Rants, Usability & Accessibility, Web development

Cuil, the new search engine looking for relevancy rather than popularity has seen the light of day today. Developed by former Google employees,it claims to be able to crawl through 120 billion pages (that is 3x more than Google and 10x more than Microsoft’s Live search). But what does it actually do and how does it perform?

Well I had had the chance to play around with it today, and I must say I am not overly impressed. Aside from the high server load and time-outs I managed to find either one of the two things:

  • Nothing, or
  • Anything but what I was after

Please read on to read more about my thoughts and usability concerns about Cuil… Continue Reading

Web Design, Web development

On outsourcing work in the design industry - whatwasithinking.co.ukNot so long ago I received an email from a former student of mine who has just started up his own design studio asking whether or not outsourcing work to contractors, freelancers or studios makes sense and what to look out for.

Especially for upcoming design studios or companies / agencies who are lacking in a certain area (such as developers or Flash animators) it makes sense looking to outsource work to keep employment costs low and not having to worry about whether or not there will be enough work to keep someone (or a whole team) employed.

Read after the fold what to look out for… Continue Reading

Web development

Uprading WhatwasIthinking.co.uk to version 2.6We apologise for the 15 minute downtime last night, we have just ugraded WordPress to version 2.6 and the Automatic Upgrade plugin died on us due to a read-write permission error (I think!). But we are back now, happy days! :D

I am still working on getting my Yahoo-map-based travelblog prototype online, the Flash image-uploader is working fine, but there is an error once you have a number of users trying to connect / upload at the same time. Stay tuned for updates!

Flash Development, Web Design, Web development

On Flash - map integration with Yahoo Maps and ActionScript (part2)If you followed my entry about Map integration with Yahoo Maps and ActionScript you will probably be wondering what I have to report about the progress. As you may remember, this mash-up is about offering a client a new spin on travel bogging: being able to log in to the client’s website from anywhere in the world and give other users (and family and friends) the opportunity to see where you are going and what you are doing there.

Last time I wrote about this Yahoo / Flash mashup I connected the Yahoo map’s API through Flash and PHP to a MySQL database and was able to write / read from the entries. My next goals were to integrate a user-login, adding links, implementing moderation and a Flash image uploader script. Continue Reading

Rants, Usability & Accessibility, Web Design, Web development

Please display PDF links properly! - Whatwasithinking.co.ukOver the last couple of months I have been working on a great number of design, usability and accessibility reports for clients of mine. Some of the sites I worked on are pretty good, and all you can recommend is maybe tightening up their call-to-actions or look at a couple of points of Section 508 to validate properly. Then there are some that need a bit more help than that. That is natural, some of the sites have been up for years and could do with a new design or will need some more development work.

But what gets me going of late is the inability of some websites to display their PDFs properly…

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Flash Development

On Flash - SWF files can now be found and indexed - Whatwasithinking.co.ukUp until a few months ago flash files used to be an absolute nightmare when it came to SEO and indexing its content for search engines. The best solution was always to have alternative content available or to use as little information as possible within a flash file of a corporate site, and about 90% of the time designers would only use flash for non-important browsing routes or as visual treats (think flash image slideshows, think flash maps but with the ability to get to a destination without using it). What good is a website that looks great but can hardly be found?

Yesterday Google announced an update to their search engines with the help of Adobe Labs. Read more about this new development after the break.

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