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A response to the #ideasofmarch

The lack of blogging about the lack of blogging

Every year, my friend Chris Shiflett writes about an idea called the “Ideas of March.” It’s a call to arms for more blogging as a way to continue spreading great ideas. This year, he’s asked that I participate. Ironically, it’s taken me until the last day of March to actually get around to it.

I love blogging. I’ve been doing it for the last 9 years. When I launched this version of my site, I specifically designed it in a way that allows me to more effectively tie new content with presentation. I’ve been really proud of the results, specifically with posts like “You, the conference organizer” and “The 2012 SuperFriendly Annual Report.”

However, there are a lot of reasons I don’t blog as often as I’d like to. Things that get in the way: time, client work, lack of desire, the insecurity that I don’t have anything valuable to say, and lost more. I’m sure this isn’t exclusive to me.

I use Notational Velocity to keep track of all my ideas. One of those particular notes is a list I’ve been keeping for a few years when a potential blog topic pops into my head. As a complete cop-out, I’m publishing my list of topics, unfiltered and unedited. Some are ridiculous, others are outdated or already meticulously covered elsewhere, and I’m excitedly hoping to get to the rest someday.

New post ideas

  • Color Composition: A breakdown of the 4-color personality types.
  • No More Archer.
  • Building an iPhone app.
    • Tweeted it
    • iPhone Web Design Inspiration
    • Weightbot
    • ConvertBot
    • 30 iPhone Apps with sexy interfaces
    • Cocktails
    • Exceptionally Well Design iPhone App Websites
  • Broadcast: I’m more interested now in creating content (like Twitter and Dribbble) than receiving it (through Fever).
  • Fonts Used This Month: a display (flow chart?) of fonts I’ve used this month.
  • Color Therapy: That weird thing that chiropractor did
  • It’s a Zoo: Bronx Zoo iPhone app prototype
  • Domain Disclosure: Exposing the list of unused domains I own
  • Should CSS be used to style content as well as content tone? For instance, the “Products” could be styled as “Crap we sell?”
  • Thread: a critique on why I hate threaded comments
  • This is not Ajax or ’jax-y: The difference between Ajax and JavaScript. ("Anytime you see a loader, it’s probably Ajax.)
  • Cooliris
  • Warning signs: Going through client projects and determining earlier when a project would fail
  • The Integration of the Separation Layers: is Javascript only for behavior? Examine how idealism for separation layers is good, but how reality may call for bending the rules.
  • Future Proofing: It takes time to future proof. Find the sweet spot on making it worth it for you and for the client.
  • Puncture Proof: It’s easy to program pixel-perfect site; the next step is to build puncture-proof sites, sites that don’t break on resizing.
  • Smashing: Praising Smashing Magazine for a great job
  • The Power of 2: Why the second iteration of any deliverable is most useful. First one is a stab in the dark. Third is small revisions. Second is where the magic happens.
  • Interpersonal Skills: interacting with others, active listening, how to get out of a conversation, conversation starters (written by Em, one month before SXSW)
  • Fallback: Should you provide alerts when JavaScript and/or Flash is disabled, or should you serve alternate content without telling the user he’s missing out?
  • Worn out Welcome: Why “Welcome to this page” no longer applies on the web. The user no longer has to be “welcomed” to a page like it’s a destination.
  • Rooted: An explanation on pathing, and why I prefer root-relative pathing
  • Name Must Die: Named anchors don’t need “name”. ID that sucker.
  • Credit Check: Paypal’s “auto-detection” feature for credit cards. “Thanks, Paypal.” Credit Card Valdiation
  • Love/Hate:
  • Relative Positioning: using relative positioning to offset elements
  • The Helvetica Generation: Lack of style is not a style. Explain why Swiss design was a reaction to design before it.
  • Outline: HTML heading tags as an outline: for page or for site?
  • Handshake: Good client + good vendor = great site
  • Ternary: Explain unary, binary, and ternary operators
  • Say Something Nice or “Name Drop”: Goal: get to know people who do great work
  • Party Games: Examine games to play at a party. Examples: Mafia, Apples to Apples, Catch Phrase.
  • Interrup—: The power of courtesy and the harm of interruption
  • Transforming Visitors: Sites shouldn’t have visitors. A visitor is someone that stops by and leaves. Regular commenters on blogs aren’t visitors anymore. They’re family.
  • Involving Users in Art Direction: On the web, users interact with elements, so they have to be involved and considered in art direction. Show an example of HTML text with hover state, (JavaScript enhanced) everything fades out except text on hover, and Flash based ripple on hover.
  • Pound.
  • Adobe Roundup.
    • Compare features in all Adobe apps to create a master app.
    • Ex: compare all interfaces for saving workspaces to show which one is best.
  • Listening vs hearing
    • When a client says, “we think the red is too harsh,” they actually mean…
    • Make the logo bigger.
    • See what I mean?
  • Why I don’t want a new web design app. Photoshop is a tool that lets me design for web, iPhone, Flash, print at the same time. Fine for people who just do HTML/CSS websites; not for me.
  • Batman pitch: an ad agency’s pitch to batman. “here’s why you should train; here’s the importance of branding (batarang, batplane, etc)
  • The Dan Mall awards. Award anything I like.
    • agloves
    • molecular gastronomy
    • umbrella
    • square scarves
    • ruby on rails
  • Grammar check. Styled like word doc. Grammar check as AI
  • Faith the Size of a Wireframe: I don’t believe in wireframes. I believe in the thinking behind them, but not the execution of the deliverable. When we present designs, we’sre asking clients to react to the visual. When we present wireframes, we’re asking clients to react to the thinking, and ignore the visual. Clients—no, people—don’t know how to abstract that. And we have the audacity to be offended when they can’t. Wireframes give the illusion of a solution.
  • Fast Food Design
  • Price
    • Asking a world famous chef to cook you his specialty comes at a premium.
    • Now I'm hungry. Hope you are too.
  • RSS no more
    • Sources of inspiration
      • Email newsletters
        • NetVetted (Webbies)
        • Comm Arts
        • The Served
        • Fast Co Design
      • Twitter
        • idsgn
  • Zombie Apocalypse. http://blogs.cdc.gov/publichealthmatters/2011/05/preparedness-101-zombie-apocalypse/
  • Print Stylesheets - the new mystery meat
  • Organizing Inspiration
  • Google circles organization
  • Shortcuts.. Shortcut keys in Omnigraffle, Photoshop, Safari, Chrome, and
  • Zoom out. The best designers I know design zoomed out. I always think, “zoom out? Why? No one will ever see the page that way.” But page harmony remains intact, no matter the view.
  • Creative direction VS art direction
    • Quiz style
      • What should I wear to this wedding?
        • CD: a suit
      • What style?
        • 60s. 3-button. Pinstripe. Windsor knot.
  • Designers’ reference - ’ ‘ ” “
  • The Mentor Ship - interviews with designers to see who mentored them.
    • Naz
    • Greg Storey
    • Ethan
    • Colly
    • Simmy
    • Me
    • Cameron Moll
  • Weekly wardrobe
  • No CMS ; sans CMS; sans CMS; just HTML; hand coded: hand powered
  • What will make QR codes work? If Apple builds it into the camera
  • Responsive Examples: (that title sucks) A better way to show responsive designs
  • Responsive Resizing: Should the SuperFriendly site resize?
  • Basecamp tips
  • In Defense of Photoshop
    • “We’ll still have our trusty Adobe products and paper pads nearby for sketching and rendering design software-friendly elements like textures and backgrounds. Sometimes we may take screenshots of the site in progress and bring them into Photoshop for embellishments before bringing those changes back over to the working code.”
    • Photoshop isn’t for embellishments
    • http://blog.bearded.com/post/21447195970/mocking-up-is-hard-to-do
  • Curated:
    • What other people find interesting
      • Very Short List
      • Next Draft
  • Teed up
    • Nerd shirts
    • Industry tees
      • Ugmonk
      • Method and craft
      • Mt
      • Pixelworkers
      • Google
      • Holy loly
      • Bss
      • Mule
      • The Great Discontent
      • Parachute
  • Side by side comparison of photoshop layer styles and clipping paths
  • Simple
    • Someone put a post it note on my desk upside down.
  • Gear, volume 1
    • Yeti
    • Apple
    • Pilot & captain
    • Beard book
    • Website?
  • Responsive line breaks
  • The Art of the Reel
    • Legwork
    • Instrument UX Reel
  • What’s in a title?
    • Deliberate pros and cons of titles
      • Creative Director
      • Design Director
      • UX Director
      • Designer
      • Interactive Art Director
      • UX Designer
  • Time Tracking. Charts of time spent on projects
  • File structure
    • Naming conventions
    • Workflow
    • Folders
  • The problem with templates
    • Fill-in-the-blanks is a bad solution
    • Give people the option to put anything anywhere
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