It’s been…rough…

As previously noted, Sean and I are in Delaware for a “workation”.  We haven’t really gotten to enjoy very much being as our computers really don’t leave our sides unless we’re sleeping, even then they’re still on and downloading countless emails for the 6-8 hours (if we’re lucky) while we’re asleep.  We took some time to drive around down in the Rehoboth area (by his Mom) to do some house hunting.  Of course everyone that sparked my interest was in the $250k to $350k range.  The difference between looking down here at houses in that price range, and the quality of the house in New York would be $500k at least.  I’m looking at houses that in NY would typically be listed in the $850k range just based on the amount of property, the quality of the house, and the…

Times ticking down…

Things have been more than hectic lately, my biggest gripe about all of the pending work to complete is the fact that I’m  typically working in two different locations all day long. This is putting a damper on my ability to get things done by their deadlines due to the inability to just setup and go after I need to switch, it takes me a bit to get back on track due to other circumstances (not to be discussed).  Right now I’m in the process of designing an employment agencies site via wordpress for one client, a very detailed and customized mommy blog, an art portfolio and the outstanding one to trump them all I converting a rather large name company from html to wordpress. Sean and I worked to code the initial pages, but when we were given the…

WordPress Plugins with jQuery – Five To Know

jQuery is one of the wonders of the modern design world, enabling for the creation of hyper-impressive animations and interactions. Couple it with the power of WordPress and you’ve got a whopper of a duo to achieve some amazing effects. In today’s Design and Development Digest, let’s look at five WordPress plugins that add some jQuery interactivity to your site that you should know. WP Sponsor Flip Wall is a plugin using jQuery and CSS for creating boxes that flip when clicked by the user. The plugin provides administrators a way to upload and crop images, and add custom text for the reverse side of the image. (See image below) Announcement Bar is a very new plugin (just a few hundred downloads at the moment) that adds a jQuery file to WordPress that will position a fixed bar at the top…

Convert SWF Files to HTML5 with Swiffy

Google has released the first version of Swiffy, a Google Labs product that converts SWF files (Flash) to HTML5. Users only need to upload a SWF file and Swiffy produces an HTML5 version which runs in modern browsers with lots of SVG support such as Chrom and Safari. While Swiffy won’t convert all Flash content, it seems to work well for ads and basic animations. Google provides several example of SWF files converted through Swiffy. Check out the Google Chrome ad and Symphony Orchestra ad for examples. According to Google, Swiffy uses a compact JSON representation of the animation, which is rendered using SVG and a bit of HTML5 and CSS3. ActionScript 2.0 is also present in the JSON object, and is interpreted in JavaScript in the browser. This representation makes the Swiffy animations almost as compact as the original…

Charset Checkup (HTML5)

HTML5 is revolutionizing nearly every facet of Web work – from applications to layout/design. It’s importance to search engine optimization is also something to note. Website Magazine’s upcoming August issue tackles the subject of structured data but what we quickly found was that there’s much more going on that Web workers (particularly those in SEO) should definitely be aware of – for example, the meta charset tag in HTML5. Character encoding tells the browser what character set the web page is written in. Failure to specify a character set forces the browser to assume that the web page uses a default one. If the browser is read this information wrong, the page may be displayed incorrectly. Let’s do a “charset” checkup and show how to set charset in HTML5. If you’ve spent anytime designing web pages (or SEO’ing them) then…

Online Writers Take a Hit in Q1 Jobs Report

Freelancer.com has released the Freelancer Fast 50, which is the company’s findings on the fastest-growing online outsourcing jobs of the first quarter of 2011. The Freelancer.com Fast 50 charts the top 50 rising job categories in the online labor market quarter by quarter, providing a rolling, up-to-the-minute account of online freelance job trends. The top three trends for the quarter included the following: • Panda Pounds Writers: The most noticeable digital labor shift this quarter was not seen in what went up, but what went down. Freelancer.com has cited a massive decline in content writing jobs all across the board in the wake of Google adjusting its search algorithm. Article Submission jobs are down 29 percent, copywriting is down 19 percent and ghostwriting is down by 12 percent. • Hardware Design Booming: Every category related to hardware product design is…

Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 #WINNING

Adobe today announced the availability of Create Suite 5.5 – and the designers and developers rejoice! Creative Suite 5.5 delivers important advances in HTML5 and Flash authoring, lots of innovation in video production and editing, and some powerful tools for digital publishers (tablets anyone?) for delivering work to multiple platforms, operating systems, browsers, and smartphones. Over the last year Adobe and publishers including Condé Nast and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia have worked to develop new digital publishing workflows based on Creative Suite and Adobe InDesign®. Prepare to be dazzle – by our estimation Creative Suite 5.5 will enable print publishers like Website Magazine and other to create beautiful interactive publications on the latest tablet platforms (even Android). We’re pretty excited. “Adobe is leading the charge for HTML5 authoring with new capabilities in Creative Suite 5.5 that will radically enhance the…

Online Workforce Expanding, Especially in Mobile and Social

A recent blog post that caught the attention of readers included a summary of the annual report from online employment platform Elance. Another Web employment marketplace, oDesk, has released its own year-end report with similarly positive views of both the year in review and the year ahead. The report from oDesk says that employers spent $115 million on online work in 2010 and that job opportunities doubled from 2009 to approximately 602,000. Mobile was the best bet for job-seekers, and positions involving Android expertise shot up 680 percent from 2009 while iPhone-related jobs increased by 152 percent. Social media was not surprisingly the next hottest jobs category, and the hottest regions for online contractors were the Philippines, India and the United States. For 2011, oDesk predicts that online work will continue to double year-over-year while local employment will not rebound…

Inspration Required.

Work has been going pretty well lately, it’s proving to be a bit difficult on my inspiration though. I have the stamina to complete the tasks I have, there’s no question about that. The issue is where I’m unable to come up with ANYTHING for the new clients coming in that hasn’t been done before. I know there are some very creative people out there but it’s one of those situations where once you’ve seen it done before, you know it’s wrong to go out of your way to recreate it and then pass it off as your own. Of course, there is an exception to the rule. If a client asks you to recreate a template that they liked (paid or free, or just on someone else’s website) then you have to do what the client wants – without…

Happy August

While it’s only about 1:30 in the morning, it’s officially August.  July went by rather quickly.  I’m still in New York, I’m still searching for a job and I’m still working on straightening out my head so I can figure out exactly what I’m going to do with my life.  Numerous family members are sick, and while Sean and I have been at my father’s house this entire time, my father doesn’t seem bothered by the fact that we’ve both been here for as long as we have.  We’re hoping to figure things out as soon as possible but of course that requires some kind of a call-back from any of the positions I’ve applied for. Today was pretty busy for me.  I put in a lot of applications and I spent about six hours (straight – no breaks) working…