Jul 262014
 

This article focuses on a mobile first strategy that emphasizes good user experience which a traditional implementation of responsive design doesn’t meet in many cases. I found interesting the observation that all CSS and scripts are loaded regardless of media queries and there are steps you can take to avoid that. One approach is using javascript MATCHMEDIA (I wish the author would have gone into  some detail on this point). What’s most interesting is the behavior and latency in mobile networks. Recognizing that should cause you to adjust your approach.

I suggest giving this eye opening article a read.

You May Be Losing Users If Responsive Web Design Is Your Only Mobile Strategy | Smashing Magazine.

Jun 252014
 

If you’re into WordPress then this is a must read.

Admittedly, I have yet to try the recommended tweaks in this article though they sound promising and cover a broad range of options. There is more than using suggested plugins to analyze and speed up your site (though there are a few of those). What lends credibility is the author’s recommendation that you start with the foundation by considering your hosting company and platform. If you use cheap $4 per month shared hosting, your site will be slow regardless of any tweaks you may deploy.

How To Speed Up Your WordPress Website

Jun 222014
 

I’m still forming an opinion on the effectiveness of popup overlays. My reservation stems from the potential of creating visitor irritation or ill will. Nevertheless, this article from entrepreneur.com offers many options and different approaches, some of which have merit. It’s definitely worthy of review.

67 Tools That Will Help You Grow Your Email List | Entrepreneur.com.

Jun 172014
 

Prototyping Your Workflow explores the process of introducing new ways of collaboration for working on innovative approaches to development in a way that retains organizational efficiency while not having the client “bankroll our workflow remodeling project”. Techniques used include a more direct approach in working together with cross-functional development teams:

pairing designers and developers early on in a project, and having the developer create markup that “waterskis” behind the designer’s sketches and Photoshop explorations.

What I found particular interesting is the implementation of  HTML/CSS wireframes with an eye towards eventually delivering HTML/CSS prototypes to the client in the final round. I believe there is a definite trend in that direction.

Prototyping Your Workflow.

Jun 022014
 

This is a great article on web accessibility. It covers keyboard, forms, contrast ratio, images, and links and buttons in detail, with a discussion of accessibility implications, usage, and coding in each area. Three case studies on the big 3 automaker’s mobile websites are also included.

This is a must read!

Mobile And Accessibility: Why You Should Care And What You Can Do About It | Smashing Magazine.

Jun 022014
 

This article does a good job comparing different ways in which desktop and mobile users approach tasks and how that effects behavior, needs, and the interface: desktop vs. mobile. For that alone it’s a worthy read.

Code examples are included if you’re wondering how to program specific functions  such as techniques for local storage, avoiding a browser crash when waking from sleep mode, and keeping data refreshed while preserving bandwidth.

The context is a case study on mobile efficiency and user experience.

Streamlining Mobile Interactions | Smashing Magazine.

Apr 032014
 

It’s difficult to find an informed concise review and comparison of these two elearning software packages in their current versions. This review is the best I’ve found to date that gives those with less than expert level on both an informed viewpoint. I have a good working knowledge of Captivate and I’m learning Articulate Storyline which I really like.

If I had to choose between them I’d go with Storyline for Rapid Development and publishing though Captivate integrates well with other Adobe products which can be appealing to advanced developers.

Read the article and form your own opinion.

Elearning Authoring tools : Adobe Captivate vs Articulate Storyline.

Mar 272014
 

This is a must read for independent designers and developers. Rachel Andrew is right on the money in her observation that world of large design firms and web conferences is a world apart from independent web developers who work in the trenches creating websites for small businesses on a budget. They represent a large segment of the web workforce and are not apart of the rarified world of expensive speakers and high end conferences. This breeds an alienation and relevance factor that deserves serious attention.

Our Enclosed Space ∙ An A List Apart Column.

Mar 242014
 

If you’re hosting your own video content and need robust streaming that’s cross platform and html5 friendly then Adobe Media Server with good encoding presets and a robust back-end works well.

Here’s an article that details a project I was involved in a while ago. It serves as a good reference on the approach we took to make it work. The actual web application is live and hosted by Web Learning Solutions for the Minnesota Humanities Center.

I’m Saying Adios to F4V. By Jan Ozer

Feb 242014
 

This article offers up reasons why UX designers should code wireframes in html using actual content versus using mock-up tools. It’s a worthy perspective and it’s related to the use of pattern libraries as a way of modularizing content blocks which adds great flexibility to how, where, and in what context you wish to deploy your content.