]

Just Launched – oinkandmoobbq.com

May 8th, 2012

As I alluded to a few weeks back, the last few months I’ve been working on a logo, website and truck design for Oink and Moo BBQ and I’m very happy to announce that the site is live! You can check it out at oinkandmoobbq.com. I’m going to have a full write up about the design and build process in the portfolio section in the next few days and I’ll be sure to update this post with the link.

In the mean time, check out the website and mark your calendars for the Oink and Moo BBQ truck, hitting the streets of New Jersey this September!

Update 5/14:
I’ve added a write-up on the creation of Oink & Moo to my portfolio section. There’s lots of good information about the logo, website and design of the truck. If I were you, I’d take the time to read it.

January 9th, 2012

We live in a time where many of us carry around more computing power in our pocket, via a mobile smart phone, than NASA had when they launched the Apollo 11 space shuttle to the moon. Besides the ordinary coffee shops, libraries and hotel lounges, wireless hotspots are showing up in parks and even on airplanes. This makes me wonder, why do we need to have expensive office space?

This really hit home with me last weekend, when I was able to log into to the wi-fi network at the Mohegan Sun casino.

That’s right, I was able to code a responsive home page layout only a few feet above the gaming floor at a casino.

I got more work done in those 3 hours than I usually do in 8 hours at my desk in the office. To me, I do my best work when I’m out of my comfort zone. I’ve had that same desk for 2.5 years to the point where I’m able to detect which co-worker is passing by, just by the speed and pressure of their gait. Too much comfort leads to predictability, which leads to complacency, which leads to boredom.

When I’m working on a design or coding I like to have a certain type of atmosphere and environment to maximize my productivity and this is hardest to do in a big corporate office where it’s easy to be distracted, especially by other co-workers.

Best Buy has implemented their “Results-Only Work Environment” (ROWE) campaign with tremendous success. I understand the idea of telecommuting is not for all types of jobs, but for web design and development as long as we have a laptop/tablet, internet connection, and plenty of caffeinated beverages, we can do our job. To me, that was part of the allure of this industry. The fact that I could do this job anywhere. Now with tools like Google Talk, Skype and Facetime, it makes it even easier.

One of the biggest problems web professionals may encounter is from managers who may not feel that this sort of arrangement works for their employees. This lack of trust in the employee that they are not completing their work as they would if they were in the office. Still, many managers feel that he/she will not be able to keep such close tabs on their telecommuting subordinates. This begs the question – if your employee is this irresponsible, why do you have them employed in the first place?. It’s my opinion that talented individuals who may feel shackled down will find other arrangements with companies who respect talent and are flexible to the needs of employees.

If you’re a manager, experiment with telecommuting arrangements. You may find that you will have happier and more productive employees. If you’re a web professional, ask your manager if you could start a telecommuting experiment and show your manager what an amazing job you can do with a little trust and flexibility.

November 26th, 2011

This site has been live since about July 8th but ever since I’ve been making little tweaks and changes to improve the content, layout and user experience. There came a point a few weeks after I launched that I just didn’t want to look at the site any longer. I knew there were problems but I had been looking at the site everyday for the past few months and just didn’t want to deal with them and were focusing on other projects.

After reading the Steve Jobs book and repeatedly hearing about Steve’s attention to every single little detail, it occurred to me that I had to get back to the site, make a list of all the things that weren’t right and get back in there and fix them. Many of the changes were related to how the site reacted when being scaled down to different resolutions. It’s still not perfect and even as I check items off my list, new items also get added.

The Big Problem

After purchasing an iPhone back in October, I was excited to test my site on the new device. First I checked it out in landscape and it looked great, then again in portrait also great, then I flipped it back to landscape and everything had been pushed out, so that you had to scroll to the right to see the rest of the content.

WTF?

My first thought was that something in my updated theme had caused this, so I reverted back to an older theme, but it was doing the same thing with the older theme. Why did it work the first time the site rendered, but after going to portrait then back to landscape it didn’t? I went and checked it out on my iPad and sure enough it did the same exact thing. I went into my theme and started stripping out margins and changing widths to “auto,” but nothing was fixing the problem.
First photo of my website in landscape mode on an iPadPhoto of my website in portrait mode on an iPadPhoto of my website in landscape mode after having been in portrait mode on an iPad which has the scaling problem

Reading is Fundamental

I broke out my copy of Responsive Web Design by Ethan Marcotte and tried to see if there was something that I was doing wrong. Based on how my viewport and media queries were set up, everything should’ve been working correctly. Next, I went to the website that was associated with the book responsivewebdesign.com/robot and put it through the same test on my iPad.

It did the same thing as my site!

In Tweet We Trust

This made me extremely happy because if Ethan’s website was screwing up in on the iPad, my site was in good company. To double-check, I went to another respsonive site that I know is set up correctly – simplebits.com, the site of Dan Cedarholm. It also had the same problems as my and Ethan’s site so I was sure that the problem wasn’t in my code. I knew it was now time to go to Twitter.

My first tweet just reiterated the problems I was having, while in the second one, I tweeted at @rwd and @simplebits that their sites were having the same problems. When I awoke the next morning I was pleasantly surprised to see a respsonse from @rwd. The response pointed me to the report of a known iOS scaling bug posted by the Filament Group.

The bug states that when switching from portrait to landscape, the viewport zooms past the 1.0 (100%) causing the content to be too large and require scrolling.

The Fix

After doing a bit more searching on this bug I was able to find a javascript solution at github. After pointing to this in the header file of my theme, the site started functioning just as it should and it was glorious!

Conclusion

Twitter is a tool that so many people just don’t understand. In the web design/development community it is such an invaluable tool that allows to connect and tap into the wisdom of so many amazing professionals who are often so kind and willing to help you out. Thanks to @rwd for their help in pointing me to a solution!