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Breaking the Web  (link broken)

One of the lessons I learned at my mother’s knee was that you have to know the rules in order to break them properly. (Mother was a graphic designer.) The rules that are worth breaking are the ones you understand the purpose of – maybe you even agree with that purpose in general. There are plenty of stupid rules for the Web, rules that were put there by people who extrapolated too soon from too small a set of data. Those rules are no fun to break, kind of like removing a tag that says 'Do not remove under penalty of law' from a sofa cushion. We won’t bother with those rules today. Let’s go after the rules worth our time and effort. Given that, here’s my list of Web rules I’d most like to see broken, but only if they’re broken well.

Gunn, Eileen. Upper and lowercase Magazine (1998). Design>Typography>Web Design


Breaking Up Large Documents for the Web - Part 1

To present content on the web in the amount that most people want: think “topic,” not “book”; break large documents into topics and subtopics.

Redish, Janice C. 'Ginny'. User Interface Engineering (2009). Articles>Web Design>Information Design


Breaking Up Large Documents for the Web - Part 2

One page or separate pages? When faced with that decision, ask yourself these questions: How much do people want in one visit? How connected is the information? Am I overloading my site visitors? How long is the web page? What’s the download time? Will people want to print? How much will they want to print?

Redish, Janice C. 'Ginny'. User Interface Engineering (2009). Articles>Web Design>Information Design>Writing


A Breath of Fresh Air

It takes research, humility, and skill to truly understand your customers well enough to serve them better than your competitors.

Cooper, Alan. Cooper Interaction Design (2002). Design>Web Design>Consulting>User Centered Design


Brewster Kahle Saves the Web

The Internet Archive is one of the largest archives of digital media in existence. It contains five times more information than is in the Library of Congress and several times more information than is currently available publicly on the web. David Womack interviewed its creator, Brewster Kahle, for Loop.

Womack, David. AIGA (2002). Articles>Web Design>History


Bridging the Designer–User Gap

Depending on how representative designers are of the target audience, a project might need more or less user testing. Still, usability concerns never go away completely.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2008). Articles>Web Design>Usability


Bridging the Gap: A Genre Analysis of Weblogs  (link broken)   (Word)   (peer-reviewed)

Weblogs (blogs)--frequently modified web pages in which dated entries are listed in reverse chronological sequence--are the latest genre of Internet communication to attain widespread popularity, yet their characteristics have not been systematically described. This paper presents the results of a content analysis of 203 randomly-selected weblogs, comparing the empirically observable features of the corpus with popular claims about the nature of weblogs, and finding them to differ in a number of respects. Notably, blog authors, journalists and scholars alike exaggerate the extent to which blogs are interlinked, interactive, and oriented towards external events, and under-estimate the importance of blogs as individualistic, intimate forms of self-expression. Based on the profile generated by the empirical analysis, we consider the likely antecedents of the blog genre, situate it with respect to the dominant forms of digital communication on the Internet today, and advance predictions about its long-term impacts.

Herring, Susan C., Lois Ann Scheidt, Sabrina Bonus and Elijah Wright. (We)blog Research on Genre Project, The (2004). Articles>Web Design>Writing>Blogging


A Brief History of Markup

HTML is the unifying language of the World Wide Web. Using just the simple tags it contains, the human race has created an astoundingly diverse network of hyperlinked documents, from Amazon, eBay, and Wikipedia, to personal blogs and websites dedicated to cats that look like Hitler. HTML5 is the latest iteration of this lingua franca. While it is the most ambitious change to our common tongue, this isn’t the first time that HTML has been updated. The language has been evolving from the start.

Keith, Jeremy. List Apart, A (2010). Articles>Web Design>HTML>History


Brighter Horizons for Web Education

Our young medium is still ironing out a few kinks—perhaps the biggest of which is the way budding web professionals are being educated. Schools that teach web design struggle to keep pace with our industry, and those just starting their curricula often set off in the wrong direction because the breadth and depth of our medium can be daunting.

Walter, Aarron. List Apart, A (2009). Articles>Web Design>Industry and Academy>Education


The Brilliance of Smart Photoshop Objects

When it comes to editing an image, that typically means going back into the image app, recreating the image, then putting the newly created image into your site. A serious GoLive advantage is that communicates directly with your imaging apps to regenerate a new image right in place on your page.

Mac Design Magazine (2005). Design>Web Design>Graphic Design>Adobe GoLive


Brilliant Button Maker

A form-based interface to generate 80x15-pixel buttons, like those often used to identify RSS feeds.

Luca Zappa (2005). Resources>Web Design>DHTML


Brint.com: Why More is Not Better

Information architect Lou Rosenfeld never thought he'd criticize a website for being over-architected. Then he saw Brint.com and its 16 navigational systems.

Rosenfeld, Louis. CIO Magazine (2000). Articles>Web Design>Information Design>User Centered Design


Broadband Reality Check!

I just can't escape those shrieking ads and articles: 'Everyone has broadband – or at least, they're getting it next week!' Because of this overwhelming hype, many Web developers and content pros currently seem preoccupied with learning how to produce broadband content....I must admit that I've been lulled into the broadband fantasy to some extent, too. I live in a very 'wired' town (Boulder, CO), and we currently have both DSL and cable modem connections at our home. So I've been sucking down a lot of broadband content lately. I've gotten very spoiled! However the vast majority of Internet users (even in the US) cannot get broadband.

Gahran, Amy. Contentious (2000). Design>Web Design>Usability>Bandwidth


Browser and GUI Chrome

"Chrome" is the user interface overhead that surrounds user data and web page content. Although chrome obesity can eat half of the available pixels, a reasonable amount enhances usability.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2012). Articles>Usability>User Interface>Web Design


Browser Chart

One of the biggest pains about making Web pages is having to keep track of which browsers support what features. Wouldn't it be nice if there were some way to keep track of it all? Well, we've whipped up a few articles and charts to make things easier for you.

Webmonkey. Design>Web Design>Standards>Web Browsers


Browser Compatibility Table

A list of various CSS rules and their compatibility with common browsers and operating systems. With a quick glance, the designer or developer can note which CSS properties should be used or avoided. The table also offers an interactive feature that highlights the row your cursor is on. This makes pinpointing the compatibility of a specific CSS property much easier.

Centricle (2008). Reference>Web Design>CSS>Web Browsers


Browser Problems with the XML Prolog

Some browsers have difficulty upon encountering the XML Prolog. In some cases, the browser will render all the markup as text. In other cases, when a browser has some XML support, it might attempt to render the document as an XML tree. To avoid these problems, many practicing web professionals prefer to leave the prolog off. This table will help you make that decision by showing you which browsers have known problems with the XML prolog.

Web Standards Project (2007). Articles>Web Design>Standards>XML


Browser Usage Statistics

Statistics on browser popularity, as of December 1996.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (1996). Design>Web Design>Statistics>Web Browsers



Generates screenshots of how websites appear at 800x600 and 1024x768 resolution in six commonly used web browsers.

BrowserShots. Resources>Web Design>Assessment>Web Browsers


The Budget Webmaster's Guide to Increased Credibility - Part One

perceptions speak louder than words. Take another look at your site, or, better yet, get a fresh eye from another person in an online community you belong to. It may not be clear to your visitors that you are employing privacy protection techniques.

Abayomi-Paul, Tinu. SubmitYourArticle (2004). Design>Web Design


Budgeting for Advertising and Customer Experience

The most effective companies realize that they can't succeed on advertising alone; the customer matters.

Hurst, Mark. uiGarden (2007). Articles>Web Design>Usability>User Experience


Bug Fix: IE Double Margin Float Bug

The double-margin float bug -- an Internet Explorer-exclusive bug wherein an element that is floated – and given a margin in the same direction as the float – ends up with twice the specified margin size -- has been a source of irritation for CSS-loving web designers for years. While an easy (if mysterious) fix has been known for quite some time now, it occurs to me that perhaps not everyone knows about it. So I thought it couldn’t hurt to toss another explanation out there.

Glazebrook, Rob L. CSSnewbie (2008). Articles>Web Design>CSS>Web Browsers


Build a "Send to a Friend" Page

In this quick 'n easy tutorial, Short shows how to increase the popularity of your site by building a simple 'Send to Friend' form in HTML and ASP.

Short, Daniel. List Apart, A (2001). Design>Web Design>Forms>ASP


Build a Cross-Platform Web Design Testing Station in Mac OS

Everybody talks about cross–platform testing, but nobody’s shown how to do it on a nuts–and–bolts level. Until now. Sciortino’s comprehensive tutorial for Mac–based web designers will set you up with the testing platform of your dreams. (’Nix and Windows users, we hope to do the same for you in a future issue.)

Sciortino, Paul. List Apart, A (2002). Articles>Usability>Web Design


Build a PHP Switcher

ALA's open source style sheet switchers are swell so long as your visitors use compliant browsers and have JavaScript turned on. But what if they don’t? New ALA author Chris Clark tells how to build a cross-browser, backward-compatible, forward-compatible, standards-compliant style sheet switcher in just five lines of code.

Clark, Chris. List Apart, A (2002). Design>Web Design>Server Side Includes>PHP



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