Web Design 2004 - Your take

Published in General on Saturday, December 18th, 2004

Interactive session - What is the best/coolest/most important thing you learnt about web design in 2004?

Well, the posting has been thin here of late (and the web design blog-o-sphero has been quiet too, no?), so I thought perhaps an attempt at something interactive would be fun.

To that end, I invite all you folks out there who still subscribe or visit (if(stillexists($readers)), that is) to post the most significant thing you saw, learnt or concocted/ coded during the year 2004.

Horn tooting allowed here, this post is more about community then anything else...

My list

For me, having just started blogging this year, I would say that I learnt a lot about how to do this right by watching/reading D. Keith Robinson and the controversial Scrivens. I also really like how some people write (now just to apply some of this stuff!).

I would have to say though, that the thing that moves me the most from 2004 has been the sites listed in the Vault. Any time I browse that site I'm inspired to do better work.

As a last note, I suppose that siffer would be the advancement from 2004 that I see 'affecting' my future work the most.

Added - Best new or discovered app!!

Well, my 'find' here would have to be Basecamp.

Comments and Feedback

By far the most significant thing I learnt in 2004 is designing without tables using web standards.

Another noteworthy thing I got the hang of is Apache's absolutely great mod_rewrite module.

mod_rewrite - Nice. Battled with that a lot this year too!

Discovering Textpattern, without a shadow of a doubt. It's a beautiful thing.

Really nice comments system you have here by the way.

As I'm relatively new, my big discoveries of this year were probably blogging myself, standards-based design and after that CSS3. And siffer, of course.

Thanks John!

Rob, good call, blogging for oneself...

Working with XUL, and on the way helping a company moving away from the browser–with–way–too–much–market–share. And SVG.

2005 will be the year of text.

Markdown. In general though, just trimming down the html so that it's simple and nothing fancy, yet not impacting the design of the page.

Well, I guess it's just self-promotion, but this year I've been pleased with the way my FreeStyle Menu script turned out. Think of a marriage between UL/LI based CSS popup menus and a decent JavaScript logic routine.

Apart from that, 2004 was the year I got into blog/news syndication in a big way. As many other people did too, I guess :).

I have to say the best thing I have seen this year has to be PunBB 1.2. It is the first (to my knowledge) forum software to produce 100% valid and semantically correct output. Ok it isn't out as a final yet but check out the 1.2 beta. No nested tables and only uses tables for tabular data.

The other thing has to be RSS / Atom. It has really taken off this year making everyones life easier.

The best thing I've "discovered" this year would have to be del.icio.us, but not for the reasons you expect... remote bookmarking is cool, tagging is cool, but coolest of all is never being stuck for something to "do" on the Web - I just visit del.icio.us and choose an interesting looking link. Great stuff!

The biggest step forward design-wise has to be sIFR 2 giving web designers font options at last.

For personal achievement, I extremely pleased with the comment handler I developed for my blog. It took a lot of time and effort but I'm extremely pleased with the result.

XHTML 1.0 transitional and CSS layout. I've begun learning about, and applying standards. Color synthAxis!

Basecamp would have to be my fav. web app of the year too. We use it to co-ordinate a team that covers three continents and it's like we're all in the same suburb (except for the time differences!)

WordPress wins as my favourite tinkering tool of 2004. Yah wordpress!

Javascript takes out the "I never thought I'd feel this way" award after I declared it as pure evil in 2003

As for personal achievements, it's been a great year :D. My first personal site received a weekly award from the WSA and one of my posts was translated into 4 languages and referenced in two C|NET publications. Oh, plus Andy used the trick for his 'Body Switchers' ALA article. Kewl :)

Hey Andrew, nice stuff. That was a great post, I use that global reset for everything now, and use it for other stuff too (umm, stuff other than everything ;-). The other day something came up where a simple #something * {rule} fixed a problem for me, and I would have never thought of that prior to reading your post.

Paul, nice link, I'm there right now trying to fix a color scheme gone bad!!

Jonathan, that is the devil in del.icio.us. I erased it from my bookmarks because it was getting to be too easy to surf over and find something interesting!!

I'm going to add Pingomatic to my list, this being a homespun blog-script and all, POM makes it easy to shout "Post!" to the powers that be...

I've started down the path of understanding Regular Expressions. It's a long and winding road, and I've got a long way to go, but I'm excited to hopefully get a good understanding of the technology.

Fitts's Law is definitely the most interesting design technique I've learned this year. Padded links for president!

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