Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A busy month and a web tip!

A lot of projects on tap here lately - including one that's going to take us out of the (970) area code for awhile. We're heading to Louisiana on a road trip production down south for the next three weeks. As one can imagine, it has been pretty busy getting things squared away before we leave.

I'm wrapping up a video-edit production for a dear friend of mine who is retiring after 24 years. I'm proud to say that I worked along side David for 10 great years and I'm looking forward to working with him again in the future! I've been going over old photographs and videos the past week and there have been several times of going down memory lane. I loved the people I worked with - I don't necessarily miss all of the stress that came with the job.

So that's been the scoop around here lately. We'll return in mid-late October and if I'm able to upload some photographs along the way - I'll try to get them posted on here.

Web Tip: TURN OFF YOUR SIDEBAR

As web designers - we work within a canvas that is so mobile and flexible. Statistics show that the majority of the surfing public uses either Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox while having their monitor resolution set to 1024x768. That's a nice sized canvas that we start with, however a year ago we had a client who was having problems looking at her website because it wouldn't fit on her screen and it would look completely askew.

We checked her website coding, ran it through several validation checks and could not find out what was the problem. I eventually got the chance to check out her computer and discovered that she was surfing while having the bookmarks/history sidebar open. Once she closed the sidebar, the website returned to normal and everything was resolved.

The issue with the bookmarks/history side panel is something we debate with all the time because while we want visitors to enjoy their browsing experience as they see fit, from a design point of view - an open bookmarks sidebar ruins the experience we're trying to produce. It would be the equivalent of watching a movie at a theater and have a "picture in a picture" on the screen that is showing Jerry Springer re-runs. Why would you want to watch "Jerry Springer" at the same time of "Gone with the Wind??"

When I'm surfing the web - I want to experience a website the way that it was originally designed. Even when we optimize the website to accommodate the bookmarks/history sidebar - the design element is lost and people will immediately be turned off by the design aspect. Instead of planning for a wonderful 1024x768 canvas, we now have to optimize the browsers to "fit" the content - and it doesn't always look nice and pretty.

So today's tip is essentially: turn off the sidebar if you're not using it so that you can enjoy your websites as they were intended.

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