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Economical Web Design, Cheat Sheets, and Digging Up Good CSS  

:: Wednesday, August 24, 2005 ::

I wanted to wait until the noise cleared about the Cre8asiteforums server move to point you to three helpful web design items from some friends of mine.

Small is Beautiful

I was amazed when I came upon this brilliant piece written by Cre8asiteforums Moderator, Barry Welford, owner of Strategic Marketing Montreal and his blog, A Different Point of View. Inside an issue of his company newsletter is an article he authored called Small is Beautiful Websites - A Zero-Base Approach to Website Architecture.

In it, he talks about web site real estate and the value of smaller, less congested layouts. We, as web folks, are always interested in finding ways to make layouts meet our target objectives without chasing away our target audience in the process. Barry writes,
"So we have a single web page that can be said to follow the Small Is Beautiful principle. How big should our website be? How many web pages should be included? Jakob Nielsen has warned against the complexity of a website like Amazon. If Amazon doesn't provide the right model, what model is appropriate? How do we create a total SIB website? Of course, different websites have different objectives so no single model will work for all. What determines what should be included? In this Newsletter, we will set out a way to tackle this question."

He gives examples and inspires you to consider making changes that emphasize economical design without sacrificing creativity.

Cheat Sheets for Webmaster Folks

If it weren't for cheat sheets and books with easy to understand illustrations, many of us would never survive in a field where code is a way of life. So, when Dave Childs, otherwise loved as "ILoveJackDaniels", posted help on CSS and then on JavaScript, the demand was so great he was "slashdotted" for awhile. His Cheat Sheets page in his I Love Jack Daniels site is a must-have bookmark. Kudos to Dave, who is one of the Technical Administrators at Cre8asiteForums, for making the lives of so many developers a little bit easier.

CSS SOS

When I was teaching myself CSS, I had a heck of a time finding resources that were easy to understand or that didn't conflict with something I'd found somewhere else.

Since that time, some better tutorials and books have been written, but I still rely on my long-time friend, and Cre8asiteforums Site Administrator, Adrian Lee for direction and education. In addition to his Camaban site, and moderating the CSS forum at Cre8, he compiled this amazing list, CSS Resource Sites. Who needs a search engine when you have good people like Adrian who are willing to share their passion?

Healthcare Sites Ignore Organic SEO

My sarcastic self thinks the reason (PDF, 26 pages -->) U.S. Health Care Web Sites Resist Natural Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Online Sales Leads is because no healthcare property in their right mind wants to be found in search engines because they're not customer service oriented. (Any pretense on their part to be interested in patients’ health (vs. their money) is purely for show.) However, I was thinking of health insurance and pharmaceutical companies. Rather, the study covered more.
"We assessed baseline SEO techniques
for the industry offering such health care products and services as:
• Doctors
• Hospitals
• Pharmaceuticals
• Medical Equipment
• Chemicals
• Plastic Surgeons
• Orthopaedic Surgeons
• Medical Law
• Assisted Living"

I almost ignored this report, but it's actually an informative read for anyone who works on any of these types of these websites. The PDF links to a white paper on SEO and a survey for website owners.

I took away from it this thought. As much as we, who are buried in SEO/SEM, think everybody else on the planet knows what it is and is also doing it, well, we think wrong.

Some webmasters still aren't getting the very basics into code like title tags with keywords. Keywords are also a problem because the ones chosen to focus on are too generic and competitive to rank well. See also Fathom SEO's Press Release

"IN" Bin

I'm a case study junkie. Here are some user centered design case studies to fill your addiction, if you are too. UI Garden

I've never blogged on this before and that's a shame because, A - he's a great person and B - his blog is a HAPPY thing (and Kim likes happy things.) Cre8asiteforums Moderator, "Ruud" has this nifty blog called The Good News Blog.

Congratulations to Linda Riley and Robert Clough of Small Business Brief for the appearance in Forbes' Small Business Blogs list. Your hard work and dedication paid off!

Although SEO by the SEA is now over, Bill Slawski, my co-Administrator at Cre8asiteforums, has plans to keep his beautiful blog, SEO by the SEA running with entries on SEO/SEM and the local region there. Anything Bill writes is, if you know of him, worth indulging in.

And in the "Nobody Cares Kim" Department

I'm getting my hair cut.

This may not be big news to you, but to anyone who knows me or has known me, cutting my long hair is always an issue. I have nightmares about it. Last night I dreamt I was being chased by a lion, which of course, has long hair.

I have these silly rituals with my daughter. When she wanted her ears pierced, I went and had a second set of holes put into mine. When she wanted her own second set of holes in her ears later, I went again and got a third set of holes stuck into mine.

Now she wants her belly button pierced. This is where I draw the line. Instead, she's coming with me tomorrow to get her hair cut with me. It's the least she can do for my years of sacrifice.

I hate going in for a trim and they end up chopping off 6 inches. If the outside of me doesn't match up with the inside of me, I get all whacked out. The inside of me is this long haired brunette, skinny, sexy broad with a graceful walk and no sign of gray hair.

Like I said, the long hair is a critical (read urgently needed) thing now because everything else from the inside personality is no longer cooperating.

:: posted by Kim Krause Berg on 8/24/2005 12:45:00 PM

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