Posts Tagged ‘markup’

Me and Mr. Z

me and my blue beanieI’ll never forget the first time I saw Jeffrey Zeldman. It was in 2002 and I was at Web Design World in Boston. I had never heard of him before, nor had I ever heard of Web Standards. The moment he started talking I could almost sense that I was about to have my paradigm shifted. It was like I was walking around behind someone who kept dropping money out of their pockets, trying to pick up all the bills and change – faster than I could keep up with. The words he spoke had that much value to me.

At that time, I was really at a crossroads in my career. I had been doing web design for more than a year, but I was doing it all wrong. I was using FrontPage to create table-based layouts, CSS was still a mystery and I knew nothing of Web Standards. I thought that Flash-based web sites were great, but had no ability or desire to learn the ActionScript to create that “wow” factor in Flash. I was seriously wondering if I should drop web design and go a different direction in my career.

At that conference, I soaked in every word and returned home with a passion and excitement about HTML, CSS and Web Standards. I was convinced that this method of building web sites was something I could not only do, but love doing.

I know Blue Beanie Day is not a tribute to Jeffrey Zeldman. Its a day to recognize the importance and impact of Web Standards on our industry. But for me personally, its a day to tip my hat beanie to Mr. Z and say “thanks”. I wouldn’t be where I am today without his influence.

Blue Beanie Day 2009

me and my blue beanieI wouldn’t be where I am today without the Blue Beanie. Hats off to the man and book behind the ideas that helped me grow into the designer I am today.

Embrace Web Standards, my friends!

The Button Element

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about buttons lately. I’ve even gone so far as to come up with a Button Theory. I know – this is heady stuff, but don’t worry, I’ll go slow.

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Good to Great

In the book Good to Great, Jim Collins asserts:

“Good is the enemy of great.”

I read the book a few years ago and that statement resonated with me then as it does today. Over the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to work with other designers, critique other designers’ work, have my work critiqued, defend my own design decisions, defend web standards and see up close and personal examples of good design and examples of great design.

What I’d like to do, in a series of forthcoming blog posts, is to talk about some areas in which designers can move from merely “good” to truly “great”. With your help via the comments, I expect to learn some things along the way, too.
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Why You Should Care About Markup

Sometimes when I’m in hurry I’ll write a quick note on my hand instead of on a notepad. I’ve also been known to be too impatient to go hunt down a pair of scissors to open a package from Amazon.com, so I’ll use my a car key instead. Such shortcuts work just fine when you’re in a pinch. But if you are performing an important or very repetitive task, using the right tool is much easier and more efficient. Similar scenarios are played out in the web development world all the time, which is not the place for taking shortcuts or misusing your tools.

What we’re talking about here is semantics.
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