Shallow Thoughts

because deep thoughts smack of effort

Content + CMS + Layout

Posted in Uncategorized by Bridget on January 6th, 2010

Those of us who follow the likes of Jeffrey Zeldman, Andy Clarke, Dan Cederholm, Ethan Marcotte, and a host of other notable web professionals have heard the battle cry that design should support the content, not the other way around. I’m not going to reiterate all the reasons why this is a good practice. You can get their thoughts on the matter via their blogs, books and presentations at conferences. I encourage you to do so because I agree with them. Content should be honed first, so that an appropriate design can deliver it in a pleasing manner to the intended audience.

The question I am posing today is how to best put this philosophy into practice when a CMS and other restrictions come into play. Lets face it, not every site can have each article “art directed” a la Jason Santa Maria‘s site. Not every company has the resources available to do such a thing. So, in the harsh, cruel world where low budgets, unenlightened project managers, unrelenting time lines, and understaffed companies govern the website’s resulting look and feel, what do we do to ensure that content is delivered in the best possible light?

I have a specific scenario I’d like to examine, in hopes of hearing some ideas on supporting content while using a CMS in the conditions mentioned above. (more…)

New Year, New Post

Posted in Web Stuff by Bridget on January 3rd, 2010

A lot of posts in the first few days of January reflect on the year that passed and/or look toward the year ahead. That’s not my plan here. There’s nothing wrong with posts like that. I just don’t want to do one of those. I do, however, want to get back into writing. More specifically, engaging in conversations that may be more meaty than those we have on Twitter or Facebook. (more…)

URL ABC

Posted in Nonsense by Bridget on November 27th, 2009

A simple game: Go to supplements for pets
the address bar in your favorite browser, and type one letter. Start with “a”, end with “z”.

A - http://aremysitesup.com/
B - http://bradcolbow.com/
C - http://www.clevelandwebstandards.org/
D - http://www.dailypuppy.com/
E - http://expressionengine.com/
F - http://forabeautifulweb.com/
G - http://www.google.com/
H - http://www.hulu.com/
I - http://www.imdb.com/
J - http://jquery.com/
K - http://kuler.adobe.com/
L - http://localhost:8888/
M - http://microformats.org/
N - http://www.newint.org/
O - http://orderedlist.com/
P - http://photobucket.com/
Q - (nothing)
R - http://www.rockportretirement.com/
S - http://shallowthoughts.org/
T - http://twitter.com/
U - http://upcoming.yahoo.com/
V - http://www.virtualrabbit.com/
W - http://www.watchtheguild.com/
X - (nothing)
Y - http://www.youtube.com/
Z - http://www.zeldman.com/

A few of the above reflect some recent work I did on a website project and services they wanted to include.

Other lists to look at:
Tim Van Damme (the guy to blame for this game)
Andy Clarke
Brad Dielman
Elliot Jay Stocks

Mind your RTs (retweets)

Posted in Personal Declarations,Web Stuff by Bridget on February 1st, 2009

If you are using Twitter as a means to communicate with other people, super. You’re not the only one. There are tons and tons of us out here using Twitter and as a means to make Twitter a useful service, I only see the tweets from those I follow. At least, that’s the theory.
(more…)

An Event Apart – Day Two

Posted in An Event Apart,Web Stuff by Bridget on October 14th, 2008

I’m attending An Event Apart, a great conference for people who make websites. My plan is to take notes during the presentations mainly so that I remember all the great stuff I heard, but also to share with my friends who couldn’t attend.

I also plan to create just two posts – Day One and Day Two. So, if you are one of the folks following along, I’ll publish the post section at the end of each presentation. All of Day One’s presentations will be contained in Day One, while Day Two will be in a post dedicated to day two. Hopefully, that is plain and obvious. :)

On to the meat of the posts… (more…)

An Event Apart – Day One

Posted in An Event Apart,Web Stuff by Bridget on October 13th, 2008

I’m attending An Event Apart, a great conference for people who make websites. My plan is to take notes during the presentations mainly so that I remember all the great stuff I heard, but also to share with my friends who couldn’t attend.

I also plan to create just two posts – Day One and Day Two. So, if you are one of the folks following along, I’ll publish the post section at the end of each presentation. All of Day One’s presentations will be contained in Day One. Hopefully, that is plain and obvious. :)

On to the meat of the posts… (more…)

User Research in the Design Process

Posted in CWSA,Web Stuff by Bridget on September 19th, 2008

Ever stared at a blank Photoshop screen and just needed to “get started designing”? Ever been handed a 40 page spec sheet that you needed to build from? Ever wonder if this feature should even be built in the first place? (more…)

Creating User Experience Standards

Posted in CWSA,Web Stuff by Bridget on July 31st, 2008

The Cleveland Web Standards Association will be gathering once again on Tuesday, August 5th from 6:30 – 8:00pm. We’ll be meeting at American Greetings Headquarters, 1 American Rd, Cleveland. (more…)

A Hell of a Year

Posted in Personal Declarations by Bridget on July 30th, 2008

Ok, so I’ve been away from my blog for approximately half a year. I apologize for that, but I had good reasons. It’s been a hell of a year. It seems like every 10 years, there is a cycle of discomfort to remind me it’s customary to have problems – just like everyone else. I don’t want to complain because for 9 years it’s relatively smooth sailing, comparatively speaking. But on the 10th year, The Universe plays catch up and heaps a shit-storm upon me and/or my family to bring things back into alignment.

Now that things seem to have settled into normalcy, I’ll try to do better. I’ll attempt to return to sharing my shallow observations and unsubstantiated rationales on whatever I am prompted to write about.

If you are interested in what transpired this year that kept me away, keep reading. If not, move along. (more…)

Stewart Summer Blockbuster Series

Posted in Nonsense by Bridget on July 29th, 2008

My husband Scott and I classify new movie releases based on how we intend to view them. We either plan to see them at the theater or we will wait until they are released on DVD. We are not alone employing this classification system, as I have run into many other people who do the same. There has been a disturbing trend in the past few years where we plan to view most movies when they come out on DVD. Going to the theater had become a rare event. Not much seemed compelling enough to spend the extra money or endure the company of strangers to experience it via the big screen.

This summer was different. We were compelled to see six! In this post, I will give a brief review of each of these movies without any spoilers whatsoever. (more…)

« Previous PageNext Page »