Archive for November, 2010

960 grid framework

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

I have been using the 960 grid system for almost 2 years now. It is really helpful especially during the initial stages of development when you are trying to get the first page out. It provides a clear structure and is especially helpful when you are working with a programmer.

The main structure looks like this:

<div class="container_12">
<div class="grid_7 prefix_1">
<div class="grid_2 alpha">
<div class="grid_3">
<div class="grid_2 omega">
<div class="grid_3 suffix_1">

The container specifies how many total columns exist, either 12 or 16 (or even 24). For the most part, you will only ever need to specify a class name of grid_XX, where XX represents the column width.

If a grid unit contains grid children, the first child in a row will need a class of alpha and the last child in a row requires the class name omega. Likewise, if you want to insert empty space before or after a grid unit, use class prefix_XX or suffix_XX.

It’s all pretty simple and straightforward – and it works! View a template here. The creator of this highly successful grid system is Nathan Smith – he’s such a good guy too!

If you wish to use a fluid or elastic layout – there are variations of this grid system available as well . . . Typogridphy allows you to create grid layouts which are versatile and great looking. Fluid 960 is for fluid layouts and includes Jquery or Mootools effects to get your prototype out really fast.

Give Thanks

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Patience with others is love,
Patience with self is hope,
Patience with God is faith.
– Adele Bestavros

This Thanksgiving season, take a moment and focus on the things that you have – may it be as simple as the clothes you wear, the meal you just ate, the roof over your head and friends/family whom you love. Don’t make a habit of always wanting – it’s really not about having what you want but wanting what you have. I apologize for the cheesy cliches but if you really think about it . . . there is a lot more to life than what we’ve all been led to believe.

Saving Blue Like Jazz the movie . . .

Friday, November 19th, 2010

We saved Blue Like Jazz!. Just a month ago, this movie was going to be shelved because of lack of funding but somebody thought it was too good not to be made . . . so to rescue it, they started a Kickstarter campaign and it became the most successful crowdsource-funded campaign ever! Raising $8 short of $346K! And I’m so glad that I’m a part of it . . . I read the book a few months back and it really touched a part of me I didn’t know I had.

Donald Miller is sending out regular updates on his blog and I can tell that it is going to be one heck of a movie . . . can’t wait to see it!

Book Review: Drive by Daniel Pink

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Drive by Daniel Pink

I read this book and it now seems very clear to me why there are people who dread Mondays and people who kind of look forward to it (or at the very least, do not need to drag themselves out of bed on a Monday morning.) The main concept of the book is simple – Business. How we have run, conducted and applied it has never really changed since the word’s been in existence. We have rewarded the best employees and hired them by throwing money at them. We still believe that the best way to motivate people is by giving them more money . . . unfortunately, this has been proven to be so ineffective – it actually demotivates people.

Through various studies conducted by scientists and psychologists around the world, they have proven that by giving a reward to somebody actually enjoying a task – will actually diminish its enjoyment. Because the act of monetary reward will transform the said task into “work”. These “if then” rewards have worked for a while during the industrial age when the usual occupation is routinary and without any monetary benefit, nobody would actually be doing any of those tasks . . . however, the landscape has significantly changed and we are now more immersed in our jobs. And to stay motivated, we subconsciously crave for something “intrinsic”. One example of this is open source development – the people involved don’t get paid, yet they spend countless hours working because they work for a purpose – to be a part of something bigger than themselves. And because of them, we have benefited with some amazing products – like Mozilla Firefox, Wikipedia, the Linux OS to name a few.

The carrot (monetary reward) and stick (punishment through suspensions, demotions) method is no longer a good way of controlling employees . . . they will do the work, but when they aren’t motivated – their work lacks quality, efficiency and their productivity suffers. It’s so astounding how so many managers still believe that this is the best way to control their staff. Wake up!!

Here is an excerpt from the book: DRIVE PDF.

Book Review: Rework

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Every now and then, I’m going to start reviewing books that I’ve read recently. Just a few days ago, I started reading “Rework” by Jason Fried & David Hansson – both are founders of 37signals – a profitable web applications provider (makers of Basecamp, Backpack, etc.).

There are a couple of good ideas here for small business owners, entrepreneurs, managers and any business-minded individual. The main idea is more common sense than anything . . . Don’t hire if you don’t need to. Don’t put out a half-assed product – it’s better to put out half a product that kicks ass (pardon the french). Keep everything simple – more features doesn’t translate to a better product. Don’t use jargon – be conversational in your marketing materials. Don’t pretend to be a big company – Be honest. It amazes me how a lot of these concepts we already know in the back of our minds but ignore because we think that imitating what the “other guys” are doing must be the right thing to do.

My favorite idea in the book – is the “Pick a fight” idea . . . if you are in business and you feel that some of your competitors are wrong – say so! pick a side . . . and stand your ground. While some people may not agree with you – the people who do, will stand behind you and they will do so passionately because it shows them you believe in something.

There is a short summary here.