Archive for Lists

21 Cool Logos

The logo is yet another important part of a web site. It’s part of what tells a visitor where they are. A logo (or banner) represents you. Below are a few cool logos/banners. Inspire yourself. As Smashing Magazine put it:

“To get things done, you need inspiration and creative thinking. You need fresh ideas and elegant approaches. And you need to be able to find them as quick as it is possible.”

When you design a website, you generally do one of the following:

  • Design a layout around a finished logo.
  • Design a logo around a concept layout.

However you design, inspiration is always helpful.
Ready? Read the rest of this entry »

4 Cool Footers

The footer is generally the least noticed part of a website. This is unfortunate, since some sites have some really cool footers. Below are some that I think are worth notice.

The average viewer tends to not make it all the way down the page to the footer. This is why the part of the page “above the fold” is given a lot of attention by designers. However, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a cool footer as well. After all, some people will see it. I tend to read web pages through to the end, unless I have reason not to.

Ready of an inspiring look at some interesting page footers? Read the rest of this entry »

29 CSS and AJAX Resources

Everyone likes Web 2.0. Wait, everyone except Jakob Nielsen. As I was saying, most people like Web 2.0. Here are some resources that you may find useful. CSS is the designer’s tool of choice for, well…designing, so obviously it can’t hurt to pick up a few new CSS tricks. AJAX has quickly taken the web by storm. Sites all over the place are using it to improve usability…and for pointless reasons as well. There are plenty of practical applications for AJAX, so obviosuly it’s worth seeing what others are doing with it. CSS and AJAX are two of the most important technologies making Web 2.0 (who came up with that term anyway?) possible. Ready for the list? Here it comes!

AJAX

CSS

5 Great Main Pages

A website’s homepage is one of the most important parts. If someone lands there and doesn’t find anything interesting, they’ll go elsewhere more often than not. Here are some examples of good home pages. Here they are, in no particular order. Study them and learn. Read the rest of this entry »

12 Excuses For When You’re Playing A Computer Game

Okay, your boss/parent/etc tells you to “stop playing that stupid computer game”. You need a quick excuse, right? Well, I can tell you one thing, you don’t want any of these excuses…

  • “I have to finish this level. The game won’t let me quit if I don’t.”
  • “Uh, what computer game?”
  • “Take that, PKer! (turns from computer) Huh, did you say something?”
  • “This isn’t a game, it’s a virtual world.”
  • “Oh, do you want to play?”
  • “Ten more minutes!”
  • “I’m in the middle of a quest! I can’t stop now!”
  • “Move, you’re blocking the light.”
  • “You’re a noob. Come back when I’m not busy.”
  • “Oh, I was just checking to see how much gold I have. I was only going to be on for a couple minutes.”
  • “I’ve only been playing for…hmmm…ummm….well, only a few hours.”
  • “Let me do one more thing before I get off.”

12 Cool CSS-based Layouts

Yeah, yeah. Don’t use tables. Blah blah blah. Use CSS and all that. CSS can be a pain at times (especially if you want it to work in Internet Explorer…), but it works really well…when it works. Really, if you’re making a new layout, use CSS. Here are some really cool CSS-based layouts. Inspire yourself.

  • MediaTemple - This web host has a really cool and professional layout. They’ve got a black header with shiny black “plastic” tabs. Drop-down menus come out from the tabs and the links in them are highlighted with a cool rounded-blue image. See for yourself.
  • Ars Technica - “The Art of Technology” is this tech blog’s tagline. Their layout is even better than their tagline. The header is a nice red, with navigational tabs along the bottom. Below that, it looks like the designer is a fan of cubism. Everything is in a box. It works well though, and is surprisingly well organized.
  • DHTMLSite - A spartan layout with a navigation bar at the top. The logo is right at the top of the left-hand column. Even though the layout is lightweight, it still looks crowded.
  • Wordpress.org - Not to be confused with Wordpress.com (the blog host), this is the site where you download the real Wordpress software (which is grwat by the way). The layout is reminiscent of a newspaper, being a light white-grey with black text and horizontal lines. Nice and uncluttered, it still looks great.
  • Good-Tutorials - Their layout changes too often, unfortunately (a couple of times a year it seems). The current one is well designed, featuring blue gradients, tan, and white very well. Uncluttered and well though-out, it’s pretty good for a tutorial site.
  • The Leaky Cauldron - Prepare to be blown away. This layout is all CSS and images. Easily edging out the Table-based Mugglenet.com which has a black background too), this is easily the best-designed Harry Potter site. That’s not an easy goal either, there are some amazing lesser-known ones. The Leaky Cauldron is the biggest HP site on the web (getting over 100,000 unique visitors a day). The layout is amazing, and AJAX is used quite well.
  • Feedo Style - ORANGE! Amazingly it’s not that hard on the eyes, andi t’s not that dreaded “Safety Orange” either. Horizontal navigation, one-column content, not too bad. The diagonal-line-gradient on the background is a nice touch as well.
  • Digital Web Magazine - Nice and clean. Blues, tan, white, etc. There’s a refreshing lack of advertisements as well. :)
  • PotterCast - Considering it’s a sub-site of the Leaky Cauldron, I’d expect no less. Probably the best layout I’ve seen on a podcast site so far, it looks very unique (without being totally off-the-wall).
  • YouTube - Airy (read: no visible lines around the edges), it looks very much like a Google site (despite not starting out as one).
  • PC World - Hmmm. Reminds be of Ars Technica a little… It looks different in several ways though. It’s a bit heavy, clocking in at 74 settings on 56k and 12 on a T1. Reds, greays, and white again. It’s very dynamic, and much more cluttered than Ars Technica.
  • Digg - Digg… Take a look at it yourself. The header’s the main part, and the lower segments are just divided by lines and padding. The header conveys an amazing array of information and navigation.

You probably have too much time on your hands if…

You probably have too much time on your hands if…

  1. You spend 60 minutes each day sorting your documents and media files.
  2. You search YouTube all the time for videos you think would be funny.
  3. Your blog is littered with posts with titles like “What I Had For Lunch Today” and “I’m Addicted to Blogging: I Keep Writing Even Though I Don’t Have Anything To Write About”.
  4. You waste time bashing and criticizing people in their blogs’ comments.
  5. You use chatrooms frequently.
  6. Your blog’s layout changes every couple days.
  7. You think people are crazy to complain about how much spam they get. After all, you only get a couple a week, right?
  8. You have a MySpace account.
  9. You buy Vista just so you can play with “Flip 3D” and stare at the “cool” graphics.
  10. You’re about to go and play video games for 5 1/2 hours.

Fun Online Games

Bored? Online games are a great way to pass time and have fun. Not to mention the fact that they’re free. Free is good, right? Here are some games and gaming repositories that offer free online games you may like.

Games

Places to Find Games

There are others of course, but this list should keep you busy for a while.

8 Reasons I Wouldn’t Want to Work At Microsoft

In no particular order, here are 8 reasons I wouldn’t want to work at Microsoft:

  1. I don’t like working 26 hours a day.
  2. I’d rather give people jobs.
  3. Uh, it’s Microsoft.
  4. It must be hard to get any work done with emails from Bill Gates every hour saying “work harder”.
  5. Would you want to work at a company everyone can’t stand?
  6. There’s a 0.00003% chance that they don’t confiscate iPods and MacBooks.
  7. I wouldn’t use Vista unless you paid me, so I’d obviously want a huge salary (think seven figures) to actually work for the company that made it.
  8. I’d prefer to avoid spending a small fortune on Jolt Gum and coffee.

10 Great Firefox Add-ons

As a Firefox user (get Firefox if you haven’t already!!!), I have collected a ton of Add-ons for my browser. They range in usefulness from “barely used” all the way to “totally useful and essential”. Here are my favorites (in no particular order):

  1. Colorzilla - Allows you to retrieve a hexadecimal color code for any color on any website using an “eyedropper” tool.
  2. Google Notebook - Allows you to save scraps of text and URLs to Google’s servers for later retrieval.
  3. IE View - I don’t really care for IE Tab.I prefer IE View. What this useful plugin does is it adds an option to your context menu that opens the current page (or targetted link) in Internet Explorer (luckily I’m finding this less useful :D ).
  4. MeasureIt - Webmasters will find this one useful. Activate this and you can measure the pixel dimensions of anything on any page. Unbelievably useful.
  5. Remove It Permanently - Make anything you don’t like vanish from any online page. It won’t be back (unless you want it again).
  6. Scrapbook - Save a copy of any webpage to your computer with this useful extension.
  7. SEOpen - Check PageRank, backlinks, alexa rank, anything about any website.
  8. Stylish - Don’t like Google’s white background? Tired of all that orange on CNet? Try Stylish, a Firefox add-on that allows you to apply custom CSS stylesheets to any page on the web.
  9. Web Developer - A webmaster’s ultimate browser toolbar. You can do an insanely huge amount of things that will be useful during the development of a web site. A couple examples are resizing the window to a precise size, disabling CSS or JavaScript, validating your code, etc. One of the best Firefox Add-ons ever.
  10. Dummy Lipsum - I don’t use this one too often. When building a web layout it’s often useful to generate some meaningless “dummy text” (often resembling “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet…”) to fill out content areas. This add-on generates dummy paragraphs and lists for you.

That’s all, folks. Happy browsing!