Archives for July, 2009

Making Amazon More Actionable

I’m an Amazon junkie. I’ve bought everything from books to power tools on Amazon. I’m a prime member, meaning I pay $70/year for the ability to get items shipped to me in 2 days or less, every time, rather than paying for express shipping every purchase. Suffice to say, I use the site a lot. […]

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Top Ten Ways to Beat the Heat Without AC

If you live here in Portland, you’ve noticed that Mother Nature is playing a cruel, cruel joke on us. If not, I’ll just say that it’s been in the triple digits for the past few days, and I know more people here who own kayaks than have have AC. Unfortunately I have neither, so I’ve […]

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Twitter’s new home page

When I talk to people outside of the interactive business world about Twitter, most people don’t get it. “Why would I want to know what Thom ate for lunch?” they ask. For those who haven’t been paying attention, Twitter is a micro-blogging system which allows people to say something to the world in short “tweets”. […]

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Key Takeaways from An Event Apart

I’ve attended An Event Apart four years running now. It is, hands-down, the finest web conference around, and if you work on the web at all, whether you’re a designer, developer, copywriter, or client-services, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Reviewing my notes from previous conferences, I noticed that there were some running themes. Each […]

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Interrupting Makers with Meetings

There are two types of people in your office, Makers and Managers. And scheduling a meeting with Maker can kill that person’s effectiveness for the day, according to Paul Graham. I find one meeting can sometimes affect a whole day. A meeting commonly blows at least half a day, by breaking up a morning or […]

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Freightliner Trucks Homepage Redux

In the last quarter of 2008, I was tasked with redesigning the home page of one of our clients, Freightliner Trucks. The original design of FLT is from a few years back, and we have been slowly updating areas of the site to current standards and practices since then.  A wider layout, better navigation, stronger […]

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The Passive-Aggressive Brand

A couple of days ago, my sister sent me a link to PassiveAggressiveNotes.com, a site I’d seen before, but one that still elicits a chuckle every time I check it out. There’s just no replacement for the snide little notes co-workers and roomates leave one another. My favorites are variations on a simple theme: “Your […]

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Free Advice for Adobe Acrobat Programmers

I often find myself making PDFs to send our design work over to clients. Acrobat is a great little program that nearly everyone has, and is rarely blocked by corporate firewalls. It’s generally very easy to use, too. Here’s how I make most PDFs for client presentations. Make comps. This takes some time. Drag files […]

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How to Convert from Community Server 2007 to WordPress

It’s safe to say that no one at Pop Art was ever really happy with Community Server. We selected it as a platform for a variety of reasons, some of which turned out to be based on faulty assumptions. Once we finally made the decision to switch to WordPress, the conversion was a huge pain, […]

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Where are all the Mac Developers?

I heard an interesting quote on a recent podcast of RunAsRadio.com, where the guest talking with Richard and Greg said: We’re the second largest Mac development shop in the world behind Apple.  We have more Mac developers than anybody except Apple. Who is “we”? Well, Microsoft of course! This seemed counter-intuitive at first, but after […]

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JavaScript Injection Attacks

A little over a week ago, I described Cross-Site Request Forgery attacks and how they can damage your site with just a simple website request using any modern browser available today. This time, I’ll describe another type of JavaScript attack that can cause equal harm to your site. Lots of sites, including blogs, accept user […]

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Open Letter to PortlandOnline Refresh Committee

In May, one of the largest interactive firms in Portland announced it was closing its downtown Portland office, and that its staff would begin “working from home.” In the last 12 months, nearly every web development firm and design firm in the Portland area has laid off staff (thankfully, a situation Pop Art has avoided), […]

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Windows Notepad Stinks!

When making quick changes to an existing code file,  using Visual Studio is akin to hitting a nail with a sledge hammer.  These tasks are best suited for a simple text editor.  Like most operating systems, Windows includes a small text editor named Notepad for completing such tasks. The problem with Notepad is that it’s […]

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Six WordPress Tips from the Pop Art Blog Redesign

When we converted the Pop Art Blog to use WordPress, I learned some clever tricks that I would like to share with you. If you like what we’ve done around here, you might be interested in some of these techniques for your own site.

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I Work with a Bunch of Smartasses, Part IX

I threw out a question I couldn’t remember the answer to: “the difference between 14 percent and 11 percent is how many basis points? Three or three-hundred?” Andrew tells me 3, then later IMs me: Andrew Hay: and by “three”, I mean 300 http://www.investorwords.com/434/basis_point.html Thom Schoenborn: Look, are you married to a math teacher or […]

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Why Projects Fail

I listened to a recent podcast (several times in fact) featuring Patrick Hynds on DotNetRocks.com. I thought I would share some real gems I found in there. The following info was culled from that interview. Let’s start with some agonizing realities: About 50% of software development projects fail About 60% of off shore projects fail, but they’re […]

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Portland Bike and Marketing Freak Out

Local web analytics powerhouse WebTrends recently rolled out a new transit ad campaign to demonstrate their ability to measure offline and online sentiment and conversation using the question, “should cyclists pay a road tax?” Kablooie. Cyclist meltdown and freakout. I’d chalk this campaign up as a “near miss.” WebTrends did a great job of getting […]

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XHTML 2 is Dead

Wow, I didn’t see this coming. Zeldman reports that the W3C is not going to renew the XHTML 2 working group‘s charter this year. That effectively kills XHTML 2 in favor of devoting the resources to the HTML 5 working group. This makes sense in that HTML 5 is already gaining traction, and we’ve seen […]

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Quick Shopping Cart UX Tip

Most web checkout forms collect credit card information in this order: Card type (e.g. Visa, Mastercard) Card number Security Code (three digits on the back) Expiration Date Name on Card (e.g. DAVID R SELDEN JR) If you go through this process, you’ll note that steps 1, 2,  4 and 5 require information from the front […]

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How to Get Your Most Recent Twitter Posts Using PHP with Caching

When we started redesigning the Pop Art blog, one of the chief requirements was to integrate everyone’s Twitter feeds into the site. In addition to the Pop Art Twitter feed in the sidebar, we wanted to add individual twitter feeds on the profile pages. The problem is that the javascript code that Twitter provides can […]

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“Consumers will have these conversations anyway”

Stumbled across this interesting article about the mobile marketing, teens, and conversational marketing, and loved the following quote from Jeffrey Cole, Director of the Center for the Digital Future at USC: “Advertisers are terrified of [conversational marketing]. In their hearts, many really don’t want to interact with customers because they are afraid that either there will […]

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