the votes are in

Last Friday I asked y’all for your honest feedback about my new design.

I got four wonderfully truthful critiques (I LOVE CRITIQUES) and one very positive thumbs up (I LOVE FLATTERY) on my current, horizontal design.

Here it is for posterity, photographed on my big, spacious designer monitor where it looks really nice if I do say myself:

It also looks super hot on iphones and ipads (I think).  ANYWAY, I am totally one hundred percent convinced that this foray into pushing the boundaries of web design to the limits was a total waste of time.  I’m salivating over a new, sexy, vertical design so much that it’s painful to update this website as is.

I feel the need to defend this design a little bit.  Or myself.  I had just gone to WordCamp and gotten all these new skills that I needed to put into action IMMEDIATELY.  One of them is the little diary photos at the beginning of each Diary Project post and that I never got working right in Internet Explorer (made possible in Firefox, Chrome and Safari by “pseudo elements”; thank you Chris Coiyer, awesome speaker and geeky blogger).  Check them out on the post to the right (or below) but again, not if you’re running IE.

Sara Cannon taught me about responsive web design in which a website actually changes it’s layout depending on the size of the window.  I should make a video for this. OK, fine, here’s a video:

The last design iteration of got painful too.  I’m so sick of looking at those clouds.  And I realized that a sorta ex-friend was referring to the clouds when she was criticizing my “pixelated graphics” the other year.  We all have our axes to grind.

It’s interesting to me how much I love to update this website when I love the design and how much I hate doing it when I don’t.  I tell this to my clients — “When you have a website you love, you love updating it.”

Photo taken August 21st, 2011, before the horizontal scrolling action took over.

It’s so true.  And this is one of the greatest things about WordPress.  You can dramatically alter the look and feel of a website just by flipping a switch.  What’s that?  You’d like to know where you can get a sexy WordPress website?  Check me out over at Artsy Geek.

And now I’m off to develop my new theme on one of my testing ground websites and will go live with it as soon as I’ve tunneled to the bottom of my pile of volunteer and client work. I can hardly wait.

I need your honest opinion

I just redesigned this entire site and now I regret it.  I’m daydreaming of a b&w vertical layout with informative sidebars and easier navigation.  Keep in mind, I still haven’t finished redesigning this site; I haven’t gotten to the About page filled with little clouds of adventures…

I’m in dire need of your honest opinion.

Do you hate the new layout? Is the sideways scroll thing too weird?  Does it not look right on your monitor?  It is pretty crazy, I know.

And why aren’t you commenting anymore?? (Except BoAe, Cortney, Elizabeth, Mom and Jordan who are awesome and got accounts for me. xoxoxoxox. Oh and the Livefyre staff.  You guys are awesome).

But the rest of you, what’s up? Is it personal? Do I have a body odor problem? Cause it’s possible that I do on very hot October days but really please don’t hold that against me on the internet.  In person sure, but on the internet??

Here’s a textbox. Tell me the truth. If you hate it, I’ll change it. If it needs to be more user friendly, I’ll change it.  If you’re bored with me, that’s cool, I just need to know.

The Bold Italic: Turning Me Green with Envy

The latest thing turning me green with envy is this awesome San Francisco blog, The Bold Italic.

Beautifully designed and featuring all kinds of hip, unique and entrancing tales from local SF Bay residents (like me!), reading it gives me a stomach ache.

I’m not sure what my favorite part is: the fabulous bios, fantastic content (like this lady who lived in a van by the freeway for two days and wrote about it and this guide to SF’s pop up restaurants), gorgeous graphics for EVERY story, or the fact that they ask us what they should write about and let us vote.

It’s so cool, it’s hot. It’s so hot…ohhh…my stomach.

Some day maybe I will be so cool.

Tupperware and Social Media

My friend Jigar sent over this New York Times story about Tupperware’s new campaign to better use social media.

I’m sure we’re all familiar with the Tupperware scheme, but let’s review. Tupperware does not spend money on traditional marketing campaigns. Instead they build a workforce of women who sell Tupperware by convincing friends and strangers to host Tupperware parties.

I love Tupperware, and I use it every day. I started selling it because I recognized how great of a product it was. I never sold that much of it because it comes with a very high price tag.

For whatever reason (and I have my theories) Tupperware is an investment. You invest in quality, and the fact that it’s going to be around forever and you can get replacement lids and yadda yadda. But you have to have that cash upfront to commit, and a lot of people just don’t have that. Especially a lot of my friends who are primarily still barely post college. (What’s that? I’m 7 years out?? It feels like yesterday.)

So I didn’t sell much, but I have continued trying to convince my friends and loved ones to make the investment because it’s worth it. I’ve had daydreams for years about making fun Tupperware commercials on Youtube and selling products that way. My sister and I embarked on this scheme back in 2006 before I read Tupperware’s Internet Terms and Conditions. Continue Reading

the birthday party (and it’s invite) that will never be

While we were wandering through the Mission last month, my friend Sarah spotted a Super Mario pinata in a shop’s window.

It was just the seed I needed to declare that we would have a Super Mario themed party for Will’s upcoming birthday. Will, after all, loves nothing if not Super Mario, and how much fun we would have with our two televisions and two Super Nintendos–we could play in two rooms!!

I started hunting for Mario t-shirts to dress our two mannequins in.

I planned the menu: stuffed mushrooms and sugar cookies in the shape of feathers and flowers–the magical items that Mario eats to survive, spit fire balls and fly.  We would have a lot of pasta because Mario and Luigi are Italian.  And salad too, because that would make it a balanced meal. Continue Reading

The World Trade Center dot com

The phone over at Artsy Geek Designs rang today.  It was a surprise to me because our office line (which I get through Comcast) is often unavailable when I need it.  I’m always surprised when it’s working. (Btw, I hate Comcast–did you know?)

The nice fellow on the other end had some questions about our web development, and I was, of course, happy to fill him in.  They’re looking for someone who can recreate the look and feel of, the site devoted to the new World Trade Center.

While we spoke I checked out the site. I noted the clean lines, simple navigation, and it’s true–the front page movie was inspiring.  Look what they’re going to do to Ground Zero! It will be gorgeous again!

The movie uses Flash.  These people want Flash.

I have a love-hate relationship with Flash.  I first fell in love with web design when I got my hands on the first version of Flash in 1995.  I created some god awful stuff with it, and had a damn good time doing it. Continue Reading

Lushes in Love Looks Great in IE

I’ve written before about the struggles web designers face when designing for multiple browsers, and most specifically IE.

When designing the website for Lushes in Love, I set out to use all the amazing features available to those browsers that implement CSS3, but aimed to provide a viewing experience that degraded gracefully when viewed in Internet Explorer and older versions of other browsers.

I wanted the blog to remind the viewer of neon lights and classy bars. Continue Reading

I'm annoyed by my blog. Really annoyed.

I spent some time today editing photos from our trip last weekend to Greenville, California, and was excited to post about them.

I included in the post a little plug for this WordPress plug-in called Shashin that allows me to insert Picasa web albums in posts I write.  I’ve used it in a blog post here or there to quickly add a bunch of photos.

The software that you run on your computer that goes with Picasa web albums (also called Picasa) allows you to easily look through and edit the photos on your computer.  My favorite part is how it allows me to upload my photos to the web in one click. You can set an album of photos to be viewable by invitation, everyone or no one. Continue Reading