Google Chrome, lack of transparency and security with keychain passwords.

Did you know that when you login to Google Chrome, it pre-fills the OSX Keychain with all your saved passwords?

And when you sign out of Google Chrome, it helpfully removes those passwords? Wrong! No it doesn’t!

This is a major problem if you’re using someone else’s machine temporarily. A work machine perhaps? My job requires me to move around from office to office, and usually I use my own MacBook. Some occasions call for using a different machine.

Moving passwords into the keychain

I’ve recently been at an agency which asked me to borrow a MacBook for two weeks, and as expected Chrome pulled down my passwords for me. Handy, until I worked out they were actually being stored in the keychain for anyone with admin rights to see. Simply change my password and VoilĂ ! You’re into every password I’ve saved in Chrome, plain text for all to see.

The only way to rectify this isn’t the expected “Sign out of Chrome”. Doing so will still leave all your password in the keychain. You’ll need to head into the keychain, locate all your password and delete them.

The problem is Chrome never notifies you of this, and it can cause issues with security and privacy. It’s another addition to the issue over plain text passwords being accessible with only a couple of clicks. I was shocked a year or so ago when someone at Technophobia showed me all my passwords when I handed them the machine to fix an issue. His words were “be careful in future”.

Thanks Chrome!

You were right, you were always right. It was inevitable.

MacBook Pro Power Lights

I’ve been a “reputable” designer for a while now. I build websites, it’s what I love to do and have a passion for. Not many people understand the technicalities, the challenges and the experience of what design means to a person. Great design can only really work when the regular users “don’t notice it” so to speak, while the creatives notice the 1px shading and drop shadows. I’m not just talking web design though, but ergonomic, interaction and user experience design. It can range from a simple CTA button, to a complex and expressive JavaScript banner. It’s all in the details. KISS. Continue reading You were right, you were always right. It was inevitable.

My Top Ten Web Designer Resources

If your a seasoned web developer your going to want to follow some great resource sites. I myself have quite a large list of RSS feeds in my Outlook but here are my top ten with plenty of resources, freebies and tips…I will however feature 5 “biggies” and 5 “smallies” if that makes any sense to anyone who speaks the English language…

Here we go with the biggies…

1. SmashingMagazine.com

Smashing Magazine

Packed full of daily web resources from desktop calendars to tips on learning CSS. They have also recently had a redesign massively cleaning up the content (which was pretty bad on my opinion) and also aggregating content from websites such as spyrestudios.com, buildinternet.com and webdesignerwall.com. All of which are also great resources…

2. WebDesignerDepot.com

rss
Not specific in it’s content, Web Designer Depot seems to feature everything from Illustrator spotlights (like the recent one on the amazing Archan Nair) all the way to freebies such as the nice RSS icon set. I do however recommend they remove the horrible “I WAS a fat slob” adverts on the right as it’s pretty dire to see (see screenshot to the right)…

3. Spyrestudios.com

Is very good at eyeing up great web designs and showcasing them on their site. They are a small design agency in Canada but have a great blog. They also recently showcased my website because of it’s use of cufon, the amazing javascript text replacement (towards the bottom of the list).

4. BestWebGallery.com

Not a brilliant resource per se but it does feature some amazing modern designs. Not to be used as a starting point for designs but rather as “subliminal inspiration”.

5. BuildInternet.com

Build Internet is managed by twins Sam and Zach Dunn and is a great place to read more about the business side of website design. It’s packed full of jQuery tutorials, graphic design resources, CSS information and HTML tips. Give it a look.

Now for the smallies, generally sole developers who blog about their industry, not necessarily “small”…

6. Adii Rockstar

Adii Rockstar

Now Adii is quite a little celebrity online. He’s known well for his work on the WooThemes project which sells premium wordpress themes but makes for a very interesting read.

7. Fabio Sasso

He’s the guy behind abduzeedo.com and seems to be in deep in the website design world. He has some great work to check out and is involved in a large number of successful websites packed full of resources and inspiration.

8. Veerle Pieters

A graphic/web designer from Belgium, Veerle has tons of posts from over the years covering stuff from html to illiustrations. It makes for an interesting read if you dig deep into the older content. You’ll also see just how much a great designer knows about their industry when you read Veerle’s blog.

9. Collis

Probably should reside in the biggies list but because we aren’t talking about his amazing success story, Envato, he slots into the smallies. He’s the CEO of one of the largest and greatest design marketplaces on the web. He has his own blog called the Netsetter which covers mainly covers the business side of the design industry. (he also features a lot of guest writers too)

10. Chris Spooner

Because he’s a local boy! Chris was born and raised in Sheffield, UK, and runs his blog over at Spoon Graphics. He posts some great content covering mainly graphic design but it a great source of inspiration.

There are many more people to check out in the web design world, you just have a dig, and when you find them either subscribe to their RSS feed or follow them on Twitter like a stalker. Either way you’ll get great resources and good reads!

Also see @liammckay @kevinrose @shauninman @jasonfried

Developing for multiple browsers *sigh*

I know it’s unfortunately the “taboo” of modern website design, but many developers don’t want to simply leave their IE7 visitors and IE6 visitors in the dark. It’s fine for sites like this one, or for web applications but what about corporation websites? For sites that HAVE to support older/alternative browsers. This came to light ever more when I recently worked on a website which would mean that customers worth millions could possibly be using IE6. There’s 50% of employees there too who still run IE7 so not supporting them wasn’t an option. I needed (and used) a large set of tools to help me accomplish this task, and I’m going to tell you about them.

Every web developer should (and probably does) use these tools on a daily basis. They streamline your development and help speed up little niggles with your site. Continue reading Developing for multiple browsers *sigh*

University is over! (for a year anyway)

Stamps

So University is done and dusted for 2009. I won’t be returning until September 2010 which makes for a nice break. In the end I got my grades (A,A,B,B,B,C) which I was very happy with. To top all this off I thought I’d showcase some of the work I did to receive these grades.

Visual Design (B Grade)

Plugs
I’ll start with a Module I didn’t thoroughly enjoy this year due to boring briefs, however, I did a little bit of illustration for it which included some postage stamps, posters and even included some Video in After Effects. You can see the video, the illustrations and the posters over at http://turnitoff.info/ (the posters reside in the footer of the page)
The site was built using the latest in Javascript and jQuery technology so check it out, hover over the elements, play with the buttons. Your probably better off using FireFox too, as IE couldn’t really handle it’s superior web modernness. Make sure you check out the video at the bottom of the website too (yes that is me speaking sounding common as muck).

For Visual design I also illustrated the stamps shown in the header image. It’s based on Music Technology over the years and I think I captured the best four from the past century or so. You can see them in all their vector glory too.

WebsiteMultimedia Product (C Grade)

This was a complex one, which also means I can’t demonstrate it online. The idea was simple, Unique Bidding auctions.

The site featured a worlds first in online bidding. Live real time bidding in auctions. You could actually watch LIVE bidders placing their respective amounts on the page as it went along. This meant users could bid against each other based on other users’ bids. Clever eh! It was all jQuery and PHP grabbing the data from a database. It was awfully complex and also included a 10,000 word document explaing the process and research behind it. There was also a very fancy presentation which explains the fundementals if anyone wants to watch it. Its the branding, the functionality and the UI all rolled into a short few slides.

It also had it’s own iPhone web application which tied into the whole site shwoing live bids from anywhere in the world at any time.

Web Programming (A grade)

Another interesting one. And one which I actually really enjoyed.

guestAssignment one involved building a file based Guestbook with full admin features, the ability to edit posts and delete them, a swear word filter to stip out those naughty words and a slick simple UI. It also had AJAX editing of comments right in the page. No loading, no navigating, just click and change! I think you can guess what Lady Part and Ping Pongs were supposed to say! It maybe available as a free download if anyone is interested in the future.

Assignment two was a dog database website. Very similar to Battersea dogs homes website. It needed full admin controls and the ability to save dogs as favourites and have the ability to search the dogs too. The brief was very extensive, and I covered everything. Check it out online right now. I ended up building a commercial site based on this for Cliffe Kennels.

Authoring (B Grade)

It was basically Actionscript 3.0 work. For assignment 1 I had to develop an interface which included an animation, using the drawing API and the components within Flash 8. I ended up building a Spirograph kind of application which allowed you to colour it yourself and watch the application build it for you. Very nice! Have a look at it. I also built a flash gallery using XML and class files. But it’s not something I have online at the moment.

Multimedia Design & Production (A Grade)

This is a group project, and something which is a real challenge working with four different creative minds. My University chum Chris Kovalenko was part of our A grade group which created a chairty website and CDROM called the West Yorkshire Autistic Society (completely fake). Check out the site.

Intro to Video (B Grade)

My mate Adam Fisher helped me out with this one as I couldn’t star, edit and film the whole video. He rode the bike, I edited it, The Chemists supplied the music. It actually works quite well for my first every video. So I’m quite happy with it as a 2nd year project.

That’s it! I hope this gives someone some kind of inspiration either for university or for their next project. If it did help you in any way shape or form, drop me a comment!

New design for a new career

Well, the 1st June saw me start my new job as Innovations Web Developer at Result Group in Elland. I decided that to mark the occasion I’d start by going crazy with my on-line development.
It has seen me redesign the Arctic Monkeys Fansite, build a brand new website for Cliffe Kennels, build a Twitter/Twitpic/img.ly/yfrog mashup called TwiPho and then finally redesigning Zero One Hundred (the site your on now). It’s been a hard slog of a month but one of great productivity. Next will be redeveloping Result Groups website to bring it up to modern standards. It’s something I’m really relishing and something which isn’t going to be easy. It involves a full redesign of structure, the actual look of the site and additionally it’s functionality. The aim is to bang out a perfect, intuitive design which will hopefully feature on some of the great web design galleries. That’s the aim, recognition.

The things that annoy me about iPhone 3.0

Don’t get me wrong, the new updates for the iPhone are a much needed modification for the device. Cut/Copy & Paste, Tethering and MMS are all things which should (in my opinion) have been on the phone from the very first incarnation. These things were standard on even the most basic of modern phones.

Apple have played it clever. They brought out an amazing phone and missed out a lot of the basics. The annoying thing though is the fact that Apple is shouting about simple things such as “Read and write texts, emails and picture messaging holding your iPhone sideways.“. Wow! “Cut Copy Paste, Move text, numbers, email addresses between apps“. Honest to god these are not major selling points for the new iPhone software so why flaunt them? To say these are only 2 of the most flaunted updates how good can the other 98 be? Thank god Apple have updated the website today to show the other top features such as the search function, stereo bluetooth and the new language support.

Overall I’m happy with the new update and look forward to installing it next Wednesday (June 17th) but I can’t help but feel Apple have been deliberately holding this off for 2 years just to drum up a bit of cash/publicity. Classic Apple/Jobs, and to be honest, it’s worked on me, as ashamed as I am to say it, I’ll probably be on the phone to o2 next week about upgrading to the 3G S (which is a crap name by the way). :-D

10 Web Design NO NO’s

The web has changed a lot and web designers (of all people) know about the need to keep up to date with the latest design “trends”.

This short 10 point guide will hopefully help some people understand the minor problems website design (and content) brings when being viewed by a potential customer.

  1. Pointless Flash Animation
    I’m all up for interactive flash in websites, but only use it if it’s necessary. Many a web developer will say “try doing the same in javascript, it’s better”, which is usually true, but animations which have no purpose other than to distract the user are pointless, bandwidth consuming and damn irritating.
    Check out Avistar’s Globe Animation. It’s awful to look at, and awfully slow. Continue reading 10 Web Design NO NO’s