Web Standardistas - HTML and CSS Web Standards Solutions

October 2011 Archives

Analogue Heaven

Analogue Heaven [Detail]

We’re delighted to have once again been invited to deliver a workshop as part of Build Conference and, now that the tickets have gone on sale, we’re excited to be putting the final touches to what we feel is our best workshop yet.

We’ve tied together a number of our ideas to create a practical, hands-on workshop which leaves designers with a tried and tested toolbox they can use day to day to improve the quality and creativity of their designs.

The result is Analogue Heaven, a practical workshop featuring a blend of idea generation tools, hands-on concept creation approaches and, finally - and most importantly - the realisation of all of the above in a solid outcome that might be used as a portfolio piece.

As designers we’re all too often in a hurry to arrive at solutions. We reach for the mouse in the headlong rush to reach a conclusion and, if paper’s used at all, at best it’s at the ideation phase, before being abandoned quickly in favour of what we’re comfortable with: the computer.

We’ve written a great deal over the last few years about the importance of widening the design process within web design and, dare we say it, embracing some of the principles of an art college education, where hands-on experimentation leads to new and often unexpected creative outcomes.

Writing for 24 Ways last year, in an article titled Good Ideas Grow on Paper, we stressed the importance of establishing ever-ready and reliable idea generation methods that designers could return to again and again, injecting a creative spark into a project (even when that spark felt - for whatever reason - beyond reach).

For New Adventures’ newspaper we wrote about the importance of Establishing a Visual Grammar, introducing a two-step method designers can use to establish a distinctive visual language that sets them apart from their peers, often over-reliant on the latest visual trends. Along the way we introduced the iPhone Rapid Scrapbook™ technique which has won praise and accolades amongst its many new adherents.

Most recently we wrote about the importance of Designing the Mind for The Manual, stressing the importance of broadening the scope and widening the frame of reference throughout the design process.

In our Analogue Heaven workshop, we’ve consolidated these themes into a day of creative, hands-on making, using analogue tools that are always on hand. So, what will we be covering?

Taking a typical project from start to finish, we’ll look at the design process at every step of the way. In a participatory workshop we’ll be looking at hands-on approaches to design with the end goal being to establish a well-rounded piece which has been brought from idea, through concept, to prototype, ready to be developed into a finished product.

In addition to the full day workshop on Tuesday, 8 November, we’ll be working with participants on the following ‘Practicals Day’ on Wednesday, 9 November. Think of this as a ‘two days for the price of one’ deal, where we offer an additional day of advice and support absolutely free. Our focus on this day - should you wish to attend it - will be to turn your analogue ideas into digital reality.

At the time of writing there are still a few workshop tickets on sale and we hope you’ll avail of the opportunity to pick one up before they disappear. We’re excited about this workshop and we very much look forward to seeing you there and working with you.

1319655660 · Christopher Murphy · Follow Us on Twitter

The Prizes

The Standardistas' Open Book Exam [Detail]

With just a fortnight to go days to go until the second annual Open Book Exam, we’d like to take a moment to thank our sponsors. Once again we’ve been overwhelmed with the response to the Open Book Exam and the generosity of our friends who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to support our event.

A year ago, when we first wrote: “The Standardistas’ Open Book Exam promises to be one of the most exciting events in this year’s geek calendar,” we were of course guilty of a little hyperbole. However, the feedback we received after last year’s event and the support we have received as we prepare for this year’s event have been nothing short of overwhelming.

We worried that we’d struggle to match last year’s list of prizes in volume and value. We needn’t have worried. We’re sure you’ll agree - looking at the prize list below - there’s a lot of schwag up for grabs and, again, we’d like to thank everyone who has so generously supported us.

The Prize Fund currently stands as follows:

We owe a personal thank you to the many people who responded so generously and efficiently to our Request for Schwag (RFS™), not least the following: Simon Collison at New Adventures; Gavin Elliot at Industry Conference; Mandy Brown at A Book Apart; our friends at friends of ED; Yaili at Canonical; Antony Kennedy and Inayaili de Leon; Elliot Jay Stocks at 8 Faces; Jack and Ed Henderson; Belfast’s favourite Rumblers at Rumble Labs; Kyle Steed; Andy Budd at Clearleft; Wolf Becvar at HotGloo; Mr Paddy Donnelly; Scott McCloud; the team at Dediserve; Rich Rutter and Jon Tan at Fontdeck; Rich Rutter at Ampersand Conference; Gavin ‘JamFactory’ Strange; Nik Fletcher at Realmac Software; Simon and Angela Young at The Paperie; Jez Burrows; Michele Seiler at Field Notes; Cole Henley; Andy McMillan at The Manual; The Internet™’s Jack Osborne; Jessica Hische; Mark Boulton at Five Simple Steps; and, last but not least, Kejia at StickyGram.

We’re looking forward to seeing you all at Build and entertaining you for what we are sure will be a memorable evening. With just a fortnight to go we’d encourage you to get revising and follow @standardistas on Twitter where we will be sprinkling clues in our timeline and revealing revision topics shortly.

Registration for the exam will open at 15.00 (GMT) on Thursday, 27 October. With only 64 places available we suggest you form your teams now, choose a team name and nominate a team member to submit your team when registrations open. Spaces in the Open Book Exam were snapped up in under eight minutes in 2010 so have your details ready to go the moment the registration opens. Good luck!

1319645940 · Christopher Murphy · Follow Us on Twitter


Designers love Moleskine…. [Detail]

In a move that’s alienated a number of loyal Moleskine toting designers, Moleskine has opted to crowdsource a logo for its Moleskinerie site via Designboom. Writing at Anti Spec, Mark Collins states:

We designers love a Moleskine note book. Have done so for over a decade. It’s safe to say that Moleskine profits greatly from the design community. A harmonious relationship then? No.

Collins estimates that by Designboom’s own figures (based on previous ‘design competitions’) Moleskine might avail of upwards of 28,000 hours worth of free branding work. The result, as Collins puts it: “1 designer wins. 3,499 designers lose.”

Interestingly Moleskine have responded via Facebook where they state:

That said, being a contest, there’s a final price for the winner, but all the submissions are free, as well you are free not to taking part to it.

The dreadful English of Moleskine’s statement notwithstanding, the comments make interesting reading and, once again, underline how sensitive a topic crowdsourcing can be.

1319500020 · Christopher Murphy · Follow Us on Twitter

HTML5 for Web Designers

HTML5 for Web Designers [Detail]

If you haven’t already read Jeremy Keith’s excellent HTML5 primer, HTML5 for Web Designers, published by A Book Apart, you now have no excuse. Generous to a fault, Mr Keith has published the book in its natural format: HTML.

Now available to read in its entirety online, it’s naturally written in HTML5 to make use of the HTML5’s new semantic elements. It also allows for offline storage in the form of appcache. As Mr Keith puts it:

You can read it on a desktop browser. You can read it in a mobile browser. You can read it in Lynx if you want. You can print it out. You can read it on the Kindle browser. You can read it on a tablet.

And if you like what you read and you decide you want to have a physical souvenir, you can buy the book and read it on paper.

We’ve been recommending the physical souvenir version for some time now. Check out the site and then order a copy. You won’t regret it. Thank you, Mr Keith.

1319498160 · Christopher Murphy · Follow Us on Twitter


Play Muwhahaha [Detail]


1319491380 · Christopher Murphy · Follow Us on Twitter

K10K Calls It a Day

K10K [Detail]

K10K, the Designer’s Lunchbox was a design portal, meticulously put together, pixel by pixel, in a groundbreaking and highly influential style. When it launched in the late 1990s it was doing more than just presenting inspiration for the aspiring or established designer, it was creating a whole new user interface language, based on pixel-perfection, humour and personality. Now, nearly 15 years later, Toke, Michael & Per, now of Cuban Council, are calling it a day.

Having gratefully enjoyed every millisecond of that fifteen year run, its time has come and so we must bid adieu

Farewell, K10K. You were an inspiration, and will be missed.

1319389200 · Nicklas Persson · Follow Us on Twitter

Open Book Exam 2011

The Standardistas' Open Book Exam [Detail]

We’re delighted to announce that, once again, we’ll be running the Open Book Exam as part of this year’s Build Conference Fringe.

Now established in folklore as one of the most exciting events in the geek calendar – and formidable challenges known to man – The Standardistas’ Open Book Exam is a pub quiz, but with a difference.

Unlike the typical pub quiz, where consulting your shiny internet-enabled mobile device would lead to instant disqualification; the Open Book Exam demands the use of iPhones, iPads, Androids - even HP TouchPads - to avail of the internet’s wealth of knowledge, required to answer many of the Herculean questions.

Played in teams of four, the exam will feature eight rounds rounds of eight questions on topics ranging from the elementary primality test to the quickfire ‘The Walrus or The Hedgehog?’ round. As with any event worth its salt, there will be plenty of beer and plenty of prizes, including a shiny, new electronic device (yet to be unveiled) for the Last Geek Standing.

Last year’s prizes were outstanding (and copious) and we’d like to once again extend our gratitude to the many individuals and organisations that supported us, making the event possible. We’re well under way securing prizes for this year’s event, should you wish to join the esteemed list of event supporters by offering a prize, please do drop us a line.

With only sixteen teams of four, places are extremely limited and were snapped up in under eight minutes last year. Follow @standardistas on The Twitter to be notified the moment they become available.

1319046840 · Christopher Murphy · Follow Us on Twitter


iPhone vs Galaxy S II [Detail]

Size matters. Dustin Curtis on the importance of 3.5 Inches.

1318080960 · Christopher Murphy · Follow Us on Twitter


D&AD Yellow Pencil BBQ [Detail]

You have to admire The Partners’ chutzpah. What better to throw on the fire for their Summer BBQ posters than a D&AD Yellow Pencil, one of the hardest won design prizes one can imagine. As Kevin Lan, Design Director at The Partners, puts it:

It wouldn’t have been a designer barbecue if we hadn’t have burnt the real things!

See the finished posters at The Partners’ blog, The Crossed Cow. Brazen.

1318080240 · Christopher Murphy · Follow Us on Twitter

Dia de los Modernist

Charles Eames + Josef Müller-Brockmann [Detail]

Día De Los Muertos + Famous Dead Modernists = Dia De Los Modernist. Limited edition two colour silks screen prints of your favourite dead Modernists (Josef Müller-Brockmann, Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, Alvar Aalto…). Lovely.

1318079400 · Christopher Murphy · Follow Us on Twitter


Steve Jobs changed… [Detail]

Jason Fried, of 37signals, reflects upon the list of things Steve Jobs changed: computers, software, design, publishing, film, music… and the list goes on and on.

It’s a measure of the huge impact Mr Jobs had across the board that it’s a substantial list touching on a wealth of industries. Our favourite? Steve Jobs changed beige.

1317940200 · Christopher Murphy · Follow Us on Twitter

Farewell Mr Jobs

Steve Jobs, 1955-2011 [Detail]

It was with sadness that we woke this morning to discover that Steve Jobs had, after a long battle with cancer, passed away.

Apple co-founder and - for once the words seem entirely appropriate - visionary and creative genius, Mr Jobs had a huge impact on not just Apple, but, unquestionably, the wider world. His relentless attention to detail and his focus on the power and potential impact of design were referenced often in our lectures and he will be sorely missed.

It’s a measure of the man he was that US President Barack Obama stated:

Steve was among the greatest of American innovators — brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it.

It’s Mr Jobs own words on life and how one must embrace it, however, that resonate the most acutely. Speaking at Stanford in 2005, he stated:

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Never a truer word was said. Farewell Mr Jobs.

1317902220 · Christopher Murphy · Follow Us on Twitter



Running a whois via Terminal on apple.com returns the following:


Nice. (Update: It turns out this is whois spam. Interesting.)

[Via Mr Meyer.]

1317826080 · Christopher Murphy · Follow Us on Twitter

410 Gone

410 Gone [Detail]

Sometime on 4 October, 2011, Mark Pilgrim, author of Dive into HTML5 and much, much more decided to remove his entire presence on the web. Eric Meyer writes:

Just yesterday, I took a screenshot of the title page of Dive Into HTML5 to include in a presentation as a highly recommended resource. Now it’s gone. That site, along with all the other “Dive Into…” sites (Accessibility, Python, Greasemonkey, etc.) and addictionis.org, is returning an HTTP “410 Gone” message. Mark’s Github, Google+, Reddit, and Twitter accounts have all been deleted.

An update in the same post confirms that Pilgrim is alive and just wants to be left alone.

Setting aside whatever personal issues might have prompted this infosuicide, this is a stark reminder for those us who were relying on the resources created and maintained by Pilgrim, that the web isn’t a permanent fixture, it is, much like life itself, in constant flux.

We already know not to trust the permanence of our own data when stored by someone else. We also have to learn not to trust the permanence of other people’s words. A printed book in a library will last for hundreds of years after the author has gone. The web, however, makes no such promises.

The words of Mark Pilgrim himself, quoted in the aforementioned post, summarise this very succinctly:

Embracing HTTP error code 410 means embracing the impermanence of all things.

Non-permanence aside, a mirror of Dive into HTML5 is thankfully available.

1317824280 · Nicklas Persson · Follow Us on Twitter

Title Scream

RAMPAGE [Detail]

Title Scream: “Type + Graphic Inspiration From 16/8 Bit Games.” What’s not to like?

1317768900 · Christopher Murphy · Follow Us on Twitter


The Standardistas' Caricature [Detail]

With just a week to go we’re very much looking forward to travelling to Oslo to speak at this year’s FRONTEND conference. We’ll be joining a host of other speakers who we very much admire and respect and will be taking to the stage with, amongst many others: Andy Budd, Simon Collison, Vitaly Friedman, Jessica Hische and Sarah Parmenter.

Our talk, titled Designing the Fluid Web, will explore the challenges we face designing for a web that is consumed across a variety of media. As we put it in the conference programme:

The web is evolving. Fast. As designers working in this volatile medium we face a challenge to deliver solutions for a ‘fluid web’, one in which our content is consumed across a growing range of devices, all with different characteristics. At first glance this challenge can appear overwhelming, however, by marrying fundamental web standards with timeless design principles, we can create beautifully designed user experiences that not only stand the test of time, but deliver regardless of context.

Should you be attending, we’re very much looking forward to seeing you there. Please do say, “Hello!” We’re looking forward to our presentation which will, of course, include be the chance to win spot prizes from the obligatory Standardistas’ ‘Big Bag of Schwag’®.

See you next week.

1317680880 · Christopher Murphy · Follow Us on Twitter

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