A List Apart is one of my favorite online magazines and resources for web design, encompassing culture, code, content, standards and practices, etc. Right now they’re conducting a survey of “designers, developers, information architects, project managers, writers, editors, marketers, and everyone else who makes websites” to get a sense of how our profession is practiced. Take the survey! It’s fast and easy.
August 7, 2008 :: 8:49 pm
July 30, 2008 :: 10:38 am
A co-worker forwarded a really fantastic article from Smashing Magazine, about new standards in web design. The good news is, I appear to be doing a lot of things right in my design work. Although the survey analyzed large blogs, I think the results can apply to any type of site. Here is a summary; the percentages in parentheses indicate the percentage of surveyed sites conforming to the standard:
- large blogs require a multi-column layout solution (usually 3 columns suffice) (58%);
- layouts are usually centered (94%),
- layouts usually have a fixed width (px-based) (92%),
- the width of the fixed layout varies between 951 and 1000px (56%),
- 58% of the overall site layout is used to display the main content,
- CSS-layouts are used (90%),
- the background is light, the body text is dark (98%),
- the most usual (not necessarily most user-friendly) line length lies between 80 and 100 characters,
- Verdana, Lucida Grande, Arial and Georgia are used for body text (90%),
- the font size of body text varies between 12 and 14px (78%),
- Arial and Georgia are used for headlines (52%),
- headlines have the font size between 17 and 25px.
July 26, 2008 :: 9:06 pm
This one is created from the text of my cookbook. Good times!
March 3, 2008 :: 11:11 pm
Smashing Magazine has collected some really gorgeous desktop backgrounds for your Mac. Or, your PC, I suppose. This is the one I’m currently using both at work and home.
November 1, 2007 :: 8:57 pm
Why spend oodles and gobs of your hard-earned money for a fancy-pants artsy-fartsy designer, when you can simply apply some “Make My Logo Bigger” cream to your project?
October 17, 2007 :: 3:43 pm
This book project that I’ve been working on has been finished and is at the printer! I designed the cover and the insides over the past couple of months, working with Arushi and some really fantastic authors. I fedexed the galleys back to the printer yesterday and it should be shipping by the end of the month! Here’s the link to the book on Amazon.com.
September 18, 2007 :: 10:23 amFor a zoo in Utah.
August 16, 2007 :: 4:59 pm
Seen at the local QuickTrip gas station…
July 18, 2007 :: 8:26 pm
My friend Arushi owns a publishing company and she entrusts me with designing some of her books. Right now I’m working on one for diabetes. These are four cover concepts I’ve come up with. Thoughts and feedback are welcome.
July 8, 2007 :: 5:54 pm
As a professional designer of web sites and e-mail communications, I think it’s very important to adhere to standards. Any designer worth her salt uses the best tools for the job and keeps up with the evolution of standards as defined by the W3C. That’s why I’ve spent years learning to write beautiful, lean, mean, efficient standards-adherent CSS and HTML.
One of the thorns in designers’ sides is having to write “fixes” into our code to make up for Internet Explorer’s failings. With the recent release of Internet Explorer 7, a number of those failings were corrected and so we had hope that perhaps Microsoft was finally coming around and using W3C standards and stopping the crazy cycle of developing “standards” of its own, the equivalent of taking its toys from the Internet sandbox and going home.
HOWEVER. Oh, and do I mean HOWEVER. With the recent release of the Outlook 2007 e-mail program for PCs (and by recent I mean January… yes, I am a little behind), Microsoft decided not to include the newly developed Internet Explorer 7 HTML rendering engine and instead to use the Word engine to render HTML in emails. The non-standards-compliant, circa-1997-ish Word rendering engine.
A huge percentage of people use PCs, and a large percentage of those users use Outlook as their primary e-mail program, and that means that Microsoft has effectively taken e-mail design back a decade. How can designers NOT comply with these arbitrary rules set by the maker of the most popular email program on the planet? We have to. We are forced to play their game, and write bad code to accommodate this brand new, horribly crippled e-mail program, otherwise a majority of our users would receive e-mails that look like shit. And e-mails that look like shit make users think poorly of your brand and your company.
What this means for me and countless other e-mail designers is that, because Outlook no longer supports a number of extremely basic HTML and CSS tags, we will now have to begin using outdated bloated code to assure that our e-mails display properly in Outlook 2007. It does not support, among other things, background images in divs and table cells, float positioning, and ALT TAGS. Yes, you read that right: it does not support alt tags. You know how when you get an email and the images don’t load, but a little bit of text displays in their place so you can tell what it’s supposed to be? That little text bitlet is an alt tag. And they’ve gone bye bye. And since background images are no longer supported, our emails will become much plainer and less attractive.
Microsoft’s reasoning is, apparently, that since the majority of their business users use Word to create HTML emails, then Outlook needs to use the same engine to display them.
I say, bullshit. There is NO REASON why Outlook should not make use of modern, standards compliant code rendering. If anything, they need to fucking update the craptastic Word rendering engine.
In both my professional and freelance lives, I am now going to have to begin redesigning everything I do to accommodate Outlook 2007. It will be more work for less payoff. We designers are used to having to write CSS that will degrade gracefully in older browsers; I never thought I’d have to write code that will degrade gracefully in the newest version of the most popular email program made by the largest software company in the world.
Way to go, Microsoft.
April 23, 2007 :: 8:50 pm
At work, we have this cartoon posted inside some of our cubicles. We use it to play Designer Bingo. Top left square is free. Currently I’ve got the entire bottom row X’ed out, although I’ve experienced EVERY one of these at some point. BINGO!
However, I think this should have been a square…
MAKE THE LOGO BIGGER! (click to listen to pee-yer-pants-funny mp3)
A friend of a friend added some verses:
“I want my logo different,
Something nobody’s seen before!
Can you use the font Papyrus?
I’ve got it on my computer!”
January 4, 2007 :: 5:46 pm
Hi! Yes, I have changed my masthead from that indescribable mass of orange and green brushstrokes to a photo of storm clouds.
My annual urge to redesign my blog has taken over. Stay tuned for the final version.