Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Starting a project with a wireframe

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Up until a few months ago, I had never heard of the word “Wireframe”. When the time came for me to design a site for a client, my first step was always to go in Photoshop and jump right in. It’s not a “bad” way of doing things but it meant that, when the client had changes he wanted to make, it took a little longer.

Then came all the articles on Wireframing and how it worked and the tools you could use. Wow!

Since I haven’t had a design project in a while (I’ve been mostly doing a lot of PSD to WP conversions lately), I haven’t had the chance to start a project with a Wireframe. My chance came a few days ago when a co-worker needed help re-designing one of his clients’ site. Yay! I was happy! Yesterday, I started wireframing with the good ‘ol pen & paper method. I got something down that I really like and last night I downloaded templates and got started in Photoshop. It also gave me a chance to upload my first shot to dribbble! Woohoo!

I really liked the whole process of wireframing (from pen & paper to Photoshop). It clears my mind of everything related to colors and what to do design-wise and just concentrate on getting the elements of the page in the right place.

What about you? Have you been wireframing all this time? If so, what is it about wireframing that you like?

Vancouver 2010 for me so far

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

I’ll start by saying that I’m a Canadian and a very proud one at that – being born on the 1st of July could have something to do with that – and yes I’m glued to the Vancouver 2010 site and all 4 channels (CTV, TSN, Sportsnet and RDS) showing the Olympics, cheering our athletes on!

Yes, I was jumping in our living room when Alexandre Bilodeau won our very first Olympic Gold medal on Canadian soil a few nights ago in Moguls. I had the same reaction when Maëlle Ricker won last night in Snowboard Cross. I gave some “Woot” and major fists in the air when Mike Robertson, Jennifer Heil and Kristina Groves won their medals as well. I’m extremely happy for athletes who have improved in their performances even tho they couldn’t bring home a medal.

Our Women’s hockey team is kicking ass again. I can’t wait for the U.S.A. vs Canada match-up. As always, it should be a nail-biter.

Our Men’s hockey team finally started last night and had a great solid win over Norway. Again, can’t wait for Sunday’s game against the U.S.A. (and Russian hopefully down the line).

Unlike many people I’ve talked to, I quite liked the opening ceremonies. The effects on the floor were very cool. K.D. Lang’s rendition of Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen gave me chills. Sarah McLachlan’s performance was great as well. I wasn’t overly impressed by Garou signing tho. I think Ginette Reno would have been a better signer for that one, it’s one of her big hits after all, by I guess Garou is more internationally-known than her and that’s why he was chosen. Whatever. The unexpected “Wow” for me was the “We are more!” poem by Shane Koyczan!

The major disappointment for me so far is the constant delays because of the weather. It’s fine that “some” of our athletes are used to it, especially our downhill skiers since most of them train in B.C. (tho even that didn’t help them!) but it must suck big time for those not used to the weird Vancouver weather.


Here’s to better weather for the skiers and great performances by our Canadians.

Paid forums

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

I remember way back when we started The Web Squeeze, the question of having users PAY to either post a question or view a response never came up because in our minds, that’s just non-sense. Before I left, we were talking about the next version of TWS (and the forum) and someone mentioned that the forum should stay free. If Linda, Jacob and I were all in the same room, we’d probably would have look at each other and say: “Duh! Of course!” The only time a payment option came into the mix was for sections of the forum which would be hidden from the public and Google but only for specific reasons (that I’m not going to elaborate on here).

Making money off a forum is not easy of course so it shouldn’t be a motivational factor when starting one.

I’m writing this because I’ve been searching for a .NET problem and I’m pretty sure I found the solution but I can’t get to it because it’s a forum where you have to pay. How frustrating is that! I have to sign up for a Free 30-day Trial. Really? You know what’s going to happen right now? I’m closing that tab with the site I thought I had found my answer to and going to the next one in the Google results list.

And yes, I’ll remember that site so I won’t waste my time next time I’m looking for something.

Paid forums probably think that they get to ask for your money because they have the “best” people answering your questions. Again… really? I’ve been a member of many forums in my time (Sitepoint and TWS included) and, for free, most members will go to great lengths to help out. And in turn, when googling for something, I get my answer right away. Now, that’s a way to get people to come back and maybe even sign up next time!

Mistakes you learn from

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

I’m a firm believer in one must “learn from their mistakes” in order to grow and well… learn. And so I learned that when creating tutorials in parts, ALWAYS do the whole thing before releasing the first part.


Yep… I’m talking about my tutorial series I started at The Web Squeeze “From Photoshop To WordPress” where the first one is about Design. Originally, I had planned to do all three (Design, Coding, WP) a month apart. That was the plan. But as I heard once before:  The Devil laughs when one plans ahead.

No kidding!

So why am I so late in releasing Part II – Coding? It’s the age-old excuse: lack of time.

Some of you may think it’s a poor one but that’s the only one I got. Unfortunately, I don’t have all day to write articles and tutorials. I actually have 9-5 job outside of my web design hobby and The Web Squeeze. I have a daughter that’s growing up too fast that I like to spend my time with when I get home from work ’til I put her to bed. I still play soccer and that’s something I doubt I’ll ever stop doing any time soon. And now summer is here and week-ends are spent as far away from the computer as I can.

On top of all that, I have clients that need stuff from me and new ones coming in now and then.

The good news is I’m learning. I’m learning to manage my time better and I’m learning that, like I said above, if you plan on releasing a Series of tutorials, do them all at once.

One more good news is that I’m 90% done with Part II.

A new design digger

Friday, June 19th, 2009

Well… it’s not really new but it sure as heck look new. DesignBump got a fresh coat of paint last week and it’s looking great!


I’ve known of the site from a while back but it didn’t make an impression with me at all back then. The design look quite outdated and I didn’t think it would take off. DesignFloat did the job for me; it looked good, alot of people on twitter used it and it supplied me with endless amounts of reading.

That’s until it started to crash… monthly, then weekly and then daily. That was getting annoying. People on twitter were getting annoyed and well… I just stopped going there and submit articles.

Then I noticed in my Flickr home page that Chris Spooner had this great looking logo up there and I couldn’t wait to see the rest. Finally, they launched the new design last week and I’m finding myself looking at it everyday.

Now let’s hope they have a good server (or a few) and keep the service up.