Monday, January 07, 2002

Designer vs. Designer

Gerry McGovern wrote this in a column about web design:

"The role of web graphic design has been vastly over-hyped. It has a function in information architecture, but a minor one. Much more important are the skills of metadata, navigation and search design."

He goes on to tell the tale of a graphic designer who berated him for downplaying graphic design, and found the graphic designer's site to be less than spectatcular, full of the sound and fury ... McGovern continues:

"These designers are wedded to what is cool -- to what sparkles, shines and moves. They design websites that often actively discourage the fundamental activity that the Web was designed for. And what is that? Reading."

Reading? Is that what the web is all about? He continues:

"Let's repeat the word: reading. People spend most of their time on the Web reading. They read a webpage (it is called a 'page'). They read search results. They read their way through a purchase process. They read a discussion forum. They read their way through 'chat.' They read the instructions that allow them to download audio and video.

"When designing a website, you need to focus on two things over and above everything else:
1. Helping the visitor find the information they need as quickly as possible.
2. Presenting this information in the most readable format.

"In web design you should plan for rigidity in the organization of the content and flexibility in its layout. ... once you've placed the 'Home' link in the top left hand corner of your website, it should be left there for the next ten years ... Flexibility is required in how content is laid out because the actual content on a website should be continuously changing."
posted by lee on 01/07/02 at 11:03 AM

Wednesday, January 09, 2002

Well, it’s getting there ...

I managed to figure out how to get Movable Type up & running on my own this time (thank you to Adam for getting Puppet Press Journal up and running!) - it's not as easy as the cool folks at MT would have you think. This is version 1.14. Okay, the main index is up, but I still have to do all the templates for everything else. (If you can read this, I didn't screw anything up this time - it's attempt two to get it up and running on my own.)

My main problem setting up MT was that some of the directories needed to be in upper & lower case, but it didn't install like that, so I had to do some hand twitching. And the only way I knew that could be the problem was from experience. I don't know why the directories didn't install properly - if it's a setting I have on our server or in the ftp client or whatever ...

So, the main index template is the only one done. The rest will have to wait. So this blog is a little schizoid for a while ... what else is new?
posted by lee on 01/09/02 at 11:26 AM
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Finally ...

Got this posting properly. Good grief. I forgot the content id in the stylesheet. It's not as simple the as earlier versions. Fortunately, the support forum pointed me in the right direction.
posted by lee on 01/09/02 at 06:10 PM
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Sightings ... this is a strange one

Go here now. My favorite, I think, is "To be recited at the neutering of a humming bird." Why does exist this?

This is another sighting. It has potential, but a bit skimpy at the moment: Corporate Badwill Blog. I bet it wouldn't take too much effort to get just a couple more stories ...

The question is this: will I feel well enough to go to work tomorrow - actually driving to the place I mean, rather than working at home? I'm very glad I worked at home today instead of going in -- I would've had to have left early and the thought of the trek on I-95 with every muscle aching ... a lot to be said for VPN.
posted by lee on 01/09/02 at 09:14 PM
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Thursday, January 10, 2002

A site i just like to look at

As well as read. It's Notes from the Road, by Erik Gauger. It's both interesting and beautiful. There are a couple of navigation problems, and maps would be wonderful, but all in all I head here when I just need a dose of just plain pretty and I'm in a mood to explore.
posted by lee on 01/10/02 at 01:49 PM
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Idle Time

15 Things to do when you're bored at Wal-Mart. Courtesy of Onomatopoeia. Guess there's not that much to do in Montreal. eh? (Like there's just SO MUCH to do in Connecticut ... )
posted by lee on 01/10/02 at 04:57 PM
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Witchblade ... the new season

Witchblade doesn't begin season two until next summer! By then I will have forgotten what it is about. I like it, have a weird kind of fascination with it, but not enough to watch reruns, 'fer cryin' out loud. Production is only now starting - what the hell were they waiting for??
posted by lee on 01/10/02 at 09:03 PM
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Oh, this is cool:

Top Secret Recipes on the Web - a recipe for Screaming Yellow Zonkers ... and Zingers ... and Twinkies, Orange Julius, and on. Hmm, nothing about that awful tasting crap they put in Starbuck's coffee - I'm convinced it's some kind of addictive drug or why else would anyone drink that crap?
posted by lee on 01/10/02 at 09:11 PM
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Friday, January 11, 2002

Color of the Universe

As readers can probably guess by looking at the logo bar on this page, I like colors and spectra. So I loved reading about the color of the universe:

According to Karl Glazebrook & Ivan Baldry, astronomers at Johns Hopkins University, the universe is green. Sooner or later (like in a few billion years), the universe will be red. This is their chart, which shows the color of the universe (the left and right colors are for comparison):


Lest you think the search for the color of the universe was a quest for new and improved paint colors, researchers say, "The cosmic spectrum tells us about the history of star-formation in the Universe." The decimal RGB equivalents are 0.269, 0.388, 0.342.

Glazebrook and Baldry used John Walker's "Colour Rendering of Spectra" work to figure out the RGB equivalents.

I think the universe was a much prettier color about six billion years ago.
posted by lee on 01/11/02 at 10:21 AM
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Moron sighting

Grocery refuses to take dad's coins to pay for baby food; store cites anthrax fear. Stupid stuff.
posted by lee on 01/11/02 at 10:46 AM
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