A useful analogy of web design and browser compatibility

My standard contract (based on Andy Clarke‘s contract killer) includes a clause about creating designs for the latest version of current modern browsers and any older versions will get a workable version of the content. I do of course do some more specific catering for a certain browser if needed but generally building something sensibly and providing the correct fallbacks works well enough for clients.

But sometimes they question why I work this way? I find the best way to explain is with the good old movie making analogy – one I touched upon in an old Smashing Magazine article about using CSS3. It works well as it’s something people are more familiar with, even if they don’t watch a lot of films they will know the terminology and ideas you’re explaining.
So how does the moving making analogy go? A little like this. Continue reading

RSS is criminally under used but it won’t die with Google Reader or social media

I’ve been a long time Google Reader user and I’ve realised that I’ve never really looked much further. I started using it many moons ago and it’s always worked and done what I want so I’ve never looked at anything else.
But Reader is being killed off by Google in July and many people are predicting a decline in RSS usage because of it, I can’t really see that happening. It most certainly won’t be replaced by social media.
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Where to keep up with the web and continue learning

In my last proper post I introduced a couple of resources I recommend to those getting started on the web.
But where do you go from there to keep up to date and continue learning? Apart from browsing these hallowed pages of course.

Here are a few of the resources I regularly use to keep track and reference, I have plenty more in my RSS reader (Google reader! I’ll be looking for an update) but these are the ones I regularly end up visiting and reading from. They offer a variety of levels of interest and difficulties.

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Take time off

Since I started writing a post a week this year this is the first time I’m found myself without anything posted by Sunday. I had thought I’d write up something that’s already saved in a draft state, but I was late back from work and I’m at my mums and, here in the UK at least, it’s Mother’s Day.
So I’m doing what many people recommend all the time and what I certainly like to recommend to people, I’m having a break.

I’ve a busy week next week but I’ll make sure it isn’t a post-less one!

The web has made customer service so easy – stop messing it up

One of the great things about the web is the ease of communication, the ease of access it allows people to resources. Not just piles of data on Wikipedia but access to people and companies.
It has made customer service incredibly easy to do and yet so many organisations still do it badly. Some will complain that they are limited by budgetary constraints but customer service on the web is not just easy, it’s cheap.
I regularly take to twitter with my customer service issues and questions and its great when you get some dialogue and a question answered. It makes a huge difference to your perception of a brand and how much does it cost to set up a twitter account? Nothing. Ok admittedly you have to get someone to manage it but the setup cost is nothing.

But good customer service doesn’t start and end with twitter, so here are my major online customer service gripes and I’ll start with twitter.

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