The Best Contact Page

As an editor/ site reviewer at dmoz I’ve seen a lot of sites. Today I found what may be my favourite ever contact page on a site. Here is the screenshot. Notice how simple it is to know where they are located. I like the city name as a header before each physical address too. Even if there were only one location, it sets it off very nicely. I like the map, big and easily read. Plain, simple and tidy – really nice.

Above this is the header with the company name, phone number and navbar.

If you have a business site, consider this a great template for your contact page.
best contact page
Source: Celco

Making your Site Work Globally

The best way to make your site international is to have access to a translation application visible. I don’t do this myself because I keep a translator from Google in my Chrome web browser. A simple solution. People who only know one or few languages should be prepared to encounter other languages. It is then their choice to translate, run away or ignore them. Of course, it depends on how interesting and well put together the site looks, that first impression.

Trying to cater to multiculturalism, global protocols, and international readers is a good thing, in moderation. But, you can’t possibly include everyone.

Instead, identify your own location. Show where you are from and who you are. Some of your readers will be happy to find they have something in common with you (at least geographically) and others will be interested to know more about your culture, history, traditions and point of view.

The advice given with this post (link below) is mainly cosmetic. Design and colours can make your site have more international or global appeal but I don’t think keeping it neutral is really in your best interest. Boldness, drama and colour will do more for your site than becoming neutral or bland.

Source: Think Global: 3 Tips to make your websites Internationalized • Inspired Magazine

What do you Know about Typography?

Dzineblog has a post about trends in web design. One of the elements they write about, twice actually, is typography. What do you know about it?

I Love Typography: A Guide to Web Typography
The Font Feed: Erik Spiekermann’s Typo Tips
A List Apart: On Web Typography
Smashing Magazine: 10 Principles for Readable Web Typography
The Blog Herald: The Ten Commandments of Blog Typography
The Elements of Typographic Style Applied to the Web

Extra Resources:

Typography Daily
I Love Typography
We Love Typography
The Font Feed
Ministry of Type
The Typographic Hub
Twitter: Typegirl
Twitter: TypeTweets
Twitter: Typophile
Twitter: Friends of Type
Twitter: Ray Larabie: typodermic
Twitter: espierkermann
Design Muse
Flickr: Typography and Lettering
Easily Amused
Eight Face
Letter Cult
Addictive Fonts
Upscale Typography
Typography Served
Flickr: Typography and Design
Flickr: Typography and Lettering
Flickr: Ink and Typography
Flickr: I Love Typography
The Case and Point
Twitter: TypeMedia

Typography Groups

The Type Director’s Club
Association Typographique Internationale
The Society of Typographic Aficionados
Type Camp
Flickr: Letterbugs – Typography by shutterbugs.

Vintage Typography

Flickr: Font of all Wisdom – Unique vintage lettering.
Flickr: Historical Type and Lettering
Flickr: Vintage Product Signs/ Murals

Hand Lettering

Flickr: Hand Drawn Type
Flickr: Hand Lettering
Flickr: Typostruction
Flickr: Custom Lettering
Flickr: Signpaintr
Flickr: Handpainted Signs of the World
Flickr: Handmade Signs
Flickr: Handmade Typography/ Lettering
Flickr: Bad Type
Flickr: Folk Typography
Flickr: Blackboard Lettering

Found Typography

Flickr: Found Typography
Flickr: Urban Typography
Villa Type – Type and lettering found in the public domain.
Letterpeg – Fonts found around Winnipeg, Manitoba
NYC Type – Typography and lettering found in New York.
Flickr: Street Typography
Flickr: Found Type
Flickr: Signs, Signs
Flickr: Fontspotting
Flickr: I Love Typography
Flickr: Signage and Typography
Flickr: Font Whores
Flickr: Barn and Building Painted Advertisements

Ghost Signs

Flickr: Faded Signage
Flickr: Ghost Signs
Flickr: Old Painted Wall Advertising
Flickr: Old Signs
Flickr: Ghost Signage
Flickr: Ghost Ads
Flickr: Half Lost Signs
Flickr: Old British Signs
Flickr: Fragmented Urban Language

Font Making

With FontStruct or BitFontMaker: Try creating a font of your own.

Geotagging Your Blog

You don’t need to add a geotag to your site or blog. At the moment it is an interesting sidenote more than something practical. However, I can see it evolving and growing as we begin to use the Internet for more than just online socializing. There is offline socializing too, after all. People have been using geotagging on their photos more than on their site itself. One thing to consider is privacy. I would not give out the exact latitude and longitude to your house itself, settle for the town you live in rather than going for an exact location.

Find your location information (latitude and longitude included) at:

Add your geo meta tags to your blog.

Wikipedia: Geotagging Web Design: What is Geotagging?

Problogger: Geoblogging – How to Geotag your Blog.

Linux Journal: Geotagging Web Pages and RSS Feeds

The Open Geospatial Consortium “is a non-profit, international, voluntary consensus standards organization that is leading the development of standards for geospatial and location based services.”

W3C: GeoOnion

How to Make a List of Your Interests

I don’t think you can make a real list of all the interesting things you like (whether you participate or observe them) in just a few minutes. There are so many elements to ourselves, so many things we have caught in passing and so much flashing through our minds at any given time. But, if we were to just make a slow and building list, I bet you would surprise yourself with how many interesting, kitschy and/ or unique things you have taken an interest in.

Start a list, keep it pinned to a bulletin board, the fridge or anyplace where you can easily jot down another topic/ activity/ hobby as it comes to your mind. Don’t consider it a complete list until it has been quite awhile since anything new has occurred to you. You will see how interesting you really are!

Here is the start of my own list, by no means is this complete. I’m mostly looking for little things that I have almost forgotten myself. But some of the bigger things have to get out of the way (onto the list and out of my head) so I can move beyond them and find the little things.

  • ASCII art
  • old fashioned clothes
  • making Christmas decorations
  • Christmas baking
  • drawing cartoons/ comics
  • reading fantasy stories
  • drawing fantasy creatures
  • dragons
  • reading science fiction
  • Carmageddon (a car demolition racing game).
  • Empire and city building computer games
  • writing erotica
  • daydreaming
  • road trips
  • train travel
  • rocks, stones, pebbles
  • rural exploration
  • urban exploration
  • sewing, even mending and hemming
  • embroidery
  • crochet
  • paranormal romances/ chick lit
  • drawing for Christmas and Halloween
  • old buildings and architecture
  • astrology, mostly for online dating purposes
  • web design and development, as an amateur/ hobbyist
  • blogging, online writing and web publishing
  • the possibility of time travel
  • wildflowers and native plants
  • Wicca, Witchcraft and Paganism
  • old traditions
  • pioneer and old ways of living
  • pixel art
  • car art
  • Renaissance Faires, though I have yet to attend one
  • the supernatural, occult, paranormal – though some of it really spooks me.
  • herbs and cactus plants
  • end of the world/ civilization scenarois, mostly survival and building things back up
  • doll making
  • beading, have done only a little
  • papercraft like folding and cutting out images to make art
  • podcasting
  • writing a paranormal chick lit book
  • writing a syndicated newspaper column
  • zine publishing
  • linguistics/ words
  • digital scrapbooking
  • digital photography
  • collage
  • mail art
  • role playing games – RPGs
  • illustration/ graphic arts
  • copywriting/ copy editing
  • fashion design
  • interior design, furniture
  • recycling and refurbishing furniture, clothes, etc
  • green living
  • history
  • web usability
  • haiku poetry
  • backpacking travel
  • skating
  • nature crafts

Put a Mood or Smiley Face in your Title

Scarlet Words has this in her blog. Something I want to copy (with my own drawings) when I get time on my weekend, maybe. What a nice idea, it’s like what they do on LiveJournal.

I don’t think the added code would be too tricky. A little project to work on.

Addendum: I sent the idea to Annie at Blog U. She might like it enough to take it on for an upcoming post.

Fancy Tabbed Header

Look at my fancy new tabs, right at the top, hanging on my header/ banner. Thanks to Annie at Blog U.

I need to work on changing the colours, that blue doesn’t go with my overall theme. Too tired to fiddle with anything else tonight. Back to work tomorrow after all. Another week of vacation time would be nice. I could get all the things on my list done, maybe. 😀

I think the biggest blog development thing now is reducing, recycling or hiding clutter in the sidebar and blog in general. People are using three column layouts to try having more space for clutter. I think this is not the best plan. I really like the 3 column footer which is like sweeping your clutter under the rug. Still, it’s hidden from the main blog view. It’s not right at the entrance to be tripped over. Clutter is a big ongoing issue for bloggers to work on.

I’d write more but I’m too tired.

Changing Blog Template Tonight

I changed back to a two column template. I found a great resource for making the footer three columns and now I have all the clutter organized down there. I think it is looking a lot better. I can even post backgrounds again. Not finished revamping and tweaking but it’s getting really late and I’m tired of sitting here trying to warm up my hands by sticking them up my sleeves or inside my shirt. Bed is calling me. How nice it would be to have someone already in the bed, having it all warmed up for me already, and reminding me that it’s really late and I should be getting to bed. Those are the kind of things I miss from being a couple. Kind of ironic cause it didn’t happen all that often except at the beginning. We did have a nice beginning.

My nephew is supposed to be coming out tomorrow so between seeing him in the day and working nights I will be busy for a few days. I am hugely looking forward to seeing him.

Hand Drawn Style in Web Design

Smashing Magazine: Hand-Drawn Style in Modern Web Design

The most valuable and innovative ideas had all been handwritten first. That’s no big news, since designers tend to produce first sketches as paper prototypes anyway; still it’s important, because web design is different from “usual” design. Of course, it also has a personal note and it is hand-made, however users can’t see that. As CSS is “boxy but good”, designs tend to have a rather limited appearance — they are too boxy and too right-angled.

If designers want to achieve a different design, they have to draw their sites by themselves — or at least some parts of it. And in fact, this is done quite often: whether a blog, a shop, an ad, a private page, or some collaborative project — doesn’t matter whether with Flash or (X)HTML. The main purpose of hand-drawn elements lies in their ability to convey a personality and an individual note in times when colorful, sharp and rounded Web 2.0 elements can be found almost everywhere.

Sometimes designers create whole pages with paper, pencil and/or a tablet PC. More often single layout elements are designed in a special way — curved links, hand-made icons, backgrounds, notes, stickers and fuzzy lines are supposed to give the site a “human touch”. These elements makes a web-page which might not look different from dozens of similar pages, stand out and arise users’ curiosity. Caution: a quickly installed hand-written font can harm more than help (hint: Comic Sans is definitely not the way to go).