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.

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?

SP Blueprint

In my previous post, Minifying SharePoint 2013, I talked about the idea of minifying SharePoint’s CSS files in order to achieve better performance and better style cascading in CSS. Truly, this was the direct result of my work on a starter master page template I had been working on for SharePoint 2013, which is now available on CodePlex.

Minifying SharePoint 2013

The SharePoint interface is huge. Really quite huge. When I first laid eyes upon Microsoft’s latest rendition in the SharePoint legacy, I immediately turned my attention to the man behind the curtain. I delved into the interface and started looking at the goings-on behind the scenes. My first stop? corev15.css. This is a file that I have known well in previous versions of the product. To my initial delight, the interface in SharePoint 2013 seemed so simple, so elegant and clean. Surely, the CSS files that support this interface would reflect that, right?

SharePoint 2013 Web Part Tool Pane

This is going to be a short one. The “tool pane” in SharePoint 2013 has been causing me some headaches. In this version of SharePoint, the tool pane often appears inside your site’s design layout, instead of off to the side of the entire document. In a fixed-width layout, this definitely causes some issues due to a lack of space for web part zones, sidebars, and other content to fit into the space that is available.

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.

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?).

SharePoint Fest Chicago

This week at SharePoint Fest Chicago, I was honored to be speaking alongside the likes of Marc Anderson and many other talented and intelligent thought leaders in the SharePoint community. My slides and resources from my sessions are posted below for anyone who attended, or for anyone who might be interested in the topic of SharePoint design.

Public SharePoint Websites

I had the pleasure of doing a great workshop with Paul Swider yesterday at SPTechCon. In this end-to-end workshop, we discussed strategy, processes, and implementation techniques for building a public-facing SharePoint publishing site. Paul had some great insight on architecture and strategy, while I detailed the journey from idea to Photoshop to SharePoint, with a few tips and tricks along the way. The end result was a fictitious digital bakery, built on the able shoulders of SharePoint 2010.

Design Patterns in SharePoint

Last week, I was happy to present at SusQtech’s “30 on Thursdays” weekly webinar event.  This is a great series of free webinars from some talented speakers, and the succinct format is a great opportunity to learn something new without a huge investment of your time.