links for 2009-09-08

  • I was talking with Steven Fisher about a few projects we’ve been working on. We realized that most people who start projects haven’t fully planned out what they might need before sitting down with a designer. This, inevitably, ends in the client, the designer, or both frustrated and annoyed with the process/project. This also usually results in the client not jazzed enough about the final product to want to market it effectively or the final product not being the best it could. Now there are a ton of reasons why this doesn’t happen, but the most consistent, from what I can see, is just lack of education on the process. To elevate that, I’ve come up with the eight things I’ve seen that clients can think about prior to starting a project. Having most of these prepared, or planned for, a client and designer might find that they both get everything they need from the project. 1. Be realistic about your goals, budget, and intentions BEFORE you get a designer.
  • Last night the bGreen team got together to take the next step in our quest for world domination. We’ve decided to get involved with this new thing called “e-commerce.” What’s that you say? It’s not 1997? Oh. Well, maybe e-commerce isn’t a new concept, but it is new to us. This will be our first attempt at launching an online store, and we want to make sure we do it right. While we’re not serial online shoppers, we do know what we like and what we don’t. In our opinion, it’s all about the user experience. Screw that up, and you’re bound to lose customers and not make a sale. Provide a smooth, easy to use experience, and you’re bound to keep people coming back. Seems simple enough. Unfortunately, finding the right software package isn’t quite that simple. Last evening we had the pleasure (or not) of playing around with two software packages. One from Network Solutions, called nsCommerceSpace, and the other from Shopify. Our first impression? We’re screwed.
  • By now, all good designers and developers realize the importance of usability for their work. Usable websites offer great user experiences, and great user experiences lead to happy customers. Delight and satisfy your visitors, rather than frustrate and annoy them, with smart design decisions. Here are 9 usability problems that websites commonly face, and some recommended solutions for each of them.
  • Posting your email address on a website is a sure-fire way to get an inbox full of Spam. The Enkoder helps protect email addresses by converting them into encrypted JavaScript code so only real people using real browsers will see them. The Enkoder Form will encrypt your Email address and convert the result to a self evaluating JavaScript, hiding it from Email-harvesting robots which crawl the web looking for exposed addresses. Your address will be displayed correctly by web-browsers, but will be virtually indecipherable to Email harvesting robots. Although the Enkoder should help to reduce Spam, no solution is perfect. The only way to truly prevent Spam is to never publish your address at all, ever, anywhere.
  • I am a thinker. In fact, I trust my brain over my heart. I don't get overly emotional. I make decisions based off of logic, and potential outcomes and almost never on how I feel. Honestly, it's mostly because I have little intuition or gut feelings. I'm 100% un-woman. That's why most atheists frustrate me. It's their belief that all Christians are illogical, that all faith is emotional and no faith is logical. Of course, I disagree. Logics are why I'm still a Christian today! So, I have to ask…where did this assumption come from? I have a theory. Wanna hear it? Here's why I believe the average, internet trolling atheists thinks they are winning the logics debate. This also has some major implications for youth ministries. Those will follow.
  • Following are ten songs that are kind of cliches, but that I will not apologize for liking. Some of them are bar-band standards. Some of them are MUSTS if you’re cropping together footage of someone who’s recently died. Some of them are just so iconic you could go 30 years without hearing them, but you’d still know all the words. I’m sure there are some I’m missing…but off the top of my head, I do NOT apologize for specifically these ten.
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