Highlights from previous Daily Reports

Going postal for Christmas
The U.S. Postal Service promises “holiday shipping convenience” but delivers wretchedly unsatisfying user experience.
Mac OS X safe update tip
Doing that voodoo: installing OS X 10.3.7 update without adverse side-effects.
Hail to the Chiefs
Happy Cog redesigns the Kansas City Chiefs website.
Cog redesigns Amnesty International USA
“Amnesty International works tirelessly to end needless suffering in the real world. We do the same thing in the virtual world.” With these words, Happy Cog Studios announces its redesign of Amnesty International USA.
ALA 187
Pocket-sized design: helping your site fit into small, handheld devices with teeny-weeny screens.
Template Design Competition
The makers of Style Master are looking for a few good designs.
Apple Blog Wants You
The Unofficial Apple Weblog is looking for a few good bloggers.
Like an HTML virgin
Elizabeth Castro’s new book teaches beginners web design basics the right way.
Pop a cap rethinks an element of style.
Bill Asp, promoter of DC punk and new wave bands and founder of Wasp Records, has died at 53. A personal recollection.
Silence and Noise
The mainstreaming of web standards should have freed us to focus on content, design, and usability — but arguments about minutia prevent us from seeing our work whole.
ALA 186: Triple Issue
Dan Benjamin: A Better Image Rotator. Brian Suda and Matt Riggott: Enhance Usability by Highlighting Search Terms. Kevin Potts: Better Invoices for Better Business.
Safer than Kabul
Citicorp Center is declared a terror target, and I’m on my way to a meeting a few blocks north of it.
Only defenestrate...
Douglas Bowman’s “Throwing Tables Out the Window” is a compelling crash course and proof of concept on the business benefits of designing with web standards.
The New Samaritans
Robert Andrews summarizes an emerging “good samaritan” phenomenon in which independent web designer/developers, frustrated by a hard-to-use or inaccessible site, voluntarily rework the site in question, “right under embarrassed proprietors’ noses.” The work, typically performed for free, most often focuses on front-end improvements to key top-level pages. Such makeovers form a roadmap for turning a confusing or inaccessible or bloated site into a more usable, accessible, and streamlined one. Yet rarely do potential corporate benefactors take advantage of the free work done on their behalf...
Faces We Love: Heine’s Tribute
This family of eight fonts, legible at even the smallest sizes, is perfect for designs requiring an aged or antique feeling.
Architectural Digest vs. This Old House
When web designers discuss their craft, they almost always focus on how to do a thing, rather than what things should or should not be done. As an industry, we are more like “This Old House” than Architectural Digest. (ALA No. 184 and drop-down menus as a case in point.)
Production for Use
Looking for design in all the wrong places.
Clarendon is the new Helvetica
An observation.
The Andy Kaufman Effect
On the web, nobody knows you’re not the dog you pretend to be.
Hot socks from Reboot
Three favorites from the May 1st Reboot. These sites might stimulate your creativity.
Blog This
Now anyone, at virtually any experience level, can own and manage an attractive and standards-compliant personal site. With input from Adaptive Path and Stopdesign, Blogger reinvents itself (and we lend a hand).
What is Art Direction?
Stephen Hay tackles the question in this week’s A List Apart. This week’s New Yorker shows how art direction provides a framework for understanding written content.
Me Print Pretty One Day
OS X 10.3.3 upgrade creates printing problems for thousands, including me. More to come on this one.
Project Amnion
A small announcement.
Design is more than meets the eye
A rudimentary computing task should not require arcane knowledge of secret handshakes. Good design is about more than surface appearance.
Carbon Copy Cloner and Font Corruption
If you own and manage many fonts, think twice before cloning.
The Metrics, Reloaded
More on metrics, designing for people, and why our industry seems so focused on tools — on how instead of why and for whom.
Happy Cog 3.0 redesign
Presenting Happy Cog 3.0, code-named “creme.” We’ve restructured the site to highlight our projects, services, and publications, and to welcome aboard lead information therapist Adam Greenfield of and Moblogging Conference fame. Risotto and liquid non-dairy creamers inspired the color scheme. The feeling is “Distressed Lite.”
Rome, Madrid, Iraq, New York
Last week, The Wife and I took a belated honeymoon in the fantastical city of Rome — a town filled with so many naked statues, a thousand John Ashcrofts could not cover them all. On the last day of our trip, terrorists in Madrid blew up commuter trains packed with workers and students....
The Drop Shadow League
When I started designing, bevels and drop shadows were the first refuges of a hack. Not any more. A brief history, with examples, of bevels and shadows. Emerging design trends.
CSS Validator is Broken
The W3C’s CSS validation service has accidentally changed the way it interprets CSS authoring practices. Many sites that were designed valid no longer validate when run through the service via standard linking methods. These sites are still valid per the CSS2 spec. The trouble is not with the authoring method used, but with the validator, which suffers from a long-standing bug. It needs to be fixed as soon as possible. Until it is fixed, workarounds are available — although you might find some of them more trouble than they are worth. An in-depth Report for designers and developers.
Don’t Design on Spec
No matter how juicy the potential project, it is never a good idea to produce designs on spec.
Design: Chip Kidd
A mid-career retrospective on the excellent and influential graphic designer.
Creativity: Alfred Hitchcock
Best Hitch bio ever.
Network: The Victorian Internet
Everything new is old: how the telegraph prefigured the Internet.
If Filmmakers Were Web Designers II
“Dear Mr Antonioni: I recently screened your classic film, The Red Desert, starring Monica Vitti and Richard Harris. I have a problem with the way you used screen space....”
Eolas: First Fallout
The patent lawsuit against Microsoft is bad for everybody. See also previous Lose to Win, IE6, Flash and Patents: Here Comes Trouble, and Patents: W3C on Amber Alert.
ISSN and Weblogs
Joe Clark vs. the registrars.
Art direction vs. design
Noncommunication arts. Difference between art direction and design explained. Why there is more design than art direction on the web. How design curricula encourage students to develop a unique visual vocabulary (a style) that can be grafted onto any real-world project, regardless of its audience or message. Success of print and web designers who follow that advice. Change in design’s relation to products and services.
Rules-Based Design
A modular approach to web design. (Design, CSS, browsers.) Still a good read.
Groundless fears, genuine concerns.
Hot cache
Teaching your browser (mainly Mac browsers) to load changed style sheets.
Preloading hover states in CSS rollovers
Is it possible to preload the hover (rollover) state of CSS background image? It sure is, and you don’t need to write non-semantic junk markup to do so.
Show, don’t sell
22 August 2002: Designers ask, how can I sell my client on the benefits of CSS and XHTML? Answer: Don’t try. Just show the work.

There is More...

There is, like, nine years’ worth of more. Peruse at your leisure. Contents may shift during handling.