Happy Cog redesigns Zappos.com

Zappos.com, redesigned by Happy Cog.

Free overnight shipping; a liberal return policy; friendly service: it’s no secret that Zappos.com positions the customer as the cornerstone of their brand promise. Yet despite their success, Zappos.com was a website with a problem: their business growth had outpaced the slowly-evolving aesthetic of their website. While the site enabled customers to make their purchases quickly, it didn’t capture and embrace the hallmarks of the Zappos.com culture. Enter Happy Cog. (Read more.)

Nicole Sullivan on CSS

CSS troubleshooter Nicole Sullivan on The Big Web Show.

Update! Episode 11 featuring Nicole Sullivan on CSS optimization is now available for your listening and viewing pleasure at 5by5.tv.

If writing good CSS is tough, fixing someone else’s (or multiple someones’) bad CSS is a rarified art calling for the skill of a surgeon, the sensitivity of a Stradivarius, the patience of a saint, and the diplomacy of a Zheng He. Nicole Sullivan is one of the best and most successful of that small pool of CSS troubleshooters. Dan Benjamin and I are thrilled to have her as our guest on Episode 11 of The Big Web Show. Join us today, 8 July 2010, for the live taping at 1:00 PM ET.

Nicole is an evangelist, front-end performance consultant, CSS Ninja, and author. She started the Object-Oriented CSS open source project, which answers the question: how do you scale CSS for millions of visitors or thousands of pages? She also consulted with the W3C for their beta redesign, and is the co-creator of Smush.it, an image optimization service in the cloud.

Nicole is passionate about CSS, web standards, and scalable front-end architecture for large commercial websites. She speaks about performance at conferences around the world, most recently at An Event Apart, The Ajax Experience, ParisWeb, and Web Directions North.

The Big Web Show is taped live in front of an internet audience every Thursday at 1:00 PM ET on live.5by5.tv. Edited episodes can be watched afterwards (often within hours of taping) via iTunes (audio feed | video feed) and the web.

Myths and Warnings

A List Apart Issue No. 294. Illustration by Kevin Cornell.

In Issue No. 294 of A List Apart, for people who make websites: learn what usability testing is and isn’t good for, and discover the five warning signs of a bad client relationship (and what to do about them).

The Myth of Usability Testing

by ROBERT HOEKMAN JR.

Usability evaluations are good for many things, but determining a team’s priorities is not one of them. The Molich experiment proves a single usability team can’t discover all or even most major problems on a site. But usability testing does have value as a shock treatment, trust builder, and part of a triangulation process. Test for the right reasons and achieve a positive outcome.

Getting to No

by GREG HOY

A bad client relationship is like a bad marriage without the benefits. To avoid such relationships, or to fix the one you’re in, learn the five classic signs of trouble. Recognizing the never-ending contract revisionist, the giant project team, the vanishing boss and other warning signs can help you run successful, angst-free projects.

Illustration by Kevin Cornell for A List Apart.

Short URL: zeldman.com/?p=2725