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16 pixels for body copy

click image to be redirected to article

This is a great article about web font readability. Click on the image to read the article.

“16 pixels is not big” 🙂


InterACT with Web Standards – Ch. 18

Chapter 18 of InterACT with Web Standards is about tables. The Try it yourself! section on page 332 calls for the readers to mark up their own data into a table, and apply some styling. Here’s how my table looks:

I followed the structure provided by Chris Mills, but improved a few things. This is how Chris’s table looks:

Coming up with the cupcake varieties and playing with html and css for tables is lots of fun, but most importantly I improved the contrast, and thus legibility, by carefully choosing my colors for background and text.

New (To Me) HTML Elements

Chapter 10 of “InterACT With Web Standards”, introduced our WebMedia 1 class to HTML. Thanks to the recommended resources, I was able to find some HTML elements that were not already discussed in the chapter. has an excellent article on lesser-known semantic elements. Here are a few of those:

<address> : used for the author of the page, or the section that shows that information. Note – it is not used for the postal address of the company, like many may assume.

  <span>Mark Norman Francis</span>,

<code> : used for indicating code or programming languages in short samples within a sentence. For larger samples, a pre formatted block should be used.

<p>It is bad form to use event handlers like
<code>onclick</code> directly in the HTML.</p>

<var> : used to indicated variables from mathematical expression or programming code.

<p>The value of <var>x</var> in
 3<var>x</var>+2=14 is 4.</p>

my <var>$welcome</var> = "Hello world!";

<cite> : used for citations, and well shown in this example:

<p>The saying <q>Everything should be made as simple as possible,
but not simpler</q> is often attributed to <cite>Albert
Einstein</cite>, but it is actually a paraphrasing of a quote which
is much less easy to understand.</p>


John Allsopp – Guest Speaker at UTC

John Allsopp visited our web media class yesterday. He had a wonderful presentation about web development and the future of the web. He left all of us inspired and eager to work. He reminded us that design is about making things better for humans, and that if you “make things magical”, people will enjoy them much more. After all, it’s important to delight people … to help them have fun.

John brought up some issues that seem logical about our future. There will probably be screens on everything that can benefit from a screen interface – it would certainly be something I would like to see happen. This will also mean that there will be a great demand for web and interaction design.

I still have so much to learn about HTML, CSS, and web development standards. John’s presentation helped me feel a little more at ease about this subject and about having quality, easy to understand tutorials available from professionals like him. He has written a book – Developing with Web Standards, and offers a CSS3 live online course.

And here is something else that is very exciting: Web Directions and Amped (an event part of Web Directions), are coming to Atlanta GA at the end of this month. I can’t wait to be there on September 25th. Amped promises lots of opportunities to learn, play with new technology, have fun, and win prizes.

A big thank you to John Allsopp for visiting and sharing a piece of his mind with us.

History of the Internet

In my Web Media class on Tuesday, each of us (in groups of four) presented on the history of the internet. A keynote was not made a requirement, so the variety of presentation formats was pleasing. The acting and yarn tossing was especially entertaining. The learning experience was enhanced by some well written articles and some well designed/illustrated educational videos.

One of the articles that I particularly enjoyed was Vanity Fair’s How the Web Was Won. It contains an explanation of Al Gore‘s contribution to the internet, and it clarifies that he never claimed he invented it. There is also a slide show of internet pioneers.

You can watch one of the videos I mentioned here. This video is beautifully designed and choreographed. It is very easy to follow and there is so much to learn from it. I highly recommend it.

There is so much to know about the history of the internet. I had no idea it all started all the way back in 1945, when the idea of linking research books via microfilm was introduced by Vannevar Bush.

So if you’re as excited about this as I am, go read some articles, watch some videos, and don’t ever say that Al Gore claimed he invented the internet!

additional resources:

Content Expectations

How do your content expectations change depending on what you’re reading? It is something I was prompted to do in my web media class, and here’s what I found about myself:

1. For billboards – I expect the message to be short enough to read from a fast moving vehicle. I expect to be able to see it from a long distance – which would also allow for extra time to read it. Usually, the only information needed is the name of the product or company, a description of what it is or what service is offered if necessary, and how or where I can obtain that product or service.

2. For magazines – Most of the time, if I do read a printed magazine, it is because a cover story caught my attention. I expect the magazine to clearly provide page numbers for all articles, otherwise I become frustrated and negatively charged while sifting through the pages. Once I am reading my article of interest, I do not like to skip pages in order to read the second half.

3. For websites – I don’t have the time to read lengthy descriptions, unless I’ve chosen to click on the “about” section. I expect the home page to have well defined sections with a few links. If it is necessary to have a lot of links on the homepage, then they should be clearly categorized.

My content expectations with websites differs depending on the type of website and what I’m trying to accomplish. If I am shopping, for example, I look for links to product categories or department categories (such as women’s, men’s, or clearance sections). If I am trying to obtain a company’s services, I look for a portfolio section with examples of their work and for ways to figure out the price.

As you can see, most of my content expectations for websites is action oriented. I need to know where to click to get what I want, and I don’t plan on spending too much time on figuring it out.

How to Stay Productive

Sometimes I have a very difficult time staying productive if my work requires me to use my computer. Some solutions work and some don’t. The reality is that everyone is different when it comes to attention span, method for work, energy boosts, and need for breaks.

What has worked for me most of the time has been closing all social media sites, and not allowing myself to check them until I am on a break. This is basically the “self discipline” method, but I’ve been increasingly interested in alternatives consisting of Mac apps that block internet usage or perform similar services.

Today I did some research on such apps, and found the following eight: Isolator, Spirited Away, Focus Booster, Pomodoro, Self Control, Think, Freedom, and Anti-Social.

These apps all differ, but specialize in the common goal of keeping you from being distracted by the internet or other apps on your computer. Click on the links to explore them and find the one that best fits your needs.

After taking a look, I decided that it would be worth trying some of these apps., but bottom line, self discipline plays a part with or without help from such software.

Please leave a comment if you know of additional apps or if you want to share your  stay on task method.

6 Apps to Help You Focus & Be Productive (Mac) by Jackson Chung

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