Posted in Web

Stirring it up in SF

Sitting down where we please. Foaming at the mouth. Blood pumping through our veins. Well, ok. Probably not quite what you’ve been seeing happen in San Francisco over the last few days. More like a distraction to get our minds away from what’s happening here for a brief bit. Eric will be in town starting this weekend. Assuming none of us have been arrested for innocently walking down a sidewalk, we thought it appropriate to gather in the Haight for our third — yet unnamed — caffeine-assisted discussion about style, standards, design, and blogging, etc.

Tantek discovered another open wifi network at Rockin’ Java. The three of us, and any other friendly folk who’d like to join us, will be there this Sunday (March 23) from 2pm until whenever. So far, our first two gatherings have been small and informal, with discussion floating freely to whatever we deem appropriate or interesting. We expect this one to follow suit.

Designing in public

Online content producers and software developers are learning new lessons about opening up their design process to public scrutiny. Good design firms involve and include their clients early and often in many of the design decisions. Both independent and commercial content producers are experiencing a closer connection with their users and/or readers by treating them the same. The recent trend of baring all is proving a very fascinating and eye-opening experience for the site developers and for those of us paying attention to — and sometimes particpating in — these public redesigns. continued

To admire, study, and critique

Two noteworthy XHTML/CSS redesigns have recently launched:

Macromedia – The good and bad wrapped into one. Good: Clean, airy, pleasing color combinations, fun imagery, classic Macromedia typography, aesthetic, and balance. Heavy use of Flash, but no excessive animation. Bad: The scary thing about this redesign is the source code of their home page (or should I say how little source code there is for their home page) and how reliant they are on one big umbrella .swf file. continued

SWF seeking VWM

Slim-Waisted Frameset seeking Valid Working Markup for harmonious live-in relationship. Introduce me to new style that everyone can love. Otherwise, you must be able to understand and accept the cosmetic tricks I use to hide my own stretch marks.

Give it up. It’s a fantasy. It’s a dream. Never meant to be. Not now. But why? continued

Frame frustration

In general, I’ve avoided the use of frames in the last few years, and I usually recommend others do the same if possible. In fact, I haven’t worked on a frame-based site since we stopped updating Cocktail many years ago. They often require additional maintenance and file management. And should normally exist alongside <noframes> content for browsers lacking support for frames. continued

A new edge

Been wanting another shiny new example of tableless design that pushes CSS and web standards to their limits and doesn’t look back? Not just another personal site or weblog, but a good-size content site from a well-known company? We get a big fix with the redesign of Netscape DevEdge. Not sure how much traffic DevEdge gets, but Eric Meyer and team at Netscape deserve a lot of praise for pushing a high-profile developer-centric site to showcase advanced web standards usage. continued list

Dave Winer asks:

A question for CSS design gurus. What’s the best you can do with a table that has three columns like the one on Weblogs.Com. Let’s see an example. I’d like the page to look good and load fast. Postscript: No one seems to understand — I want to do without a table. Column 1 is the number, column 2 is the name of the weblog. Column 3 is the time it last updated. Look at the page.

Hmmm. CSS design gurus. More lists. Ok, should be easy. (So I thought.) I haven’t contributed to any “markovers” yet, and this one seems like a simple enough challenge. There’s gotta be a way to do this one. Let’s take it on. continued

Overused lists?

Ordered and unordered lists have been popping up more often within the blogosphere lately. Through the use of style sheets, we can now tame our lists, rendering them in ways that traverse well beyond the traditional bulleted form so overused by PowerPoint addicts. I’ve been debating with myself whether this is a good or bad thing. continued

Go Dutch

I’ve always loved the pure design and typography from the Netherlands. Filled with a balance of beautiful form and practical function, and wonderfully obvious information hierarchy, Dutch design always evokes an emotional reaction within me. Granted, my personality slants heavily toward organization, logic, and simplicity. But I’m so often amazed at how the Dutch can seamlessly combine order of information with an individual expression unique to every design and designer. Much of my influence comes directly from Dutch design. continued