Bit of a Dog’s Breakfast: News Round up

Today the news seemed to range all over the place, a bit of a dog’s breakfast follows.

All of us freelancers (at least I would hope) do some sort of follow up with our clients at the end of a project. For me it is usually just a ‘thanks keep me in mind’ email but if you could improve your customer service by asking some tough questions I bet you’d be willing to do it. Sitepoint has an article today on just that, asking you customers the hard quesitons. They suggest offering an online survey that asks what customers liked and didn’t like (among other things) so that you stop making the same mistakes with more clients.

Next up (and there seems to be a lot of this lately) is an article on XHTML vs. HTML over at CSS-Tricks. I’ll admit that I currently site where Chris did a year ago. I code XHTML transitional pages and honestly don’t truly know the difference between that and HTML 4.01. Ultimately in my mind if the page works in all of the major browsers I think the code is good. Read this to get a better grasp on the differences and uses of each. I know that now I am going to evaluate my reasons for XHTML.

Now lets flip into some quick marketing. Jacob Cass at Just Creative Design just posted and asked us designers for our twitter names. If you are a design professional (or hoping to be one) add your name to the list and follow someone new to make some more contacts.

Well finish today off with some inspiration. Niki has some connections that let her see cool installation art. Check out this post to see everyday objects used in cool new ways and get some ideas for future design projects.

News from around the Web

Lots of things are happening today most notably CS4 was released by Adobe. I’ll be writing another post later today going into more detail about the launch and rouding up resources for further reading, for now on we go.

There is another great post over at Design Reviver detailing 22 Firefox 3 Plugins for web developers. This list is fairly exhaustive and although I use many of the plugins I didn’t even know about some of them. Specifically Font Finder and iMarcos look very promising for saving me time everday.

Sitepoint also has a great article on Minimalist HTML documents that is a must read. Detailing efficient document layout all web coders should take a quick look through and check against their own coding practices.

Finally there are two great articles over at A List Apart. The first one deals with proper Progressive Enhancement of styling on the web. Using javascript to check for box model support you can serve different CSS to a browser based on its support of the box model. The second article takes on the topic of Web Standards and how they haven’t been the saviour of the web as was originally thought. The author details many of the problems that are plauging the implementation of standards in the web industry today.

That’s it for my round up for now. Check back tomorrow some some more in depth stuff on CS4

Today’s News

While readingĀ  through my feeds today I noticed a post from Sitepoint regarding the use of IE 6. While most of us web designer’s wish IE a quick and painful death we always wonder if we really can stop supporting it. Many notable sites have stopped (37signals) but for the rest of us can we really stop supporting IE 6 when we build sites for our clients?

Die IE 6
Die IE 6

I don’t think that we can, I know that I can’t yet. The reality is that many of my user’s still use it. I could take an elitist stance and tell them to move forward with the times but I think web users are too fickle. If you head to a site and it doesn’t work they’ll just move onto another site. Your competitors are only a click away.

I have always thought that I would drop support for IE 6 when Microsoft did. They have made a practice of only supporting the 2 most recent versions of a browser. In theory that means when IE 8 comes out (in a few months) I could drop IE 6. Really though if lots of people are using it still can I stop.

As a freelance designer it can even be a selling feature. “I still support IE 6 which many of your users are using. No extra cost.” At the very least it is an interesting selling feature.

Ultimately until IE 6 drops below about 5% usage on a client’s site I will still support it.

The second bit of news comes from a fellow designers site. Niki Brown was given a free gift for her readers. If you are interested in getting some business cards printed head over to her blog and participate in the competition. I know I will.