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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Everyone hates Comic Sans – but why? Do people really react differently to  similar typefaces like Times New Roman, Baskerville, and Georgia?

If typogragy questions like these keep you up at night, you’ll find some  answers in How typeface influences the way we read and think (TheWeek.com),

It turns out there’s a measureable difference between the familiar Times New Roman and Baskerville or Georgia. The difference can even affect your term paper grade!

(additional Fun Fact: the name “Georgia” comes from a tabloid newspaper headline: “Alien Heads Found in Georgia”)

Courtesy of Mashable.com, here are 8 quick tips from “young entrepreneurs” who found ways to improve conversion on their landing pages – 8 Landing Page Remedies to Boost Conversion Rates 

Have you ever had to write a case study where you work? Or have you thought of writing one to help your chances of finding a better job?

Here’s Christopher Butler of Newfangled.com – he’s Rethinking the Case Study.

And here’s Smashing Magazine’s case study when they dropped their separate mobile website and began Adapting To A Responsive Design.

I turned up a couple of interesting pages when I was trying to figure out if, as a wannabe front-end designer, I needed to get up to speed on Photoshop (short answer: yes, yes I do).

An answer by user SLaks at Programmers.StackExchange.com pointed out:

Large sites are developed with text editors, not visual designers.
Depending on the backend technology, people probably use Visual Studio or Eclipse.

Graphics are done in Photoshop.

Dreamweaver is not used.

But are Eclipse or Visual Studio still the go-to text editors for front-end design?

James Lutley is a front-end designer living in England. Last year, he posted a long article, My 2012 front-end web development workflow. His text editor of choice is Sublime Text 2. Among other tools, James is partial to SASS / Compass, Git / GitHub, and Markdown. One of his selections from 2012, Adobe’s Shadow, seems to be on the threshold of a major relaunch as Adobe Edge Inspect.

In 10 Front-end developer tools you can’t live without, WebDesignerMag asks, 

Ever wondered what the pros use in their day-to-day workflows?

Why, yes I was, as a matter of fact. WebDesignerMag also points to Sublime Text as their first choice for serious text editing. They also mention WebStorm and RubyMine, IDEs for Javascript and Ruby from JetBrains.

Besides text editors, the article discusses five different Javascript frameworks — backbonejs.orgemberjs.comangularjs.orgknockoutjs.com, and meteor.com.

WebDesignerDepot.com’s list of Essential tools for every web designer includes some of the usual suspects, like Adobe’s free Kuler, Dribbble.com, Google WebFonts, Balsamiq wireframing tool, 960 Grid, and the like.

One tool I found particularly interesting was Radiant CMS, a Ruby-based Content Management System. I’ve been studying Ruby since January of this year (ever since the place where I work adopted it as an alternative to an ancient scripting language that hasn’t been updated since about 1998). A few days ago, I looked up Ruby blogging and CMS software as a possible alternative to WordPress, and I saw Radiant mentioned then. I wasn’t sure the package really had “legs”, but it looks like I’m going to have to check it out.

For the past year, I’ve let this blog go while working as a Toastmasters Area Governor. Actually, I let the blog go before that – but I certainly didn’t take time to bring it up to date since I got the Area Governor post last August.

I’m wrapping up my first year as an Area Governor, and signed up for a second year – but now that I know what to expect from that, I can devote some time and attention to other things.

Unfortunately for me, the blog software I was using (BlogEngine 2.5) crashed, and I’ve been unable to restore the blog on its original hosting. I’m going to have to bring it back online by copying the text from an XML dump, which will take some time. But the Monkey will be back up as soon as I can manage – and I’m going forward with new posts as well.