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The Details: Where the devil hides.


What every web developer should know. From the Web Developer's Virtual Library founder, a well connected list of personal recommendations. Alan Richmond's own site is Encyclozine.


Web Usability Matters

Jakob Nielson's analysis of webpage usability is a must read, both his archives and his bi-weekly columns.

Whether you publish for love or money on the Web, his insights can help to guide you towards a more elegant solution. Take a look at a summary of his book, Designing Web Usability.

Nielson recommends four sites as examples of good writing and design for the web. Tomalak's Realm tracks the latest in Web Design news. Jesse Berst's Anchor Desk is Ziff-Davis' portal to Technology News.

Feed Magazine fronts journalism's assault on the electronic frontier and Yahoo's Full Coverage gathers national and international newsfeeds for presentation in what is becoming a web-standard format.

There's still plenty of room for innovation in design and style; Kaliber10k hosts a designers' dialogue, Wise Words and Pictures lists almost a thousand designers' sites.

At the other end of bandwidth is the 5K Contest to build a complete site in under 5000 bytes. By way of comparison, this page is 9,965 bytes.

For an example of an extraordinarily useful site that is none the less difficult to use, take a look at BuildingTheWeb. Good data but a damned hard row to hoe.

More Miscellany:

Are you an Information Architect or a Webmaster or a little bit of both?

Either way, Peter Morville's column on the evolving definition of information architecture will enlighten.


A significant minority of Internet users haven't upgraded their browser software and if you don't take them into account, they won't be able to use the frames on your website or enjoy the multi-media effects you've coded into your page.

They can be accomodated by supplying them with access to a text version of your site or forewarned to download and install the latest version of their browser software.

Copyright Protection

Sometimes I go for a walk without an umbrella. Sometimes I don't. If you worry about the lawyers raining on your parade, the U.S Copyright Office will help to obfuscate but The Copyright Website is an easier read. Larry Tomalak's Copyright page is a good example. In a different vein, Copyleft. My favorite is by Chris Locke who's on a different plane: heading west.


The ClueTrain Manifesto is a modern classic. It is transforming the Web at the same time the Web is transforming the world. You can read it now or wait until it becomes an assignment.

As Simple As Possible: Why this site isn't glitz, glamour, black backgrounded or style sheeted...yet.


Information Architecture

Information Architects are in the process of defining their profession and Jesse James Garrett, Peter Morville and Christina Wodtke are leading the discussion.

Outline of The Web Design Process describes the complexity involved in commercial site development...applicable, within reason, to all.

Another good reason to love your librarian: from the Association of College and Research Libraries, a list of information architecture tools.

Joel Spolsky's book, User Interface Design for Programmers is online; a surprisingly pleasurable and informative read. He provides concrete examples for some very cerebral concepts.

While there is no perfect way to manage production for the Web, this site from Macromedia dealing with management techniques was derived from extensive research into the processes used by seasoned Web professionals.

Introducing basic concepts for HTML interaction: Navigation.

Browser Differences

Different browsers view webpages differently and there are over 700 unique browsers available. Tracking browser statistics will help to inform your design decisions. The Browser Stats page in the ElegantHack toolbox contains a representative list of links to tracking results.

Pages displayed by the following links show the most recent stats for each server:



The Master List identifies differences in browser support of the specifications and the Glossary that is linked to it is a keeper.

Look into the HTML Compendium for all the tools in one kit.

Verify HTML code for browser compatiblity at AnyBrowser.

Browserola is the world's first and only "browser emulator". It's a Shareware program that enables Web authors to see how their pages look in a variety of Web browsers without having to have those browsers installed. It costs US$49.00

At the Browser Archive you can download a few dozen and check them out for yourself.

Another "significant minority": approximately 1 million Internet users access the Web via Web TV. To see what they see and an explanation of why they see it that way, download the WebTV Viewer.

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