Tag Archives: blog

Pure CSS Dropdown Blogroll

Pure CSS Dropdown BlogrollWhat do you think of the blogroll in my sidebar? It takes up very little space, sweeping all of the links out of sight until they’re called for. When you hover over it, they snap down.

This trick is done entirely with CSS, and it works in all modern browsers. (Read: IE6 won’t do it right…) No JavaScript, just a little bit of styling with the :hover pseudoelement and absolute positioning.

You can find out how to do it for yourself by reading this tutorial by Michael Martin:

How to Create a Beautiful Dropdown Blogroll Without JavaScript.

The Usability Post

A new blog has started up over the past month or so, and quickly gained the attention of the design crowd, after a few social media hits, and posts on the front page of Design Float.

The Usability Post covers, well, usability. It’s focus is not the visual aspect of design, but how design works. From the About page:

The Usability Post is a blog about design. Design isn’t what something looks like, design is about how it works. Making something usable means understanding what people expect from your product and thinking of ways to make the use of the product simple and enjoyable.

The blog shows promise, and is worth checking out.

Here are a couple of posts from Usability Post that I enjoyed:

Design (And More) Spotlight: Webmonkey 2.0

Webmonkey, around sine 1996, is one of the most well-known and long-running web development sites. Their blog was one of the first blogs I read, and the first one that I subscribed to via RSS. Some changes have been happening lately over at Webmonkey. They’ve been purchased by Condé Nast, the parent company of Wired Magazine, and they’re restructuring their site.

Let’s start with their blog. When it launched, it was known as Monkey Bites. Eventually the blog was moved over to Wired.com, where it ran for awhile before being renamed to “Compiler.” The blog is, once again, known as Monkey Bites, and is now residing at webmonkey.com/blog and it’s integrated more tightly with Webmonkey than ever before.

The WebMonkey site itself is now a wiki. What used to be a repository for tutorials penned by HotWired’s designers and developers is now opening-up and allowing anyone who knows what they’re talking about to submit articles to be included. It looks like WebMonkey is moving forward into the 21st century, making an effort to keep up with today’s technologies, instead of staying a dusty collection of out-of-date tutorials.

Now, let’s move on to the design.

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Do You Have a Tagline?

A tagline is a short line of text that runs underneath your site’s name. It says something about your site, and adds to the first impression. In my opinion, the best taglines are both humorous and descriptive. (Of course, humor may not be appropriate for some sites, but it still pays to be descriptive.) Your tagline should sum-up your blog in one sentence.

Taglines are by no means exclusive to websites. Traditional publications use them, corporations have them, and even movies have taglines. Who hasn’t heard (or heard references to) “Think Different” or “Yo Quiero Taco Bell”? What about “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…”? Just run a Google search on “tagline” and you’ll find plenty of corporate taglines. Or look at IMDB.com, and you’ll notice that they list the tagline(s) for all your favorite movies.

If you don’t already have a good tagline for your website, get one. Here are a few noteworthy examples:

For more funny taglines, check out The Best Website Taglines Around the Internet.

Consider adding a tagline. Whether you decide to be funny or not, be sure to check out Copyblogger’s guide to writing taglines.

7 Ways to Make Your Blog Stickier

My guest post 7 Ways to Make Your Blog Stickier has went live over at ProBlogger. (I was wondering why my RSS subscriber count jumped up 30+ readers today…) And, I thank you, Darren, for providing the opportunity to guest-post on your blog.

8 Tips For a Blazing-Fast Blog

No one actually likes waiting. Some of us are just better at it than others.

The internet seems to be a parallel reality where time passes differently, slow at times, fast at others. Web pages seem to take eons to load, no matter how fast your internet connection is. I remember having to wait more than a minute for most pages to load (that was back when I had dial-up). Nowadays I have a DSL connection that generally runs in the 700k-900k range. It’s a lot faster, but not fast enough. Sure, some pages load lightning-fast, but others still seem to crawl along. While they’re not taking over a minute to load, it sure seems like it.

While you’re using the web, time flies by overly quick. It seemed like it was taking an hour for that video to load, but it was really only five minutes. So why is it four o’clock? Oh yeah, you logged-on to World of Warcraft for a few minutes… But how does that come-out to be an hour?

Do you get what I’m saying?

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