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To DRM or not to DRM ebooks?

Nancy Aldrich-Ruenzel

Forgive me for this superficial analogy, but sometimes I feel like our daily ever-vigilant efforts to stop ebook piracy are akin to my trying to pull up the bermuda grass in my backyard. I can yank up all the weeds I see, but the runners have already spread underground, and new weeds will pop up tomorrow in other areas of my lawn.

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Why is content strategy so late to the party?

Nancy Aldrich-Ruenzel
When I sat in on Kristina Halvorson's session, titled "Content Strategy for the Web" at our most recent New Riders Voices That Matter Web Design Conference here in San Francisco, I was blown away by several things: 1. how late to the party this key topic has been to Internet discourse; 2. how little this topic is understood; and 3. most tragic, how few have started using it yet. But her talk convinced me that this area is about to explode and Website stakeholders are finally starting to get it.

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Are we losing control of our Web designs?

Nancy Aldrich-Ruenzel

The Web doesn't constrain us to the physical limitations of print on paper, author Zoe Mickley Gillenwater, of Flexible Web Design, reminds us. It's not print design. If you are a designer who is used to controlling every pixel in a fixed-width Web page layout, you're in denial about how much flexibility you can build in to your pages to make them user-friendlier.

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Two more Voices That Matter

Michael Nolan

As an acquisitions editor, some of my favorite moments are when books I signed months ago are first delivered to the author, hot off the press. All the frustration and deadlines and sleepless nights and self-doubt the authors endured during the editorial process melt away into glee and excitement. I got to experience that twice this week.

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Everyone is a Web Designer

Jason Teague

Q: What is a Web Designer anymore? It was easier to make Web sites all by yourself, even 5 years ago, but now there is just too much technology for one person to handle. If I want to make a Web site for a very small business, don't have I to be web "developer" now?

The short answer is that everybody is a Web designer now.

The slightly longer answer is that Web designers are practitioners of a highly specialized discipline that requires years of study to truly master.

The long answer is that a good Web designer is a good designer, and this can come “naturally” or from training, but is not medium-dependent. However, a professional Web designer has to understand the medium well enough to know its strengths and limitations. Any designer can pump out something that looks brilliant when displayed in a Web browser window, but is slow to load, static when loaded, and completely unusable.

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Voices That Matter set the (web) standards

Michael Nolan
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) recently announced a new incubator group called The Open Web Education Alliance (OWEA) to help Web standards and best practices find their way into classrooms around the world. As part of the program, they have identified a foundational library of Web standards books. We were proud to learn that every one of the eleven books they selected is a New Riders title.

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Ask me, ask me, ask me

Jason Teague

Do you have a question about Web standards, CSS, JavaScript, Ajax, interaction design, user experience, or Web typography? Maybe you just want to know "How'd they do that?" Ask me questions, and each week I will select a question to answer via my Peachpit.com blog.

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Designers (aka user activists) can change the world

Nancy Aldrich-Ruenzel

I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by and inspired by creative professionals my entire career. As a result of the sum of those experiences, I feel as passionately about the core principles of visual communications as practicing creatives do. Yes, creatives value aesthetics. Yes, they value inventiveness over stylization—but not at the expense of functionality. They are thoughtful, smart business professionals who value communication of real meaning over decoration.

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Lite vs. Heavy DRM: Customers are voting with their dollars

Nancy Aldrich-Ruenzel
I’m not usually a big fan of Lawrence Lessig, the well-known author and Stanford professor of law who has long been associated with the “information wants to be free” movement. I’m sure you’ve run across him; he’s the one who sends some authors and publishers screaming from the room. But I surrender to one key piece of advice he gives all content creators in his latest book, Remix: “If you don’t want your stuff stolen, make it easily available.”

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Findability is job one

Michael Nolan

Your Website can have a perfect user interface, an exquisite, cutting-edge design, and all the whiz-bang features in the world, but if your intended audience never finds it, all your hard work is for nothing. Users don’t just find you by accident; you have to attract them. New Riders’ author Aarron Walter provides a checklist you can follow.

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A book with a cult following

Michael Nolan

Nine years ago, when I signed Jeffrey Zeldman to do his first book for New Riders, Taking Your Talent to the Web, it was in what I call the “dot-com hoo-hah days” when all things Web were golden. A year later he finished the book, and it was published. By that time, the dot-com collapse had changed everything.

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Music, designers, and the Nashville Voices That Matter Web Design Conference

Nancy Aldrich-Ruenzel

Why are so many designers and creatives also musicians?

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