Field Notes Blog
News and thoughts on UI/UX, web design, and more.
As we close out 2018 I want to wish you and your family a very merry Solstice, a merry Christmas, a happy Kwanzaa and a joyous New Year. From the launch of my new Partner Program to my trip to Japan and a whole new business endeavor, 2018 has been a whirlwind. I hope that the holidays bring you peaceful joy and that you share my excitement for the coming year. From my family to yours, Happy Holidays.
On a given day I'm in and out of a dozen client accounts. In one I'll fix a problem, another may need a new element set up, a third calls for posting a press release and a fourth is a new site we're building. Some are design endeavors but many more are simply updates that I see to quickly, focusing on getting the details right. Once in awhile though, as I'm copying and pasting along, I find a gem from a client that stops me in my tracks. As I was posting events to a client's online calendar today I came across one of those.
The renowned science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke said "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." This month I've blended science, fiction, film lore, myth, legend and popular culture to bring you my Cabinet of Curiosities. This custom Illustration is stocked with magical objects, rare specimens, ancient artifacts, odd instruments and a sprinkling of balderdash. Over the course of October 2018 I unveiled a new item on Instagram every few days counting down to Halloween - each with a fun trivia question and weekly prizes.
Be sure to visit my Instagram feed in the app or just stop by on your computer (no instagram account needed) to see all the fun. Fly over to Instagram!
As the carefree days of summer slide into Fall it's time to turn our attention towards holiday marketing...which is enough to make anyone scream. Kidding! As always, this year I'm offering tons of goodies to help you make the most of the holiday season. Spruce up your online presence with branded seasonal website graphics or make wise use of holiday fun with a seasonal campaign. Whether you're selling a product, offering a service or seeking nonprofit donations, Now is the time to get your year-end marketing planned and implemented. I offer DIY webinars and a DIY kit as well as a range of full service options. Not sure where to begin? Check out these 5 Halloween promo ideas.
Gigs, megs, kilobytes, megapixels…omg, wth? If you’ve ever gone to upload a file and been shocked by how long it’s taking then never fear! Today’s episode is all about file sizes. I’ll cover all of the common ones, a few exotic ones and even reveal the name of one you might use every day without knowing what it actually means!
Vector, raster, bitmap … what they heck are all of those things and do they even matter? In this episode I’ll show you what they are, where we use them and yes…why they do matter when your goal is to quickly use the right image to get the best quality. If you’ve ever been confused about what a vector image is and why your cell phone photo made for a terrible t-shirt image, this episode is for you!
What is RGB and why does it matter? Why is there a big blank spot on your site where you uploaded that TIF image? In this episode, we’ll do a deep dive into color spaces and look at how our image formats are influenced by our eyeballs, LED displays and even the sun itself. I’ll also provide some easy examples of what to use where and tips for getting the best results.
Free 5 Minute Beach Break
A high resolution image is usually 300dpi and a low res image is around 100 dpi, but what do those numbers actually mean? Computers use pixels, so why do we say “dots per inch”? And how can a “high res” image from a fancy camera or smartphone be 72 dpi? In this one minute episode, I’ll explain a bit about how resolution works in conjunction with dimensions and give you some tips for using the best resolution to make your images look great wherever they are. I'll also show you how to avoid some common pitfalls and we'll end with a surprising item of design geek trivia!
Resizing images is an important part of making your website load fast and look great, not to mention ensuring high quality results in printing. But changing the size of an image is only one part of the story, your photos may also have to fit into a particular spot or match the shape or dimensions of existing images. This episode covers three ways of sizing images and will help you avoid some common pitfalls like scrunched photos and cut off edges. Here are my top three approaches to image sizing, in order of how much I use them.
About the author
As the owner of Pixel Lava Interactive I've helped hundreds of small businesses and nonprofits with websites, graphic design and more. I hope you'll find this blog full of useful information.
~ Ame Stanko