News : January 2003
From guuui.com's Business-Centred Design article, "In traditional user-centred design, focus is on users
On Boxes and Arrows this week, David Heller explains why he believes HTML's Time is Over. Let's Move On. Now before you get ready to fire off some scathing email to David, please read through the full article. He actually makes some good points. However, as somone who develops with XHTML, CSS under DOM within JSP that use Java, I feel he does miss some key points about what makes a good web application. So, while there are good points to this piece, I can't say his solutions are up to par.
Jeffrey Zeldman launches another Redesign While-U-Watch. Ironically, he used some of the colors we have been trying with our new portfolio design. Keep a lookout for it within the next week.
This week Digital Web Magazine takes on the topic of form ever following function. Christopher Schmitt's interview by Craig Saila covers this topic in detail. Also in this issue is a great review of Vertigo's 3D PopArt 2.0 for Adobe Illustrator by Jesse Nieminen. We have been pretty busy with two redesigns, so we are cutting our comments short this week. See you next week with more great content.
While Derek Powazek gives you a new look for an old url (Powazek.com), we give you an old look of our URL (Digital-Web.com circa 1998). Please use this as an example that we all have to start somewhere. Of course, you may want to keep a distance from drop-shadows, Eye-Candy filters and 45 degree angles.
In, perhaps what may be an attempt to pay his mortgage, Mark Pilgrim has announced the addition of Dive Into Premium, a subscription service for readers of Dive Into Mark who don't want to deal with ads and want the lastest news first. Will it fly? I don't know. Mark, is of course, making a mockery of people who do try to sell content on the Web. Umm... meanwhile, we will stick to asking for donations via Amazon and PayPal.
Just when you thought we couldn't possibly add anyone else to the staff list in comes veteran writer, Alan K'necht to kick off his new column entitled "The $ and Sense of IT." Through his column he will show us not only how to calculate ROI for new projects, but also the cost of not doing the right thing. This month he covers "Making Cents from Information Architecture." Alan has quite a bit of writing experience under his belt writing for publications including Computer World Canada, IDG, IT World, ZDNet, CNET, and the list goes on. We are happy to have him aboard.
Also in this issue is the long awaited article on "User-Centered Design for Large Government Portals" by Christopher Rusay. Speaking as someone who is about to embark on developing applications for several government agencies, this article couldn't come at a better time. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. We will see you next week with more fresh content.
Luke Wroblewski writes a great article on Boxes and Arrows called "Visible Narratives: Understanding Visual Organization" which covers several design related topics. It's good to see these kinds of topics on a site like Boxes and Arrows, as good as it is to see articles on IA on sites like Digital Web Magazine. The gap that is bridged between the technical (web programmers) and the creative (web designers) is the realm of the integrated design (hybrid designers). Molly covers this realm in great detail in her book "Integrated Design: Holistic Strategies for Mastering the Web."
Yesterday was Meryl Evan's (Digital Web Magazine's Managing Editor) birthday. Today she has published an interview with Joshua Davis on SXSW's Tech Report. Don't forget to drop by Mery's site and wish her a belated happy birthday!
So, after reading my previous post, many of you may be asking yourself several questions related to copyrighted material, its use, how to act when you find your material has been lifted and what to do if you find lifted material on your publication. Glad you asked, here is an excellent article by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson on this very subject. Please read it, even if you think you have read articles about this subject before and don't expect to learn anything new because, you will. "Please Don't Violate my Copyright."
This thread on Metafilter may be of interest to you: No good deed goes unpunished. Please read through the full thread to better understand the situation.
In addition, sooz also had her birthday today! Happy birthday sooz! Remember, older means wiser :)
The talented Jose Illenberger celebrates his birthday today. Show him your love and send him an email. Happy birthday Jose!
Jakob publishes another Alertbox. This time around he talks about Recruiting Test Participants for Usability Studies (i.e. finding and funding warm bodies for user testing). [from InfoDesign]
The User Experience of Government Online: Recommendations for a Citizen-Centric Future is an independent study into the way people interact with government online and the way they would like to interact with government online in future. The study was carried out by The Hiser Group during October 2002. [from InfoDesign]
The ASIS-T IA Summit 2003 is coming. Check out the new site developed and designed by Andi Lewis. Register today, early registration ends on February 22! Be sure to check out the panel that your's truly will be moderating on "Tools for IA."
Matt Owens invites you to celebrate the opening of the "Fugitives" show at the new art space called the Riviera in Brooklyn. This is an art exhibit featuring paintings, prints, graphics & drawings by a fine group of artists, graphic designers & musicians including Lee Misenheimer, Niko Stumpo and, of course, Matt Owens. There will be lots of stickers and shirts and posters for sale and beverages and such will be complimentary at the opening. The event will take place on Thursday, January 23rd from 7 PM until 10 PM. The address for the Riviera is 103 Metropolitan Ave. Brooklyn NY 11211.
James Kalbach writes an excellent article on Boxes and Arrows called Printing the Web which questions if the idea of the paperless office is a myth. In addition the article covers the ability to print information on Web pages and the use of the flexible tables and/or CSS to accomodate this. [from InfoDesign]
Many readers of Digital Web Magazine have mentioned the problem with our site's design and how hard it is to print articles. We know, believe me, we know. The source of the problem is the design, it was built in 1998. How many browsers supported the media attribute for CSS at this time? Not many, if they supported CSS at all. Relax, all will be fixed in the up-and-coming redesign... even more so, all will be documented and published in articles that will be readable AND printable from this site. Oh ya, and the fonts will be sizable. More on this later.
Luc Carton writes a great article on Evolt on the question, Should hypertext links be blue and purple? This is one of those things that designers will argue about until they are blue in the face (pun intended). Worth a read. [from GUUUI]
How "broken" is XHTML 2.0? Semantically, it is not broken. Realistically, it is really broken, but the sky won't fall and all hell won't freeze over. Explains Jeffrey Zeldman. I highly recommend reading this... especially if you don't believe in following web standards. Fear not, XHTM 2.0 is still a draft, there is time to fix the broken parts... but of course, these things take time in the W3C. See the Outsider's Guide to the W3C to learn more. [from Dive into Mark and Jeffrey Zeldman Presents]
Suddenly testing for accessibility has become a lot easier. In specific, testing your design for various types of colorbliness. Check out the Colorblind Web Page Filter. Just type in your site's URL, select the filter you would like to use and click the Fetch and Filter button. [from LucDesk]
A long time good friend celebrates his birthday today. Please drop him a note, wish him happy birthday and make sure he doesn't spend all day writing his up-and-coming book.
TheScreamOnline has launched a new issue. It is an online magazine for Art, Photography, Literature, Music, and Film.
Where do comps go to die? Why, to the comp graveyard, of course. OK, bad pun. Seriously, the Web site is accepting "comps" or mock up pages from past projects. filter9 is building a gallery of these comps as a tribute to designers' hard work and vision.
The W3C finally releases DOM Level 2 as a recommendation, then warns developers not to rely on the extensive use of scripting. The consortium continues to hint that one day common script-like behaviours will become part of CSS, SMIL, XForms and SVG. Also made available, with the help of the United States National Institute of Standards and Technology: a test suite with more than 500 tests.
We are back after a short hiatus. We ring in the New Year with a new perspective on everything from art and IA to globalization and Intranets. In this issue we are happy to present a great article by Ashmita Goswami, Senior Strategist at Razorfish. Ashmita's article is aptly entitled "Perspectives on E-Globalization" which is the title of a document that was passed on to Ford.com to illustrate the complexity and considerations of the globalization process.
Also in this issue is another great book review from the talented James McNally. This month he reviews Christina Wodtke's book "Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web." As you may or may not know Christina has been helping us along side of Andrew Hinton to create a better architecture for the site. In her book, Christina simplifies the complex field of Information Architecture in language we can all understand.
In addition we also have some vivid new cover art by Michael Peiffert for you to check out.
On one final note, Digital Web Magazine is seeking volunteers to help with the redesign and the day-to-day business of the magazine. See the details below. And if you haven already done so, don't forget to take the Digital Web Magazine reader survey. That is all for now. We will see you next week with more great articles.
For those who have now recoverd from the holidays and managed to find their way out from under the email pile, don't forget to take the Digital Web Magazine Reader Survey. Results to be announced shortly.
Digital Web Magazine is in search of an Assistant Editor to work with our Managing Editor. Job responsibilities will be to help with weekly publications, organizing and recruiting contributors, establishing the editorial calendar and document control.
We are also looking for an experienced individual with a skill set that includes Usability and User Research for our up-and-coming re-design, re-branding and re-architecting efforts. Job responsibilities will be to help establish known problems with the site, interview users, conduct user surveys, and perhaps even user testing.
If you are interested in either of these roles please contact us directly. Be sure to include a URL to a portfolio of your written or usability work.
Apple has unveiled a new browser for Mac OS X. Called Safari, the company claims (and from demos, it appears true) that the browser has excellent support for standards. Not only that, it’s open source, blocks pop-ups, has fancy new bookmarks, and is reportedly faster than the popular Mac browsers. Great UI, too, which is tightly intergrated with Google. The browser is based on KHTML.
Let this serve as a reminder to update your copyright statements from 2002 to 2003 on your web sites:
- The original Form vs. Function: Finding the Balance
and the copy.
- The original Digital Fashion
and the copy.
- The original The Red Queen Color Theory
and the copy.
- The original Measuring User Experience
and the copy.
- The original Keep it Simple
and the copy.
- The original Visual Architecture: The Rule of Three
and the copy.
- The original Why Gecko Doesn't Matter Yet
and the copy.
If you use Mozilla or Netscape, you should check out Checky: "The Checky plug-in is an simple Interface for web content and resource developers to free and commercial online Validator and Checker services. With Checky you can now easy setup, combine and use 18 different online Validator and Checker services. Simple choose your services with Checky-Agent than browse to a web resource and press F10 to display the results of the selected services in a new browser tab or window." You can also check out screenshots of Checky in action.
This month's issue of Joe Gillespie's ever-famous Web Page Design for Designers covers the question that I have heard more times than I can count: How do I center a single item on a page vertically and horizontally with CSS? Well, here is the answer. [From iBlog]
Read the 2nd part-article of Server-Side Scripting with "ASP," at Scene 360. The follow-up to an exclusive Web series, "Net Technologies and What They Mean to You" by Jeremy C. Wright.