Topic: User Experience

Old River Creative

Phew! It’s been quite a year! Old River Creative was born on January 1, 2014. Since that time, I’ve written very few posts here on my blog, but I have had some great clients and have been part of some very exciting work. It all started with a great idea from my wife and co-owner, @ErikaORC. Continue reading…

Why HTML5?

There was a time, not so long ago, when the notion of the world wide web hadn’t yet crossed our minds. Books were read on paper. Movies were watched in theaters. We bought magazines that told us when our favorite shows were scheduled to appear on the television. We huddled around our tiny, fuzzy, distorted screens to enjoy the simple pleasures of entertainment. The year was 1989, and in that year an amazing thing happened. The seeds of change were sewn into every facet of our lives, and we would, all of us, eventually be touched by this amazing evolution of technology. Continue reading…

Content Strength

You’ve seen it before. Your clients ask for it. They demand it. Perhaps you’ve done it yourself (shame on you). We’ve all done it. I’m talking about filling space with meaningless stock photography. I’m talking about photos of nameless models smiling, with their arms stretched out as if they were at the bow of the Titantic, staring at a blue sky while a photographer captures their moment of pure joy in a faux moment that is staged to look haphazard, but in reality is glaringly engineered to look just so. With the moment captured, you slap this meaningless photo on the home page of your website to elicit feelings of jubilation in your users. You may even feel a bit of jubilation yourself. But…does it work? Continue reading…

Wires by QuirkTools

My lack of posts as of late is largely due to my pet project, QuirkTools. It’s been much more successful than I had ever anticipated, and I’m excited to be working on some exciting new features that will be released in the coming days and weeks. If you’ve never seen QuirkTools, check out this video showcasing the flagship web app, Wires. Continue reading…

The User is Never Wrong

In years past, as a wee adolescent first discovering the intimidating art of interaction with real people, I worked as a sales clerk in a local software store. At the store, we had a motto, something that you’ve probably heard many times before: the customer is always right. I will say now that I didn’t fully believe in our motto at the time. I was young, naive, and perhaps even a little cocky (weren’t we all?). Continue reading…

10 Things a Website Should Never, Ever Do

As a designer of the world wide web, you are armed with the power to amaze, enlighten, entice, and captivate. The web is an easel for your creative aspirations, and the content you design for is the foundation of your creativity. With so much power at the tips of your fingers, you also possess the ability to deter, annoy, anger, and infuriate. Your users are yours to command, their emotions yours to pluck like the strings of a harp. Continue reading…

From “Developer” to “Designer”

It’s easy to forget how a website really works. I mean really works. I’ve had the pleasure of working with many brilliant and talented developers (programmers) who could bend the functionality of any application or server-side platform at the drop of a hat. They are problem-solvers, as is everyone in this industry of the online. Continue reading…

Who Needs Flash?

I have a bumpy relationship with Flash technology. I love to hate it, and hate to love it. It’s an essential element of the online experience, allowing some amazing functionality (when it’s used correctly) like video, interactive graphs and charts, and the interactive extension of capabilities that you simply can’t do with HTML, CSS, or JavaScript. Continue reading…

Constraint Aids in Design

I am starting to see a pattern. It is approaching the end of the year, and as with many, hindsight is on the mind. Over the course of my blog, I think I’ve set a course and direction for what I write. The web has definitely changed since my first post in September of 2008; so too have we, as designers, developers, and avid fans of the internet. We have altered our methods, our tools, and our expectations for what a website should be. In all of this change, I have clung to one idea that holds me steady on this shaky ground: constraint. Continue reading…

Taking it Down a Notch

Bigger, better, and bolder. That’s the direction of things. The art of the interface is a little more complex than it was yesterday. We have new techniques, new technology (languages and libraries and acronyms, oh my), and even more bandwidth to back it all up. What to do with all this power? The possibilities are nearly limitless. I say, take it down a notch. Continue reading…