April 1, 2009 8:42 pm
Been working a lot on trying to reduce the amount of information displayed on/around album art lately. Mostly around how to best display additional information about an album without forcing the user to go to the product page. Sometimes I am of the mind that its probably better just to force users to go to product pages to learn more. So I’ve been experimenting with only showing the album art and displaying additional information on interaction. Ultimately, I’m not convinced this is best for the user, but a friend sent me these two really cool jQuery plug-ins that I thought I would share.
Sliding Boxes and Captions – This one I can get behind. Slick animations while allowing the user access to additional information. I’m not for hiding everything because there’s no call to action, why would the user mouse over album art unless they know its going to do something? But there are several different ways to approach this issue, as shown in the demos.
April 5, 2008 10:02 am
Okay, so I have finally gotten to this post. I guess I took the whole week off. I gotta be more disciplined. Anyway…
One thing that angered me about Safari 3.1 was its @font-face support. This allows developers to load fonts that may not already be on someone’s computer and use them anywhere in the site. This could be a totally awesome tool, however, I thought, “Why the hell is Safari trying to become IE?”
What do I mean by that statement? Well, the reason the IE sucks to develop for is because it is too busy trying to support older websites that don’t gracefully degrade. The developers were too busy trying to get the site to work in a patched together browser, so standards weren’t followed. This comes from the fact that IE attempted to create it own standard (as did Netscape) because they were all attempting to monopolize the internet.
Anyway, so we have Safari attempting to, in my view, add its own specification to CSS. Turns out I’m wrong. The @font-face selector is actually a part of the CSS3 spec. However, CSS3 is not fully “approved” even though it is supported. I’m not really sure how that works, but I’d really like to see some definite approval before we see support.
So I guess @font-face is all good. Soon we’ll be seeing websites in font other than Arial, Verdana, Tahoma, Trebuchet MS, Georgia, Times, and fantasy? Almost. Turns out you have to host the font files on your server, in a readable directory, so you can’t put up commercial fonts because all users will have to do is read your CSS (thanks Firebug!) and navigate to the font file and download it. Not good. So we are stuck with Open Type fonts. Which can be good, and are getting better, but they’re no Din.
But wait there’s more! You can load other fonts with this handy little tool known as sFIR. sFIR is awesome because it replaces your headings with Flash files that have the font’s embedded. It gracefully degrades (if someone doesn’t have Flash, they get the heading in your default font style). It also has limitations. sFIR is no intended to be used for mainbody text, only small chunks, like headings. And the person needs Flash (who doesn’t have it now-a-days?).
For more on @font-face and how it works, check out this @font-font explanation.
March 24, 2008 9:10 am
I recently bought a new car, and because of this, I get a lot of mail. Lots of companies want my opinion on 30,000 different aspects of the car, as if my opinion was actually worth something. Sadly, I just don’t have enough time to give to these companies. One of them was nice enough to include a fresh dollar bill in the envelope, which was enough for me to actually look at all 40 pages of questions it had before I trashed it.
Anyway, one company sent me some information on how Volkswagon, I got a GTI, is supporting their movement to reduce carbon emissions. They are called Carbon Fund. Very interesting stuff. But what was more interesting was their logo, which looks a lot like the logo of a certain presidential candidate. I assume, since Carbon Fund as been around since ’03, that their logo came first. Here they are, in all their glory:
I am not a designer, but I do work with designers, and I know that they get inspiration from various places. Both of these are aiming at an awakening, to show that something is on the rise, but its not going to happen with just logos and good intentions.
Check out their websites to learn more, Barak Obama and Carbon Fund.