Web design has changed enormously in the last 10 years. CSS has now been broadly accepted. That wasn’t the case back in 2005 when sites such as CSS Zen Garden were trying to gain attention to CSS. When CSS Zen Garden appeared they showed impressive and motivating examples of using CSS. The examples no longer pop or look impressive. They look standard or even plain compared to HTML5/CSS3 websites. The web has progressed and adopted CSS so that CSS Zen Garden is no longer impressive. Sites with CSS always had a distinctive look to them that netizens took time to accept. Today non-CSS pages are unacceptable.
Although I tend to constantly dabble in web design I rarely construct a fully functional website for consumers/public. I’ve designed/developed plenty of simple pages to present SVG and web applications but they don’t have high levels of interaction in terms of data input/output. One of the earliest occasions I created a fully functional site was for uvicultimate.com back in 2001. It was a successful site for UVic intramural ultimate as it became the place to go to to check for schedules and update your ultimate team profile. The domain has since been taken over for the ultimate team.
The GRUL website for the Greater Region Ultimate League (the area surrounding and including Luxembourg) is once again ultimate frisbee related. It was developed in an effort to encourage the growth of ultimate in the region which has few large cities that can support a league on its own. The challenge was to design a super simple website that people can use to interact with other teams and standings that encourage friendly competition. I was also trying to minimize site usage time so that people can get back out to the fields. I used a Lightbox variant that allows me to overlay iframes for all the form contents. All the site’s content, except for the FAQ page, is on one page. I’m still not 100% convinced with the styling. I will update it if the site is effective.
A few months back I completed an SVG palette for use with the dotifier. It makes selecting colours for any purpose much easier. I decided to modularize it for future projects and also make it available for others. You can test it and download the source files on the app’s page.
My current employer is growing fast yet is limited in office space. The official policy went from ‘hire many people to populate our offices’ to ‘if you hire someone please densify your offices’. One year ago offices where getting their second occupant but we are now many three occupants per office. The temporary building with temporary offices were designed to have two people per office. Getting three people to fit nicely in a comfortable and productive setting isn’t so easy.
A few people created paper models of the different furniture options and room constraint to get an idea of what was possible. I though of throwing together a quick SVG/JS application that would allow people to move furniture around would be useful. It took a bit longer than I expected but I’m happy with the result: Furnissure
I created two modes: Fill mode which randomly dotify’s the areas created, and Pen mode which allows you to draw on the canvas using a ‘dot’ pen of a desired thickness and lead in/out. You can get all sorts of fun effects by combining these. Go ahead and try it yourself. It works in Firefox, Safari, and Chrome – slight problems with Opera. Internet Explorer has no chance.
Setting up a development environment locally can save a lot of time, but the setup can be quite painful. I needed to modify a few things to getting my website running in OS X Snow Leopard. Setting up apache is wonderfully easy with OS X but further customization took more time. I wanted to get the .htaccess files and apache rewrite module functioning functioning locally.
When displaying links inline with text you want to balance readability and noticeability. An interesting way to do this is by giving it some padding and rounded corners.
I sometimes need to copy files to servers that only allow ftp – an unsecure file transfer method. An easy, secure and fast alternative is SCP if you can remember how to use it.
Plus it’s used in Die Hard 4.0 so it must be good.