their Technical Note format, and altough it’s really dry information of a technical nature, in its own way it’s quite beautiful. A subdued but good use of fonts, good in-file linking that’s well distinguished from the rest of the page, a good executive summary at the top, the date of publication/update is prominently displayed, and they use shading and an indent to very clearly highlight code. And there’s a PDF equivalent available at the bottom, cause no matter how nice it looks online, a PDF will print better. Form following function, to ape the famous old line, but not devoid of form as many techies assume is appropriate for other techies.
but (perhaps) surprisingly functional. I like the new design for Shift Magazine‘s website. Reminds me a lot of some of the designer’s design sites around. I especially like the navigation bar at the top that helps you to easily navigate disparate sections of the site.
Via Zeldman I came across a wonderful little tutorial about website production. It’s very good, although it does diverge somewhat from my usual path. The divergence mostly has to do with the fact that I generally have started on projects prior to the point where the article picks things up. For large projects, much of the early “production” work – the content definition and sourcing, preliminary architecture issues, and basic site organization comes in the proposal phase, when the goal is to do as much as you can to keep the whole thing as a mental, and flowcharted, model – because if nothing has been signed, you want to keep expenses down. More or less.
I’ve been kicking around in my brain: it’s irresponsible to develop a web project that doesn’t feature integrated content management. Doing a site without it means that the site is, essentially, a bolt-on to an existing business, rather than being properly integrated. To me, a bolt-on site is already a failure, traffic figures be damned.
The trick is that the kind of content management that I’m thinking of (accessible to small businesses, to sites that get very low but specialized traffic, and to particular departments within larger organizations) is the opposite of what Vignette or Interwoven offer. It must be low-cost, easily deployed in new situations, and accessible to non-specialists. And it’s not really a technical question to implement such a system – the technical side of things is the least of the problems.
pretty big decisions – one involving starting up a consulting company with some colleagues, one involving moving to the other side of the table, figuratively speaking.
The latter brings up lots of questions though. People (designers, web developers) always complain about how clueless clients are. What if the client isn’t clueless? What if your client knows exactly what can and can’t be done, what the best approach would be, how much it should cost? What if you client has a long background in web design, web coding, content development for the web, and the like? What if I suggest that the code be done to (say) W3C standards – or at least pay attention to the current developments on that side of things?
Does that still look like a client you want to work for? Or is that still a nightmare client? I’d let you do your thing – but cut a corner, and I’ll see it. I’ll look at the code and expect it to be professionally done. Still a good client?
A fear I have is that although clueless clients are a horror, so might clued-in clients be to many web designers and web developers. Can you deal with someone who knows his stuff?