Zeldman on your dial

Join me on Blog Talk Radio at 6:00 PM Eastern Time on Wednesday 1 April 2009.

We will interview best-selling author, designer, and web standards evangelist Jeffrey Zeldman will about his career, his books, and the future of the internet and social media.

Join us live. Bring your questions about web design, web standards, client services, independent publishing, blogging, book authoring, DWWS 3e, or anything else you’d like to talk about.

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[tags]design, webdesign, zeldman, radio, interview[/tags]

41 Shades of Blue

The great Douglas Bowman leaves Google:

Yes, it’s true that a team at Google couldn’t decide between two blues, so they’re testing 41 shades between each blue to see which one performs better. I had a recent debate over whether a border should be 3, 4 or 5 pixels wide, and was asked to prove my case. I can’t operate in an environment like that. I’ve grown tired of debating such miniscule design decisions. There are more exciting design problems in this world to tackle.

[tags]DouglasBowman, Google, design[/tags]

ALA 279: liquid grids, solid social structures

In Issue No. 279 of A List Apart, for people who make websites: Liquefy your grids and socialize your web apps.

Fluid Grids

by ETHAN MARCOTTE

How awesome would it be if you could combine the aesthetic rigor and clarity of fixed-width, grid-based layouts with the device- and screen size independence and user-focused flexibility of fluid layouts? Completely awesome, that’s how awesome. And with a little cunning and a tad of easy math, ALA’s Ethan Marcotte gets it done. We smell a trend in the offing.

The Elements of Social Architecture

by CHRISTINA WODTKE

While our designs can never control people, they can encourage good behavior and discourage bad. In this excerpt from Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web 2nd Edition, Christina Wodtke tells us how to make products that delight people and change their lives by remembering the social in social architecture.

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[tags]christinawodtke, ethanmarcotte, grids, gridbaseddesign, design, socialnetworking, webapps, alistapart[/tags]

ALA 278: design for readers; stay alive

In Issue No. 278 of A List Apart, For People Who Make Websites:

In Defense of Readers

by MANDY BROWN

As web designers, we concern ourselves with how users move from page to page, but forget the needs of those whose purpose is to be still. Learn the design techniques that create a mental space for reading. Use typographic signals to help users shift from looking to reading, from skimming along to concentrating. Limit distractions; pay attention to the details that make text readable; and consider chronology by providing transitions for each of the three phases of the online reading experience.

Filling Your Dance Card in Hard Economic Times

by PEPI RONALDS

In space no one can hear you scream, and in a global economic meltdown, no industry—not even web design—is safe. But as a web designer, your skills and products are suited to ride out hard times, as long as you stay busy. Learn the seven steps to (relative) security in good times or bad: 1. Keep clients happy. 2. Know your goals. 3. Use your initiative wisely. 4. Communicate. 5. Put in a full day’s work. 6. Do it right. 7. Find the love.

[tags]mandibrown, pepironalds, design, readers, designforreaders, business, webbusiness, stayinbusiness, recession, tips[/tags]

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Art direction plug-in for WordPress

If you’ve been longing to follow Jason Santa Maria’s lead and bring real art direction to the no-budget, publish-now medium of the personal website, Noel Jackson‘s Art Direction Plug-in is for you. The plug-in lets you style individual entries in your WordPress blog without hacking the publishing tool or expending energy on time-consuming workarounds.

[tags]art direction, design, webdesign, wordpress, plugins, plug-ins, formatting, CSS, per-post, noeljackson, jasonsantamaria[/tags]

ALA No. 277: design, debug, details

In Issue No. 277 of A LIST APART, for people who make websites: Hallvord R. M. Steen and Chris Mills share the lowdown on Advanced Debugging with JavaScript, and Kevin Potts reveals the secrets of successful designers who keep their eye on The Details That Matter.

P.S. You can now follow A List Apart on Twitter.

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[tags]alistapart, design, debugging, debugger, chrismills, hallvordsteen, kevinpotts[/tags]

Happy Cog is hiring: designer wanted

Happy Cog Philadelphia is looking for a full time designer to join our team in Center City, Philadelphia.

We are a web design agency—not a marketing communications firm or a design firm that dabbles in the web. But if you’re the right person for this job, we don’t have to tell you about us.

We seek an exceptionally gifted designer with effective communication and listening skills, as comfortable with clients as with coworkers. You’re the best in your class or at your company, but it doesn’t go to your head. You’re a team player and you recognize that ours is a service business. Be passionate about aesthetics and serious about strategy. You needn’t be front-end code whiz, as long as you understand how design and code interact, and embrace the principles of web standards and accessibility.

The job starts in early April. If you think it’s for you, send your resume, site URL, and persuasive cover letter to hcphilly@happycog.com.

[tags]happycog, design, jobs[/tags]

MFA Interaction Design deadline

Today, January 15, marks the first application deadline for students to apply to the MFA Interaction Design program at School of Visual Arts. The school will continue to accept applications on a rolling admissions basis as space allows, but don’t count on spaces staying open long—the program is limited to fifteen students. An application timeline shows what students can expect between today and April.

In a city that also boasts Parsons, Pratt, and Cooper Union, New York’s School of Visual Arts holds a unique place. There are no full-time professors; instead, faculty are drawn from the ranks of New York’s top full-time practitioners. They are working designers, art directors, painters, sculptors, and so on. Sal Devito, a creative director for whom I was privileged to work in the 1990s, is a legendary SVA instructor; so is Milton Glaser.

As you would expect, the faculty of the MFA Interaction Design program includes some of the brightest people in user experience. (By some fluke, I am also a faculty member.) Liz Danzico, former experience director of Happy Cog Studios, chairs the program.

A good education is hard to find. When it comes to web and interaction design, it’s almost impossible. I’m honored to be one of the faculty in the School of Visual Art’s MFA Interaction Design program, and look forward to teaching and learning there.

[tags]design, interactiondesign, MFA, program, SVA, schoolofvisualarts, newyork, NYC, lizdanzico[/tags]