One track continues to rule. It rules because you don’t have to decide where to go and what to miss. But it also rules because the conversations in the hallways and pubs can be centered around the same sessions. There’s no “ah, I missed that one because I saw ______ instead”. There’s a complete shared experience between all attendees, and that’s a very good thing.
Slides from the powerful and incredibly useful talk by Luke W. “I walked through the importance of web forms and a series of design best practices culled from live site analytics, usability testing, eye-tracking studies, and best practice surveys. Including some new research on primary and secondary actions, and dynamic help examples.”
Luke W: “Liz Danzico’s talk at An Event Apart dissected seven often-cited information architecture rules and highlighted counter examples that exposed why these rules might be better suited as design considerations.”
Dwayne Oxford: “It’s difficult to walk away from an event like this without a fresh perspective on CSS and the DOM, a head-full of elegant design techniques, and enough inspiration to catapult our work to the next level.”
Danged if Eric Meyer hasn’t launched a product. Eric Meyer’s CSS Sculptor, created in collaboration with WebAssist, makes it drop-dead easy to create standards-compliant, two- and three-column CSS layouts in Adobe Dreamweaver.
As a close friend of Eric Meyer’s, I found out about the product yesterday.
It’s a template-driven, “choose, then customize” application. CSS Sculptor includes 30 of the most common web page layouts—fixed-width, liquid, elastic, and combinations thereof—coded the way Eric Meyer would code them.
Once you choose a layout, you can change any aspect of it, including page width and browser window position. Add background images to any component. Rename elements and restyle at will. Additional columns can be added to the left or right of the main content area; headers and footers can be included or omitted with a click.
A nifty tree view visualizes how your style sheet is working, and lets you quickly select and edit any component of your layout. CSS Sculptor even creates a fully customizable print style sheet for every design—automatically. That’s cool.
I test-drove CSS Sculptor yesterday. It’s powerful and fun to use. I can see this application appealing to three audiences:
The power coder who knows CSS inside, outside, and backward, and will never cease hand coding—but wouldn’t mind working faster by off-loading some of the more tedious tasks of CSS layout development.
The professional designer who wants to use CSS, but is daunted (and sometimes frustrated) by the complexities of advanced CSS layout.
The non-full-time web person, responsible for maintaining their organization’s website in addition to other responsibilities, who believes in web standards and accessibility but will never be a CSS Jedi. Now you don’t have to be.
CSS Sculptor is compatible with Dreamweaver CS3 and Dreamweaver 8 on Windows and Macintosh. It will retail for $149.99 but is can be had for $99.99 through 6 September 2007. I don’t get anything for telling you about it except the warm glow of sharing.