News for September 2010

liz-osborn.com now live!

I recently helped set up an actress’s website, (who is based out in L.A.). The site is rather straightforward, with a clean and easy to use interface. While it may not look like a lot on the surface, there is a bunch of technology that is being used under the hood.

  • jQuery (image roll over and contact menu)
  • PHP (email script, header)
  • JavaScript (used to embed the flash video)
  • HTML (base code for the site)
  • CSS (styling to manipulate the size of the font, as well as placement of imagery)
  • Flash/AS3 (used for the video player and mp3 player)
  • Apache MOD-rewrite ( allows for a clean looking URL, as well as cleaner server side markup and folder structure)
  • Google Analytics (for stat tracking, and user reports)

While the above mention of coding languages used may seem irrelevant, I wanted to point them out so you are aware that I am up to date with the latest and current technology trends. Please feel free to view the site here:
www.liz-osborn.com
and you can view her original site, prior to me being brought in here:
www.liz-osborn.com/0

Posted: September 22nd, 2010
Categories: 9-5
Tags: ,
Comments: No Comments.

HTML e-blasts

Over my career, I have been tasked with testing, designing and building e-newsletters. When doing such, there are a some key points you should keep in mind.

  1. simplicity
  2. e-mail clients
  3. coding practice
  4. trial & error

I will go through and describe each key point in detail.

1: SIMPLICITY
This is possibly the most overlook feature when working with e-newsletters. I say simplicity for many reasons. Most importantly is design. When working with HTML e-newsletters, you have to get out of the habit of trying to push the envelope. The reason for this, is simple. You can’t over design a news letter without running of the risk of losing the importance of the content.

2: E-MAIL CLIENTS
If you work with e-newsletters, I know you’ve crossed the bridge. Imagine the IE6 frustration level and magnify this by as many e-mail clients your subscription list has. Each e-mail client renders the HTML code used to create the e-newsletter differently. Whether it’s G-mail, Yahoo!, MS Outlook, Excite, Earthlink, etc. You will run into issues where will render completely differently in each client. The main reason for this leads to the next topic.

3: CODING PRACTICE
I know many of you are quite savvy with CSS and all the incredible and nifty things you can accomplish with this. Floats, z-index, repeats, etc.. However, due to the nature of how e-mail clients render the code differently, you are better off sticking with HTML and coding with tables. Try and limit CSS as much as possible. If you can code it in HTML do so rather then CSS. Ex:
Hello

Hello

 <span style="font: italic small-caps 900 18px arial">Hello</span>


You should do this:
Hello



Hello


<font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="+1" style="font-variant:small-caps;">
<em>
<b>Hello</b>
</em>
</font>

4.TRIAL & ERROR
While many e-mail clients do allow CSS, most do not. However, due to the nature of Moore’s Law, you should continually use trial & error to see what does and does not work.

Posted: September 19th, 2010
Categories: tutorial
Tags: ,
Comments: No Comments.