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CSSOFF – Jabroni

So I’m one of 53 participants (I hope) of the first round of CSSOff – Jabroni. (too many Ofs)

Jabroni DesignI always have a problem with world time zones. I had to ask two of my friends from US to check for the time. But their times are also different so they can only tell me the estimates. I did sent the entry a few hours before due time (I hope).

I don’t care whether it went in on-time or not; I’m just satisfied with myself that I’ve done something on my weekend and enjoyed it. It was interesting; took me a couple of hours to think the possible ways to slice and shape it up. I got bored on half way but my bro said I should finish up and done with it, so I did.

I’m not that satisfy with my CSS structure but I think I tried my best. It’s valid xhtml transitional. I don’t know why I didn’t make it xhtml strict…I guess I forgot and used to with my normal xhtml transitional Doctype. I thought of asking a friend to recheck my code but I dismissed that thought cos’ it’s a competition and I should participate it fair and square to find out what I’m capable of. I’ll upload my entry on my site soon.

Here is my entry: CSSOFF – Jabroni (2007-06-01)

Anyways, my weekend was meaningful and busy one…yah not bad. How’s your weekend go? Oh, Do you know any good world time site/application that list different types of time zones and country times? I’m too lazy to google. :D

Interesting Contest: CSS Off

Here is one interesting contest I come across.

Every month, we’ll design a web page in Photoshop and host a competition to see who can turn it into the best web page. The designs we release will present specific markup challenges, along with design and coding considerations for everyone from web newbies to experienced developers.

The point of CSS Off is to make you think critically about web design, and then execute it on a dime. You’ve got 12 24 hours to take our design and slice it up.

The first contest starts at 1st June 2007. Can’t wait to see how it turn out. If time favors, I like to give it a try too.
To do so…I need to install Photoshop. I’ve been using Firework too much that I’m forgetting how to use Photoshop.
May be I’ll convert their .psd file into .png and slice it up. Will see their design first. Read details here.
Join along?

Let’s Get Naked

It’s this time of the year again to join in the nudity. I’ve participated in the very first naked day last year and I’m up for 2nd round this year as well. More nakedness to join this year as already hundreds of sites has signed up for the day. This cool idea started last year by Dustin Diaz to promote Web Standards. April 5th is the day to see many websites in styleless bare medium.

The idea behind this event is to promote Web Standards. Plain and simple. This includes proper use of (x)html, semantic markup, a good hierarchy structure, and of course, a good ‘ol play on words. It’s time to show off your body.

So join the gang, get ready to strip and drop your style sheets on April the 5th.

World’s Hightest Website

I came across this site, “World’s Hightest Website”, via Eric Meyer recent links and was confused.

Welcome to the World’s Highest Website! Currently, it’s 18.939 kilometers high (that’s about 11.769 miles), and an enormous pleasure to scroll.

What exactly are they trying to prove or what exactly is the purpose of that website? Ok so it is very tall. It’s valid and accessible. I checked the code, it’s sweet and simple…but I still don’t get the point. Am I missing something?

div#whws { font-size: 100cm; height: 18939em; line-height: 1.0; }

div#whws { background: url(../../img/tape.gif) repeat-y top center; margin: 42px 0; }

div#whws + div { position: relative; }

So with that CSS, all they did was use this div tag, and it generated that long repeated images.O…K!!! So…what? What is it exactly? Is there any hidden meaning that I’m missing? Or it’s just that some people with lots of time in their hand having fun?
Hmmm…makes me think, wanna know proper answer.

Work in Progress

Work in progress sites are somewhat interesting. I’ve seen a few in the past like my friend’s, Sarnil.com, site where he publishes his site in the state of progressive development. Now my favorite, “SimpleBits” has stripped the style and full on redesign in progress as well.

I like the very idea of in progress sites for:

  • you got to see how actual work (layout, design, typography, ideas, structures, etc) is done,
  • you got to study how developer/designer plan things through,
  • you got to learn some tips and tricks along the site progress,
  • you got to observe lots of things such as
    - how developer handle each task,
    - how much time/effort he put on the site,
    - how dedicated he is to the site,
  • and many other professional and personality aspect of the developer and the whole site development.

I also was thinking of posting site development in progress posts as I work on a few site but doing things in your head is alot easier than actually putting them down and working on it.

I guess some great minds think alike but when it’s with a role model like simplebits, it spread alot faster. You bet, I’ll be checking those sites regularly on their progress.

I hope Sarnil find some time to work on his site again soon as I heard he is very busy and on business trip. That reminds me, I’m still waiting for Jachin new posts.
Man, these guys are just so busy…or rather lazy?

Every time a customer asks you a question like “How much going to cost to make a website?” or “How much for a design?”, I got a problem answering and most of the time I say, “It depends…”. And most of the time I transfer the call to my senior colleagues or project manager.

Seriously, I don’t know the exact figure and I don’t want to talk about money matter first. Most of the time, I ask why they want the website for, what are they going to do with it, get to know a bit of their requirements and general site audience. Depending on those, you start slicing your time against the tasks and provide the figure. So there is no set price for a website.

Some people think making/getting a website is so easy as 1 2 3. May be so. But it depends alot on how well you want your website to be, what platform or technology to use and many many factors.

I got this article a few weeks back from a friend and I thought of writing about it. Things are so busy this week and just now I can get back to my deferred posts. There is a great article and a good discussion at personified.com : How much should a design cost?, that you should check out for more understanding of how they decide on the cost factor.

One thing to note is that, the author is talking about the design cost based on ready-made CMS platform such as (WordPress, MoveableType etc) and not custom made CMS. More like the whole website functionalities part is not included as it’s open source and free of charge. His figures are only on DESIGN part such as creating CSS, valid code and abit of customizations. Plus he is concentrating mainly on Blog design. For those it costs around US$ 1500 – 2500. That would be around Fj$ 5000.

A blog is quite different from a website in terms of functionalities as well as a requirements. Blogs are more like news post or articles based publishing whereas website are different nature such as ecommerce site, portfolio site, portal site etc. For those kind of site, the cost will go higher because of custom made functionalities and you cannot use wordpress for that (well you can, but not advisable…so I think).

For those kind of websites, you have to start from scratch. Requirement gathering, specifying technology to use, database design schema, layout design, the backend codes, front-end codes, graphics…etc etc etc. Every steps require time and time is money. So the more requirements you have, the more steps involved, the more time you need and the more it’s going to cost you.

I think I’m not the right person to talk about it as I don’t involve in cost decision making but I only involved for specifying tasks and adding time against it. But you get the general idea of how we charge for website design and development. So comparing our (Fiji) design prices with overseas (US – personified.com) prices, we are way cheaper. We make custom content management systems, we use expensive and latest technology – MS SQL + .Net platform. Ofcos’ there are quality factor to consider too. If I must say and be fair about it, we are a bit lack in design quality factor cos’ most of our sites are not valid standards yet. But it’s only a matter of time we improve our quality…ie. our developers’ responsibilities.

You should check this article for more detail explanations: How much going to cost to make a website.

I like the first comment. I must add if (($CMS != “Word Press”) || ($CMS != “PHP/Open Source”)) { echo “price goes up”; }

Feeds – A Threat to Design?

Over at friendlybit, Emil talks of feed readers being a threat to a design on web. I find it a good article and something to think about. I’ve seen many debates over “Full vs Partial Feed” publishing. I’ve seen lots of talk on “Great Content vs Great Design”. Now Emil brought up another thought on “Users should decide vs Webmasters should decide” and “styling vs unstyling” web trends.

The widely accepted rule was to let the users decide the layout; after all why should we need to download the same design over and over? Design was something the user decided, not the author.

But those content-only sites didn’t live long. First tables, then CSS, enabled users to make sites more interesting and in many cases easier to read.

Everything has pro and con. Sometimes it’s so hard to take sides.

Myself as a user, I like the idea of reading full feed from various site content through feed reader for faster and easier (no need to remember all site urls) accessibilities.

But then again, you lost track of the site look and feel aspect as well as some other factors like aside links, photo galleries, no-feed related content pages such as “about page”, “portfolio”, others articles and even a good comments discussion. You become very unfamiliar with the site and sometimes you don’t even recognize the site that you roll the feed from when you happen to came across.

Not too long ago feeds were introduced. Feeds make it easier to subscribe to websites by separating content from all the “design stuff”. This enables users to decide how your content should look. Proponents often talk about how much faster it is to read content from different sites when they all look the same. No time is lost trying to understand a new design.

Apart from having a great content, site aesthetics is also one of the essential factors of web medium.
So, myself as a designer/site owner, I published partial feed only.
Why? Becos’ I got alot more stuffs to show off than just feed content.
I prefer varieties of stylish medium than a dull unstyled web.
I want my readers not only to taste my writing but also to feel my overall site identity.

What kind of web do we want? What kind of web do you want? Should we go back to an unstyled web where content is the only thing that matters? Did the “content only”-proponents win after all? Is it a “feeds only” web what we want?

In the case of “Users should decide VS Webmasters should decide”, I take it as webmasters are the advanced users and hence they have a chance to change the direction in which they prefer best. ie. If you favor unstlyed web, go ahead and publish full feed. Otherwise, support the effectivness of design aesthetics and force trick the users to the direction by publishing a partial feed.

Oh yes, LONG LIVE DESIGN!

Read Emil’s full article on “Feed – a threat to design on the web” here.

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