Words About Stuff

April 17, 2013

The last time I posted an article on this site was March 26th. That's WAY too long ago. The reality is this: my full-time job simply required the majority of my time over the last 2 weeks.

Two weeks ago, we at FliteHaus started a huge new project. It was a super fun, super huge, super rush project. We were hired to completely redesign a housing developer's sales center, print collateral, and web presence. For those of you in the design industry like me, you know two weeks is very rushed for all that.

March 26, 2013

It's finally here. It's taken months of brainstorming and one furious weekend of work, but it's finally live.

Yesterday marked the official re-launch of TheBurnetteAdventures.com! Lisa (my wife) has been begging me for months to redesign our personal family blog because it was looking dated, to say the least. (It had a 6-month-old picture in the header of our 2.5-year-old daughter.) Rather than just retheme the Drupal 6 installation that was there, I decided to give the site a full refresh. Here are bascially the 2 phases that I went through in one furious weekend.

March 12, 2013

Recently, I was thinking about an interesting way to display a listing of services offered for a design agency. While there are a plethora of options for something so simple, I ultimately dreamed up a carousel of sorts that scrolls through the services vertically. I knew it would likely require some jQuery and wanted to keep the HTML simple enough to quickly modify or apply to a CMS-generated unordered list.

My first step, as it is with anything I need to whip up quickly in code these days, was to head over to CodePen and see if I could accomplish what I was envisioning. Spoiler: turns out I worked it out. Check out the demo on CodePen and then follow along to recreate it yourself!

March 6, 2013

Don't get me wrong, I love surprise endings, but I've always loved TV shows and movies that tell you how it all ends right up front. You know the final outcome, but you still need to go on the journey. The second time you watch a great movie, you start to analyze why things end up the way they do. With movies that give you the ending up front, you can sit back and enjoy the journey the first time you watch it as if you were already watching the movie for the second time.

It's a bit of a stretch, I suppose, but the same could be said for web design. Time is scarce these days in such a fast-paced world that, if a site visitor has to dig for information, you're likely to lose them pretty quickly. Here are a few ways that you can "give away the ending" and let visitors enjoy the journey that is your website.

March 1, 2013

From the beginning, a target of ModuleNotes has been to grow a community of Drupal designers that collaborate to share a wealth of knowledge about Drupal modules to make the CMS easier to learn. Modules can be rated and commented on, allowing the collection to be a central hub for module information and insight.

Because the site has garnered some attention from the community, certain feature requests have been made to help strengthen the value of ModuleNotes. I think this is awesome. A module RSS feed and a blog RSS feed have already been added to the site, with several other highly requested features waiting in line to be added in the future. But today I want to announce the latest feature addition that will spur the growth of the site more than any other: suggesting a module.

February 21, 2013

We've all seen them starting to pop up. You know what I'm talking about: those profile pictures next to search results at Google.. Well, they're super easy to implement in several ways.

Let's take a quick look at what they are and how to add them to your website.

February 11, 2013

CSS has come a long way. It really handles creating some super nice effects without the need for additional imagery. With the rise in mobile use and the introduction of new retina displays all the time, it's important to take a look at what is being created with pure CSS and what is still using raster imagery. Because CSS effects are vector-based, they use very little file size (a performance boost) and scale incredibly well (for high resolution displays).

February 6, 2013

Though I generally try to be fairly humble (and what's more humble than being proud of being humble?), one of the things I love best about myself is my consistent desire to learn. I'm eager to figure out how things work, why they work the way they do, and want to know as much as I can about almost everything.

For me, one of the best ways to stay engaged and learn new things is by doing side projects. They're not some mechanism by which I can make a few extra bucks, but a legitimate way to build on my knowledge through creating something inspiring or helpful (sometimes both!).

Long story short (too late, right?), I've been working on a side project for the last month called ModuleNotes.com and I'm officially launching it today!

February 5, 2013

Generally speaking, Drupal does a great job of letting you bulk update content settings across your site. And where core falls short, usually a module called Views Bulk Operations (VBO) jumps in to save the day.

But recently I needed a way to bulk update comment settings. I have a side project where I set commenting to be closed for a content type that I ultimately needed to open commenting on. I searched for a while, even giving VBO a run, but it doesn't provide the ability to update comment settings.

Unfortunately, there's no module, so the next best thing was to update rows in the database manually. There are a couple places where rows need to be updated, so here's the fastest and easiest way to update comment settings in the database.

WARNING: While this is a fairly simple process, if you do not know what you are looking at in the database, this can be a very bad idea!

February 1, 2013

A few weeks ago, we interviewed a great up-and-coming photographer. We took a couple weeks off from photography to talk video producing and web development, but this week we're going to jump back to photography for just a minute.

As I explained before, I love photography. No, I'm not a professional photographer, nor is that where I'm headed. It's strictly a hobby, but one I enjoy immensely. For that reason, I want to dive deeper into the minds of some still-frame geniuses.

On deck this week is actually a friend of a previous photographer interviewee by the name of Mathew Hasegawa. While he came recommended to me, we coincedentally went to the same high school and college, even though we were separated by a year.

Take just a couple minutes to get to know an indirect friend and photography expert, Mathew Hasegawa!

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