• Targeting small screens

    Early last week, I spoke to packed crowds at Web Design World in Boston. Clearly the conference scene is heating back up, as budgets for events and off-site training seem to be reappearing. The two sessions I presented (“Beautiful Interfaces with CSS” and “Throwing Tables out the Window“) were lots of fun. I had to bolt to the airport to catch a flight after my last talk. So I didn’t get to stick around to see the rest of the conference or talk to more of the attendees over the next two days. ~1,700 words

  • Wellington standards meeting

    While I’ve been busy the past few weeks, so too, have some of the folks I got to meet in the fine, windy city of Wellington, New Zealand. Next week, Thursday 9 December, will be the first official meeting of the Web Standards Group in Wellington. It’s free, casual, and open to anyone who’s interested. ~200 words

  • Symbolic Java

    In sorting through the 980 (!) photos I took in Australia and New Zealand last month, I thought this particular image was worthy of posting here separately from all the others. The Kiwis I met at the conference in Sydney told me Wellington had some of the best coffee in the world. After noticing something in my last “flat white” at the Wellington Airport, I think I understand why that might be true… ~100 words

  • UI9 RP-remote

    Of course, you realize… the scary thing about all this? In the true essence of what’s going on here, the process could actually spider out from the central loop, backing out to hit every other possible node. Which means you technically don’t even need to have been at UI9 to play along… ~100 words

  • Redesigning Blogger workshop

    Jeffrey Veen and I will be conducting a one-day workshop in San Francisco a week from Monday, the 8th of November: Redesigning Blogger. We’ll be covering the process and thinking we used when Adaptive Path and Stopdesign worked with Google to simplify and redesign Blogger earlier this year. Jeff and I have worked together for a little over eight years now. We’ve learned a lot from each other, and from our successes and failures on various projects. ~300 words

  • 3 days in Wellington

    The last three days I spent in Wellington couldn’t have been better. The weather was ideal: clear skies with a few clouds, mild temps, and a low breeze blowing off the harbor — apparently kind of a rare environment for Wellington. The days were relaxed, nothing was planned, and I got to meet quite a few local webbers. ~900 words

  • My new obsession

    Best taken while suspended upside-down, dangling by a rubber band strapped to your ankles. Begins with intense anxiety. Guaranteed rush to the head follows. Heart continues pumping for at least 30 minutes after. ~100 words

  • Meetup in Wellington

    I mentioned in a previous entry that I’m actually going to make it to New Zealand’s North Island for a brief stay. Thursday — 21 October — I’ll be flying from Christchurch into Wellington around mid-day. I’m spending a couple days there, and I really don’t have much planned. I just want to see and experience New Zealand’s capital city, enjoy the coffee, see a few LoTR sites, and hang out with more Kiwis. ~300 words

  • Me against the rope tow

    On Friday, Mt. Hutt was still closed, and I had almost given up hope of boarding in NZ. But we learned after walking around Methven that one small club field was actually still open: Broken River. Not willing to forfeit another day of boarding, we jumped at the chance. ~900 words

  • Driving cross-country

    I arrived in New Zealand late last night, after quite a bit of drama at the Cairns airport earlier in the day. I almost didn’t make it to NZ for multiple reasons. ~300 words

  • To the Reef with Paddy

    For those of you loosely following along on the OZ/NZ adventure, I just wrapped up five very relaxing days at Airlee Beach. It was a perfect spot to use as a base for exploring the nearby islands, and ended up being a great spot from which to head out to the Great Barrier Reef. ~900 words

  • MT as a remote editor

    A few times while traveling around Australia, either I’ve noticed a slight glitch on a site (Stopdesign, or a client site), or someone else points out a bug or problem with some file on a site I have control over. I left my laptop and cables, etc. in Sydney to shed the weight, so I haven’t had access to the tools I normally have at my disposal. Any of these changes are usually quick edits or corrections of previous oversights. However, I’ve been missing some sort of text editor that can work on files remotely via S/FTP. ~600 words

  • Mighty Goods

    Check out the latest Stopdesign mini-project: Mighty Goods, a new shopping blog by Margaret Mason, known for her long-running Mighty Girl weblog. Margaret came to me wanting a simple, clean design with integrated images for most of the items she posted. This is the end result of holing ourselves up in Canvas for a Saturday a little over a month ago. ~200 words

  • Tropical Queensland

    I stepped off the plane yesterday in Cairns and immediately got hit with a warm tropical breeze. It was a drastic change from the cool San Francisco-like weather of Melbourne. I loved Melbourne, and wished I could stay longer, but this short trip mandates that I keep moving so I can experience everything I planned. ~400 words

  • Last night in Melbourne

    Firming up more of my itinerary the next couple weeks made me realize how little time I have left, and how much more I still want to see. Which means I’m now flying out of Melbourne tomorrow morning, heading up to Cairns. ~200 words

  • WSG meetup in Melbourne

    I’ll be joining up with Peter and Russ to fly into Melbourne this Tuesday afternoon (5th of October) for a spontaneously rescheduled Web Standards Group meeting that night. Dave Shea and his wife April are traveling to Melbourne, so they’ll also be there for the meeting. If you’re in the area, please come out and join us. Details on time and location will be posted to this page on the WSG’s site when they become available. ~200 words

  • Morning in Manly

    Man, is Sydney beautiful once the rain and overcast skies go away. I woke up at 6:30am this morning, gazed outside my window, and saw bright sunshine already casting its brilliance over Sydney, so I rushed to get out to experience the day. I hopped a train up to Circular Quay and caught the 8am ferry over to Manly. Such an awesome experience to catch the ferry first thing in the morning… ~500 words

  • Web Essentials kicks tail

    Well, Web Essentials wrapped up on Friday night, and I can truly say it was one outstanding conference. Earlier, I think I wrote that it looked to be the largest web standards event in the southern hemisphere this year. That… was an understatement. It was easily the largest event focused exclusively on web standards in the world (outside the W3C), and the wonderful organizing team pulled it off flawlessly. ~600 words

  • Wireless access in Sydney?

    Just arrived in Sydney this morning. Still trying to orientate myself. John Allsopp picked up Joe Clark and me (we happened to be on the same flight out of LAX) from the airport early this morning. I only have 6 minutes left on a pay-per-minute access account, so this is going to be a quick one. Dave and I have walked all over the Chinatown/UTS area looking for wireless access, or some place where we can connect our laptops to a wired connection. No one seems to know what wireless access or “wifi” is here. Update: Manly knows how to do it right… ~500 words

  • Strange days

    As I sit at a gate at SFO, waiting for a hop down to LAX where I catch the Time Travel Express to Sydney, the fact that I’m leaving for a whole month doesn’t seem quite real yet. It’s a strange feeling. No anxiety or stress, but an odd feeling that I’m not prepared to be traveling for a month. Sort of like those dreams where you show up to school or some public place, then realize you’re wearing nothing but underwear. ~300 words

  • Web Essentials approaches

    My goodness, it’s only a little over a week until Web Essentials 04 kicks off. How does time go by so quickly? This looks to be (easily) the largest web standards event in the southern hemisphere this year. John Allsopp wrote me last week, informing me they’ve got loads of attendees coming from all over Australia, New Zealand, and even Japan. ~300 words

  • Flavor saver

    With the return of the full-color, fixed-width design to this site over the weekend, Stopdesign received numerous messages and even a few comments regarding the switch back. Some of the messages and comments are in favor, heralding the welcome return. Others cry foul as their Bleach is stolen away. ~500 words

  • Liquid Bleach

    Promised one week ago today, this is the next phase in a temporary exploration of page design and CSS layout for Stopdesign. Bleached turns liquid, making this Liquid Bleach. Liquid layouts are easy to create in theory, but can be difficult to implement effectively. Doubling margins, subtractive padding, nested percentages, and differing box models, oh my! ~1,100 words

  • Time traveling

    One of the concepts that’s had my brain wrapped around a pole lately is the international date line. When working out times and flights to Sydney recently, I found it really difficult to calculate arrival times based on a 14-hour flight, a 17-hour time difference, and the fact that I was going to cross the date line and lose a day. ~600 words

  • Australia – New Zealand advice

    In less than one month now, I board a plane bound for Sydney, Australia. Where should I go? What cities and destinations should I hit? What should I not miss if at all possible? Where should I stay? Where should I eat? What should I eat? What experiences should I absolutely try my hardest to fit in? How should I get around? Etc. I’m hoping you have all kinds of great info, tips, and suggestions on visiting Australia and New Zealand, and that you might share some of them here. ~700 words

  • Introducing Bleached

    Ever wondered what your site would look like devoid of most of its color and imagery? Bleach the entire design, remove the saturation and leave behind the basic visual structure on a stark white background? Sure, some sites already use a white background for their design. But Stopdesign has been filled with deep colors and prominent header images since I launched this design a few months ago. ~600 words

  • Microsoft advances

    Seen the Microsoft home page recently? Some remnants of the previous design are still visible, but a large portion of the design changed significantly. The most pleasing thing to see is actually what’s under the hood though. ~700 words

  • Not WIN32 compatible

    While using Safari to browse from one random Blogger blog to another yesterday, I encountered this rather humorous (to me) JavaScript alert message before loading someone’s customized blog template: After grabbing a screenshot of the message, I dismissed the error ~94 words

  • New Blogger navbar

    Google recently launched another new feature for hosted-blogs that further improves the design and experience for Blogger’s users and all of their readers. In a bold move that meets a long-standing request by many of its users, Google recently removed the awkward ads on Blogspot-hosted blogs. In the ad’s place, a new, much slimmer navigation bar gets tucked into the top of the browser window, adding functionality to each blog. ~300 words

  • Presentation-related wish list

    Those who’ve seen my presentations know that I use a browser to navigate through slides constructed with traditional HTML and CSS. The system I use works pretty well. However, I’m still missing a few critical components that could make HTML-based presentations even better. ~600 words

  • AP in DC for UXW

    In just under two weeks, I’ll be joining Adaptive Path in Washington, D.C. for User Experience Week 2004, 16-19 August. AP’s guest speakers also include Jason Fried and Christina Wodtke. Topics will cover team and process, strategy, managing politics, interaction best practices, effecient use of a CMS, and fitting general user experience methods and practices into your organization. ~200 words

  • On dissidence

    By now, many of you may have seen François Briatte’s recent survey of 10 web sites he reads on a regular basis. My props to François for assembling an insanely detailed, and very well documented and explained study. I’ll add a few notes relative to Stopdesign’s position within the survey. ~900 words

  • Projected savings

    In the article published here yesterday, “Throwing Tables out the Window“, I provided a few what if projections of bandwidth savings based on a shot-in-the-dark conservative estimate that might average about 1 million page views per day. Turns out I underestimated. By just a little. ~200 words

  • Throwing tables out the window

    With the CSS waters thoroughly tested by many sites that have taken the plunge, it’s time for us to start cheering from the water below, coaxing and encouraging those who haven’t yet jumped in, to make that jump. There’s no longer any reason to use tables for layout, nor is there reason to maintain multiple versions of a site solely for different desktop browsers. Throw the tables out first. Trust us, they’re not needed anymore. ~2,200 words

  • Library escalators

    My favorite photo from a 10-minute visit (that’s all the time I had) to Seattle’s Rem Koolhaas-designed Central Library. ~80 words

  • Get well, from WV/04

    Q: What happens when you’re scheduled to appear at two conferences back to back to give a total of four presentations within six days, and you end up cancelling your appearance at one of the conferences because you’re unsure if your lower back, with a disc that herniated a month prior, might not do so well with the combined stress of preparing for and travelling to both events? ~300 words

  • A CSS mosaic

    I just returned from Seattle, where I gave two well-received presentations covering design and CSS. One of my screens from the first presentation used a mosaic I assembled (which I share here) of 144 sites that have been added to the CSS Vault within the last four months. My, how quickly the use of CSS is expanding. ~600 words

  • Seattle-bound

    In a few minutes, I step onto a plane bound for Seattle for a short two-day trip. I’ll be speaking twice tomorrow at Digital Design World. ~200 words

  • Women, part II

    Interesting that the same topic I wrote about at the end of last year (Who/Where are the Women?) is resurfacing. Well, actually, it’s always a topic, but one that seems to be getting hot again. ~1,400 words

  • Filtering CSS

    Looking to keep hacks in your primary style sheet to a minimum? This entry introduces a new CSS filter that can be used to import a separate style sheet for IE5/Mac, named the IE5/Mac Band Pass Filter. ~1,000 words

  • Office shopping

    Office shopping

    Next in the series of photos used for header images on Stopdesign is a candid photo I never would have expected to make use of in any kind of design, let alone Stopdesign’s Company pages. There’s nothing spectacular about this photo at first glance. Maybe even at second and third glances. In fact, any other designer probably would have passed it over. This is… Office shopping. ~300 words

  • Phil's BBQ

    Phil's BBQ

    Picking up where we left off a couple weeks ago, I direct your attention to the header for the Examples section. The original photo for this header image was taken during a recent trip to San Diego, where good friends, Jason and Megan, took me to one of the best barbecue spots in the country… Phil’s BBQ. ~300 words

  • Café en Madrid

    Café en Madrid

    The second of a series, the header image from the Articles section originates from a photo that conjures up great memories with international friends. This is Café en Madrid~300 words

  • Drive by

    Drive-by shooting

    In the first of a series, I present the original, undoctored photo used for one of the header images on Stopdesign. This one: the home page. This photo was taken while visiting Miami in November 2002 for the AIGA I|O: Interaction Only Conference. I dubbed it… The Drive-by. ~200 words

  • Stopdesign, reloaded

    Welcome to Phase II of the new Stopdesign. Baby’s got new shoes. As if I weren’t busy enough as it is with current projects. For some reason, two weeks ago, I decided to start a full-blown redesign by yanking my own style sheets, encouraging me to do something sooner, rather than wait for a lighter workload. For those that count, this would be design version 3 (not counting the short-lived lightly styled version this one replaces). The most obvious change is the much more confident use of photography in the header, followed by a significant re-org of the home page. ~600 words

  • More change afoot

    Remember what was said about a work-in-progress? Certainly you didn’t think Stopdesign could be left stripped of proper attire for long? Phase II is already well underway… ~27 words

  • The cost of Page Rank

    The subject is covered frequently in the blogosphere. It’s nothing new for many of you. I’ve been bitten by Stopdesign’s Google page rank for specific search queries several times. I just noticed the most recent instance. What happens when Google gives a particular page too high a page rank? ~1,300 words

  • Starting over

    Ever wanted to ditch what you’ve got and start over? I sure have. I’ve been wanting to completely wipe the style sheets clean for this site and start over with a blank slate. Finally jumped off the cliff. Wonder if anyone saw me do it. And if they did, will they understand why? ~1,400 words

  • Underline text in Adobe Illustrator

    When creating web comps, it’s not uncommon to underline some of the links on the page. Despite the fact that users have been asking how to underline text in Illustrator for several versions now, Adobe somehow manages to exclude this feature in each new release of the software. Here’s how to work around that limitation. ~1,400 words

  • I'm just sayin'…

    This year is certainly my “coming out of the office” year in terms of public speaking. With three events down, and four more on the schedule so far, the year holds lots of opportunities to meet new people. ~600 words