Issue No. 227 of A List Apart, For People Who Make Websites,™ heralds the revivification and expansion of the A List Apart Store and T-Shirt Emporium.
We are now offering new T-shirt designs that tell the world you are a rebel, a maverick, an original in a world of copies (and you know HTML): Web 2.0, -9999px, and Redesign/Realign. We’ve also stocked gently remixed classics: Warning Sign and XHTML Fist AKA Six Fingers of Doom. And, yes, traditionalists can still stock up on timeless, unchanged ALA logo shirts, avec wreath.
When you’ve donned your shirt, strike a pose in our spanking new (and hard-to-pronounce) A List Apart Shirts Flickr Group.
Testing proves testing works
As you can imagine, choosing the right T-shirt production and fulfillment partner required a massive mental effort, supported by modern research methodologies. We studied all the production and fulfillment companies out there, analyzing market data and poring over spreadsheets. But we didn’t stop there.
We completed a 72-hour card-sorting exercise (with no bathroom breaks), ran double-blind focus groups, and even hired our friends who used to call themselves information architects.
Sure, it was work—weeks of it. But it was worth it. Our grueling, science-based efforts paid off by revealing, as no sloppy shortcuts could have, the best possible choice of vendors. In short, we hired Jason’s wife’s company (also Nif’s!). They are awesome. (More shirt coverage is available at Jason Santa Maria dot com.)
All this … and content, too!
But this issue of A List Apart is not merely about re-opening our store’s doors. It’s about opening your mind. And in this issue, Rob Swan and Matthew O’Neill help us do just that:
- In Defense of Difficult Clients
by Rob Swan
We’ve all had bad clients. All too rarely do we find ourselves working for someone who understands what we do, respects our craft, and defers to our judgement. But do bad clients get a bad rap? Can we turn bad client relationships into good learning experiences? Can our worst clients help us better understand and articulate our highest beliefs about our calling? Well, anyway, Rob Swan thinks so. Read this and see what you think.
- Super-Easy Blendy Backgrounds
Gradients and bevels, bevels and gradients. Bevels, bevels, bevels. Gradients, gradients, gradients. And sometimes, drop-shadows. But mostly, and especially, gradients. Nothing says “Buy me, Google,” like a nice gradient background—especially in a navigation bar. Wouldn’t it be swell if you could get all that goodness without opening Photoshop every time you needed a little gradient bliss? Matthew O’Neill explains how you can. Happy coding and selling out!