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24 ways to impress your friends


This year saw Apple’s App Store open, and the release of Android 1.0 and Google Chrome 1.0. Taking all that in its stride, 24 ways brought its seasonal perspective to bear on business, with articles on project management, the path from design to development, how to charm clients, and killer contracts. Also, a first look at modular layout systems. Pulse, meet finger.

  1. Recession Tips For Web Designers

    Jeffrey Zeldman

    Jeffrey Zeldman rounds of our 2008 season with some hard-earned advice for web designers and developers to take into 2009. As the economic climate gets tougher and budgets get cut, our skills need to extend to staying in work, not just completing work won.

  2. Contract Killer

    Andy Clarke

    Andrew Clarke rides into town to remind us of the importance of having a proper contract in place between those providing a service (usually us) and our clients commissioning the work. Projects that don’t run to plan are a fact of life, so make sure you’re prepared.

  3. Absolute Columns

    Dan Rubin

    Dan Rubin pops down the chimney to deliver a neat little CSS gift that, in certain circumstances, could be just the trick needed to obtain those matched height columns so often desired. Whilst no technique is perfect for every situation, the more sharp tools we have in our CSS toolbox the better.

  4. Geotag Everywhere with Fire Eagle

    Ben Ward

    Ben Ward walks us through the process of building a small client-side application using the Fire Eagle API. Yahoo’s Fire Eagle is a service for disseminating details of your location physical location to other services on the web. Ben shows us how such a thing can be made useful.

  5. Ghosts On The Internet

    Gavin Bell

    Gavin Bell takes some time to consider date-based content and how we publish it on the web. We’re generating more digital content than ever, and the date and time of creation is an increasingly useful metric. But how do we publish that in a way that remains useful for us now and the generations to come?

  6. Moo'y Christmas

    Brian Suda

    Brian Suda mooves us up a gear with a look at using the Moo API for print-on-demand services. No web application is an island, so well written APIs can be a great way to hook into specialist services with the very minimum of effort. With a few simple steps, print can be one of those services.

  7. Shiny Happy Buttons

    John Allsopp

    John Allsopp has a shining example of what can be done to customise the look of HTML buttons without resorting to images. Custom button styles are a frequent request, but the use of images can heavily restrict the implementation. Avoid those pitfalls by sticking to pure CSS.

  8. A Festive Type Folly

    Jon Tan

    Jon Tan upholds the good British tradition of building follies and talks us through the process of creating one such on the web using only HTML and CSS. Follies themselves are just for enjoyment. However, there’s always interesting things to be learned when we venture out and have some fun.

  9. Making Modular Layout Systems

    Jason Santa Maria

    Jason Santa Maria details his approach to building a modular system for laying out pages with CSS. Devising a method for dealing with the presentational when presentation is all you’ve got, this can be a handy way to predictably tame content without becoming predictable.

  10. Rocking Restrictions

    Tim Van Damme

    Tim Van Damme tackles the thorny issue of overcoming designer’s block with a handy list of do’s and don’ts to help you get back on track. Creative block hits nearly all of us at some point, and so having some simple methods of breaking it can be invaluable.

  11. The First Tool You Reach For

    Kevin Yank

    Kevin Yank gets down and dirty with CSS tables, a technique that offers all the layout properties we loved from long forsaken HTML tables with the clear advantages of modern CSS based design. Remember, just because it looks like a table and flows like a table, doesn’t mean it has to be bad.

  12. Checking Out: Progress Meters

    Kimberly Blessing

    Kimberly Blessing takes a look at some different methods for marking up the progress meters commonly found on site checkouts. Particularly looking with respect to semantics and accessibility, Kimberly presents a neat solution of her own. Check it out. (sorry!)

  13. Easier Page States for Wireframes

    Richard Rutter

    Richard Rutter brings an interesting new tool to the wireframing table with the introduction of a smart and exceptionally useful jQuery plugin. If you ever get involved in designing or prototyping modern multi-state web sites or applications, you’ll want to check this out.

  14. Charm Clients, Win Pitches

    Marcus Lillington

    Marcus Lillington has some ideas to pitch – to help you to win more of the jobs worth winning. From deciding how to market your services, through to writing a proposal and eventually attending a pitch, let Marcus take you by the hand and walk you through the process.

  15. The IE6 Equation

    Jeremy Keith

    Jeremy Keith does the maths and presents an interesting equation to help you to decide when to put the effort into providing support for Internet Explorer 6, and when to fall back on pre-existing shortcuts. Browser support is always a tricky business, so why not roll in some complex algebra too?

  16. How To Create Rockband'ism

    Henriette Weber

    Henriette Weber argues that there’s no more time for ‘business as usual’. Instead it’s time to turn your company into a rockband and take it on tour. It’s Sunday, so kick back with some tea and toast, put the newspaper to one side and ponder something a little different.

  17. Art Directing with Looking Room

    Mark Boulton

    Mark Boulton borrows some techniques from photographic composition to give an insight into how art direction can be conducted on the web. Learn how we can begin to bridge the gap between template-driven pages and content that really communicates.

  18. User Styling

    Jon Hicks

    Jon Hicks takes a peek at using CSS to apply custom user styles to change the appearance of sites within your own browser. Put your existing knowledge of CSS to good use to make your own browsing experience more pleasant and productive.

  19. Geometric Background Patterns

    Veerle Pieters

    Veerle Pieters gets up close and personal with geometric patterns and presents us with a handy Photoshop technique for slicing and dicing seamless tiles. Keep your repeating geometric patterns deep and crisp and even with these simple steps.