Tag: LOL

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12 Lessons for Those Afraid of CSS and Standards

“It took me two years to break out of the comfortable prison of layout tables, and another two years before I could use CSS to produce layouts that were originally intended for tables.”

“The buzz about Web 2.0, CSS, and myriad other subjects of the bleeding edge can become a dull roar to those left ill-equipped for industry changes because of work habits adopted in good faith years before. It is my hope that the experience I’ve shared will help some folks to find a way back to the top of the heap—which is where the web needs you.”

But don’t be afraid, Ben Henick offers some lessons that will help get you through. It’s based on real-life experience and mirrors my position. CSS and standards are good, yes they can be strict taskmasters but remember that 100% compliance isn’t always required, sometimes 98% is enough. As Ben points out in Lesson No. 9: “In the real world, stylesheet hacks will get your project across the finish line”

Design Engineering

“The common expression “Engineers build bridges” is actually a misnomer. Engineers build mathematical models of bridges and draw little pictures of bridges on paper or inside computers. Ironworkers are the people who really build bridges. This inexact, industrial age metonym has led to much confusion in the post-industrial age, where it’s all too easy to confuse software designers with software welders because they both use the same tools and raw materials for their very different work.”

Not sure I agree with all of this but I always tend to learn more from a differing opinion.

What do you seek — Documents or Knowledge?

“Document management can only point you towards documents, like a traditional search engine. In contrast, when you’ve got information on a wiki you can search for information, link to it, reference it, update it, secure it, blog about it and share it.”

I’ve been pondering the possible questions that might crop up when I give my presentation on using Wikis in the workplace, and this is a great answer. So much of using a Wiki is about breaking the document-centric working practises that slow us all down. Don’t they?

The Spiral of Wiki Adoption

“Although reliance on email and familiarity of other tools may illustrate a reluctance to ‘unlearn’ habitual less effective work practices, there needs to be a balance between directive wiki usage and support for different communication styles as people become accustomed to using wikis and the different capabilities they can provide.”

During other research I found that just getting people to start using a Wiki was the hardest part. Once they started, they soon started using it in ways not previously considered. In other words, Just Do It.

And finally, two quick links. One I’ve known about for a while but recently cropped again on TechWR, and the other is just for kicks. Although I do often wonder if people do Laugh Out Loud as often as all that.

A List Apart: Style Guide

LOL?

As ever, I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of these. Particularly the Design Engineering article which I must admit I partly agree with but I do dislike the “them and us” tone.

Snippets

R.I.P. Mo Mowlam. Sad news indeed, one of the “good” politicians. I won’t say anything about who should be attending her funeral, but he had better!

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Thanks to all who commented on yesterdays Top 100 post. Despite it being a subject many don’t see any value in it has still managed to stir up the most comments of the week. I’ll stop there rather than read anything into that…

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Extras. Getting funnier, even though the “star” of last nights appeared for all of 5 minutes. Has to be the most cringeworthy thing on telly at the moment, and has managed to up the “laugh out loud” count (or LOL for our txt spk redrs). Even the small lines are improving – particularly the throwaway “Pig” insult. Subtle.

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HaloScan news. There is now HaloScan News and HaloScan Help will be formally announced soon. I’m preparing myself for some backlash once the help pages are opened up but they should help people. If you want a brief sample of what I do as a part of my day job have a gander.

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Forgot to record “Ever Wondered About Food?” last night, which Graybo says was quite good. It’s presented by Paul Merrett who I know from the “The Best” cooking show, which is something of a guilty pleasure (what an awful photo of the lovely Silvana that is…). Another guilty pleasure is …. no no, I’ll save that for another time.

P.S. Graybo – I did look but how the hell do I get that SPEWS thing to let me leave comments? It just blocks ALL blueyonder IP addresses, surely there is a whitelist or something?

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That’s yer lot for a couple of days. Busy weekend ahead and an upgrade to WordPress to fit in somewhere. Have a good weekend everyone.

Commentary

Hanni linked to a post which discusses whether weblogs and standards are ruining the internet, with the entire thing prompted by Heather Champ, the woman’s influence is considerable. I’ve commented about this on the former linked sites but thought I’d expand (clarify) my position here. If you are so inclined I suggest you go and read the above links including my comments, in reverse order.

If you’re not so inclined, stop reading. This is about how people ‘use’ the internet. It also contains many generalisations. I know both topics bore some people.

In response to the original article then:

“I’ve long since given up worrying too much about this kind of thing. The cycle at the moment is leaning towards 2/3 columns. It’ll veer back to single column or multi column again at some point. Hell, if someone comes up with a workable alternative to frames expect that to be the next big thing (you heard it here first! LOL).

As for standards – I wish people would refer to them as guidelines or references. A standard isn’t “standard” until it’s adopted by everyone, and I’m afraid the browser creators have a way to go yet. When THEY get their collective acts together maybe I’LL start worrying a little more about it. For now, a ‘close enough’ attitude is suiting me fine thankyouverymuch.

Question – if I redesign my blog to be ‘different’ will people know how to navigate? where to find the info? No they’ll have to learn MY way. What kind of designer does that?”

Hanni then asked me to expand on the navigation aspect, don’t worry, she’ll learn not to ask in future (honestly, I never realised how much I can GO ON, you should have told me!).

Well, it’s quite simple. I think it’s called commonality or something but it’s the reason why certain UI features prevail even if ‘in theory’ they are ‘wrong’.

For example, if you see a dialog box with OK and Cancel buttons, you expect that OK will confirm an action and make the dialg box disappear. The Cancel button will NOT confirm an action and make the dialog box disappear.

Now consider if, for some reason, Microsoft changed that so that you had to click Cancel to have an action confirmed (easily done by changing the wording on the dialog to negative terms). It would throw everyone and there would be outrage.

Same goes for website navigation. The lowest denominator tells us that blue underlined words are links to another webpage. We’ve since learnt that the link can change colour, be underlined or even be an image. Most designers ensure the navigation is obvious, and place site navigation in one place on all/most pages. That way people learn that “when I visit site A, the text down the left hand side links to other parts of the site”.

Taking that further, I think it’s safe to assume that most sites have their main/core navigation (to the main areas of their site) in either the left or right side, or under a banner/header.

Now, what would happen if we all switch to 4 column layouts and placed the navigation in the 3rd column, and made it look like plain text? Confusion.

Some people would figure it out, others wouldn’t even try as it wouldn’t be obvious and if there is one thing the web tells us it’s that if it ain’t easy to use, people won’t.

And there you have it. The core reason that, whilst I do read many of them, I don’t comment often on any of the sites that focus on web design is because they too often concentrate on code, standards, and the like, forgetting one thing. The user, the audience.

What say you?

Linkeroo

caterina.net – if Jesus was alive… LOL

Joe takes A Stand Against Pop-under ads! (ASAP).

And Leia lets us peek at her breasts – but please go back to see the new design (coming soon!).

Ohhh and while we are at it… chatter & speechtherapy are still high on the ‘required reading’ list (although I do like Jason’s (can I call you that Mr.Kottke?) ‘Not recommended at all’ list, which proves once again that there are better minds out there than mine. No honestly…

Ancient

“Get me one of those variegated cakes…”

My Mum is old and her ‘senior moments’ are becoming more frequent. Time to start logging a few for prosperity I think (although she will never beat another senior we know – she was confused a few years back about those ‘pubic cubes’ everyone was raving about… LOL)

Blurbing

Started writing again. Been several months since I opened my head and let a little spill out. Might not be pretty, but again, I don’t do this site for you dear reader, I do it for me. True I could write it all down, and keep it to myself, but having been through what I’ve been through, if reading something here helps someone, anyone, in anyway then it’ll have been justified.

I did consider a switch to EOD style humour (BTW EOD is RIP…LOL) but I’m just not that funny, he’ll be sadly missed.

Popular?

OK, own up, someone somewhere must’ve linked to my site on Tuesday last week – 70 visits in one day – I think that is a record for this humble little place. Whoever it was, thanks! Drop me a line so I know who you are… of course if it wasn’t a link/mention somewhere then thanks to all of you for dropping by, hope you enjoyed the ‘experience’… LOL

Dammit

Was planning on getting to bed early. Forgot to wash my footie stuff from last night…dammit, dammit, dammit.
I’m in an unusually crap, narky mood this evening. Not sure why, although I could pitch a few hundred reasons, I think I’m just in a crap mood because I want to be in one.

Sounds odd, but to be honest I’ve gone through the reasons (the usual ones, and any others I can grasp at) and none really hold enough sway. Mind you I’ve been getting pissed off at myself recently. Need to develop some more integrity. I get the feeling that I’m gonna need it soon, depending what happens I may have to stick to my principles rather than take the easy option. Hopefully someone out there kinda gets what I mean, I’m not sure I do.

Actually I know someone gets it, we’ve been talking about it on and off for a while, so that person knows where I’m coming from…DAMN it’s hard to write this stuff and preserve anonymity…LOL

Designer? moi?

CSS Madness spreading the word as requested. Although I’m guessing that most folks that visit here will also visit there.

Oh and thanks for the email six, one thing I hate more than a designer that is better than me, is a modest designer who is better than me…LOL