In the last year or so I have really found a great set of tools that I use for almost any/all projects if needed. If you are considering building a web site or a web application – consider taking a look at the following (and consider using this as your “WWJU (what would Jen use) list:
If you ever need any recommendations – please ask.
About a year or so back Demitrious shot me over a link to something he thought looked pretty slick: jQuery TOOLS. I took a quick look but never did anything else with it because I had my old standbys in place for most of what jQuery TOOLS offered (overlays, tabs, tooltips, etc).
What does jQuery TOOLS offer?
Last week I decided to finally step out of using what I normally used (Thickbox for overlays) and try something from jQuery TOOLS. One look at their demo and I was completely sold. The overlays were slick, easy to implement and best of all – really light weight. Demo: click on the photo.
If you have any web development projects coming up or in the mix, do yourself a favor and check out the demos at jQuery TOOLS. You can accomplish a lot with a little (and have fun doing it).
Here are some links I found interesting over the last week.
This has been a hectic week, but there are sites I wanted to highlight.
- Marry Bop Dump This is a web site I have been working on with a friend of mine (Brett). Our goal was to make an addicting rating web site where you could upload your own photo and see how you rate. Once we have a good assortment of pictures – we then have additional plans If you have any feedback – we would appreciate it.
- Happy Tiffin Lunch Boxes Wow – these are super cool. I am definitely going to get one for Amy next year when school starts. If you bring a lunch – check this out!
- jQuery Tools Check out “the missing UI library for the web”. Very slick!
As you might have noticed – I took a week off from blogging in order to focus on something else – cleaning up Jappler.com. Over the past few months I have learned so much more about WordPress, web site optimization, and what I really used this web site for – so I decided I needed to take some time to redo this site.
From a design perspective, I decided to darken the colors quite a bit in order to remove some of the drabness of the old design. I also added a background pattern to give some depth, and also added in some new pictures in the header that represent changes/additions in my life over the last few years. I love working with greys – so I added more grey elements. I also simplified the layout and got rid of a number of image based elements to keep everything minimal.
From a UI perspective, I decided to focus on the content I have created over the past 4-5 years instead of a few static pages here and there. I moved all of the blog content into the main navigation so it is easier to find/navigate. I also used Jappler Menus in combination with the WordPress function to list all categories/sub-categories.
From a functional perspective, I started from scratch with this new version. I created a number of custom functions that make presenting content a lot easier. I dropped the YUI library and went with all jQuery based AJAX functionality. The code is leaner, faster, and easy to modify for any future needs. The comments are now using WordPress’s threaded comment functionality, and a number of other WordPress 2.7 additions. I also went through and got rid of almost 50% of my old plugins (replaced the functionality with custom functions, WordPress built in functionality – or completely removed unused plugins.
All in all – this was something fun that I enjoyed and look forward to adding even more new design/functional elements in the future.