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Steve Job’s Definition of Design

October 14th, 2012 by Jeremy

Jobs, in an interview with Rob Walker (2003 New York Times Magazine profile on the creation of the iPod), said:

“Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. People think it’s this veneer — that the designers are handed this box and told, ‘Make it look good!’ That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” – Steve Jobs

Posted in Web Design & Dev. on October 14th, 2012 by Jeremy at 7:45 am with (478 views)

HTML 5 Web Video Basics

April 17th, 2011 by Jeremy

What is HTML?

Wikipedia defines HTML as “the basic building-blocks of webpages” so it only makes sense that each new version will include new features to improve web browsing and web development. Think of HTML as instructions for what to display within your browser, the blueprint for your page. In its infancy HTML was used to layout pages as well as help define how your content appeared (bolded, italicized, form elements, adding images, bullets, numbered lists, breaks, tables etc). Today HTML still has the same functionality that it did when it was first created but CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) are replacing HTML for better control in laying out pages and dynamic languages like PHP, Java, .Net, Ruby and more use HTML to display content. So if HTML is the blueprint, who builds the page? The answer is the browser but unfortunately not every browser reads the blueprint the same. The result is pages that function and look differently than the author intended.

HTML 5 and Web Video

One of the best improvements with HTML 5 is its ability to play video. Previously HTML alone was not able to display video so solutions such as Real Player, Flash, and Quicktime have been filling the gap. To play HTML 5 video you need a modern browser which is a problem for those of us dependent on an IT department within businesses and enterprises. For instance I’m sure many of your companies are still on Windows XP and Internet Explorer 6 (both released in 2001).

To play a video with HTML you will need to use one of the following modern browsers:

  • IE 9.0+
  • Firefox 3.5+
  • Safari 3.0+
  • Chrome 3.0+
  • Opera 1.5+
  • iPhone 1.0+
  • Android 2.0+

Not to make things even more confusing but even when you have a modern browser like the ones listed above, it doesn’t mean your HTML 5 video will display. There are 3 main video codecs which are ogg/theora, H.264, and WebM. The matrix below does a very nice job laying out which codec each browser supports. A codec is software which compresses and decompresses audio and video. Video in its nature can be large so playing it over the Internet in the past proved difficult. Therefore codecs were created to compress audio and video so they could be streamed from a web server more efficiently. The chart below shows the three main video codecs as well as which are compatible for each browser.

(Source)

  • Ogg/Theora: an open source standard without any patents.
  • H.264: the most popular video codec to date which is used by Blu-ray and Internet video streaming sites like YouTube, Vimeo, YouTube, and more.
  • WebM: an audio and video standard being sponsored by Google.

If you want to use HTML 5 to display a video on your site, the following code will be compatible with all modern browsers:

 

Blame the CPU


You may have heard flash requires more processing power (CPU consumption). The more recent versions of the flash player require significantly less of your CPU and there are lots of benchmarks now showing HTML 5 and flash require about the same amount of processing power.

Posted in Web Design & Dev. on April 17th, 2011 by Jeremy at 4:41 pm with (461 views)

Creating A Loved Brand By Telling A Story: Tether

August 26th, 2010 by Jeremy

Stanley Hainsworth has been creative director at Nike, Lego, and Starbucks—all brands that have become iconic through good design. He just finished designing the new Gatorade bottle, too. Hainsworth clearly has a remarkable eye for style, but he insists that the key to creating a brand that attracts fans, that people love, is telling the company’s story.

Hainsworth says that companies like Apple have a persona. “You could describe what Apple is as a person, because of the personality they’ve created,” he explains. “So when we work with tech startups, the first thing we have to figure out is their story—what sets them apart in the marketplace.”

Now at the helm of Tether, his own design studio and retail space in Seattle, Hainsworth keeps looking for new challenges. “When I left Starbucks, people thought I’d want to work someplace really hip, like Diesel or Apple. I told them I wanted to work with Microsoft and Wal-Mart—two great American brands that have never told their story well. They both have incredible stories, if you think about the startups that they were at the time—it’s unbelievable. Bill Gates, what he went through, and his story: it’s never been told well. They’ve never used it to their advantage. They’ve become a product company with no soul.”

“Great companies read your soul,” says Hainsworth. “They give you something you didn’t even know that you needed.”

More info: Tether web site: http://www.tetherinc.com/

Posted in Web Design & Dev. on August 26th, 2010 by Jeremy at 9:16 pm with (96 views)

 

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