News : July 2006
Article: Getting Mobile
The most beautiful thing about the web is that it never stops changing. To make web sites well, designers must keep up on new techniques and new mediums. If you haven’t yet thought about how to build for mobile phones, now’s the time. Dip your big toe into the water with this primer from Brian Fling. Read more…
Hey all, some of our readers have been kind enough to email me at gmail and on my other email accounts that the Digital Web Magazine server was down. I just wanted to give you an update. We were aware the servers were down since Friday and they should be mostly back online and functioning as expected.
The outage, as I understand it, was due to the heat wave that hit California and was causing some rolling brownouts. Because of this the Datacenter that hosts Media Temple's servers (and thus Digital Web Magazine) was running on diesel power for a week. Well, Friday rolled around and the backup power failed (I was told the diesel generator blew up). At any rate, the clever guys at Media Temple were planning ahead and had a brand new Datacenter move scheduled, the outage just expedited that move.
The cool thing was that as soon as I noticed the outage and before I could even load my address book to call up someone at Media Temple, Jason McVearry (Media Temple's Partner Director) was already calling me to tell me what was going on. When a host provider calls you before you can call them, that says something. It's service like this that makes me love Media Temple.
As I understand it the Digital Web Magazine servers are now at the new Datacenter in the O.C. and we now have reliable backup systems in place to avoid this problem in the future. As us what we love about Media Temple and we will tell you. You can also read more about our hosting setup with Media Temple on the hosting information page if you are interested.
Testing and SEO checklists
Our good friend Shirley Kaiser has just published The Ultimate Testing Checklist and The Ultimate SEO Checklist. The names of these articles really say it all. Shirley also has a new book coming out that you should check out entitled Deliver First Class Websites: 101 Essential Checklists. As you no doubt can see, Shirley has been very busy lately. I'd like to help show her the love by asking that if you run a blog to help spread the word about her new book. It would mean a lot to me. [via Meryl]
Interview: Veerle Pieters
Most of us learned to make Web sites mired in “view source” code, through careful self study, and from those generous souls who share their tips and techniques through tutorials. If you're one of the lucky ones, you already know of the inimitable Veerle Pieters. A Web uber-talent, she's been helping others with her in-depth Web design tutorials for years. If you haven't been introduced, join our own managing editor Carolyn Wood as she and Veerle talk about process, working with clients, and of course, how to pronounce Veerle correctly. Read more...
WebVisions 2006 post mortem
I have been meaning to post a detailed follow-up for WebVisions 2006. It's been a busy week, as you can imagine; here is my brief summary. I got to meet a lot of cool people for the first time and hear a lot of great talks. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend all the talks I wanted to attend due to either limited seating capacity (yes, some rooms were packed to the gills) or taking care of my duties as a co-organizer of the event.
I did manage to hear a few presentations. Those were Mark Wyner's Building Better HTML Emails (PDF and Quicktime of slides), Bill DeRouchey's The History of the Button (PDF of slides), Garrett Dimon's Improving Front-End Architecture (slides to come), and of course Jared Spool's keynote The Dawning of the Age of Experience (slides to come).
Thanks to everyone who attended, presented, sponsored, exhibited, blogged, photographed, and linked the event.
WebVisions 2006 and Digital Web Magazine dinner
Just a quick reminder that I will be at WebVisions 2006 this Thursday and Friday. There are quite a few things I personally want to see including Brian Fling's 1/2 day workshop, Designing for Mobile: Bringing Design Down to Size, and the Mobile Development Panel on Thursday. Friday I am going to be sure to check out Mark Wyner's Building Better HTML Emails which is unfortunately up against both Dan Cederholm and Mike Davidson. I say unfortunately because I know Mark has put a lot of hard work into his presentation and it's quite an interesting topic, but he may not be as well known as Dan and Mike. Later Friday I am going to check out the Design Panel with Dan Cederholm, D. Keith Robinson, Mike Davidson, and Bryan Veloso. If you see one of us there, please be sure to say hi. Also, if you are a Digital Web Magazine contributor or a regular reader please be sure to ask me about the Digital Web Magazine dinner and I can get you the info.
Article: User Interface Design - Taking the Good with the Bad
Johnny Cash might have been writing about the marriage of form and function in his hit Walk the Line. “Because you're mine, I walk the line...” This fine example of successful marriage took the long walk down the aisle ages ago. The child of that union, compromise is the holy grail for designers in real life as we strive to make web sites that please clients and their customers alike. Let Mike Padilla show you how to walk the line. Read more...
Designing with Web Standards 2nd Edition
I visited my wishlist a few days ago, and discovered that the button under Designing with Web Standards had changed from Pre-Order This Item to Add to Cart. Through his blog, Jeffrey Zeldman introduced me to much of what I came to love about the Web. Each day, The Daily Report covered wildly talented people, an amazing community, new techniques, and the big issues we all needed to tackle. His integrity, humor, wisdom, generosity, and vision spoke from every page. For many of us, he became an unofficial mentor—even if we'd never spoken with him. Like most of you, I read the famous orange first edition of Designing with Web Standards. The new second edition sports a bright green cover and promises updated and additional information. What I know is this: If he wrote it, I want it. Without hesitation, I clicked Add to Cart.
A CSS Solution to Image Blocking
This week Mark Wyner has published an article about A CSS Solution to Image Blocking which covers a technique of using image replacement for HTML newsletters when the email client has CSS turned on but images turned off. His guinea pig for this is Digital Web Magazine and the results are pretty good. Techniques such as what Mark describes here can be streamlined for client use. At Blue Flavor we have been looking into Mail Build, an email newsletter service for our clients. It's made by FreshView, the same guys who created Campaign Monitor. Be sure to catch Mark's presentation at WebVisions 2006 in Portland, Oregon. His topic is Building Better HTML Emails.
Laura Carlson's Web Update
Would you like to receive an ad-free weekly list of some of the best new articles on Web design? Each week, Laura Carlson, an IT Professional at the University of Minnesota Duluth, gathers 20 to 35 links on a wide range of subjects including CSS, IA, Accessibility, PHP, Typography, XML, and much more. A brief summary of the article follows each link.
Article: Building Accessible Widgets for the Web
Welcome Aboard, Kerri Hicks
Tonight's issue of Digital Web Magazine is the first copy edited by Kerri Hicks, DWM's new Copy Chief and our newest editorial staff member. Clearly, she didn't help me edit this post, as I'm sure she would have been aggressive on the passive voice in that first sentence. Kerri is on board to help all the authors at Digital Web Magazine, myself included, to look their best in print. Welcome aboard, Kerri!
Article: Code Reviews: Write Better Code Overnight
You know the feeling. You’ve been immersed in a project so deeply, your eyeballs feel square from so much screen time and so little sunlight. You’ve become code-ridden—so absorbed in a project that you are unable to see areas for improvement or potential integration pitfalls. Let View Source columnist Garrett Dimon show you how to gain perspective with code reviews. Read more...
Thanks and Farewell, Jennie Robinson
The issue Digital Web Magazine will publish late tonight marks the final edition copy edited by Jennie Robinson, a.k.a "Copy NinJennie", as she's affectionately referred to in these parts. One of the unsung heroes, Jennie has worked behind the scenes for the past couple years here at DWM with a keen eye for detail and an unfailing dedication to helping authors communicate clearly. Her talent and skill makes her work often unnoticeable, even to the author of the piece. For this, we all owe her a debt of thanks. Best of luck Jennie. Thank you for everything you've done to help us bring great quality content to the Web.
Introducing Carolyn Wood and Mike West
It is my pleasure to introduce two new members of the Digital Web Magazine editorial staff.
Carolyn Wood, formerly interviews editor for Digital Web Magazine, is now our new managing editor. She'll be working closely with authors worldwide to bring you the best quality content on the Web. In addition to her duties as managing editor, Carolyn plans to continue helping you get to know the most interesting people on the Web through her interviews. Yay!
Mike West is Digital Web Magazine's new assistant managing editor. In addition to working with Carolyn to bring you the best content on the Web, Mike is a stellar programmer who has already used those skills to help us automate some of our processes. His combination of talents will make Digital Web Magazine a well oiled machine. Welcome aboard, Carolyn and Mike!