My favorite thing I love telling developers that they hate to hear:

Coding a project and only looking at in Chrome — and then debugging for IE — is always a mistake. Coding and testing in IE, getting it to work, and then watching it work beautifully in Chrome: that’s the strategy a professional developer should always use. Sounds unpleasant, huh? It may be, at times! But it’s the only right way to work.

A strange warning from Google AdSense about ads “above the fold”

I received an automated message from Google AdSense telling me that one of my web pages was in violation of their terms and that I needed to address the issue. I’ve been using AdSense on a half dozen sites since 2009 and have never received a message like this before, and the site in question was one that I haven’t really changed in a few years. The message included a link to a particular post…Continue Reading →

Instagram black dots problem — solved

I recently got a new iPhone (the 6s; my 6 died) and noticed that photos I was posting to Instagram 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 →