Monday, May 7, 2007


In trying to find information on web accessibility issues, I searched around for articles in different places. Most sites said the articles they linked to were outdated, but finally one led me to the W3 Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). According to their site, the WAI "develops strategies, guidelines, and resources to help make the Web accessible to people with disabilities. The following WAI resources are intended to provide basic information for people who are new to Web accessibility." They look for volunteers and help from whoever is willing to contribute, so it is not simply a small group of people doing all this work.

More information can be found at and

Monday, March 19, 2007

CSS Pages - A website dedicated to the promotion of the new Web Standards, the use of CSS is very creative and clean. I like the layout and colors as well. The amount of code used on the whole site is very minimal and efficient. I can definitely see just by looking at the source code that this is a much more efficient way to create webpages. It essentially just makes it easier to organize images and cells without using tables.

Electric Pulp
Taproot Creative

Monday, February 19, 2007

City Websites - Not a particularly attractive or easy to navigate site, but it has some good information. It contains a lot of historical information about areas of Maryland, so it is an important resource. However, the individual pages are not particularly laid out well. They are just huge chunks of text with images scattered in between. This makes it hard to find the information you might want. - This is a very attractive and coherent site with more of an emphasis on tourism, but that is what New York is mostly about. While some tourist spots are entertainment-based, historical areas of New York are also included in the tourism attractions. The calendar page gives information for a wide variety of enriching events in any section of New York. - The site for Los Angeles tourism is very similar to the New York page. Both have a very professional look and feel to them. The information on this site and the look of the pages convey an image of Los Angeles which seems to be fitting for the city's entertainment industry and lifestyle.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Good and Bad Layouts

Good Sites

Huh? Corp - A comical website (I hope) that is a parody of new-age marketing and consulting firms that create longwinded bios and information to try and make themselves seem different from any other marketing/consulting firm. Besides it's humorous content, it has a very basic, clean, and colorful design. They parody the style of site that one of these types of firms would use very well.

James Alliban - Another web portfolio I found, but I really like the layout and flash design. The container stretches or shrinks to fit the content needed for each section. The music is nice and gives an idea of the designer's personality. The color choices also compliment the laid back, smooth style.

Bad Sites
- This is not actually a site, but a site of examples of bad sites. They take excerpts from other government pages and show what some bad ideas are. Although you cannot move to the actual sites to see them in context, it does offer some good tips on what to avoid in design. - Again, just an example. Not only is it "The World's Worst Website", but it is also hosted on the world's worst web domain (Angelfire). This web page really brings me back, as there are plenty of annoying animated gifs that are totally unnecessary, a background the color of puke (also with animation), an annoying midi song on loop, and terrible color choices for text and boxes. It hurt to look at this page.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Web Sites That Will Have an Impact in 2007

Amazon S3 (taken from Amazon S3 main site):

Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3)

Amazon S3 is storage for the Internet. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers.

Amazon S3 provides a simple web services interface that can be used to store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web. It gives any developer access to the same highly scalable, reliable, fast, inexpensive data storage infrastructure that Amazon uses to run its own global network of web sites. The service aims to maximize benefits of scale and to pass those benefits on to developers.

Amazon S3 Functionality

Amazon S3 is intentionally built with a minimal feature set.

  • Write, read, and delete objects containing from 1 byte to 5 gigabytes of data each. The number of objects you can store is unlimited.
  • Each object is stored and retrieved via a unique, developer-assigned key.
  • Authentication mechanisms are provided to ensure that data is kept secure from unauthorized access. Objects can be made private or public, and rights can be granted to specific users.
  • Uses standards-based REST and SOAP interfaces designed to work with any Internet-development toolkit.
  • Built to be flexible so that protocol or functional layers can easily be added. Default download protocol is HTTP. A BitTorrent(TM) protocol interface is provided to lower costs for high-scale distribution. Additional interfaces will be added in the future.


The Burg is a web-based sitcom that is gaining somewhat of a cult following. It is like some of the YouTube videos out there that have a continuing element, but this is treated as a real show. The people are professional actors trying to break into the biz, and are hoping to get noticed or gain experience by being on this show. I think that if it gains enough of a following, web-based sitcoms could be the way we watch TV shows in the future. No more having to make sure you can watch at a specific pre-ordained time and hour (although I'm sure many hardcore fans want to watch as soon as a new episode is released). This could be great for the failing genre of sitcoms, or really any show in general.

Wikipedia for businesses. Basically, founder Gregory Kohs offered to create Wikipedia pages about companies if they were willing to pay him a small fee. He would still write the information by researching himself, not by taking what the company simply wanted up there, but at least they would be represented. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales disagreed with his theory and ultimately shut him out. Kohs started his own site, Centiare, as a directory of information for corporations in the business world.

The home page for any runners who use the new Nike/iPod technology for tracking distance, pace, and many other stats through music and sneakers. This home page lets you keep track of your own runs, find new Nike Plus products, and find the top work out songs from all Nike Plus users, including pro athletes' favorite hits.

Virtual Laguna Beach:

The dulled down MTV is finally tired of playing catch up with the latest trends and finally trying to pioneer one on their own. In September, they launched "Vitual Laguna Beach", a virtual world in which users take control of a Laguna-esque character and live in the real fake world of Laguna Beach, Orange County. It not only lets you keep up with the show and talk about it with others, but you can even be a part of it. It's Myspace meets YouTube meets Reality MTV.

Portfolio Examples

Michael Colella -
Leardi Creative -
Response, LLC -
Matt Stellwagen, Web Design -
Miles Johnson -

Michael Colella - While a very clean looking site, I don't know if I personally like the idea of using the Macromedia style for your own portfolio style web site. It's kind of like cheating to me. Not really sure why. The concept is carried out in a very clever way, though, and the layout is very well done.

Leardi Creative - The use of Flash makes this one of my favorite pages. The navigation bar is easy to use and visually interesting while still simple. Each of the pages that come from the different options are very clear and easy to understand. Really don't see anything wrong with this portfolio.

Response - I'm not really a fan of videos that start playing on entering a site. They always startle you and you get frustrated or annoyed sometimes. I like it if it is an intro page, where clearly there is nothing else and this is not the home page. But when you see a home page load, I don't want some crazy flash animation or video blasting out my speakers. If you're going to have a video, prepare me for it. Otherwise, great site.

Matt Stellwagen Web Design - Very simple and easy to use concept. Easy to find the navbar, and the elements of the portfolio are laid out clearly on each page. I don't like that when you click on a new section, it first goes back to the main subway photo. It would be better to just load the next photo right away.

Miles Johnson is very much in a style I would try to achieve in my own portfolio. I like simple layouts and subdued blues and greens. One thing that doesn't work for me is the relation of "Outstanding News" and "Music". The separation isn't really well defined and it seems like the news is just sort of stuck there. I just think they could fit on the screen better. Overall very good style. The portfolio is presented well, and the services section is very clear. I like the idea of getting a quote for a design.