Sketchbook/Notebook methodology

Sketch­books and note­books are one and the same when you are an artist. Sketch­es are notes and notes illus­tra­tions of moments of inspi­ra­tion and enquiry.  The most impor­tant part of any sys­tem is to stay out of the way of cre­ativ­i­ty and spark that lights our fire. Pages of draw­ings can be free con­ven­tions unless […]

Need to write a creative brief?

Bel­low are guide­lines for any­one wish­ing to write the per­fect cre­ative brief. When engag­ing in a new project we want to get the ball rolling quick­ly, lay­out expec­ta­tions ear­ly and agree time-scales and bud­gets. 

Remov­ing ifs, buts and maybes from the process great­ly increas­es the chances of the design­er sur­pass­ing the clien­t’s expec­ta­tions and the devel­op­ment of a last­ing rela­tion­ship. 

 

Tests for common HTML elements

This is some­thing I have played with on and off when build­ing web­sites for clients. The idea is to pro­vide a sin­gle unpub­lished post that can be used as style ref­er­ence when writ­ing their own posts. For the most part it is ignored and mere­ly serves as a way for me to make sure I have cov­ered all the bases with­in the CSS.

I am pret­ty sure much of this exam­ple was pinched from some­one else but I have no idea where or when, so apolo­gies and thanks. Please feel free to steel from here and let me know if there are ele­ments which would can be added.

Paragraphs & boxes

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, con­secte­tur adip­isic­ing elit, sed do eius­mod tem­por inci­didunt ut labore et dolore magna ali­qua. Ut enim ad min­im veni­am, quis nos­trud exerci­ta­tion ullam­co laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea com­mo­do con­se­quat. Duis aute irure dolor in rep­re­hen­der­it in volup­tate velit esse cil­lum dolore eu fugiat nul­la pariatur. Excep­teur sint occae­cat cup­i­datat non proident, sunt in cul­pa qui offi­cia deserunt mol­lit anim id est labo­rum.

Full Width Images 670px

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, con­secte­tur adip­isic­ing elit, sed do eius­mod tem­por sub text ut labore et sup text magna ali­qua. Ut enim ad min­im veni­am, quis nos­trud exerci­ta­tion ullam­co laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea com­mo­do con­se­quat. Duis aute irure dolor in rep­re­hen­der­it in volup­tate velit esse cil­lum dolore eu fugiat nul­la pariatur. Excep­teur sint occae­cat cup­i­datat non proident, sunt in cul­pa qui offi­cia deserunt mol­lit anim id est labo­rum.

Fantastic Design Tools

http://www.uistencils.com These tools are great for the democ­ra­ti­sa­tion of design and for speed­ing up the com­mu­ni­ca­tion of good ideas before they are lost to mud­dling over iconog­ra­phy and pro­por­tion. First on my list will be the iPad kit. Not that I have an iPad but I like the idea of using an iPad­Pad for every day […]

Corrupt Fonts in Microsoft Word on OS X

For awhile now I have been suf­fer­ing from a bad case of microsoft­ness. Every­time I launch an Office app I have been get­ting end­less cor­rupt font errors, which pre­vent the app from open­ing cor­rect­ly. Not sur­pris­ing­ly no oth­er pro­grams are effect­ed it’s just an office prob­lem. I have tried switch­ing to NeoOf­fice and the oth­er con­tenders but Office is by far the best tool for the job.

Solution

Took a few search­es and prob­lems but I found the solu­tion here in an arti­cle by Beth Rosen­gard. After read­ing the arti­cle I down­loaded Lino­type which fixed the prob­lem right away no prob­lems no fus and no major trau­ma.

Good advice from Anil Dash

I talk to a lot of con­sul­tants, free­lancers, and small busi­ness­es who do web work, and I used to be a free­lancer myself, so some­times I get asked for advice on how to price one’s goods and ser­vices.

I think I came up with my best sug­ges­tion today, and it involves only two sim­ple steps:

  1. Slap the client in face.
  2. Tell the client your hourly rate.

If the per­son looked more shocked, hor­ri­fied, offend­ed, hurt, sad­dened, or wound­ed by the slap in the face, then you are still pric­ing your­self too low.

Your mileage my vary, this is not to be con­strued as legal advice, eye-pok­ing may be sub­sti­tut­ed for slap­ping in some states.

Search Engine Optimization for Dummies

There is a real­ly good SEO piece over at The Blog Her­ald which I found via one of my reg­u­lar reads . Since switch­ing from a flash for­mat to a blog for­mat for this web­site I have been get­ting more and more inter­est­ed in this top­ic as I have seen a vast increase in the amount of Google juice I get. Rather then write my ver­sion of what oth­ers have already said I thought I would try and pool togeth­er dif­fer­ent sources that have been of great help to me along the way.

A vis­it to the is very reveal­ing when looked at in this con­text it is not a mea­sure of google rank but it is a quick way to look at what top sites are doing. It becomes quick­ly appar­ent is that there is no one-way to skin this cat and the only thing that these sites have in com­mon is they have great con­tent. I am too new at this blog­ging thing to even pre­tend that I know any­thing about great con­tent so I can’t help there, but there are some things we have con­trol over which can great­ly improve our web­sites per­for­mance.

Understanding What Search Engines See

Google does­n’t see nice styling and does not take a look images when decid­ing what your site is about, it sees your doc­u­ments con­tent in the con­text of its struc­ture. So what gives a site its struc­ture and how does it help your blog? Struc­ture comes from HTML and each of the ele­ments gives its con­tent mean­ing. Use head­ing tags for head­ings, para­graph tags for para­graphs, link tags for links etc, Google under­stands this and uses this struc­ture to make deci­sions about your con­tent. Prob­lems only arise when you start to do things wrong. If you use a strong tag for a head­ing Google pre­sumes your know what you are doing and reads it as bold text rather then an impor­tant part of the page struc­ture. So what are some of the impor­tant ele­ments to keep con­trol of?