Instagram black dots problem — solved

I recently got a new iPhone (the 6s; my 6 died) and noticed that photos I was posting to Instragram were full of black dots or black pixels. I Googled and a few people reported this problem but no one had any working solutions. Well, I found a simple solution: I updated my Instagram app on my phone, and the black dots problem immediately went away. I wanted to post about it here for other…Continue Reading →

I hate Netflix’s search field.

I hate Netflix’s search field. I hate that it’s small and doesn’t look anything like a text entry field or a clickable button; it’s not immediately clear what one needs to do to interact with it. So you click the general area where the word Search is (at least there’s a hover state), it expands to reveal the text entry field, which, fortunately, is already where your cursor is, you can type what you’re looking…Continue Reading →

Responsive means never fixing a widow

If you’re designing a responsive piece (website, email, etc) and you’re trying to design it so that a particular line of text sits nicely on one line, you are doing digital wrong. If you are not letting text flow and wrap naturally, you are designing wrong. Different devices/browsers/platforms will display text at different sizes, and different screen sizes will cause different wrapping of text to occur. We have to embrace this, not resist it. Trying…Continue Reading →

Why can’t we use InDesign for websites?

I get asked this question a lot, and I always say it’s like asking, “Why can’t we drive in these nails with this screwdriver?” A screwdriver is obviously a very useful, valuable tool. And it’s the wrong tool for the job at hand. We can argue that a screwdriver is a more sophisticated tool than a hammer! And the hammer is still the right tool for the job at hand, i.e. driving in nails. That’s…Continue Reading →

Back slash versus forward slash

I hear people using these wrong all the time. Here’s a mnemonic device to help keep them straight: think of “forward slash” and “back slash” in terms of them leaning in the direction you’re typing. You type to the right, so when you enter a “/” it’s leaning forward, toward the end of the line, and when you enter a “\” it’s leaning backward, back toward the beginning of the line. Easy! So, urls use…Continue Reading →

My secret for Twitter click-throughs

I made up a Twitter technique a while back that’s worked wonders for getting people to click on the links in my tweets and get them into my website(s). It’s so insanely simple it’s almost stupid. Here it is: Whenever I want to tweet anything important, I tweet two things in a row. Seriously. That’s it. I made up this technique while tweeting to promote my Paris website. If I had a new article to…Continue Reading →

The label tag for form elements

A huge dev-related pet peeve of mine is when you’re filling out a form on a website and the radio buttons and checkboxes do not have the <label> tag implemented, so you can’t click on the text next to the radio buttons/checkboxes to select them. The label tag is simple and pretty much effortless to implement. I’m surprised how many web developers I’ve talked to don’t know about it, and I’m even more surprised at…Continue Reading →

Why I’m moving my WordPress sites to GoDaddy after seven years with DreamHost

I was a huge proponent of DreamHost for years; I’ve used them for at least a dozen websites and I’ve recommended them to countless clients. They’re cheap, their site’s easy to use, and I’ve experienced little or no downtime on any of the sites I’ve hosted with them over the last seven years. However, in the last couple years I’ve noticed that my WordPress sites that are hosted with DreamHost (I have about five) are…Continue Reading →