One thing at a time

In 2007 I bit off more than I could chew. I setup a new computer, using a new operating system, and new versions of productivity and web software. In essence, nothing in my day to day workflow was 100% familiar! While it can be exciting to be cutting-edge, it becomes a lot harder to troubleshoot problems when they’re new and you’re unfamiliar with their quirks.

In the same way, if you’re making websites it might be tempting to dive into making sites in some new way! This is understandable since there’s so much stuff to keep up with. Continue reading

Gzip (itty-do-da)

Gzip is a GNU zip compression that can be applied to files (according to this Wikipedia article that made me cross-eyed by the second sentence). I’ve seen it lots in various tools for exporting data, but did you know that you can use it to compress JS / CSS on your sites? Simply pop in a block of code into your htaccess file and suddenly your site will see much smaller files being called.

The somewhat crass service Gzip WTF will crawl your site to show you what’s going on. Here’s a before and after for ArleyM.com.  Continue reading

ArleyM.com Redesign – Chapter X

I can be my own worst client – but I’m a happy client.

I have been working on this refresh for a while now, and it’s finally live: the tenth iteration of ArleyM.com (est. 2003). Like any designer, I get sick of my work pretty fast, and the old site was no exception. I wanted to create a site that was way simpler in terms of content and updating (I will write about my creative process in another post). WordPress is a great platform for simple updates, and I was able to remove a lot of content.

The Front page

A personal site is a chance to do some things you’ve never done before! There are a few fun things on this frontpage that I’m particularly excited about. Continue reading

Accessibility Camp TO 2011

On Saturday I attended Accessibility Camp Toronto 2011. Now I feel a bit shallower, but in a good way.

It’s really really really easy to make websites that work they way I (and almost every single person that I know) use them. Having sight, hands, and hearing are some wonderful gifts that are just so easy to take for granted, along with a positive experience on the average site. This conference is just focussed on making the digital realm equally available to everyone – including those without the abilities I take for granted.

This was a much needed shift in thinking for me. Continue reading