The future of web standards

Jeffrey Zeldman on the future of web standards.

“Cheap, complex devices such as the iPhone and the Droid have come along at precisely the moment when HTML5, CSS3 and web fonts are ready for action; when standards-based web development is no longer relegated to the fringe; and when web designers, no longer content to merely decorate screens, are crafting provocative, multi-platform experiences. Is this the dawn of a newer, more mature, more ubiquitous web?”

The Future of Web Standards by Jeffrey Zeldman

Originally written for .net magazine, Issue No. 206, published 17 August in UK and this month in the US in “Practical Web Design” Magazine. Now you can read the article even if you can’t get your hands on these print magazines.

See also: I Guest-Edit .net magazine.

HTML5 For Web Designers is a hit in the US iTunes store.

UPDATE: As of today, 27 September 2010, Jeremy’s book is ranked 33. It has climbed 11 points since yesterday.

Jeremy Keith’s excellent HTML5 For Web Designers, the first publication from A Book Apart, is a hit in the American iTunes store.

Comments, if you wish, may be left at Flickr.

Scientific American redesign

Happy Cog’s redesign of the Scientific American website, featuring wicked web fonts Prelude and Brunel, is alive!

Roger Black Studio did the print redesign and supervised the project; Font Bureau created Prelude; Paul Barnes designed Brunel and Webtype hinted it.

For the Happy Cog team:

ALA 314: Web Forms Magic

Issue No. 314 of A List Apart For People Who Make Websites is all about your form.

Ryan Seddon shows how to reduce errors and guide users to success via new methods made possible by HTML5 and CSS3. Harness HTML5 form input types and attributes to set validation constraints to check user input, and use CSS3’s new UI pseudo-classes to style validation states, making form completion quick and effortless.

And Luke Wroblewski explains how accordion forms increase completion rates and user happiness by dynamically showing and hiding sections of related questions as people complete the form—allowing them to focus on what matters and finish quickly. Learn how your smallest design decisions affect completion speed, which design choices make these innovative forms feel familiar and easy—and which make them feel foreign and complex, leading people to make errors.

Illustration by Kevin Cornell for A List Apart Magazine.

Pick a Peck of Panels

Voting is underway for next year’s SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin, TX, and members of Happy Cog have proposed eighteen panel ideas shown here. Follow the links to vote for your favorites, increasing the likelihood you’ll see them on the schedule in March 2011. Voting ends 11:59 PM CDT on Friday, August 27, 2010.

Project Management

  1. Project Management for Humans (No Robots Allowed)
  2. Panelists:

    • Brett HarnedHappy Cog Senior Project Manager
    • Dave DeRuchieHappy Cog Project Management Director
    • Sam Barnes
    • Pamela Villcorta
    • Rob Borley
  3. Your Meetings Suck and It’s Your Fault
  4. Presenter: Kevin HoffmanHappy Cog User Experience Director

User Experience

  1. Critical Thinking for UX Designers (Or Anyone, Really)
  2. Dual Presenters:

    • Russ UngerHappy Cog User Experience Director
    • Stephen Anderson
  3. Guerrilla Research Methods — Live!
  4. Dual Presenters:

    • Todd Zaki Warfel
    • Russ UngerHappy Cog User Experience Director
  5. Inside-Out UX: Clients, Expectations, Politics, Personalities
  6. Dual Presenters:

    • Whitney HessHappy Cog Senior Experience Designer
    • Tom Daly

Design

  1. Can Design Save Philadelphia? Happy Cog vs Cliches
  2. Presenter: Christopher CashdollarHappy Cog Creative Director

  3. My Title Is Web Designer, Now What?
  4. Panelists:

  5. Nontent: Is Smashing Magazine Helping or Hurting Design
  6. Panelists:

    • Kevin SharonHappy Cog Senior Designer
    • Mathew Smith
    • Aex Giron

Development

  1. Developers: Saving the Web From Your Dick Move
  2. Panelists:

    • Jenn LukasHappy Cog Interactive Development Director
    • Mark HuotHappy Cog Technology & Development Director
    • Kenny Meyers
    • Noah Stokes
    • Paul Irish
  3. Digital Bookmaking for Designers & Developers
  4. Panelists:

    • Brian WarrenHappy Cog Senior Designer/Developer
    • Scott Boms
    • Grant Huchinson

Personal Development

  1. Jeffrey Zeldman’s Amazing Panel
  2. Presenter: Jeffrey ZeldmanHappy Cog Founder & Executive Creative Director

  3. Company Culture: It’s All Your Fault
  4. Presenter: Greg HoyHappy Cog President

  5. Panel Title: [ INSERT PANEL TITLE HERE ]
  6. Dual Presenters:

  7. GeekFit: How to Embrace Technology and Healthy Lifestyles
  8. Presenter: Robert JollyHappy Cog Client Services Director

  9. Breaking Taboos: Pros Get Real About Money Matters
  10. Panelists:

    • Mark Hemeon
    • Daniel Burka
    • Joe Stump
    • Whitney HessHappy Cog Senior Experience Designer
  11. Maintaining Your Humility While Enjoying Your Success
  12. Presenter: Whitney HessHappy Cog Senior Experience Designer

  13. Bridging The Generation Gap: Or Is There One?
  14. Panelists:

  15. Making Memories Capturing Your Awkward Social Media Years
  16. Panelists:

    • Kenny Meyers
    • Luke Dorney
    • Greg StoreyHappy Cog President

I guest-edit .net magazine

Web 2.1. Zeldman guest-edits .net magazine.

A List Apart and .net magazine have long admired each other. So when .net editor Dan Oliver did me the great honor of asking if I wished to guest edit an issue, I saluted smartly. The result is now arriving in subscriber post boxes and will soon flood Her Majesty’s newsstands.

In .net magazine Issue No. 206, on sale 17th August in UK (and next month in the US, where it goes by the name “Practical Web Design”), we examine how new standards like CSS3 and HTML5, new devices like iPhone and Droid, and maturing UX disciplines like content strategy are converging to create new opportunities for web designers and the web users we serve:

  • Exult as Luke Wroblewski shows how the explosive growth of mobile lets us stop bowing to committees and refocus on features customers need.
  • Marvel as Ethan Marcotte explains how fluid grids, flexible images, and CSS3 media queries help us create precise yet context-sensitive layouts that change to fit the device and screen on which they’re viewed.
  • Delight as Kristina Halvorson tells how to achieve better design through coherent content wrangling.
  • Thrill as Andy Hume shows how to sell wary clients on cutting-edge design methods never before possible.
  • Geek out as Tim Van Damme shows how progressive enhancement and CSS3 make for sexy experiences in today’s most capable browsers—and damned fine experiences in those that are less web-standards-savvy.

You can also read my article, which asks the musical question:

Cheap, complex devices such as the iPhone and the Droid have come along at precisely the moment when HTML5, CSS3 and web fonts are ready for action; when standards-based web development is no longer relegated to the fringe; and when web designers, no longer content to merely decorate screens, are crafting provocative, multi-platform experiences. Is this the dawn of a newer, more mature, more ubiquitous web?

Today’s web is about interacting with your users wherever they are, whenever they have a minute to spare. New code and new ideas for a new time are what the new issue of .net magazine captures. There has never been a better time to create websites. Enjoy!


Photo by Daniel Byrne for .net magazine. All rights reserved.

HTML5, CSS3 default templates

Free for use in all web projects, professional or personal, HTML5 Reset by Monkey Do! is a set of HTML5 and CSS templates that jumpstart web development by removing the styling native to each browser, establishing basic HTML structures (title, header, footer, etc.), clearing floats, correcting for IE problems, and more.

Most of us who design websites begin every project with bits and pieces of this kind of code, but developer Tim Murtaugh, who created these files and who modestly thanks everyone in the universe, has struck a near-ideal balance. In these lean, simple files, without fuss or clutter, he manages to give us the best-practices equivalent of everything but the kitchen sink.

Tim Murtaugh sits beside me at Happy Cog, so I’ve seen him use these very files (and earlier versions of them) to quickly code advanced websites. If you’re up to speed on all the new hotness, these files will help you stay that way and work faster. If you’re still learning (and who isn’t?) about HTML5, CSS3, and browser workarounds, studying these files and Tim’s notes about them will help you become a more knowledgeable web designer slash developer. (We need a better name for what we do.)

My daughter calls Mr Murtaugh “Tim the giant.” With the release of this little package, he earns the moniker. Highly recommended.

10K Apart – inspire the web!

Just launched and just wonderful! The 10K Apart contest (“Inspire the web with just 10K”) presented by MIX Online and An Event Apart hearkens back to Stewart Butterfield’s 5k Contest of yesteryear while anticipating the HTML5-powered web of tomorrow … and encouraging us to design that web today.

We want beauty. We want utility. We want excitement. And we want it all under 10K:

HTML5 For Web Designers

Prizes, we got prizes! One grand prize winner will receive registration to An Event Apart plus $3,000 cash and a copy of HTML5 For Web Designers. Three runners-up (Best Design, Best Technical, and People’s Choice) will win free registration to An Event Apart plus a $1000 Visa cash card and HTML5 For Web Designers. Nine honorable mentions will receive HTML5 For Web Designers.

The judging panel that will evaluate all this awesomeness is made up of Jeremy Keith, Nicole Sullivan, Eric Meyer, Whitney Hess, and yours truly.

Sorry, no back-end, this is a client-side contest only.

Check the 10K Apart site for more info. Happy designing and developing!

Minneapolis Remembered

Eric Meyer at An Event Apart Minneapolis - photo by Jared Mehle

The show’s over but the photos linger on. An Event Apart Minneapolis was two days of nonstop brilliance and inspiration. In an environment more than one attendee likened to a “TED of web design,” a dozen of the most exciting speakers and visionaries in our industry explained why this moment in web design is like no other.

If you were there, relive the memories; if you couldn’t attend, steal a glance at some of what you missed: An Event Apart Minneapolis: the photo pool at Flickr.

Next up: An Event Apart DC and San Diego. These shows will not be streamed, simulcast, or repackaged in DVD format. To experience them, you must attend. Tickets are first-come, first-served, and every show this year has sold out. Forewarned is forearmed; we’d love to turn you on.


Photo: Jared Mehle.

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.)