News : November 2007
SXSW Web Awards Call For Entries
Are you creating the best and most innovative online experiences? Is your website reshaping the look and feel of the Internet? Did you design and launch a website within the last year? Then make sure to enter your most recent online work in the 11th Annual SXSW Web Awards, Presented by Adobe, for a chance to win industry exposure and tech-related prize packages. Hurry, the final deadline for submissions is midnight on December 14th!
Google Mobile Maps (and a Common Craft video)
My RSS feeds have been on fire today about Google’s new Mobile Maps functionality, so of course I gave it a spin on my darling Dash. For those who haven’t heard, Google added a geolocation feature that anonymously determines your general handset location via proximity to nearby mobile service towers. I gave it a try and its like a little slice of the future—both cool and eerie at the same time. And as the funny new video from Common Craft (yay, Common Craft!) says, if you find yourself trying to type in a long location name, simply geolocating your phone can be a real timesaver.
iPhone support is not included at this time, so until that happens, smartphone geeks have a reason to show off their devices in public again.
Email Standards Project
As anyone who has to cope with the vagaries of creating HTML email campaigns will tell you, CSS support in email clients varies from pretty good to nonexistent — the standards war might be won, but apparently nobody told Gmail or Outlook 2007.
Now there is a new group campaigning for improvements in the email arena. The Email Standards Project is headed up by Mathew Patterson from Campaign Monitor and Mark Wyner, and builds upon the great work that Campaign Monitor have been doing assessing standards support in email clients. If you’re involved in HTML email development, check out their incredibly detailed current email client standards reports and subscribe to the blog.
Dimon in the Ruff
Digital Web Magazine’s columnist on all things front-end, Garrett Dimon, had a big announcement this week. He’s returning to the freelance world, focusing on what I have always known him for: the perfect blend of IA, visual design, and front-end development. Garrett is one of the few people I know who has the right level of experience and understanding in all three aspects. Regular readers here are well aware of how much thought and consideration he puts into his work. So why the move to freelance? Garrett describes it as following his heart by focusing on the ideas he’s passionate about. His first idea being a Bug and Issue Tracker. Garrett’s perspective and thought process always make for a good read, and I am personally looking forward to seeing the results of his work and putting them to good use. Check out his blog as he chronicles his experiences.
Last 2007 Issue: Amazon's S3 and Design Collections
Digital Web is happy to present our last issue of 2007 for you, full of new contributors. First, Matthew Smith explains his tips and tools for curating a collection of inspiring design work. In Collecting for Design, Matthew shows the discipline and methodology behind his own design collection.
We also have a treat from the entity known as AWS here to explain the basics of creating Scalable Media Hosting with Amazon S3. Two Amazonians explain S3 and Amazon’s web service collection in terms of advantages for applications and websites large and small. For those yet to understand the possibilities of AWS and S3, have a read!
Lastly, this is our last issue for the winter. Stay tuned in January 2008 for a revamped, rested Digital Web! 2007 has been a great year, but we’re looking forward to starting January off in top style.
US-centric holiday breaks
Due to the impending inundation of friends and family for Thanksgiving (US), Digital Web is taking a break this week. Rest assured that our US-based staff will be tryptophanically rested up for next week’s issue, which is our last for 2007. (Our international staff will also be rested…and less gluttonous.) And while we’re mentioning breaks, we’ll be on winter hiatus for December, too.
Stay tuned for next week’s issue and a shiny new Digital Web in 2008!
CSS Frameworks == Marmite
When we come to look back at 2007, we might not be surprised to find that many of the hornets’ nest discussions were stirred up by the grandmaster of the provocative blog post, Jeff Croft. His latest essay, What’s not to love about CSS Frameworks?, has spurred some of the top names in the community to comment on their love or distrust of the nascent CSS framework industry.
(And if Jeff can make pointed jibes at we British in his post, I reserve the right to use a post title that only the British will understand.) ;)
Craig Saila moves to Seattle
Fellow Digital Web Magazine contributor Craig Saila has announced that he is moving to Seattle. For those who don’t know, Craig is the guy who did all of the original markup and CSS work on the design you are currently viewing… its changed over the years and so has the CSS and markup, but it’s largely Craig’s handywork. Craig moves out here for a great job at MSNBC.com where he will work along side of some great people including our own Tiff Fehr. You can read more about what Craig has to say in his blog post Smells like Seattle… perhaps a tribute to Nirvana. We are happy to see Craig will be here in the Emerald City and wonder how many more web gurus will be moving out this way over the next year. Seattle seems to becoming a mecca for talented web professionals and web companies.
New Issue: Garrett Dimon on Web Forms
In our newest issue of Digital Web, columnist Garrett Dimon shares the results and insights gained in Better Web Forms: Redesigning eBay’s Registration. Renew your enthusiasm for robust web forms with Garrett’s professional, thorough approach to redesigning eBay’s registration pages.
Also, keep an eye on Digital Web for our upcoming reader survey! Digital Web is at a point of change, and nobody provides better guidance than our readers. We’re preparing the survey now, so it’ll be up soon. Get your geeky, radio-button-loving side ready to fill out some Likert scales!
While it certainly smacks of a bit of bragging, I’d like to mention that msnbc.com launched a new design over the weekend. Full disclosure: I work for msnbc.com and had the honor of playing a supporting role on the totally epic redesign team. But truly I believe the redesign holds interest for web professionals, too. On one hand, the minds behind the redesign posted thoughtful, frank comments on the lengthy, user-collaborative redesign process and underlying goals on our redesign blog. On the other hand, with the new design we took (anticipated) shots for the usual suspects of issues and compromises that arise when you take on redesigning the surface of a massive website and entrenched, elaborate publication system. It may not be the latest/greatest in web standards and design, but it is a big leap in that direction, in a very visible place.
Last Chance: World Usability Day Seattle 2007
Last chance to RSVP for the UW LUTE usability lab tours at World Usability Day Seattle 2007. There are only a few 3:00 slots left to the lucky few people who RSVP. The event will include a presentation by Emma J. Rose entitled “Moving beyond ROI: UCD as a catalyst for organizational change“ as well as a presentation by Jason Fouts on “Ultrasound at the Point-of-Care: The evolution and usefulness of a portable system“. The two presentations will be followed up by a panel of usability professionals and a social with tons of food and drinks.
There are quite a few students and professionals from throughout the Puget Sound area who have already RSVPed for the lectures as well. It should be a pretty good turn out. We are also looking for a few additional last minute sponsors for the event. If you want to market to usability professionals, here is your chance. Hope to see you there!
Dojo, Flock go 1.0
Both these projects sound great on first reading, but somehow have failed to inspire me to give them more than a cursory glance, and I’d be interested to hear from anyone who has chosen either Dojo or Flock for their day-to-day work and/or play – are they worth a second look now they’re over 1.0?
New Issue: The DCMA and Take-Down Orders
This week, Digital Web offers a twist on our usual web design & development focus: what to do when your website attracts the attention of lawyers. Lawyer Gregory Rutchik, a copyright law expert, stops by to offer insight into Web Design and the DMCA: Giving and Getting Take Down Notices. Learn the essentials of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, infringement and the possible legal intricacies of running a website.
Our Thanks to Kerri Hicks, Copy Chief Extraordinaire
About a week before I handed in my resignation, Kerri Hicks, Digital Web’s copy chief, had also decided that she needed more hours in her days, and as such, it was time to leave Digital Web. She’s graciously stayed around to put the finishing touches on articles, but tonight marks her last issue.
While Matthew Pennell and I worked with authors and helped them bring articles up to a certain level, we felt secure knowing that the final scrutinizing—down to every letter and nuance—and the final polish would be handled by Kerri.
Kerri isn’t just a master of the English language—certainly key to any copy-editing role—she also knows her technical subjects inside and out. She’s been an active contributor to the web world since 1994, and she’ll continue on in her day job as the senior research programmer in the Scholarly Technology Group at Brown University, building usable, accessible academic research projects on the web. Kerri is one of those people whose list of talents seems limitless. Instead of spending her off-hours making our articles beautiful, she’ll be spending more time on her avocation, making beautiful things with fabric and paper (more about that at Miss You Sew Much, her fun and crafty site). Thank you, Kerri, for contributing your time and talents to the magazine. Your work as an editor (and fact-checker) has been impeccable.
World Usability Day Seattle 2007
It’s that time of the year again. World Usability Day is upon us. For those in the Seattle area you will be happy to know that we will be having a special free event once again for WUD. This year’s event is much larger and includes tours of UW’s LUTE usability lab, a networking event, a series of lectures and a panel, and a social. You can RSVP and learn more about the event by visiting the World Usability Day Seattle page. We will be updating it as new information comes in. I hope to see you there!
The opportunities of APIs
Non-UK based web types may not be all that familiar with .net, the monthly magazine for web designers and developers, although their stellar advisory board and author roster might have captured your attention over the last year. As well as the website and dead-tree format, they also offer a regular podcast, which this week was all about APIs – thanks to Jeremy Keith for plugging our recent series of articles on APIs by Gareth Rushgrove during the interview.