Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Where Am I?

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

Well, this blog is woefully behind the times! Most of my blogging these days can be found on the ZURB blog. Check out some of my posts about design strategy:

Grok Your Clients

Designers From Hell

Why Wireframe?

Getting Things Done: Personalities That Push Design Forward

Is All Fair in Love and Web Design?

Random web design and development tools of the day

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Don’t want to fire up photoshop?  Web-based hex color picker.

Is that nifty new site design readable? Website luminosity contrast analyzer.

Is your website optimized for speed?  YSlow: Firefox add-on from Yahoo to analyze site efficiency.

Unzipping tar.gz files in linux: tar zxvf <filename.tar.gz>

Web Design Usability Findings

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Here is an interesting article from Smashing Magazine about web design usability that I’ve already read over a few times.

The entire article is interesting, but I think one of the most important points to notice here is that people’s behaviors on the web are changing. The article cites older studies that indicate people rarely scroll to view content on a web page — and then more recent studies that found the opposite. People have become used to scrolling as they become more familiar with the web.

I think this highlights the importance of keeping our web design skills up-to-date, and never assuming that we should continue to use strategies just because that’s the way we’ve always done it.

Night Shades

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

night shades

My new client –

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

I’m working with Skills For Success Etiquette, based in the Bay Area, to redesign their website and blog.


Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

Facebook apps and iframes

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

I’ve been working on a Facebook application for a client, integrating Facebook functionality with an existing Ruby on Rails backend.  Using iFrames instead of FBML seems to be the best option for established sites, but unfortunately support for this route is rather limited.  Facebooker is the only Rails plugin option now that RFacebook is defunct, and is definitely geared toward FBML — the actual book on the subject never once mentions iFrames.

Facebook itself has been making strides in supporting iFrames, but still seems a little spotty.  The iFrame route apparently being the ugly duckling of Facebook programming, there isn’t much of an online community around this approach, either.  One good blog post on the topic is here:, but it doesn’t address all of the issues I ran into:

Double or Nothing

One problem many people had: double facebook frames on the login and installation pages.  The solution: use javascript to redirect the top frame to the desired URL.

The catch: once the user accepts the installation, they may be redirected to your page sans Facebook frame altogether.

The cause: check your “Post-Authorize Redirect URL” in the facebook app settings.  This should be relative to your Canvas URL and start with  Do NOT use the app URL on your domain, because it will not be facebook-framed.

installing rails under vendor/rails/

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

You can install rails as a project dependency under vendor/ via git:

>git clone git:// vendor/rails

This will install EDGE rails, with all the latest and greatest code.  If you’d like to go back to a stable release (e.g. 2.3.2), do:

>git checkout origin/2-3-stable

updating rubygems

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

If you need to update RubyGems, they’ll tell you you can just run “gem update --system”, but this didn’t work for me (even though I had a recent version).  Instead, do it the older way:

>gem install rubygems-update


useful rails command-line tasks

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Use mysql as the database rather than sqlite:

>rails newproj -d mysql

Create migration with new field to existing table:

>script/generate add_fieldname_to_tablename fieldname:fieldtype

Generate a scaffold for an existing class and table

>script/generate scaffold ClassName fieldname:fieldtype --skip-migration

See routes:

>rake routes

See all rake tasks:

>rake -T

Migrate specific database:

>rake db:migrate RAILS_ENV=production

Migrate database to specific version:

>rake db:migrate VERSION=2

Migrate to second-to-last version:

>rake db:rollback