We sittin' here, I supposed to be the lead developer, and we in here talkin' about DOCTYPEs.
I mean, listen. We talkin' about DOCTYPEs. Not user experience, not user experience, not user experience. We talkin' about DOCTYPEs.
Not user experience. Not the user experience that I develop and die for. And make every site like it's my last. Not the user experience. We're talkin' about DOCTYPEs, man.
I mean, how silly is that? We're talking about DOCTYPEs.
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Are you a Christian? Do you make things? Then you should read Matthew Griffin's series on Web Design Worldview, (found via the always thoughtful and wonderfully outspoken Andy Rutledge). Even if you don't make websites, it's a good introduction to applying worldview to your field. I couldn't find an overview page for the series, so here are permalinks to each of the four parts he's published so far (there will be six in total, published every Wednesday).
- Web Design Worldview, Part 1
- Web Design Worldview, Part 2
- Web Design Worldview, Part 3
- Web Design Worldview, Part 4
Speaking of websites: we've launched our official wedding website. May write up a case study if I find time, but I just wanted to note for posterity that it got featured on CSS Mania, the first time a site I've built has been featured in one of the major* CSS galleries. Coolio, and thanks, CSS Mania.
*What defines "major" these days in CSS galleries, anyways? I have no idea. There's like a jillion of them these days, but CSS Mania still seems fairly important.
Found this quiz via Jason Kottke: How many HTML Elements Can You Name in Five Minutes?
I got 47 out of 90. Oddly,
CITE was the first tag that came to mind, although I don't think I've ever used that tag in my life.
Some of my embarassing omissions:
BLOCKQUOTE (which Kottke actually mentions in his post about the quiz ... duh), and, ironically,
CODE, which I used to semantically mark up the tags in this post.
Some of you may have already picked up on this, but for those that haven't: I've updated my portfolio to reflect some of the work I've done in the past 10 months or so. I'm really thankful for the opportunities I've had to work on some really neat projects, mostly handling front-end CSS/XHTML mockups, but also doing some branding work and graphic design. So if you haven't already, check it out!
This is going to sound small-town-boy-in-the-big-city of me, but one of the best parts of attending An Event Apart San Francisco was the commute. Each morning started with a rise on an escalator from the quiet roaring trains and muted conversations of the Montgomery BART station into the urban bustle and dizzying, glittering towers of the Financial District. Joining tailored businessmen and iPodded art students at the crosswalk facing the Palace, I'd cross Market Street and enter the hotel from the New Montgomery Street entrance, where I would be greeted by the majesty of the Garden Court before making a left to the Grand Ballroom and a tasty breakfast.
Note: Miranda July's site made the rounds in web design circles a few months back, and this was my initial response to it, cross-posted from a joint blog I run with my friend Gregory.
No one belongs here more than you is the promotional site for Miranda July's book of short stories by the same title. Typing a description of how the site works feels like it would suck it dry of some of its magic (go see it for yourself, then come back here!), but here I go: rather than the expected structure of a website -- a navigational homepage, some pages about the book and where to buy it, perhaps an "About the Author" page -- it consists of a photographed sequence of the author's scrawlings with a marker.
Now whether the author chose to go this route because she doesn't know how to code HTML, or to be brashly different (I suspect a combination of both), what results is code that doesn't validate, navigation that doesn't give you context of where you are on the site (and doesn't even have a way to go back to the home page), content that is not accessible (all the text is in images without associated alt tags, for starters), copy that isn't search-optimized (search engine spiders can't even crawl it, anyways), and a load time that laughs in the face of the "8-second rule." Even the way the navigation works brings us back to David Siegel's seminal, but now oft-villainized book, Creating Killer Websites, what with its concept of entry "tunnels" to draw visitors in, rather than being upfront with your site structure as Jakob Nielsen and dozens of other usability experts would advocate. The site breaks almost every tried-and-true guideline of over a decade of web design, mantras that I work by and passionately advocate.
Yet, I love this site.
In fact, I went through every page of the site in one sitting on my first visit.
Why do I love this site? Because it works.
I've really liked Jason Kottke's use of "remaindered links" on his site, interspersing links and commentary between longer posts. I've been wanting to do the same thing with this site, but felt that Movable Type's user interface is a wee bit too obtrusive for quick posts. Not that that's a bad thing — Movable Type's UI encourages longer, thought-out posts in the same way that Blogger's UI encourages shorter, quick posts.
Well, now that the CSS Reboot is officially done, I'm gonna start redesigning the site. However, in a "twist" of sorts, I think I'm gonna do it live—that is, rather than work on it offline and then upload the template, I'm going to make changes to the design on the fly. The basic underlying structure of the page resembles what I had in mind anyways, so it won't be a huge leap to start changing things around.
I've got a preliminary version of my portfolio now available for your consumption. I've been working on a version that's a little more complex, but I figured it was more important to just get something out there. It fits with my minimalist tendencies, anyways, so the bare-bones look isn't such a bad thing.
I apologize profusely for the portfolio's less-than-scintillating copy—I'll work on that over the weekend.
If I can work some DNS magic between Dotster and my web host, aliotsy.info should point to that site sometime next week.