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24 ways to impress your friends


Apple launched the iPhone in June; Amazon released the Kindle in November — a big year. At three, 24 ways was as diverse as ever, taking a detailed look at font stacks, website performance, working with clients and markup.

  1. Performance On A Shoe String

    Drew McLellan

    Drew McLellan rounds off our series with a look at the challenges facing a site that needs to cope with occasional peaks in traffic without spending out on high-performance hosting that’s not needed for the majority of the time. Come behind the scenes at 24 ways and see how we keep the site online through the month of December each year. Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!

  2. A Gift Idea For Your Users: Respect, Yo

    Brian Oberkirch

    Brian Oberkirch gives a little respect back to his users, and suggests some way in which you might be able to do the same. Like a plate full of brussel sprouts, your users deserve a little respect, you can’t just rush in there. Not that I consider my users to be in any way like stupid old brussel sprouts. Oh no. What a mess.

  3. How Media Studies Can Massage Your Message

    Molly Holzschlag

    Molly E. Holzschlag discusses the importance of the medium to the message, and how a better understanding of the theory and just technique can help in developing our craft. After all, a piece of chocolate is a piece of chocolate. But press it into a coin and wrap it in golden foil, and that’s Christmas right there people.

  4. Mobile 2.0

    Brian Fling

    Brian Fling offers his insight into the state of the mobile web as we hurtle towards 2008. Just as Web 2.0 taught us to rethink our assumptions about the web, Mobile 2.0 looks to do the same. There’s a little something to mull over as you munch your mince pies and move onto bottle of Sherry 2.0.

  5. Diagnostic Styling

    Eric Meyer

    Eric Meyer describes a technique for using CSS as a diagnostic tool for finding potential problems or issues within a page. Going beyond the styling for the delivery of a site, the use of CSS as an author-time development tool holds many possibilities. Now if only there was a selector to show me which presents I’ve forgotten to buy this year.

  6. Christmas Is In The AIR

    Jonathan Snook

    Jonathan Snook introduces us to the world of Adobe AIR and talks us through using standard web technologies such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript to build a run-anywhere desktop application. I used to think I could run anywhere, but after sprinting through the town centre naked, the antisocial behaviour order has rather put a stop to all that.

  7. Keeping JavaScript Dependencies At Bay

    Christian Heilmann

    Christian Heilmann delves into the world of JavaScript application dependencies with a smart technique to help manage the loading of parts of your application as and when needed. Just as Santa only loads the presents he needs for each trip into his sleigh, keep your loading lean and the reindeer will thank you.

  8. Increase Your Font Stacks With Font Matrix

    Richard Rutter

    Richard Rutter delivers us an early Christmas present in the form of Font Matrix, a table detailing available fonts across Windows and Mac operating system versions and with different versions of common software packages installed. Need to know how widely your font of choice is available? Just look it up. This, my friends, is the future right here.

  9. Get In Shape

    Dave Shea

    Dave Shea considers the impact of shape and balance on design, and how it can affect user perception. Like that oddly shaped gift under the tree that never quite makes sense until it’s unwrapped, sometimes you can never be sure until you give it a shake. So let’s get shaking, people.

  10. Conditional Love

    Ethan Marcotte

    Ethan Marcotte explores methods of delivering browser-tailored CSS to uncooperative user agents if the need arises. Like the brightly coloured, ill-fitting sweater granny gave you last Christmas, there’s some styles that are only appropriate in certain company. Choose wisely, my friend.

  11. Underpants Over My Trousers

    Andy Clarke

    Andrew Clarke looks to the world of comic books and graphic novels for inspiration in web design. Personally, I look for design inspiration is Christmas wrapping paper, which, as it turns out, is a less successful technique. On the whole I’d recommend Clarke’s approach above mine. Lesson learned.

  12. CSS for Accessibility

    Ann McMeekin

    Ann McMeekin decks the halls with some practical CSS techniques that can help in making your site design as accessible to as many different users as possible. ‘Tis the season of good will to all men (and women), after all. Fa-la-la.

  13. Tracking Christmas Cheer with Google Charts

    Brian Suda

    Brian Suda rings in the festivities by demonstrating how merriment can be plotted on a graph using the Google Charts API. It’s critically important to keep track of my mince pie consumption each year – it goes on my tax return. If you like your stats visual, let’s see how it’s done.

  14. 10 Ways To Get Design Approval

    Paul Boag

    Paul Boag shares his tips for smoothing the path between design brief and sign-off. Like cooking Christmas dinner, it’s all the in the preparation. And like a good figgy pudding, your designs will go down best with custard.

  15. Back To The Future of Print

    Natalie Downe

    Natalie Downe sets the presses rolling with an in-depth look at the state of print stylesheets in 2007. Often neglected by developers but much loved by the user, the simple print stylesheet can really add that finishing touch to even the best site designs. So get this down you. Ding dong!

  16. Typesetting Tables

    Mark Boulton

    Mark Boulton revisits the HTML data table for a quick look at how legibility and communication of complex data can be helped through careful typesetting. Everyone likes a neat table at Christmas, especially Aunty. You wouldn’t want to upset Aunty now, would you?

  17. Capturing Caps Lock

    Stuart Langridge

    Stuart Langridge ponders that if a desktop application can warn us when Caps Lock is on, why not on the web too? Avoid unsightly login errors with this handy JavaScript technique, offering the opportunity to warn users that they have Caps Lock on when entering their password. You don’t have to tell me twice.

  18. Get To Grips with Slippy Maps

    Andrew Turner

    Andrew Turner helps us take our first steps into neogeography by creating interactive, draggable maps using the Mapstraction library. So if you’re aiming to mash-up more than swede and carrots over the holidays, or simply need to plan an effective pub-crawl there should be something here to get your chestnuts roasting.