links for 2010-04-15

  • Over time certain conventions and best practices have been developed to help improve the general usability of websites during their design and build. This roundup of ten usability crimes highlights some of the most common mistakes or overlooked areas in web design and provides an alternative solution to help enhance the usability of your website.
  • Instead of paying good cash for cd cases, which eventually break and end up in a landfill, how about creating your own, unique folded-paper cd cases that are biodegradable and take up a fraction of the space?
  • You couldn’t have failed to notice that pretty much every website on the face of the planet has a homepage, and that every homepage uses the same basic layout. Masthead at the top, navigation underneath and/or along the side(s), main content taking up most of the page, and a footer at the bottom. It’s common because it works. It differentiates the content that needs to be differentiated, it presents it in a logical order that follows how people read and interact with websites, and it’s relatively simple to code. In fact, HTML5 encourages you to code this way. If you want to succeed as a web designer, you should stick to this paradigm. The trouble is, although you know you need a header, navigation links, main content and a footer, it’s pretty hard to decide exactly where to position each, what margins and padding and fonts and colors to use, what items to include or exclude, and all those other details. You need a process you can rely on to ensure that you meet your client’s needs,
  • This is a tutorial on creating a PHP website template starting with HTML and CSS. We will start with the basics and you can also download the final product. Please remember that I am using very basic CSS styling in this example just for you to get the idea, and not so much to make it look pretty. The download will contain both the styled example as well as a complete blank template that you can use for your own starting point for any project personal or commercial. The demo files are released under GPL V2. This tutorial assumes you have basic understanding of html and css. At the end of this tutorial you should have a basic understanding of using php and converting an html site to php.You can also download the demo files here. The actual template will be created in 10 easy steps. I will then take it a step further to show you how to add variables to your template.
  • Nonsense, of course, but it helps illustrate a point: You will need a computer password today, maybe a half dozen or more — those secret sign-ins that serve as sentries for everything from Amazon shopping carts to work files to online bank accounts. Just when you have them all sorted out, along comes another “urgent” directive from the bank or IT department — time to reset those codes, for safety’s sake. And the latest lineup of log-ins you’ve concocted won’t last for long, either. Some might temporarily stay in your head, others are jotted on scraps of paper and stuffed in a wallet. A few might be taped to your computer monitor in plain view (or are those are from last year’s batch? Who can remember?). Now, a study has concluded what lots of us have long suspected: Many of these irritating security measures are a waste of time. The study, by a top researcher at Microsoft, found that instructions intended to spare us from costly computer attacks often exact a much steeper price in the
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    links for 2010-01-07

  • community imageSimply having a presence on various online networking platforms won’t work in the social media sphere. The key is spending time to build relationships to not only engage with site users, but to get them to interact with each other. While a lot has been said about how to do it, there are also ways to kill off an online community effort. Here are some pitfalls that online organizations should avoid when trying to foster engagement. 1. The Gaping Hole Perception fifth column image Site visitors need to know that there is someone at the other end of the online community who’s listening, and who will respond and engage with them. “The absolute biggest inhibitor is the perception that your contribution is just going into a gaping void,” according to Matt Thompson, interim online community manager for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, in an e-mail interview. For example, on a blog post that doesn’t have comments, few people want to be the first to comment. Thomp
  • is designed for elementary and middle school teachers who want to provide each student with their own, unique blog. Kidblog's simple, yet powerful tools allow students to publish posts and participate in discussions within a secure classroom blogging community. Teachers maintain complete control over student blogs. Set up your class with no student email addresses. Provide your students with an authentic, engaging, and interactive learning experience with Kidblog.
  • One reason seekers of news are abandoning print newspapers for the Internet has nothing directly to do with technology. It’s that newspaper articles are too long. On the Internet, news articles get to the point. Newspaper writing, by contrast, is encrusted with conventions that don’t add to your understanding of the news. Newspaper writers are not to blame. These conventions are traditional, even mandatory. Take, for example, the lead story in The New York Times on Sunday, November 8, 2009, headlined “Sweeping Health Care Plan Passes House.” There is nothing special about this article. November 8 is just the day I happened to need an example for this column. And there it was. The 1,456-word report begins: Handing President Obama a hard-fought victory, the House narrowly approved a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s health care system on Saturday night, advancing legislation that Democrats said could stand as their defining social policy achievement. Fewer than half the words in
  • To truly capture someone's personality in a portrait is a difficult task – especially when asked to pose for a camera. We all cherish those rare, candid photos of friends and family that were caught during a moment in our lives. Photos that show us in our own environment – not self-conscious of a studio with bright lights and formal poses. This is what Julie's portraits are all about. She enjoys taking pictures of people when they are at their most relaxed. This usually happens when shooting at a location that puts people at ease. Whether that's in a home, at a park, or at a party – the portrait should capture the person as others see them. Julie has a BFA in Photography from Washington University School of Fine Arts. Her focus on documentary photography emphasizes the use of natural lighting and a spontaneous perspective.
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    links for 2009-12-09

  • A mysterious light display appearing over Norway last night has left thousands of residents in the north of the country baffled. Witnesses from Trøndelag to Finnmark compared the amazing sight to anything from a Russian rocket to a meteor or a shock wave – although no one appears to have mentioned UFOs yet. The phenomenon began when what appeared to be a blue light seemed to soar up from behind a mountain. It stopped mid-air, then began to circulate.
  • Today we have a review of some of the additional design features you may wish to consider adding to your blog in order to make it visually more appealing and also to make for a better overall user experience. I get a lot of emails about design – it appears most people can install a nice wordpress blog – especially when using the easy install feature that is available on the Cpanel at and adding themes such as those available at However it appears a good number of you would like to Jazz up your Blogs – make them more striking and impacting. This post is for those people. For each feature we have suggested, we have also included a screen-shot of that feature in action on some of our favorite blogs. Just one word of warning here — we are presenting you with 20 different features to consider, but this does not mean you should actually use all 20 features. I am a huge fan of customizing your blog and making it as individual to you as possible (bearing in mind
  • Web designing is an art. It is always to learn from the best in the field especially in a dynamic world like Web Design where today’s design become anachronistic by tomorrow. Ergo, Here is a list of the best tutorials to implement latest trends among the web designing community to help you stay in sync with your web designs.
  • Here we go again … our latest list of the 100 best websites sees short attention spans, the rise of Twitter, more browser wars and celebrity gossip sites setting the news agenda
  • Recently I came accross various websites filled with quotes from designers & artists from around the world, insiprational quotes to get you thinking. In this article I have selected various top design quotes that apply to my experience and gives me power to be creative and think foward. I have also asked several fellow bloggers about their favourite design(ers) quotes and the feedback was a very positive and the inspiring list of quotes are embedded in this article. Please join in and add your favourite design(ers) quote in the comments, thank you very much!
  • In May, I wrote about how to negotiate your salary. I argued that following the advice in Jack Chapman’s Negotiating Your Salary: How to Make $1,000 a Minute is one of the best ways to improve your financial well-being. I still believe it. If you’re looking for work or looking for a raise, you should absolutely read his book. But negotiation is a skill you can use in other parts of your life, too. In fact, in You Can Negotiate Anything, Herb Cohen says that we negotiate constantly with our spouses, our children, our parents, our co-workers, and our friends.
  • Every month we’re scanning the web for fresh blogs delivering quality content in the design-dev-freelance community, and these are the 10 entries for September. Yeah, I know, don’t have enough room in your RSS reader. Well, delete some old feeds :]
  • Speed Tracer is a tool to help you identify and fix performance problems in your web applications. It visualizes metrics that are taken from low level instrumentation points inside of the browser and analyzes them as your application runs. Speed Tracer is available as a Chrome extension and works on all platforms where extensions are currently supported (Windows and Linux). Using Speed Tracer you are able to get a better picture of where time is being spent in your application. This includes problems caused by JavaScript parsing and execution, layout, CSS style recalculation and selector matching, DOM event handling, network resource loading, timer fires, XMLHttpRequest callbacks, painting, and more.
  • Originally, I started a blog about Star Wars. Slowly it deviated out to other stuffs too and somehow turned into my mindless chatter,whatever comes to my mind. I enjoy collecting toys and collectibles. So this is still ultimately a toy blog! Aquarium Fish Keeping has been my longest surviving hobby. Enjoy playing RPG games on DS and PSP. Loves to photograph animals and nature. In love with dark mint chocolates and chilli crabs!
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