Browsing articles in "new idea!"
Dec
4

Refresh Recap: ALA Web Design Survey

By april.holle  //  new idea!, speaker reviews, things to do  //  No Comments

Alright so at this point everyone has read the 2007 Web Design Survey at A List Apart. If you haven’t, you should… really. This is the first time we’ve ever had a survey for the web industry alone, and while it’s not necessarily scientific, it is a good sampling of the community, nearly 33,000 web professionals.

The December edition of Refresh Phoenix shared the survey results and open discussion was has regarding what statistics we thought were interesting finds throughout the document. Such as:

16% of web workers polled were female.  Why is it that females are not prevalent in our industry? Check out a great set of interviews by fadtastic, where they contacted several of the industry’s leading female web designers to ask them the same question.

85% of web workers are white. What causes our industry to be so monochromatic? How is it that world wide there is still a serious racial rift in computers and design? Does this matter? Does this need to change?

53% of web workers said their field of study was directly related to their career. Leading one to reconsider the age old myth that you don’t need to be a college graduate to be in the web industry. Salary data also suggested that a bachelors degree helps boost web workers into that $40-60k salary range.

28% of web workers are in-house, 23% are self-employed and 22% are part of a design/advertising firm. This even split reminds us of all the employment possibilities there are. It also makes note that there really isn’t a large majority in one working environment.

23% of web workers work 30-40 hours a week, 42% 40-50 hours a week, and 12% 50-60 hours a week. So remember when you’re punching out at 7 pm that you’re not the only one out there!

When looking at the salary range data, salaries tend to bottom out at 40-60 k a year after 5 years of experience.  The highest paid are Information Architects and Usability Experts. The self-employed/freelance sector made the least, under $20,000 a year. However, this does not split full-time freelance and part-time freelance, so some of this may be supplemental income to their full time positions as well.

Project Managers and Information Architects seemed to be the most satisfied with their jobs, while designers, web designers, webmasters, and the self-employed were the least satisfied when looking at Job Satisfaction data by job title.

72% of web workers polled have a personal site or blog. This doesn’t seem unnatural that web savvy people would have their own sites, but what is interesting is that the percentage of people who blog across gender and salary ranges did not vary greatly. In other words, 72% of EVERYONE in the web industry has a personal site or blog. The real question is how often do they blog on their blog? hehe

One of the questions posed was, “What would you like to see survey statistics on that were not included in this document?” Answers ranged from “Percentage of web workers who have ADD?” to “Ratio of hours worked and salary.” The best questions that are currently not answered by the survey were, “What are the range of benefits?” and “What’s the percentage/range on working conditions (corporate vs. casual)?”

Still, my brief synopsis doesn’t do this survey justice. Please, if you haven’t already, read the full survey. It’s full of interesting information regarding education, salaries, work environments, how we stay current in trends, and more.

Nov
18

Quarterlife and Internet Television

By april.holle  //  art forms, new idea!, user experience  //  No Comments

So I got a recommendation from Erin Enriquez at Terralever to take up watching the new internet series Quarterlife. The premise is basically this intern writer decides to take up video blogging about her two roomates and the two guys that live across the courtyard whom are all friends. It’s a pretty decent concept, but some of the writing smacks of your usual sitcom plot drama, he loves her but she’s dating his best friend type stuff. What I think is interesting is the whole site really isn’t dedicated to the show at all, its dedicated to the young creatives that the show is suppose to emulate. Granted, I personally connect with Dylan (the shows main character), but I dunno if I need another social network out there. It’s awesome to give young creatives a place to muse and mingle, and some of the talent on there is pretty crazy. Take for instance the Etchasketchist, yes… he creates all his art on the old school etch-a-sketches. Funky eh?

Anyhow, I’m going to take this a step further. I was reading some of the forum posts on the Quarterlife site and came across a post regarding how internet series were going to be the end of conventional television. I don’t see this as being quite so true. We always thought that the internet would be the end of printed materials, and yet here we are years later with just as many (if not more) newspapers, magazines and books. The simple beauty of media is that it all works together, and every time a new media is created, it just adds to our ability to share information in more ways than were previously available. However, the internet is truly unique at this time given the ability to share video, text and audio at speeds and over social networks and gaps that were previously impassable. The fact is, people are simply used to getting their media in a particular way, there is a reason a particular distribution method has worked for decades, and that method will continue to work. Take for instance newspapers, the first real news sheet was created around 59 B.C. in Rome, but we still use it today. Why? Because of the delivery device, ease of use, cost, user comfortability, etc.

Rather than count the days until you no longer own a cable box, appreciate the connection between the two media sources. Enjoy the fact you can catch the episode you missed last night on the web or submit your votes for your favorite episodes online. I love being able to go onto a show’s website after a show and get more information on the story they just covered. After all, you can only cram so much into an half hour or even an hour.  Unfortunately, since it’s still very new the coverage is still spotty, sometimes you can’t find the show you wanted more information on, sometimes they even TELL you it’s going to be on the website, and you go.. and it’s not. Once more and more users expect that connection to be there and the networks realize that they need to feed the addition to their shows online, the coverage will pick up and it will become just another arena for them to be competitive in.

So until next time tune in, tune out and log on.

Nov
4

If You Love Threadless, Check out Blik

By april.holle  //  art forms, new idea!  //  No Comments

If you love funky, designer tees check out Threadless.com, not only can you score some threads, you can submit designs to be printed and score other designs! I love having control over what could be printed next, not to mention, being able to submit your own designs into the running.

If you already love Threadless already, check out Blik! Think of it like Threadless, for your home, office, or anywhere else you can use surface graphics. They have a bunch of different sets for you to choose from and each set comes in a variety of colors. The sets are also VERY affordable, coming in around $25 – $50 a set depending on the complexity. And the best part? Most of them are remove and re-stick so you can use them in your rental!

Super cool, eh?

Nov
1

National Blog Posting Month

By april.holle  //  life news, new idea!, things to do, wordpress  //  1 Comment

November, the month of brisk winds, first frosts, pumpkin pie, giving thanks, and now… national blog posting month. That’s right folks, for the month of November I will be posting every day.

While there have been some discussions on how blog posting frequency doesn’t matter, I believe that I truly do have something interesting and even possibly helpful to share with the world every day. If I didn’t feel that way, frankly my life would be pointless.

So, to celebrate this new goal, I’ve created a new blog template for EVofC and I have also purchased aprilholle.com in hopes to perhaps switch over to that as my new site, someday. I also plan on building out my about section to feature my 43 things list, last.fm music selection, digg.com favorites and stories, and flickr photos. I’ve decided instead of updating my about page all the time, it can automatically update for me as I live my life, making it that much easy for you to keep track of me. Kinda scary huh? So keep checking back for that.

I’m also tossing around the idea to maybe create a wordpress theme section and start creating themes for the masses. Perhaps also expanding out to a creative section where I can add tid bits like new wallpapers, photoshop brushes, and creative type links that I use on a regular basis for others to be inspired by.

Anyhow, November’s looking to be a pretty exciting month, and remember to check back EVERY SINGLE DAY for that new bloggy bit by yours truly. If you think you’d like to hear about any topic in particular, feel free to comment and I’ll be sure to look into it. :) I’m sure by the end of the month I might need some coaxing. hehe

Oct
28

Internet Stars are Viral Video

If you spend any time at all watching viral videos online or are into viral marketing, you NEED to watch this video!

The team over at Cakke has mashed together some of the greatest viral moments (online and off) into one amazingly funny video. It’s really interesting to note just how many of them you have personally seen. Sometimes we don’t even know we’re participating in a viral activity, but this video really drives it home how many times we’re touched by this marketing magic.

In fact, I’m virally promoting this video right now… weird huh?

Oct
26

sIFR 3.0 Inline

Recently we’ve completed four sites for Civigroup Companies. Within those sites you’ll notice several instances of sIFR (flash replacement text) inline with content. This is no easy task for sIFR text.

While trying to accomplish this feat of magic, I spent quite a bit of time researching different aspects of sIFR and how it works with CSS to understand how to make this work properly and of course, all while being cross browser compliant! So, in order to perhaps save someone else the time and hassle of trying to figure out the magic equation, I figured I’d share my experience.

Step 1: set the sIFR class on a span tag where you want the text to be.

<span class="h1inline" style="width: 325px;">Heritage. Commitment. Vision.</span>

Notice the width style attribute, this is required to make sure safari does not include extra space behind the span and before the rest of the copy.

Step 2: set the attributes in the sIFR-screen.css sheet to make it an inline block element along with the rest of your styles.

height: 25px;
display: inline-block;
overflow: hidden;

Notice the display: inline-block; this is also a safari required attribute.

Step 3: Tune height if necessary in the sifr-config.js

tuneHeight: '-5'

This will help if you plan no not only having your sIFR text inline, but also a link. I was having difficulties with the underline of the hover state being cut off by the flash doc.

 And viola you have sIFR text inline!

Sep
27

Wait Less – Sprint Style

I have been seeing the WaitLess Sprint commercials on tv lately, I figured it was just another bad commercial gimmick like the Alltel’s commercials Man Cave. But honestly, the way Sprint has married their TV commercials with the web is genius! Waitless.org is all about spending less time doing the boring things in life, to spend MORE time doing what you want to do. The videos are hilarious and they’re a great sample of what viral media should be. Check it out and have a laugh at all the awesome ways you too can save time and wait less!

Jul
14

Sprint Commercial Lights Up

By april.holle  //  advertising & marketing, art forms, new idea!  //  No Comments

I just wanted to give props out to Sprint for their latest commerical featuring light graffiti. I think not only is the message inspiring, but the production is just fantastic. Check it out…

Jul
4

RSS Catching On?

I think I’m seeing an increase in the popularity of RSS feeds. With the advent of digg, delicious, and technorati tapping into your favorite stories and interested topics are easier than ever. Also the google desktop and the Vista widget bar allow super easy access to your bookmarked favorite reads. I see RSS feeds poping up all over and with more attention being drawn to them. LOOK I HAVE AN RSS FEED!

Jun
27

Silverlight and Zero Gravity

By april.holle  //  new idea!, new technologies, things to do  //  No Comments

I would like to make a note that MY boyfriend has the top score on our new game Zero Gravity!!

Terralever launched the new game officially today. Zero Gravity is a test of the new Microsoft Silverlight technology and features the lovable and lost astronaut, Lieutenant Bennett.

You can make Lietenant Bennett not so lonely by visiting his MySpace, Facebook, and even his Twitter account. He has a lot to share about his adventures in space!

If you want to visit Lietenant Bennett in Zero Gravity, feel free to play the game and see if you can beat all 25 levels!

What is this?

This little blog happens to be the personal ramblings of one April Holle - I'm female, outspoken, webbie, a community evangelist, and Principal of Made Better Studio. Check out the about section for more info.

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