Design Net

Web 2.0 illustrated and explained

Web 2.0 isn’t a technology, it’s a concept: enhance the software (programs) with wetware (humans). WikiPedia, YouTube, Flickr and the like are thriving because the users are part of the equation; creating, editing, organizing and managing the content.

Michael Wesch, a professor of cultural anthropology at KSU created a fantastic video which artfully illustrates Web 2.0.  It’s a fantastic romp through today’s digital landscape… but I’ll warn today’s TV generation… some reading is required.

 Via information aesthetics

Design Sites

A great site for the color blind web developer

I’ve built my share of web pages.  I can do the layout.  I can do the CSS, HTML, etc.  I always have problems picking a color scheme.  I’ve now found a site to help me out with that part of the process.

If you aren’t a natural at picking colors and/or were not professionally trained as an artist, you may find getting a set of colors which complement each other is difficult.  I usually use a set of colors from a design book or copy a pretty web.  If, however, I need a specific color… I’m SOL.

Enter  This site is a variation on a tool which has been floating around the net in open source for a while (see “A little history lesson” below).  What I like about this particular implementation is it has a slick interface combined with the ability to export the color blends as a Photoshop Color Tables (great for all the pixel-pushers out there).

Here’s how it works:

  1. Either start with a color in mind our use their blending sliders to construct a color (I decided to go with a nice, bright blue for this run)

  2. If you like your blend, you’re done!

  3. If you’d like to tweak the blend, click the “Direct Edit” radio button then adjust individual colors on your palette using the same sliders from step 1.

That’s really about it, go forth and create.  If you do end up using this on a web site, please let me know, I’d like to provide a link to your creation from this post so others can see how this tool can be applied to web design.

A little history lesson

The original tool was called ColorMatch 5K and was entered by Kim Jensen into a 2001 web competition which required the tools submitted be less than 5, 120 bytes.  Due to the size requirements, ColorMatch 5K was limited and didn’t have a ton of cross-browser compatibility, so many sites took up the code and improved upon it. is my favorite, a quick search could help you to find yours.


CSS Positioning

I just found an excellent explanation of CSS positioning written by Mike Hall on his site  Mike also has several other well-written tutorials on his site.  Check them out.


Serves me right

So, here I am sitting in a meeting, trying hard to focus when I get a sudden inspiration:  why not do a Google search for “$g(Something Interesting)”? 
Why indeed.  Here’s why:  if you click “I feel lucky” you will end up with this home page loaded with graphics, ads and completely devoid of style.  Think about it, do you really think it’s easy to read yellow text… even when it’s not on an obnoxious background?  And folks… please please please stop using the animated gif of a dog running back and forth!  It really is not that cute and it definitely identifies you as one of the unwashed masses. 
I now have to go clear my cache.  I may even have to take a shower to feel clean again. 

Design Web


This weekend will include some serious geeking out.  I picked up a few books from the Library at work:

  • Visual Basic .Net Complete
  • Introduction to C# using .Net
  • Creative HTML Design

First task?  Go crazy with style sheets.  I’ve been aching to dig into CSS since I found the CSS Zen Garden earlier this month.


CSS Zen Garden

I’ve known for a while that CSS is a powerful tool for keeping a flexible design for my web site but I had no freakin’ idea how powerful it can be! If you would like to get a taste of the future you must go visit the CSS Zen Garden.

The first time I visited the Zen Garden page all I could say was day-UM! (with a capital UM). I had absolutely no idea you could get that crazy with CSS. I am way way WAY behind the times when it comes to CSS. Well, looks like I need to find a good CSS book… any suggestions?


Time to update our website has been the same for too long. perhaps a face lift is in order…