Web Design Books: New Releases | August 31, 2006

It seems a lot of people I know are releasing books at the moment. Here is a small selection of them. If I’ve missed any out, please let me know.

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Web Design Books: Recent Acquisitions | August 25, 2006

I recently bought a bunch of web design books from Amazon.com, and got a load more sent to me by my publishers. Despite the fact that I enjoy reading web related books, I never seem to have the time these days. However with the books starting to pile up, I need to get them off the shelf and into my head as soon as possible.

Here is my current reading list. What is yours?

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The Joy of Web Design Books | August 23, 2006

Many people complain that the majority of information found in computer books is already available online. If you’re searching for answers to a specific question and know where to look, this is probably true. However if you’re after a detailed overview of a subject, you’ll need to look across a wide spectrum of sites, and it becomes increasingly difficult to build up a cohesive and authoritative picture.

The web tends to be very broad, but not very deep. This is particularly true of blog posts, which are oftern short, targeted writings around a very specific subject. Many blogs have a general theme, so an entire collection of post can produce a reasonable amount of depth. However there tends not to be a narrative joining posts together, or an overriding message or purpose. As such, blogs posts are much more a collection of vaguely interconnected ideas, than a well thought out and considered treatise.

This is where books come in. With months to consider a problem, the skilled author has time to create a narrative the joins a collection of ideas together into a meaningful proposition. Rather than hunting around for snippets of information, a well thought out book can allow the reader to dive right in and understand a fairly complex set of issues relatively quickly.

There are some great web design books around at the moment, and even more waiting in the wings. Over the next few days I’m going to list some of the books I’ve bought recently, some I’m looking forward to buying and some of the hottest new releases.

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Fancy Working for Clearleft? | August 22, 2006

Clearleft is looking for a talented producer/information architect to join our team in sunny Brighton. We’re looking for somebody who lives and breathes the web and wants to make it a better place.

You’ll be the type of person who loves the web and wants to make it better. Passionate about IA and usability, you’ll enjoy discussing everything from the structure of an entire site through to the positioning of a single button. Up on the latest trends and techniques, you’ll know your Ajax from your elbow and be able to explain the benefits of tagging and folksonomies.

Work will be varied, so we’re after somebody who is flexible and loves a challenge. You may be developing interactive wireframes one day, running an IA workshop or usability test the next.

We’re looking for somebody who is an expert at creating complicated wireframes (both paper and XHTML/CSS) and is in their element running card sorts, developing site maps and presenting your ideas to clients. As a excellent communicator, you’ll be happy writing reports, managing clients and writing articles for our site. However as a small company you won’t just be limited to IA. You’ll need to take an active role in every aspect of our business, from managing projects and improving our processes through to helping out at events and conferences. Not afraid to get your hands dirty, you may even need to do a spot of XHTML/CSS production on occasion.

So if this sounds like you, check out the job spec, and we hope to hear from you soon.

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Conferences and Events for 2006 | August 7, 2006

This year looks set to be a busy one for me conference wise. The year began in full force at SXSWi 2006 and was quickly followed by @media. Patrick has just released the podcast of my @media talk, so if you’re interested, go check it out.

I really wanted to go to reboot 8.0 but sadly couldn’t make it as I was moving into my new flat the weekend before. However Jeremy went and had a fantastic time, so it’s already in my diary for next year. Luckily I was able to speak at the very first WSG London meeting which turned out to be an excellent event.

d.Contruct 2006 is just around the corner and while I’m not speaking at the event, I will be running around frantically taking photos and making sure everything runs smoothly.

A couple of weeks later I’ll be jetting over to Dallas to speak at the Webmaster Jam Session. This is a brand new event from the folks at CoffeeCup software, and with a fantastic line-up of speakers, it looks set to be an excellent event. So if you’re in and around the Dallas area, I hope to see you there.

I’ve been asked to speak at the ShiFT conference in Lisbon on the 28th Sep. I’d love to go but am still debating whether I’ll be able to make it so soon after Dallas. On at the same time is Web Directions in Sydney. I absolutely love Australia and have been bugging the organisers for an invite for years. Sadly I haven’t manage to wear them down yet, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed for next year. In the meantime you’ll have to put up with of Jeremy Keith, Andy Clarke and a host of other great speakers.

In Oct I’m scheduled to speak at XTech WebDev London with the likes of Jeremy Keith, Tom Coates and Matt Biddulph. The event is billed as “essential web developer training” and I’ll be running a session on building standards compliant user interfaces. This conference will be more training focused than most, so it should be a very useful event. I also have another event provisionally booked in Oct, and I’ll let you know more when details have been announced.

Last, but by no means least, I’m going to be speaking at Refresh06 in Orlando on the 17th Nov. Born out of the refresh events springing up all over the world, Refresh 06 is the first organised conference. With an eclectic line-up of speakers and a family friendly location, it should be a fun event. I’ve never been to Florida before, let alone Orlando, so am really looking forward to it. Hopefully I’ll have a couple of days free to see some of the attractions like Disney World and the Cape Kennedy Space Centre.

If that’s not enough, the late breaking news is that BarCamp London is finally going ahead. After lots of false starts, Yahoo! stepped up to the plate and offered their London office as the venue. Space is limited and there were only 30 places left at the time of writing. So if you want to come along, you’d better get over there straight away.

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