Life after 3.0

So I wasn’t really able to talk about it before now, but the site I worked for has officially launched our new version – of which I’ve been a major part in since I started in January.  It’s also what’s kept me preoccupied these past few weeks as we fixed minor things in it to get it live yesterday.  We’ve already heard good feedback from our users and I’ve gotten lots of compliments on the UI (which is what I do) – though to be honest 90+% of the design work was done by other people, I just did the XHTML and CSS.

Anyways, check it out if you want to see another big example of my work.  There are still large portions I want to change – some of our dynamic boxes should be switched to the sliding doors method for example – but overall I’m quite proud.

Great Decks

Stumbled onto a great article called “10 Decks in 10 Weeks.”  It’s from the writer that does the building on a budget series.  Some really good deck ideas that can be done – online or off – relatively cheap.  Some very powerful decks and new ways to use cards that I’ve kept around but haven’t been able to work decks around.  Really good reading.  He goes through all the basic 2 color combinations and designs a wide variety of decks.

If nothing else it’s good to see another very experienced Magic player’s design strategy and sort of get into their mind as they build, test and modify a deck.  I had thought that I was getting pretty good at deck building but the card drawing and mana acceleration ideas really opened my eyes.  I might have to make another pass through my decks again.

Random Tidbit: I’ve been looking into and trying to better understand the purpose and power of microformats.  One thing I’ve found is that it’s good to be posh.

Modular Web Design

So I’ve been reading a lot about modular web design. Basically what it stands for is creating a web site – essentially a template – in such a standards compliant and well thought out manner that redesigning the site later on requires you to only modify the CSS file. It’s not a new concept – it’s something that was introduced when CSS was created and made famous by the CSS Zen Garden. Recently sites have been recreating their own personal zen gardens allowing for quicker redesign turnaround.

It’s a process I’ve used since I read up on the Zen Garden. The last 3 sites I’ve done – including my own – were done off a basic template. In essence it was a wire-frame design. And now, if I wanted to update any of them – and I’ve done small ones from time to time – I have enough hooks typically to just add or modify CSS rules. Though this doesn’t work if you go from a simple design, like my site, to a more complex design – with things like rounded corners especially. In those cases you will have to modify the XHTML.

Though it’s simple it’s not a process all beginners can copy though. And it’s an excellent learning tool. So later this week I hope to upload 2 templates – one being the wire-frame and one a more meatier zen garden-esque template. Stay tuned.

Random Tidbit: Along with Web 2.0 has come a new workplace. An article I saw on A List Apart talked about the “Long Hallway” – basically it talks about how in the new workplace designers/developers can collaborate from home offices around the world, building a team with no set office.  It’s something I’ve been thinking about for awhile and very interesting.