Monthly Archives: June 2006

16

Another year, another birthday. That’s right, my birthday is only a few weeks away, but this is no ordinary birthday, no, it’s my 16th birthday. The birthday all teens look forward to. It represents another step towards adulthood; driving, serious relationships, and so on and so forth, but not for me.

No, to me my 16th birthday is merely the mark of another year I’ve been able to survive in this world. There will continue to be no driving for me, no serious relationships (not that I haven’t done my share of casual dating), and nothing that makes me seem any more adult than I already am. I won’t be spending this great day with my friends, I won’t be having a massive party, and I won’t be featured on MTV with all the other brats of the world.

Nope, it’s just another day in just another week, as part of just another month in the year in the life of just another angst-filled teenager. Oh, dear life, how I enjoy thee. And to top things off I just learned that I wont be home spending the day with friends. Oh no, that would be too much fun for me. Instead I’ll be in Massachusetts visiting a grandfather who I’ve met maybe four or five times in my life. I’ll be spending time with my family I despise, cousins I don’t enjoy being around, and aunts and uncles who, quite frankly, scare me half to death. Maybe I can find a nice skatepark to keep me busy. One can only hope…

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Filed under dating, Family, Friends, teen, teenager

Reasons I Haven’t Blogged Lately

Skating, Music, Movies, Television, Gaming, Computers, Girls, Dating, Friends, Family, General Teenage Drama, Lack of a Solid Internet Connection, Nothing to Write About, Spending More Time Outdoors, Photoshop Foolery, Design, Work, Job Searches, School Searches, The Mall, Skating, Skating, Skating, Skating, Bowling, The Dock, Skating, More Skating, Lack of Friends, Abundance of Friends, Friends With Benefits, Creation of Long Lists, Pondering Reasons I Haven't Blogged Lately, Attempting to Write Something Useful, Portfolio Redesign, Creating Fake Work to Fill Said Portfolio, Attracting New Clients to Fill Said Portfolio, Home Made Stink Bombs, Home Made Molotov Cocktails, Drifting and Powersliding in a 94 Chevy Cavalier, Law Enforcement, etc. etc. etc.

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Filed under blog, dating, Design, Elsewhere, Family, Friends, Gaming, Media, Miscellany, Movies, Music, Nature, Technology, teen, Television

On Being Outsourced

I’ve recently begun doing web design work as an outsourced employee, meaning I’ve been getting paid to do only a portion of a job. In my case that job is web design. While it hasn’t fully kicked in I’ve been getting paid 15% on all web design projects I take on, but I only complete one part of the project.

My main worry is that I’m placing these designs in my portfolio, yet the final product isn’t always what I have displayed. My main function in this whole process is actually drafting the website in Photoshop. From there I pass it on to another person who then proceeds to code the website, usually in tables. This leads to my second worry, displaying work in my portfolio that reflects poorly on my own talents. I specifically work in CSS and xHTML, yet most of the websites I have been working on end up littered with tables, and I surely don’t want those types of websites in my portfolio. While the average web user may not notice the difference, or even care at all, it’s the peer attention I’ll receive that has me debating whether or not I should actually place this work in my portfolio.

My main question is, would you place this type of work in your portfolio? I mean, I’m the one designing the visual side of the page, should it really matter what the other designer does to it after the skin’s peeled back? Let me know what you think.

And in case you’re wondering, this all ties in with my whole summer reinvention goal I’ll be writing about soon. If you’re a member of my forums, chances are you’ve probably already heard about it, but I think it’s exciting all the same.

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Filed under Design, Friends, Miscellany, Web Design

The Online Learning Curve

With the emergence of AJAX and similar web technologies we’ve been introduced to multiple new features that many users have never seen before except in Desktop Applications. Features line inline editing, drag and drop, and the ability to customize items without ever having to refresh. Up until now we’ve only ever seen these features in the desktop applications we know, love, and use on a daily basis.

While these technologies make using the web easier, and certainly more pleasing, the simplicity comes at a cost, a cost some may not be willing to pay. These technologies not only offer a new way of browsing, but also a new learning curve to explore. It is expected that the majority of internet users are not savvy enough to quickly adapt to inline editing and similar features, which makes building a website around these types of features extremely difficult, but there are a few ways to help break in new users.

Offer some sort of invitation. Style certain parts of the page, important parts, in a different color, or with a noticeable effect that will help attract users. Make sure they know exactly how the website works and how they can use it. Write an introduction post or a simple tutorial, perhaps a video for those who need extra help. Remember to write your guide in laymen’s terms as not to confuse the simpler browsers.

Tool tips or cursor changes are a great way to invite users into new features. When designing a website with these new, rich media technologies it’s important that they know how to use them right off the bat, or your concept and ideas will quickly fall through. While designing a page it’s easy to forget about the user and get lost in your own design fantasies, but you must remember that the user always comes first.

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Filed under Design, Technology, web 2.0, web apps, Web Design