Where should new web designers go to get started? Find out in this first edition of Ask Dr. Web, where A List Apart’s founder and publisher, Jeffrey Zeldman, answers your questions about web design.
We tend to forget that the boots-on-the ground web generalists who do great work for small businesses can’t spare the time to implement an entire suite of best practices when they’re trying to solve one sticky problem on a tight deadline.
The web touches everything an organization does—marketing to customer service, product development to branding, internal communications to recruitment. This is the era of cross-platform digital services, fast networks, and mobile devices. Sounds like the ideal time to be a person who makes websites. So why do we feel frustrated so often? Why do we experience burnout or depression? What makes it difficult to do work that has meaning, that satisfies us? Two words: people skills. Frequent ALA author Jonathan Kahn explains why they matter, and how improving our people skills will give us tools to facilitate collaboration, creating opportunities to improve our work, our organizations, and maybe even our world.
Concerned about the MPAA getting a seat at the web standards table? Robin Berjon of the W3C and A List Apart’s Jeffrey Zeldman hold a rational conversation about EME, DRM, the MPAA, and the W3C in Episode № 109 of The Big Web Show on Mule Radio.
On Jan. 14, a federal appeals court decided Verizon vs. FCC in favor of Verizon—not because Verizon was right, but because the FCC chose the wrong legal framework to use back in 2010. Nothing you can do today will be more important for the health of the web than letting the FCC hear from you
Do you know your website’s carbon footprint? Or how to lower it? Emissions standards have been set for the automotive, construction, and telecommunications industries, yet the internet’s carbon footprint is growing out of control: a whopping 830 million tons of CO2 annually—larger than that of the entire aviation industry. At least 40 percent of that falls partially under the responsibility of people who make websites. It’s time for web designers to do our part. James Christie explains how to slim our obese websites and simultaneously attack our industry’s carbon footprint, using methods that conveniently dovetail with good business practice and future-friendly design.
It’s a humbling thought, but as web professionals, nothing we create actually exists when the power goes out. As we increase the number of devices in our world, planning for a connected web of things in hopes that the poor will be liberated, education will be free, and our fridges will tell us we’re out of lettuce, we fail to acknowledge that we scarcely have enough fossil fuels to maintain the current state for long. Web designers need to be part of the solution—and the situation is more hopeful than you may think. Dorian Peters shows how we can exercise the surprising power that lies in seemingly small designerly decisions to help our industry not only survive, but create positive impact worldwide.
Presenting the second annual ALA Summer Reading Issue—a deep pool of editor’s picks from the recent archives of A List Apart, sprinkled with some of our favorite outside links. This summer’s picks are arranged in clusters that echo the design process, and like all good summer reading, they travel light. (This issue is also available as a Readlist, suitable for reading on Kindle, iPhone, iPad, Readmill, or other ebook reader.) Dive in!
W3C really wants to hear from web designers and developers. We want our specs to be useful to you and to keep up with real-world issues. We’ve set about to broaden our community and to find new feedback channels that work better for busy web professionals. If you’re reading this, you’re part of the community we want to talk with more.
Tools that give users ever more control over formatting, timeshifting, and sharing will continue to proliferate. This steady growth runs directly counter to the simple, one-to-many broadcast model enjoyed by many publishers in the past.