Monday, November 21, 2011

Black Friday, Brown Saturday, and Cyber Monday 2011

There is a lot of new things coming this year to the typical Black Friday turnout. The biggest difference this year is start times for the sales, Wal-Mart is starting at 10:00pm Thursday night which has actually stirred up quite a bit of controversy because many people believe shopping shouldn’t get in the way of the family time of thanksgiving, but many retailers are starting deals on thanksgiving anyway. Target, Bestbuy, and a couple others are opening at 12:01 Friday morning. This has been an interesting turn out from the typical open at 4 or 5 am in years passed. It will be interesting to see if it will calm down the typical injuries associated with Black Friday to split up the opening times more. One big problem I can foresee is that some people who go at 10, and 12 will be getting miniscule amount of sleep for when some of the others open at 5 or 6. In my experience the only thing worse than the crowds are grumpy tired crowds. Almost all the ads have been revealed or leaked, if you want to view the scans (Walmart ad Scans) (Target ad Scans) (Best Buy ad Scans).

So this got a question started for me, do I venture into the eternal swarm of frantic shoppers just to save some money? Or do I just try going on Brown Saturday (nicknamed that because some times its super crowded and all the good deals are sold out) or just wait for Cyber Monday. I prefer online shopping to regular stores anyway, but many sites are starting an online deals week, with exclusive black Friday deals, and Cyber Monday specials too. I am wondering if the notion of “Black Friday” may start to fade away, and some marketing director will name it something like Gushing Savings Week, or Deal-A-Bananza Week. (I hope neither of those get used because they will just call it Black Friday week, or something like that).

So what am I to do, well these deals always make me realize that buying anything electronic throughout the year is meaningless when I can get it severely discounted if I tough out the Jungle of consumers. I am just going to shoot for online deals this year, I dislike the crowds and seeing the worst in humanity for a $20 of savings. Every Year Amazon has spoiled me with amazing week long deals Amazon's Black Friday Week
and exclusives for Cyber Monday. So this year I am going to sit this one out, so far none of the in store deals are amazing enough to risk my life over.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

You are not a Designer, and I am not a Musician Article Discussion

You are not a Designer, and I am not a Musician Article Discussion

This article is about how many hobbyists are calling themselves designers. It goes more into explaining how a true designer, constantly looks into improving their skill. They do more than just sticking to one style to fit all solutions. A true designer is willing to put aside their style, and find what is unique about the company and translate it into the web medium. He also made good arguments on how if you take a picture with a cell phone, it doesn’t make you a photographer, if you sing in the shower it doesn’t make you a professional singer. Now this isn’t to say that you should give, up on making websites. You can become a designer, but it requires a lot of dedication and constant practice.

I think this is a very good article that helps explain how many people enjoy doing something on the side, and expect to be paid a designers salary to do imitation work. There are a lot more steps that designers have to learn, which is why they deserve to be paid more than just hobbyists. The article also mentions how when you see a really neat website and you take a look at the designers gallery, you realize it was just a one hit wonder, its looks like a happy accident. Now I know that not every website is going to be groundbreaking and win awards, but if you look at the profile of a designer, and realize that they just repeated the same layout 32 different ways, the concept of them being a designers quickly fleets away.

So what we come away with this article is a question are we working towards being a designer? Or are we down the path of web fads and same stylization? “Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black” – Henry Ford. We need to make sure were not thinking along Mr. Fords logic here, the customer can have any style as long as its mine. We need to think what bests represents our clients beliefs, actions, and company, and how will this website aid them for the future?

Read the full article You are not a Designer, and I am not a Musician here

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Everybody Loves Cake Especially if its Accessible and Usable Cake

Can you have accessibility and usability at the same time? Sure, as long as you code your site carefully. In the article Let Them Eat CakebyAaron Gustafson Aaron shows us with some examples how we can use DOM, in connection with JavaScript and CSS to make a site extremely usable. He walks us through the process step by step, but to be completely hones I wasn’t sure exactly what DOM was, so I looked it up and found out it stands for Document Object Model, which for short means that it is a programming language that interacts with html xhtml,. It will do for this article, so using it he breaks up a webpage which is his article (Original html of his article site) Using DOM and JavaScript he shows us how to be able to get this single page, to be broken down into sub categories so you can skip to what section you want easily without having to scroll up and down. To be hones I would have made a dumb mistake of having multiple web pages for what he was able to accomplish in this single page. So after he gets the functionality down, he is able to turn the original html for his article site into (Into this finished site) You can definitely see the CSS difference, but if you have ever wanted to make multiple section website that also prints as the original.

Gustafson’s article can work like a tutorial to help you accomplish the bridge between accessibility, and usability. The article inspires me to keep learning and looking for ways to combine both accessibility and make it usable for the visitors to. Sometimes we never give the users any credit they are smarter then we think, but we need to be careful not to make our site a chore to navigate, because in the end content will drive visitors, and helping them get there is the web developers job. In the end this article helped me understand how HTML and CSS is just the bread and condiments of your web sandwich, there are many different meats and toppings out there. Making the sandwich delicious is a different topic, but always keep looking for new knowledge.

To get some JS and DOM knowledge check out this book
Murach's JavaScript and DOM Scripting (Murach: Training & Reference)