This is my long overdue third and final post in the series of “describing my computing career.” Please refer to The origins of interest and The gamut of ever changing ability for the first two parts in this series. However I think we need to back track a little from where we left off, especially considering certain events that I was alerted of this past week, which are largely responsible for me writing this post today.
As I’ve discussed previously (again in The gamut of ever changing ability), I started school in the fall of ’98 with the intent of pursuing a certificate in Web Publishing. But by the summer of ’99 something changed. The web no longer had the same allure as it once did for me anymore. Honestly as I was starting to consider enrolling in college I had my eye on two prizes. Web Development specifically and Digital Publishing more broadly.
There was no denying it, Photoshop had it’s claws in me. It was that summer when I began my slow transition away from the web towards a focus on digital imaging. And just prior to my graduating college, which was actually December of ’01 (I missed commencement for that year so I had to wait until the next October), I attended my first of 4 PhotoshopWorld’s in September of 2001.
It’s a damn good thing I have more to talk about today than my Photoshop work. Aside from a bunch (is that 4?) very exciting trips to Florida and the amazing experience I was able to glean from being part of the most recognized gathering of Photoshop talent in the world (that may not be true, but it sounds great), keeping busy with Photoshop, at least, proved very tricky. I couldn’t find a market for what I spent a good 4, probably more like 7, years learning and doing. Fortunately I kept my other eye on the web. And my feet just barely wet enough to return to it should I ever wish (read: need) to. Read “Some things will never change” in its entirety
Frankly between the two of us, while I do see the merits in designing a mobile website first — in terms of a website’s information architecture as well as the aesthetic appeal, especially for the sake of its usability and appearance on a small screen — I’m not sold yet on whether a mobile site has to be designed first. That said, it does need to be designed at the same time. Semantics, eh? I’m hilarious, I know. But thanks for thinking it.
So what’s this “mobile first with a twist” schtick? Basically it’s a bunch of borrowed idea’s from Ethan Marcotte’s amazing little book, Responsive Web Design, Luke Wroblewski’s “equally” little book, Mobile First, (by the way, me calling each author’s book “little” isn’t a slight in the least, both book’s strength lie in their size, and that’s the point) and something I’m sure Harry Roberts wrote a little while ago but I can’t relocate now. About designing for less capable browsers first then adding on top of that base for more capable browsers — or specifically how such an approach plays with Internet Explorer 8 and below.
Anyway the “mobile first with a twist” approach is quite simply a matter of designing a website for mobile, meaning for small screens (not just visually but functionally too), then tweak it larger, with the least amount of effort and the most basic — yet responsive — CSS possible. This as your starting point. A base from which to build. The thinking is this is what a visitor will see and use who is using a less capable web browser. Read “Mobile first with a twist” in its entirety
It’s been a somewhat surreal year! Both for me and the planet, more broadly. Whether it was my getting involved with the IDRC or the global reawakening concerning exclusion/ inequality and the subsequent Occupation Movements. 2011 was a rager! Exciting, indeed. But for the sake of this post and it’s home on this blog I’ll concentrate on the former.
I was recently involved in a conversation with a colleague about my computer accessibility. The conversation didn’t start that way, focused on me I mean, but it ended on me. I don’t recall exactly how the conversation started, or more specifically how I was able to shift the focus on to me, but immediately following said discussion I found myself writing that colleague an email clarifying what I’d said. That email serves as the basis for this post. Read “Sometimes it serves “us” to be selfish” in its entirety
Inclusivity isn’t anything easy to come by. I’m well aware of the efforts involved. In fact, I feel completely justified in declaring, more than most. And not in the capacity that I assume most might expect — there’s that ugly word “assume” again. Rather I’m coming at inclusion from the other side. Not having to accommodate, but needing to be accommodated.
I needed to be more like the mainstream enough to participate in… well… the mainstream. Meaning I had to adapt the way I behaved in order to make somewhat productive use out of a computer, generally, but the internet, specifically. (Which may sound vague at this point, granted, but Ill be addressing this in much more detail very soon in upcoming blog posts. Please bear with me.)
Don’t get me wrong, there was, and still is, a certain amount of technology needed to be able to interact with the internet — as there most obviously is with any individual. And the onus wasn’t entirely on me. What I’m saying is behavior and technology are never a mutually exclusive means to any end. Neither is to blame. They both are. It’s a fact we need to come to terms with and accept before “we” attempt to improve anything. Nothing is, or ever will be, perfect. Read “A reason for being” in its entirety