Posted in Design

Who/where are the women?

Spawned by recent conversations with friends, I’ve been thinking about people who are known for designing and working with web standards. Specifically those who have a strong interest in CSS or are already using style sheets to compliment or construct beautiful design. In these conversations, we’ve noted that this space seems heavily dominated by men. This concerns me. continued

Blue man do

It’s not often that I point out or write about standards-compliant site designs and launches which get sent to me by email, especially personal sites. But designer Cameron Adams just launched a site that I think is worth your attention. The Man in Blue boasts a simple, attractive design created with lots of background-image goodness. Notice the soft shadows everywhere, the cracks in the corners which move as the window is resized, and the intricate way lots of small borders match up to create a subtle 3D effect. A brief technical overview highlights a few more features. continued

No limits

When I was designing Wired News last year, I was limited by what I knew I could implement. It was exciting to be experimenting and pioneering a large site redesign and conversion to web standards. But the design was, in part, dictated by my acquired knowledge of CSS at the time. It’s obvious to me whenever I look at Wired: there are things I would have designed differently had I known how — and been able — to pull them off. continued

Sliding Doors of CSS, part II

A little over a week ago, in an article for ALA titled Sliding Doors of CSS, I introduced a new technique for layering background images with CSS. We walked through an example of how it could be used to create visually appealing tabs while keeping simple, text-based, semantic markup. We intentionally limited the scope of what the article covered so that it could remain focused on explaining and demonstrating the technique.

With an understanding of the technique firmly in grasp, now we can push it further. ALA just published Sliding Doors of CSS, Part II, which expands on what we covered the first article (Part I). Specifically, Part II addresses:

  • Scenarios where no tab is highlighted
  • Combination with Pixy’s single-image no-preload rollover
  • A fix for IE/Win’s limited clickable region
  • An alternate method for targeting the current tab
  • Additional notes and uses for the technique

Part II fills in some gaps and expands on the utility and behavior of the original technique. If you haven’t yet read Part I, I highly recommend you do so before reading Part II. Again, instead of opening up comments here, I’ll direct any feedback you might have to the discussion on Part II already open at ALA.

(Translated into: French I, French II, Italian, Russian)

ALA and Sliding Doors

We’ve read words about a relaunch, seen hints of a new logo, and gazed at a teaser screen that promised it was coming soon. After weeks of patient waiting, the new version of A List Apart is here. For several years, the digital magazine has been serving up a wealth of informative articles, tutorials, and expositions for people who make websites. I welcome having this tremendous faucet cranked all the way open again. Congrats to the whole ALA team on the new launch. continued

Power of Design, Vancouver

In two days, I’ll be heading north to Vancouver, B.C. for the AIGA National Design Conference, the power of Design. (Ironic that an American org is holding a national conference in Canada, eh?) This year’s conference will focus on the role of designers in the 21st century, in terms of culture, economy, and environment. Registration is still open if you’re up for making last minute plans. Be wary though: nearby hotels were filling up quick when I booked a month ago. GDC members are also eligible for the AIGA member rate. continued

Design Process, en français

Just a few months ago, I wrote an article which walked through my design process for a CSS Zen Garden entry, titled “A Design Process Revealed“.

If you happen to speak or understand French better than English, I’ll point you to a new translation of this article at Les coulisses d’un design. Thanks to Stéphane Deschamps who did the translation after asking permission. Unfortunately, I speak very little French (pero hablo español mucho más). But since I wrote the original version, I can at least follow along every ten words or so.

Spaced out

If you live in the Bay Area (or happen to be visiting next week) and have a passion for typography like I do, no doubt, you’ll be interested in Spaced Out, Black Holes in Typography, happening next Wednesday, 1 October at 7pm. Speakers include heavy hitters of typography Jim Parkinson, Mike Bartalos, and a former HotWired colleague, Max Kisman. (Ahem… just mentioning those three names in the same sentence makes me drool.) The event is $10 for AIGA members, $15 for non-members, and current students attend for free. The perfect teaser for the event: continued


Sometimes, I go through phases where I just want to design. I don’t want to write about it, don’t want to talk about it, and don’t want to explain what I’ve done. I want to think conceptually, or arrange type on a page, or compose layouts, or organize information, or explore color palettes, all without getting distracted by attempts to put thoughts behind actions into written words. It’s a selfish period where I want to stay comfortable focusing on my known strengths. continued