Web Designer – No Experience Needed

My next few articles will be discussing my thoughts on the current trends and state of design on the web. I hold no illusion that my opinions on this topic should be taken as absolute. However, my feeling is, the more discourse, the better.

I stumbled upon this site via Firewheel that seemed to be a great prelude to my near-future writings. Indeed, the get-rich-quick scheme has laid its larva into the unsuspecting gut of graphic design. Or to use their own words:

Make $1,000 A Day In The “Hidden” Desktop Design Market

Yes, now everyone can be a graphic designer and make a hell of a lot more money than the people who actually do it for a living. This is one of the quintessential problems of design on the internet; everyone is a web designer – therefore no one is. In my opinion, this open, all-inclusive vocation needs a small dose of intellectual elitism. It is true that anyone can design a site, but not everyone can do it well. Continue reading “Web Designer – No Experience Needed”

RSS vs. RSS – A Tale of Two Icons

This article is somewhat belated and could be considered much ado about nothing, but nonetheless I think this is a relevant topic to discuss. Microsoft recently announced that they would be using the RSS icon introduced by the Firefox browser. This was considered a very wise choice by many, including myself at first as it was a victory (albeit small) for standardization. Soon afterward, Matt Brett started a micro-site to help propagate this icon for use by the public. I commend Matt’s efforts and fully back him on the notion that a standard icon needs to be established for syndication. My argument is that we are not backing the right icon…
Continue reading “RSS vs. RSS – A Tale of Two Icons”

Typography on the Web – Beauty is Not Letterform Deep

For the last few years, design on the web has strongly shifted towards a more usable and standards driven approach. It is now commonly accepted that HTML text is far more usable than images containing text. However, many web designers still use images for type due to the typographic control they obtain. No one argues with the fact that using HTML text instead of images for type is more usable and ultimately better design as a whole. Nonetheless, many feel that strong typographic design cannot be achieved without defaulting to images for text. Because of these reasons, many still continue to use images rather than HTML text due to the typographic control they have with Illustrator, Photoshop, Fireworks, etc. In my opinion, web typography with the aid of CSS and other tools, has the potential to be typographically strong. In addition, text which is meant to be read or to perform a user or system-based function that is not HTML text could arguably be considered poor typographic design. Continue reading “Typography on the Web – Beauty is Not Letterform Deep”

Tonkyou and Iconitos pages updated

I’ve been slowly cleaning up the small fragments of that remain of my old blog. I finally was able to get the Iconitos and Tonkyou projects in the new blog format. I’d like to add a little more functionality to these pages, but this alone was a big upgrade.

If you haven’t yet seen these abstract icon font sets, you may just want to take a look. For what it’s worth, I think they’re quite interesting.

Same icons, new name: Sanscons

My poor choice of naming led to a few bumps in the road for my new icon set. The new name for said icons is now Sanscons. I’ve created an alternate page which will from this point on carry any updates – so please change your bookmarks and del.icio.us posts.

After talking to Dan about this issue, I have nothing but respect for him. He’s a really solid guy and I’m glad we were able to work things out.

Thanks again Dan.

Flock Developer Preview Available

I try not to use this blog to talk about things other than work. However, since I feel this has a tangental relationship to the type of work I do, I thought I’d post it here. I’m very excited about the new browser on the block called Flock.

Here are a couple reasons why, if you’re like me, I guarantee you’ll be impressed where Flock is headed:

  • It’s built on the Mozilla/Firefox codebase. That means no worries about having another browser to test for when developing for the web.
  • If you have a del.icio.us account, Flock will connect to it. Meaning no more importing or losing all your precious bookmarks on a system failure.
  • You can blog directly from the browser instead of having to work within your blog app framework. It isn’t too special right now, but once the plethora of blogging extensions hit, look out.
  • Direct access to Flickr. See above.

If you like Firefox, you’ll love Flock. It’s all of the goodness of Firefox with a twist of social application goodness.

Go on, download it already!

More blogs coming to this domain

Well, it’s official — I’m killing my other hosting account/domain (www.spikedproductions.com). If anyone wishes to purchase it from me, by all means, please let me know.

All the content from that server will be re-located to here which includes three other blogs (my personal blog, and the blogs of my good friends, Will and Kellie). Since Media Temple is such a damned good hosting provider, I thought this would be a better home for everything.

Nothing like consolidation to make life just that much easier.

I’d also like to extend an invitation to host any other design/web development blogs on this domain as well. I’m running MT 3.11 and I make a point to keep the server nice and tidy. If you’re interested in some space, comment on this post and send me your current blog address.

How teh mnid raeds

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at teh rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can still raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid does not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

Vrey intretsing.

Flash in HTTPS

This is probably a rare issue for most people, but one of my co-workers ran into a security warning when using embedded Flash in secure pages.

After a little Googling, I found out why the problem occurs and how to fix it. In case you’re too lazy, here’s the solution below:


<object classid="clsid:A67CDB6E-AE7D-11cf-96B8-344554540010" codebase="https://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/
swflash.cab #version=6,0,29,0"
width="700" height="300">
      <param name="movie" value="FOO/FOO.swf">
      <param name="quality" value="high">

      <PARAM NAME=wmode VALUE=opaque>
      <embed src="FOO/FOO.swf"
quality="high" wmode=opaque pluginspage="
http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer "
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="700"
height="300"></embed>
</object>

Thanks Mind-Probe

Flash XML Caching Solution

I have found quite a few people run into this problem from time to time and there’s actually quite an easy solution to take care of such an issue:


xml.load("xmlFile.xml?"+Math.random());

Essentially, Flash will think that the file is a different URL each time it loads the file and the psuedo parameter (‘?+Math.random()’) will be ignored for the file request. Clever and effective.