A website redesign & several book recommendations
It’s been a while since I posted something here. As you can see, I decided to give my page yet another look. Well, everything has changed outside and so did my site. Autumn has come and it got considerably colder. Does it mean that one is getting old if one finds that the nicest birthday gift is a autumnal bowl? Even two weeks after my birthday, it is still there. It hasn’t been removed yet… That would be a shame anyway! Talking of autumn: the other day, I was thinking about my most favourite autumn songs. I wanted to post them here but I’ll leave that for another day. If you have any suggestions, let me know!
Now, let’s talk about the new layout for a bit. This one I finally really like! I don’t see any reason for another heavy redesign right now. I’m especially impressed with how the box-shadow effect adds so much depths and liveliness to a simple squared layout. The previous design was so… dead. Also, the wood-graphics made it look like one of those poorly constructed Myspace sites. Bah! If you’re interested in the drop shadow effect, here’s how it works. No magic. It’s done by adding the box-shadow attribute to the respective Div in your CSS. Example:
box-shadow: Xpx Xpx Xpx #Colourvalue;
The first pixel-value describes the x-offset, the second the y-offeset, the last the feather. You’re not bound to pixels of course. Any CSS value can be used. Finally, you can define the colour of the shadow. That’s all there is to it, really! The drop shadow adds a lot to the page, doesn’t it? Im not sure about the browser compatibility, though. It’s a CSS3 feature so an older browser might not be able to display it. IE 9 and Firefox 7 have no problems with it anyway. Safari on my IPod does not display it but I’m not sure whether the Safari version on the portable gadgets is limited in any way. The only thing that I want to improve is the navigation. I’m not quite sure how that will be done but it will!
Apart from the redesign of my page, I read a lot of books in the recent past. I collected most of Adobe’s Classrooms in a Book for CS5. As said in an earlier post, they are great to learn a software from scratch but of no use if you want to look up things. Also, The quality of the books differs. The one on Flash is just brilliant. The one for Illustrator is also very good. The Classroom covering InDesign contains several obvious spelling mistakes and formatting issues and also has some clumsy descriptions. At some point, there was definitely a mistake. However, an experienced Creative Suite user will have no problem to work his way around it. The first few chapters of the books are quite similar and repetitive: you are told how to copy, paste, and delete stuff and several other basic things. Yet, the workspace looks different in each programme so one should read the intros. Even if you know most of the programmes quite well already, like me, you’ll always find new things here and there. Apart from those tutorials, I looked at several books of Rockport’s design series such as the Color Design Workbook. The titles are misleading as there are no lessons to follow. The first fifty pages usually contain theoretic info, the last 200 pages discuss examples. Interesting but nothing one reads cover to cover.
I guess that’s all I have to say for now. Maybe, I’ll write about autumn songs soon. We’ll see…