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Google and the end of IE6

February 2nd, 2010 | 5 Comments | Industry

Web designers and developers have long complained about the restrictions developing with considerations for older browsers like IE6 places them under (find out what the fuss is here).

Recent statistics show that the other IE versions are growing in popularity – this means the average user is making browser updates. The biggest hold-back is the larger company or organization (including the Canadian Government no less). Upgrading OS or browser isn’t a simple matter; many rely on apps and intranets that have been optimized to IE6. A change of browser could cost millions of dollars as changes to age-old systems need to be made. (more…)

Domain Registry Scam

January 4th, 2010 | 1 Comment | Industry

Once a year I get a snappy reminder to renew my domain name – but not from the current registrar. Domain Registry of Canada is an unsolicited third party that is hoping you’re not going to scour the fine print and pay the premium to renew with them.

I would sooner let my domain expire and blow away than renew with these fiends. My two cents. (more…)

Could Wave sink BaseCamp?

December 21st, 2009 | 8 Comments | Industry

Conceptually I love Google Wave. It promises to revolutionize the way we collaborate on projects. It is branded as Email for the 21st Century. It’s hailed as a huge time saver – yet I am beginning to think I’m the only one using it.

Google Wave

When I first heard rumors of what Wave could be I immediately thought of Basecamp; a leading project management tool. Over a year ago I decided not to bring this app into my development process as client adoption of another communication tool would be hard to swing. Wave made me reconsider; Google has a lot of clout, and with Google accounts being so amazingly handy and ubiquitous, a glimmer of hope built up in my little heart that this could be a game changer.

My Google fandom not withstanding, I was rabbidly anxious to get my invite like everyone else. Finally the day came that the invite graced my inbox. The “now what?” moment was not far behind it.

(more…)

Platform Agnostic

December 7th, 2009 | 4 Comments | Industry, Work Flow

Unisys_Icon_System_s1I’ve always loved computers. The first computer I ever used on a regular basis was the Unisys Icon. You know, the one with the trackball. I would love to make a website on one today. That’s right: I would gladly develop on this beast right now. I’m not saying it would always be pleasant, but I could do it, and want to just because I can.

Today I work primarily on two machines: A robust PC desktop and an Apple MacBook Pro. I use the desktop by default as I love having three monitors for multitasking; but I rely on the laptop frequently for when I need  a change of environment or to work on the road. (more…)

Happy Blue Beanie Day!

November 30th, 2009 | Comment | Industry

Today is the third annual Blue Beanie Day; the day to show your support for designing with Web Standards and Accessibility.

Web Standards awareness has been growing largely by the work of industry giant Jeffrey Zeldman for his work writing Designing with Web Standards. In an ideal world if all sites were created to a standardized best-practice for building websites (as layed-out by organizations like the W3C) all browsers could smarten up and render them properly. Making sites with Accessibility in mind ensures that the most possible users (and robots!) will be able to experience the site as intended. (more…)

The Practical Value of Twitter

November 20th, 2009 | Comment | Industry

Twitter buzz seems to be dying down, and I’m sure the media is ready for the next big site to emerge. There has been a lot of talk about the value of the micro-blogging site from a dollar sign point of view, but rarely do people talk about the practical value. Twitter has really proved itself to me in three key ways. (more…)

Email Signatures

November 6th, 2009 | 10 Comments | Industry

A picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes you don’t need a thousand words to say what you need to say.

When it comes to email signatures I can see the appeal to have your logo in there. I used to do it! I used to spend hours testing different ways of embedding the image to work with the widest range of clients possible – but it didn’t always work, and it often required the audience to “allow” images.

Only once in three years of running my own company have I earned business simply because someone liked my logo (not that it was seen by them in an email). I don’t see that adding it in the signature will add any ROI or glorious tales of victory , it could only create problems. (more…)

Wave, Hello

November 2nd, 2009 | 2 Comments | Industry

Last week I finally received my Google Wave invitation (though I signed up for the beta the day it was announced on Digg, I got my invite through a friend). I don’t plan to make another needless review; but I will say I can see this being a Project Management game changer. I wish all of my clients were using this tool right now!

Finagle an invite if you can! (more…)

Browser Testing: A BrowserCam walk-through

October 14th, 2009 | 33 Comments | Industry

Your website exists to be seen. When you build a website you want it to work for as many people as possible. Sadly, not everyone uses a modern browser so it is vital to test your site – especially if the target demographic includes large corporations (who may have no choice which browser they use) or people less likely to be upgrading their software (Google discovered that many people don’t even know what a browser is, so they took it upon themselves to educate them).

Using Debut Creative’s modest traffic as an example you can see I am getting traffic from a very wide array of browsers. (more…)

The Underestimated Importance of SEO

September 2nd, 2009 | 2 Comments | Industry

I am so glad my parents named me the way they did.

Arley McBlain (and by extension “ArleyM”) Googles very well. Thinking to the future when we start having kids, I feel pressure to come up with a unique name for a kid. SEO is so important!

We are a search engine culture. Life is full of questions, and Google has the answers (well, so do many other search engines, but c’mon. Google’s killing it out there!). If I need a phone number I won’t ever go to a phone book. If I want to know some fact I won’t even go to Wikipedia; I’ll let Google find that for me. (more…)

Keep your Domains Forever!

August 26th, 2009 | 1 Comment | Industry

I’ve seen this happen too many times.

It all starts with a simple Company name-change. This rebranding results in a new domain name, and the old one is allowed to expire. Sometime after the new site is live complaints start coming in. The old domain is now a porno site.

These problems can be so easily avoided with the price of domains what they are. The domains should have been retained, and made to forward without gripping to the new site, or to a page on the new site explaining the transition. (more…)

3 Predictions for the Future of Web

June 22nd, 2009 | 2 Comments | Industry

My first taste of the Internet in 1994 was exciting; after finally getting the impossibly long URL right I got onto the NASA home page which as I recall was little more than text. I had no way of knowing just how cool and dynamic the web was going to become. I still have no idea what shape things will take in the future; but I have three predictions for some usability changes that I expect we’ll start seeing in the coming months. (more…)

IE6 – What’s the big deal?

June 17th, 2009 | Comment | Industry

There’s been a lot of buzz about IE6, and it’s getting louder. In fact, if you’re using the infamous browser you may reading this post from the browser-specific warning link on this site. So what gives? Web designers want you to upgrade due to security issues and lack of support for common Web Standards that modern browsers use; but it’s not just for us. It’s for your own good!

Did you know IE6 is older than the first iPod, Windows XP, the Xbox and Canon Digital SLR Cameras? Technology evolves at a rapid rate, and the internet is no exception. This ancient browser may be holding you back from experiencing the Internet the way it was intended.

In the coming months more and more sites like Digg, YouTube and others are dropping support for this old browser. Don’t be sad! Upgrade right now if you can, it’s free. Plus, you’ll love Tabbed browsing :)

More Reading

IE6 Must Die For the Web to Move On
Much Ado about IE6
Google Tells Users to Drop IE6

Six Revisions Post

March 13th, 2009 | 3 Comments | Debut, Industry

Several weeks ago I was asked to contribute to a follow-up post brainstorming Twitter improvements. This after making a comment about Time shifting Prime-Time tweets on the great Web Designer / Developer resource site Six Revisions. (more…)

The Internet: A budding 15 year old

March 5th, 2009 | Comment | Industry

The internet is 15 years old this year. It’s come a long way from my grade 8 days. I can still remember spending hours in a cramped lab of two computers painstakingly typing out long URLs. We visited the first websites in the world on a 14.4 bps dial-up modem to look at magic eye images. (more…)