have a feature by none other than Jeffrey Zeldman. The feature is entitled "99.9% of Websites Are Obsolete" which is an excerpt from Forward Compatibility: Designing & Building With Standards, Zeldman's up and coming book to be published by New Riders. To wrap things up for this issue we have a great interview with Steven Champeon and Shirley Kaiser (WaSP Steering Committee members) by Meryl K. Evans. Also starting this issue we welcome three new copy editors: Ellen Kline, Karmon Runquist and Tim Martin. Last but not least Joyce Wong joins us as graphic designer to assist Alex Schleifer in the redesign.
We have been busy creating our presentation for WebBuilder next week and prepairing for the next issue of Digital Web Magazine, but that won't stop us from finding some great articles. Namely IBM's article on progress indication. It is much more than simply animated GIFs showing activity. [from InfoDesign]