Internet Explorer 7 Update

Good news out of Redmond. Chris Wilson posted some new information on the IE Blog. Looks like they will be adding support for alpha transparency with PNG images. This will allow designers to layer images that are partially transparent in IE 7 like they can do in other modern browsers. Alpha transparency support will enable drop shadows, partially transparent gradients, and other effects to be used in more complex layouts and will allow background colors to change without reworking non-rectangular images. I think we’ll be seeing an explosion of creativity as the new browser gains widespread acceptance and we don’t have to worry about so many visitors seeing designs broken by incomplete PNG support. The IE team is also working […]

Why to Avoid “Lock In”

…vendor lock-in, also known as proprietary lock-in, or more simply, lock-in, is a situation in which a customer is dependent on a vendor for products and services and cannot move to another vendor without substantial switching costs, real and/or perceived. By the creation of these costs to the customer, lock-in favors the company (vendor) at the expense of the consumer. –Lockergnome So let’s ask ourselves who the fancy pants custom software or website we just built should favor — the customer or the developer? Hmmm, this is the blog for developers so perhaps the answer is the developer? Wrong. But neither is it the customer. This is a trick question and the answer is it should be fair to both […]

How to Avoid Lock In

As a business person faced with the task of hiring and overseeing the work of a design or development firm it can be extremely difficult to know if you are hiring the right people. Sometimes you will have a sense about the people you are considering hiring, but often you lack the technical skills required to make an informed hiring decision. Even worse, unscrupulous developers can build systems that other developers will not be able to decipher, leaving you dependent on the original developer for the life of the system. This means that your bad hiring decision can haunt you for decades. Being trapped into using a particular system is known as “Lock In” and it is preventable.

How do you say hello?

Coudal Partners prefers to use a conversational tone in their work. That works for them but is not for everyone. The tone that you adopt in your advertising, website, brochures, e-mails, and phone calls should be a conscious decision. Your organization should be actively deciding how you will talk to people. Are you formal, conversational, informal, respectful, abrupt, curt, glib, irreverent? Do you know how you come across to others? Actively employing a consistent style of communication changes your brand and corporate identity in the eyes of your customers and business partners and can even effect how well your employees do their jobs.

Processes are for…

Processes are so people who don’t know how to do anything can get something done… and they usually still screw it up. UPDATE 4/25/05: There is a post over at Asterisk that follows this one rather nicely. So why do we bother with processes? It’s something we talk about at Infinite Web Design, we analyze and improve business processes. This is generally a good thing. Refining how things are done can lead to increased productivity, less frustrated workers, and fewer errors and problems at the end of the day. However, the differences between an effective workflow and a mindless algorithm are often overlooked. This leads to frustration with large bureaucracies and stifling restrictions placed on competent workers.

Spread the Word

Every web design client asks at least one question in common, “How do I get people to my site?”. There are many ways to help get people to your website and they all involve some amount of effort and dedication. A few of the common methods include: Search engines Links from other sites Word of mouth