Accepting imperfection

I’m getting ready to launch a new design for my personal site. It’s not perfect, and it’s not complete.

There are more improvements I can make to the design, more types of content I’d like to add, more landing pages, search options, better taxonomy: a whole host of things. I could work to get all of those things done before I launch, and it would be quite some time before I launch.

Or I can take a deep breath, accept the imperfection, and get ready to press the launch button.

Izzy's first blog post

Izzy wrote this using Draft, which I've been using lately for all of my writing.

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She got most frustrated when she tried to touch the laptop's screen, and it didn't do anything.

It amazed me how quickly she has picked up using technology, even with only a few minutes of access every so often.

We had to lock down our iPhones and iPad, because she was using Siri to access all sorts of apps on the phone, including Target shopping.

First? Or best?

First? Or best?

I fell asleep last night around 3 a.m. I'd been up late working on the web design book I'm writing. This book has kicked my butt and is easily one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do.

When I wrote the proposal for the book last fall, I laid out the unique niche my book would target, and how no other books had targeted that particular niche.

Why I loved Editorially

I’m writing this post in Editorially, one of my favorite web apps of all time.

This tool I’ve grown to love excelled at simplicity, getting out of the way to let me focus not on words or fonts, but on flow. On Editorially, the terrifying reality of a blank white document didn’t seem so scary. Instead, Editorially invited you in, whispering, “Calm down, this is a safe place to settle in and write.”

Getting more involved with Drupal

I’m really excited about the global sprint weekend for Drupal this weekend, so I wanted to share how I started to get more involved with Drupal, as well as some great resources that I’ve found helpful.

I started working with Drupal over five years ago now. At the time, I preferred to hand-code HTML and CSS for sites that I built, although I wrote some custom backend code with PHP and, yes, ColdFusion. I’m a team of one in my organization, so front end, back end, UX, information architecture, content strategy, those are all on my plate.

Plussing web standards (moving beyond the green check mark)

We’re going to be bringing our daughter to Disney World for her first time pretty soon, so I have Disney on my mind on Blue Beanie Day 2013.

One of the things I love about Disney is how imagineers work hard to “plus” their creations, even when they’re already great.

They ask, how can we take an attraction that is already beloved, like Pirates of the Caribbean, and “plus it” with something fun and new? And soon enough, clever scenes of Captain Jack Sparrow join the fun.

I think that’s a great way to think about web standards.

Making the web better for authors as well as users

My first website

Today, I found my first website.

The datestamp on the file says December 7, 1996. So, about 17 years ago. I was a freshman in college, messing around with Netscape Composer on my Apple Performa in my dorm room.

You can look at the site, in all its HTML 3.2 glory, right here:

http://vistasmith.com/first-website/

By all accounts, this is a terrible website.

Screwed

Web standards promised that we could develop once, deploy everywhere. I can’t help but wonder about that premise after reading @bradfrost’s post, Device Fatigue.

I believe in web standards. I have spent a good part of my last decade working to write standards-based code that validates.

But if we have to test sites on hundreds of devices, it’s hard to argue that web apps are better than native apps because they just need to be developed once to be available everywhere.

Responsive images, the picture element and the W3C: This is how you deal with Hixie and WHATWG

First of all, huge congratulations to Mat Marquis, Jason Grigsby, Scott Jehl, Ethan Marcotte, Florian Rioval and all the other web geniuses who are working to make responsive images much, much easier for those working with responsive web design.

Today is a milestone. The Responsive Images Community Group of the W3C has now published their proposal for responsive images, the picture element, as a W3C draft. Make sure to read the draft of the picture element. It’s a great step towards a better web.

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