Brainstorms and Raves

Notes on Web Design, Development, Standards, Typography, Music, and More





Friday Feast #7: Macromedia MX, Findability, Fonts, Design, Book Reviews, Laptops, Browser Stats

The latest Friday Feast continues with a mixed pot of some of the latest around the Web this past week.

I also started an archive listing of past Friday Feasts, too. Thanks to the positive feedback, I guess it’s official now—weekly Friday Feasts.

About Macromedia MX

Lots of buzz about the new Macromedia MX news, tips, and weblogs. Here are just a few:

  • Macromedia Updates DreamWeaver: MX family of Web design products emphasize greater interactivity online, by Sam Costello for Good overview of Dreamweaver MX and the other new MX line, along with customer responses from big hitters like FoxSports and more.
  • Macromedia does weblogs
    Interesting info about Macromedia folks writing weblogs. Many are jumping aboard. At Davenet, by Dave Winer.
  • [A List Apart icon]A List Apart extends its double issue on Flash MX and accessibility:
    Flash MX: Clarifying the Concept, by Joe Clark. Joe evaluates this new version for accessibility and U.S. 508 guidelines.
    Flash MX: Moving Toward Accessible Rich Media, by Andrew Kirkpatrick. Andrew shows how authors can make Flash more easily generate accessible content.FlashMX
  • Macromedia Flash MX, a review by Jesse Nieminen for Digital Web. Wondering how good it really is, if you ought to update or not? Here’s a helpful review added this week at Digital Web.
  • Flazoom is one of my favorite sites for all things Flash and of course has information about the new Flash MX. Chris MacGregor has done an exceptional job with this site. Check out his insightful white paper on Flash and usability while you’re there, too.

Information Architecture

  • The age of findability by Peter Morville for Boxes and Arrows. Ever have trouble finding something at the airport (like the restroom or a cup of coffee?!), a store, a website? Peter’s article makes very valuable points about what he coins findability. What do you think of the term “findability?” Peter wants to know.

    I’ve had similar going-in-circles experiences at an airport that Peter describes—must have been designed by the same people. Ugh.

The Latest on Fonts

  • Australian Type Foundry is a new type foundry with a wonderfully unique selection of high quality and well designed fonts by its owner, Wayne Thompson, of Newcastle NSW, Australia. In addition to a free font, some fonts are available for purchase directly at the site and some have links to purchase through ITC Fonts.

    Stay tuned to Brainstorms and Raves Monday for a fabulous interview with the talented Wayne Thompson.
  • photo of the new P22 Modernist font set with CD, bookP22 has another special going! The new P22 Modernist Pack with 25 fonts in these revolutionary historic type designs from the 1920s and 30s includes: Russian Constructivist, Dutch DeStijl, Italian Futurist, German Bauhaus and Czech Modernist.
  • Phil’s Fonts, one of my longtime favorite font stores, has a new design. Phil’s has fonts from many different foundries and are competitively priced. (It’s not unusual to find them for less here, too). I can’t even count how many fonts I’ve purchased through them the past several years, especially individual Adobe fonts rather than having to buy an entire font family, for example. Always fabulous service, prompt, helpful if I’ve needed to ask a question.
  • What’s a stem? What’s a loop? What makes a serif a serif? Phil’s Fonts has a handy visual display of around 30 font terms at their Font Characteristics page.
  • Fountain is a Swedish type foundry with many unique, interesting, high quality fonts by about 10 designers. Check 'em out for your next project. You’ll also find over a dozen free fonts there, including the popular Sevenet pixel font.

WebReference Update News

  • Constructing Accessible Web SitesBook Review by Andy King for the new Constructing Accessible Web Sites. If you’ve followed my column, you’ll already know that Andy and I are accessibility advocates. This new book looks like a good way to learn the practical ways to make sites more accessible.

Design-Related Sites

  • Cre@teOnline
    Lots of news, reviews, columns, resources, Web jobs, a forum, and plenty to feed your creative design spirit.
  • linkdup
    Categorized resource links with an interesting design. Need some inspiration? Want to check out some of the newest design-related sites? Other interesting stuff on the Web? You can spend hours at this site and still not see it all.

Latest on Laptops

Browser Stats

  • Browser Stats section at Browser News, by Chuck Upsdell. Includes Internet stats; browser, resolution, and color trends; web growth; search engines; more.


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I Wrote a Book

Deliver First Class Web Sites: 101 Essential Checklists  Via Deliver First Class Web Sites: 101 Essential Checklists, by Shirley Kaiser. SitePoint Books (July 2006). 

Available now via: SitePoint Books,, (Canada), (UK), (France), (Germany), (Japan), Tower Books U.S. and elsewhere! You'll also help support this site and its owner if you purchase via any of these links.

Learn more at SKDesigns - Deliver First Class Web Sites and via SitePoint Books.

Recommended Books

Cover - Beginning CSS Web Development: From Novice to Professional. by Simon Collison.

 Book cover: Transcending CSS: The Fine Art of Web Design (Voices That Matter). by Andy Clarke, Molly Holzschlag. 

Hand-picked best book recommendations for Web site design, CSS, graphics, Photoshop, color, accessibility, more

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