Category Archives: Web Design

Great WordPress Designer Resource

WordPress screencasts on css-tricks.com

WordPress screencasts on css-tricks.com

I’ve been blogging on WordPress for well over a year, and recently, I’ve had the opportunity to start designing WordPress websites. I have to be honest. I sort of went into it like a typical male’s introduction to an electric appliance. Forget the manual, I’ll figure it out. Well, I can tell you, I’ve learned quite a lot since first starting, and I’ve made mistsakes that I’ll never make again (hopefully).
 
Of all the resources I’ve found to help me, a series of screencasts on the site css-tricks.com run by now Chicagoan Chris Coyier have been most helpful and motivational. The recent series, released over a three-week period, covers the creation of a WordPress-based website, from design in Photoshop through coding the HTML & CSS and incorporating the code onto the WordPress platform. Continue reading

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Microsoft Encourages Upgrading from IE6 With Charity Donations

Did you know…

Microsoft will support IE6 until 2014.

Microsoft is donating 8 meals to Feeding America, a US hunger-relief charity, for every download of IE8 from their Browser For The Better web site. If you’re upgrading from IE6, Microsoft will double that donation.

Feeding America provides food assistance to more than 25 million low-income people facing hunger in the United States, including more than 9 million children and almost 3 million seniors. Microsoft is donating up to $1 million and each IE8 download will contribute at least $1.15 toward the charity.

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Why Internet Explorer 6 MUST be Supported

Internet ExplorerPardon me as I step upon my soapbox, yet again. While I’ve been preparing several other posts, this topic has reared its ugly head.

Internet Explorer version 6.0 is, has been, and will continue to be the bane of all web designers and web developers for some time to come. Why you ask? Because it’s support for many (not all, read on…) websites is crucial to business. Therefore, it is necessary to continue to design for it. Dropping support for IE6 altogether is not only a disservice to that audience, but a disservice to that business owner, who’s business will be negatively impacted by the decision not to support this browser version. Continue reading

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Designing Web Sites for Your Target Audience

I recently was told about a discussion at a local web design meetup on designing for Internet Explorer 6, the browser designers love to bash (…and so do I). During this discussion, the majority of vocal participants stated that they refuse to design for IE6.

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend, for if I had, I would have stood up and pronounced each defamer foolish.

First, you don’t design for a browser. You design for your target audience, humans, however broad or niche. Based on your audience, you can gather some idea of the browsers you might need to support. Corporate America, then your designing for Internet Explorer, including version 6. If your targeting middle age or seniors who just use the computer for email, web surfing, etc., then you’ll need to target Internet Explorer, including version 6, Firefox, and possibly Safari. How about targeting educational institutions or creative folks. Then there might be an influx of Safari folks. The point is that based on your audience (that you are designing for), you should target those devices. Continue reading

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Redesign Project: Second City Scooters

I recently had the opportunity to work on a fun project; the redesign of a small business site that sells motor scooters. The most rewarding part is hearing of customers praising the website. That’s way kool.

Former site

To understand the old website, you had to understand the history, short as it was, of the business.

Two brothers, while visiting Italy on vacation, fell in love with motor scooters and the lifestyle. When they returned, looking for scooters, they were shocked at the prices. So they started Second City Scooters, selling motor scooters for around half the price of more well-known brands, like Vespa. They opened a storefront business and created a website. Continue reading

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New Internet Forum for Chicago-based Folks

I was recently alerted to a new discussion forum for Internet professionals in the Chicagoland area.

Chicago Internet Professionals [ http://www.chicagointernetprofessionals.com ] contains all the topical sections that you would need. While it is still young, it’s increasing in membership and content.

Some interesting posts include how gender impacts web design, and SEO Tips. There’s also a section where you can post an introduction, describing your skills and talents. Think social networking.

Pay a visit, register and join in on the discussion.

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Print Friendly Feature Necessary?

Is the “Print Friendly” feature seen on web pages throughout the web necessary?

Up to a week ago, I thought not.

The Print Friendly feature obtained popularity in the late 90’s, early 2000’s. At that time, most pages were so content & navigation heavy that it didn’t make sense for companies to allow website visitors to print the pages “as is.” So, through programming, sites would dynamically generate a new page, specifically designer to print better. The problem was the duplication of development efforts to perform such a simple task. Additionally, many of these print version provided poor results, with lines of text being cut off along the right edge (just enough to drive you insane). Continue reading

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