July 2004 Archives

The whole OKC bombing conspiracy theory came up on MetaFilter recently. In the comments, an engineer who studied the data explained exactly what happened. It’s pretty technical, but readable, and very interesting. Definitely something to reference next time some crackpot tries to convice me a Ryder truck full of explosives couldn’t possibly have done that much damage.

I forgot to mention that our Central Oklahoma Mensa web site won two awards at this year’s National Mensa Annual Gathering. We won the “Best Calendar” competition, and we received a special mention for being “people friendly.”

Continue reading “Feedback Loop”…

Q. How can you tell when business is slow for a web designer?
A. His web site gets a new design.

Introducing Smart Goat 3.0: Retro. This is radically different from anything we’ve ever done before, and I’m really happy with how it turned out.

The inspiration came while working on Clothes for Cars. I had been wanting to do a redesign for a while, and in the back of my mind was working on something kind of techy looking. While flipping through some clip art, though, I realized a classic retro look better fit with our company image: Fun, simple, friendly.

I looked at some magazine ads from the 30’s and 40’s, and that’s where the idea for the comic strip came from. It’s kind of fun and campy, and it has to be a better attention grabber than plain text. Hopefully, people will at least stick around long enough to read the comic.

The site validates as XHTML 1.0 transitional. The CSS validates as well. Even Bobby is happy. I’m not real crazy about what I had to do to put default text on the RFP form. If you don’t have JavaScript turned on, the form fields are not cleared automatically when you click on them. I tried inserting the text with JavaScript, but that won’t pass the accessibility requirement. Oh well… WCAG 2.0 will come out eventually, and that rule will probably go away. In the mean time, if you are surfing with JavaScript completely turned off, our little form is the least of your worries.

I still have more work to do. There are a few design tweaks I want to make. I’d like the comic and the header color to change on each page. The navigation should also change on hover to that page’s matching color. And, I want to get the whole thing into a CMS so that adding news and portfolio entries is easier.

The other good thing about this is, maybe now I’ll get to work on News Goat a bit.

Ben Hammersley has been busy. First, for those of us truly anal about validation, the XHTML Validator to RSS gives us a RSS feed to keep constant check on whether our web page validates.

Also, Ben gives us the RSS FedEx Package Tracker so that our feed reader can keep track of our deliveries. Hopefully a UPS version is right around the corner.