July, 2009

July 31, 2009 | Erik Uetz: Names and IDs

In XHTML 1 strict and HTML 5, the name attribute on many elements has been replaced with the id attribute. But name hasn’t been replaced entirely. Form elements still use both name and id, and both serve very different functions.

July 31, 2009 | Jon Gilbertson: When a Simple Survey Isn’t Enough

You’ve completed your project and now it’s time to conduct your post project review (PPR). While sending a simple survey to project participants, internal and/or external, is useful in providing quantifiable data, the feedback received often lacks the detail necessary to identify strengths and weaknesses that can effectively be distilled into actionable items. When conducted properly, a formal PPR results in an open dialog where all participants can discuss what went well and maybe not so well and briefly brainstorm things they would like to try in the future. 

July 31, 2009 | Sarah Longfors: Those Poor Outlook Users

As some of you know, Microsoft recently announced that Microsoft Outlook 2010 will again be rendering HTML emails using Word. In my opinion it really is a shame.

July 30, 2009 | Dean Froslie: The Pitfalls of Posting Newsletters Online

Posting newsletters online (as .pdf files) seems right on so many levels. But in the rush to moving those newsletters online, we sometimes overlook (or ignore) the strengths and weaknesses of each medium.

July 30, 2009 | Paul Bourdeaux: Ad Hoc and Unit and Integration… Oh My!  Exploring The Many Kinds Of Testing

Software testing has grown incredibly quickly and largely unchecked in the past two decades. With so many terms and strategies being thrown around, the terms can be confusing. Automated Unit Testing, Integration Testing, Ad Hoc Testing, QA Testing, User Accepted Testing… What do they all mean? Here is a quick definition list to help sort it out:

July 29, 2009 | Greg Ness: Putting Twitter In Perspective

Twitter has received a substantial amount of press in the last few months, and there is no doubt it is an important social networking tool. However, it may be getting a little more attention than it deserves. To illustrate that point, there is this useful chart on Flickr from David McCandless that illustrates how things break down on Twitter. The stats are based on a post from Rohit Bhargava, the author of the Influential Marketing Blog and also a Sysomos report about the Twitter community.

July 27, 2009 | Nick Green: Flash Catalyst offers new workflow

Adobe’s newest beta product, Flash Catalyst boasts that it’s the missing link between developers and designers. It gives a visual layout interface for designers to create and begin flushing out interactivity on the site.  Adobe’s pitch is that this work flow allows for much of the front end development to actually be done by the designer leaving the true coding to the developer. It’s an interesting idea, but how useful will it be?

July 21, 2009 | Nick Green: Rich Media Defined

To work in rich media online advertising for the past few years, you’ve had to become a polyglot of dozens of dialects referring to the technical and non-technical elements involved.  While one advertising hosting service may term an ad ‘Rich Media’ and attach a fee for the service, any number of other hosts may draw the line differently increasing or decreasing the CPM cost accordingly.  Even the method in which an ad is served can redefine its status in the eyes of the ad placement personnel. 

Let’s clear this up.

July 21, 2009 | Paul Bourdeaux: How They Built it: The Software of Apollo 11

Rarely do I simply link to another blog, but Todd Weiss’s How They Built it: The Software of Apollo 11 is a phenomenal piece that I simply have to pass along in its entirety.  In honor of the recent 40th anniversary of the moon landing, it is my pleasure to invite you to read about the software that sent Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins on that historic 8 day, 500,000 mile round trip to the moon and back.  It begins with “When Apollo 11’s Lunar Module landed on the Moon 40 years ago today, the software that helped take humans to another celestial body was essentially built using paper-tape rolls and thick cardstock that was punched with special holes…”

July 20, 2009 | Paul Bourdeaux: Hardcoding versus Database Driven Data

When working on web applications, it is almost inevitable that at some point the issue of database driven data will be brought up. After all, one of the benefits of having rich business logic in our web applications is the ability to always have pertinent, changing data available to the end user. Hardcoding data or information is looked at as an archaic testament to the static web pages of past. However, even though a good web application likely contains a significant amount of database driven data, making everything database driven can be a mistake as well. Here are a series of questions you can ask yourself when determining the data strategy for various parts of an application:

July 16, 2009 | Greg Ness: A Ditty About Changes In The Ad Industry…

July 14, 2009 | Nick Green: Invigorate the old, respect the new.

It shouldn’t be an either-or battle between the old and new.  Many classic concepts are in desperate need of design revision, but the innovation shouldn’t change or complicate the ultimate consumer experience.

July 07, 2009 | Nick Green: Video and Rich Media Ads Prove their worth… again

Despite simple Flash banner’s ubiquity, or perhaps because of it, they are considered to be the least effective form of graphic online advertising, according to a recent whitepaper from DoubleClick, a division of Google and Dynamic Logic.