A very amusing post by Valentina Cinelli about customer involvement in the design process.
Archive for January, 2010
I love shaving. I believe that shaving is not just a daily chore to get through – shaving is an event, an art. A good shave is better than a good hair day. There’s nothing more attractive than a nice smooth feeling chin, with a manly aftershave-scent to boot.
That’s why I’m frustrated with the razors of today. It’s almost ridiculous to see 3, 4, and even 5 blades on some razors that in the end, are all useless. The more blades you put on a razor, the more it will decrease the angle of the blade against your face. This leads to more ingrown hairs, and a rougher stubble – all contributors to the dread 5 ‘o clock shadow.
My latest desire is for a sturdy, heavy handed safety razor. Here is a Merkur Heavy Duty in all its glory:
Be sure to check out some of these products and let me know if anything pikes your interest.
- Merkur Classic Safety Razor
- Parker 96R Butterfly Open Safety Razor
- Omega Stripey 100% Pure Badger Shaving Brush
- Lee’s Ultimate Beginner Double Edge Setup
And before you start complaining about the cost, think about this: it’s cheaper to buy 100 safety razor blades than 4 measly Mach3 cartridges. To break it down, it costs about 17 cents a blade versus almost 5 dollars a cartridge!
Be sure to drop back in here and let me know what you pick up.
A few weeks ago, I was honeymooning in Maui. Easily one of the most beautiful places on Earth, and easily the greatest week of my life. You can check out more of my Hawaiian shots on my Flickr page. Enjoy!
My 9-5 gig is at a magical place called Seton Hall University, at the Teaching Learning & Technology Center. The bulk of my time is spent developing on the Movable Type Enterprise system, which hosts the 100 or so odd blogs that we maintain (“we” = me and 2 others on our team). Movable Type can be a pretty rigid system, which is why I personally use WordPress for Snailbites. So when I actually get something to look relatively cool, its quite a personal victory for myself.
I have some problems with the standard, out-of-the-box template that MT slaps on your blog when you first create it. It’s only editable to an extent, and every site you create ends up looking the same. Here’s a shot of the default blue.
Check out where the banner image is – right in the middle of the page! How are you supposed to brand or theme anything? Also, the tabs in the top navigation are gigantic, so you can’t have too many pages, or links with too many words.
To counteract this dilemma, I cooked up a new theme with a purposefully large banner image area, and smaller navigation. I call it Razor (corny, I know). Late Friday afternoon, we put up a new site for a project called Metro SHU. This site is basically supposed to provide a bridge from the SHU community in South Orange, NJ, to the not-too-distant playland that is New York City. I used my new Razor theme for it. Check it out:
You’ll notice how instantly branded this page is now thanks to the sick banner that Truz made. Here are some of the reasons why I love this theme:
- The navigation is tucked away in the top corner, out of the flow of the page. This helps to direct the user to the main branding of the banner, and then immediately to the content below it. When it’s time to go to another page, I’ll know to look in the same place I always look for navigation elements: the top left corner.
- The banner is gigantic. It puts less pressure on the graphic artist to produce within the tiny constraints of the standard theme and creates instant branding. It also doesn’t get in the way like on the standard theme.
- The bars above and below the banner tell you that this is the end of one thought, and you can move on to the content area as the beginning of another thought. In my opinion, its easier for the user to digest the information presented to them.
- Everything is done with CSS, so the content and the framework of the actual blog doesn’t change. This minimizes the chance for any errors.
There’s plenty of other themes I’ve made for our blogging platform. I’m sure in my impending creativity-deadlocked days, I’ll post the rest. But for now, enjoy Metro SHU. I hope by the time you see it, it still looks as good as how it does in the screenshot.
I was born on November 5th, 1980. That makes me about a week older than The Internet. It’s amazing to think that we actually once lived in a world without the Internet. Kinda crazy, and also kinda sad that we’re that connected. Nevertheless, the Internet is what sustains me and my little family, and so its only fitting that my first post be about its history.
I can still remember (old geezer voice coming on here…) when the web was simple bulletin boards and HTML 1.0 pages. Back in the day, I was all up on Prodigy, which was essentially a gigantic bulletin board with some text-based games. For those who don’t know, the original internet was created by scientists, and was intended for scientists. The original purpose was to share information between Universities for research purposes. Little did anyone know that the Internet would eventually become a part of daily life for the entire world.
For anyone looking for a little nostalgia, try clicking around the First Ever Web Page. For bigger, nerdier laughs, view source and check out the code.