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People Are Talking…

"Shane Guymon uses two prominent call to action buttons on his homepage. These buttons work really well, as they both stand out from, and fit in with the overall design. The red and blue buttons fit with the main colors of his logo/slogan, yet really stand out against the plain white background of the main content area. There is a clear visual hierarchy at work, as the red button is given more visual precedence. This is achieved through it’s slightly larger size, more apparent gloss style, and preferential positioning (as we read left to right we encounter this button first)."

SOURCE: “The Secrets Behind Great Call To Action Buttons

My Thoughts

I’ve had my website, and websites I’ve designed for clients get featured in a few web galleries around the interwebs before. But to the best of my knowledge this is the first time I’ve found anyone talking about something I designed in a blog post. Surprisingly it is all positive things that are being said. I’m beyond flattered.

Thanks for the tip Adam Haynes

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A Book Apart

Mail Chimp is continuously impressing me. So it isn’t surprising that I’m really enjoying these customer stories. They are very well crafted, they could pepper in a little music, but that’s me being picky. This one is about “A Book Apart”, which I have all 3 of their books and have been very impressed with them all. I plan on continuing to purchase all of the books that they release. Anyone in the business of making websites would be smart to do the same.

If you prefer you can watch the video in it’s natural habitat.

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Shane Recommends

Here are the best things I came across on the infinite abyss I like to call the Interweb in 2009. If you pay any attention to my tweets or my “Net Worthy" section on the right side of my blog you most likely already saw all of these. Enjoy™

The Four Ways People Decide

Style VS. Design

Creating a Timeless User Experience

Goodbye, Google

The secrets of Google’s design team

10 Useful Usability Findings and Guidelines

Can You Be a Web Designer?

Start-up Metrics that Matter by Dave McClure

Great Designs Should Be Experienced and Not Seen

Handcrafted CSS

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Are You Color Blind?

(The numeral “74” should be clearly visible to viewers with normal color vision. Viewers who are color blind may read it as “21”, or may not see numbers at all.)

Hi, my name is Shane and I’m colored blind. I’ve known this for a number of years now, and have even openly discussed it with some people. I’ve noticed that a lot of people don’t really understand what being color blind REALLY means. There are also a lot of people who are color blind and don’t even realize it.

How do you know if you are color blind?


Well it definitely doesn’t mean that you see the world as if you were watching a black & white TV. Usually what it means is that you are most likely male.
"About 5–8 percent of males, but less than 1 percent of females, are color blind in some way or another, whether it be one color, a color combination, or another mutation."
The most common form of color blindness is a color blindness to red and green. This doesn’t mean that you are unable to see the color red, nor does it mean that you are unable to see the color green. However it does mean you are limited to the amount of tones of red and green you are able to see. It also means when red and green are on top of one another it is difficult to view a contrast between the two. There are three different degrees of this type of color blindness. I fit in the category of Deuteranopia:
Deuteranopia (1% of males):Lacking the medium-wavelength cones, those affected are again unable to distinguish between colors in the green-yellow-red section of the spectrum. Their neutral point is at a slightly longer wavelength, 498 nm. The deuteranope suffers the same hue discrimination problems as the protanope, but without the abnormal dimming. The names red, orange, yellow, and green really mean very little to him aside from being different names that every one else around him seems to be able to agree on. Similarly, violet, lavender, purple, and blue, seem to be too many names to use logically for hues that all look alike to him. This is one of the rarer forms of colorblindness making up about 1% of the male population, also known as Daltonism after John Dalton. (Dalton’s diagnosis was confirmed as deuteranopia in 1995, some 150 years after his death, by DNA analysis of his preserved eyeball.) Deuteranopic unilateral dichromats report that with only their deuteranopic eye open, they see wavelengths below the neutral point as blue and those above it as yellow.”
Take a test to see if you are colorblind.

Why All This Color Blind Talk?


Well recently I saw a tweet with a link to this website, WeAreColorBlind.com. Which reminded me of my own colorblindness. So then after googling a couple resources I was wondering how many other people do I know that are also colorblind.

I remember in the 90’s (I’m not sure what year exactly) these pictures like the one above became really popular. They were selling books, and framed posters all over the mall and in several different stores. I would go to the dentist and one would be hanging on the wall. Everywhere I went I was always surrounded by them. I always felt weird because I was one of the only people I knew who couldn’t see anything but spots. Everyone else was seeing pictures pop out at them when they would stare at these millions of circles. As for me I never saw a thing. It wasn’t until several years later when I was out of high school that I realized that those pictures were used for color blind tests. So the reason why I could never see any of the pictures was because I am colorblind.

For more info about color blindness check Wickipedia.
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Stop following directions and start designing

"Of course it is totally understandable to take the ideas of those that pay our bills as gospel. But we should also be reminded that those same people hired us for our expertise. If they just wanted someone to follow orders, they’d probably have hired someone else."

Read the entire article.
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Good, Great, Greatest

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what goes into being good, great, or greatest at something. So I came up with a few ideas. The tricky part with this is how the words, “good”, “great”, & “greatest” are very relative in their definition. What I mean by that is, the definition of all of these will vary dependent on the person and their given experience with whatever they are applying the word to. You also have to apply the element of opposition, you can only know sweet by also knowing bitter, but then your degree of what you consider sweet will vary dependent on the amount of sweetness you have experienced. So yeah, this is a pretty complicated subject as you can see, but let’s just take this little journey, and feel free to chime in with your comments and we will see if we can come up with something memorable in the end.

GOOD:


To be good at something I feel that you first need to learn the fundamental aspects of that something. As an example let’s use basketball, although this can be applied to almost anything. So to be a good basketball player first you must learn the fundamentals of the game. Once you have a solid comprehension of the fundamentals I feel you are well on your way to being good. The next step is to actually practice, and by practicing you slowly begin to make progress. The more you practice the better you become.

GREAT:


To be considered GREAT, I feel you need to not only have a solid foundation of the fundamental aspects that govern whatever you are striving to be great at, but you also need to have an added degree of focus. This focus involves a higher degree of practice. You also must begin to find people who are already great or even greatest and begin to emulate them. I remember as a kid I began trying to play like my favorite basketball players, as well as my older brother. I would see him (or them) do different moves and then start practicing them. Gatorade didn’t chose to use “I Wanna Be Like Mike” as their marketing campaign for no reason you know? Thats also why people wear “WWJD” wristbands as well. Trying to emulate Jesus is never a bad thing.

Even applying this to web design, I am always looking at the people who I feel are great or even greatest and then I try to emulate them not as people, but as designers.

GREATEST:


I think to get to the greatest category it comes down to your level of commitment, focus, and most importantly the details. The majority of guys you see in professional sports or the Olympics eat, sleep, and drink their sport. Just look at how hard Michael Phelps trains for example:
"Bowman actually started training Michael Phelps when the Phelps was still 11 years old. He pushed Phelps to swim at least 50 miles each week. According to him, kids at that age, is able to increase the size of their hearts and lungs in ways that no longer possible later on. The larger the heart and lungs, the bigger the aerobic engine. Phelps has been training almost 5 hours a day and 7 days a week without any rest day. Bowman admitted that he has trained the star to the extent that Phelps has little time or energy left at the end of the day for anything except to eat, sleep or occasionally watch the television. Phelps has to swim on his birthdays and Christmas too. He probably has missed some of the things he should have enjoyed at his age, but he has probably gained much than what he has missed. By the way, Bowman was a college swimmer before he became coach and he has a degree in child psychology. That helps, I guess.
The thing to be worried about when you are looking to be in the greatest category to me, is you really need to think about your priorities in life. In all reality the only things I want to be greatest in are being a father, & a husband. When you chose something like a vocation to be greatest in, you really are sacrificing a lot of other aspects of your life in order to become greatest. Most insanely successful individuals go through countless divorces, and have poor relationships with their children and family. It’s all due to the amount of focus and commitment you have to have to reach the level of greatest.

If your vocation, sport, or hobby is that important to you, then I suppose it is all worth it. To me I would much rather be considered the GREATEST dad, or the GREATEST husband. So to do so, I believe I have to stay focused on what it is that makes a person the greatest dad, or husband.

CLOSING REMARKS


That is why I am more than happy with simply being great at designing websites, or basketball for that matter (if I can even be considered great that is). I am not saying that ALL people who are in this greatest category don’t have great relationships with their families. I’m also just not confident that you can truly be greatest at more than one thing. Perhaps this only applies to me, and my capacities.

I do feel like in regards to web design I am at that stage where I am constantly trying to analyze what makes other web designers great. I have also changed the way I look at the world in general. When I go to the grocery store I am constantly looking at package designs, posters, and displays for different aesthetic aspects, and how effective they are. When I drive down the road I pay close attention to each and every billboard, as I sit in the mall while Hannah is playing I sit and stare at the Dillards logo and get irritated by the poor kerning of the letters. When I watch TV I pay very close attention to most commercials and the little details involved such as the fonts used, colors, music, camera angles, cinematography, and more. Similar things happen to me when I watch a movie, even my basketball watching experience has changed since I now over analyze the graphics on the screen. How they display the score and other statistics throughout the game. I flip through magazines not only to read the articles, but also to enjoy the layout and graphical elements of the magazine in general. I try to figure out what type of grid was used in the design of the magazine. There are countless other ways that my attempts to become a better designer has changed the entire way I see and interact with the world. Like I said, that to me is the only way to become great at it.

I am also constantly looking at web galleries, and almost stalking each and every web designer I feel are some of the best in the world. I visit their blogs on almost a daily basis. I subscribe to different design related magazines and do my best to read them from cover to cover.

I just hope I never allow myself to focus more on design, or basketball than I do my daughter, soon to arrive son, and wife. I think back to my youth, and how I did similar things in regards to basketball. My junior year I began shooting at least 100 three pointers a day, as well as 50 free throws. If I would of known what I know now, I probably would of gone the extreme route of Michael Phelps, because at that time in my life basketball and being successful was almost everything to me. At least I told myself that, I didn’t have the focus and work ethic to quite back it up. I think many times people want to be great so bad, but don’t want to actually put in the work necessary to obtain it. Mostly because they see someone that is already at that level, and don’t pay close enough attention to see what that person actually did to get to that point. They just see their fame, money, & talent and covet it.

What are your thoughts?
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TypeKit

As a Typekit user, you’ll have access to our library of high-quality fonts. Just add a line of JavaScript to your markup, tell us what fonts you want to use, and then craft your pages the way you always have. Except now you’ll be able to use real fonts. This really is going to change web design.
Now this sounds VERY promising, something I am VERY excited about!
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Proud

When I first got hired on as a designer with the wonderful team over at Practice Cafe I’m not even sure their website showed up in a “Google Search” for anything BUT a search for “Practice Cafe.” Well a little short into a year of working their I was privledged to be able to take on the hefty job of redesigning their website. Well two more redesigns later and it is the beautiful site that I LOVE to inform people that I was a part of producing is now on the infinite abyss we all call the interweb (or is that just me?).

Well it quickly became a business goal to get ourselves ranked as high as possible in Google for a number of relevant searches. The main one being “Dental Marketing.” So we set out a little over a year ago to improve our ranking in “Dental Marketing.” So I dove in head first at researching “Search Engine Optimization” (SEO), and best practices in improving your ranking in Google. I quickly realized this was a very tricky little task. There is no solid formula or solid answer. Infact the more time went on it was almost as if, right when I got to the point where I was saying, “Hey I think I got a handle on this SEO business” I would quickly get a reality check of how much I DIDN’T know.

However with the help of a WONDERFUL team of copywriters in Angie Liddiard & Amanda Fuller, and some helpful hints and tricks from my good friend Noel Datko, we have successfully been able to implement a lot of tender love and care over the months and successfully reached page one in google in a handful of relevant and very competitive searches. In fact our visitors to our site per day has doubled if not tripled since I started working back in November of 2006.

So as you can see from the beautiful screen capture above we are currently residing in the NUMBER 5 out of 9,120,000 in a Google Search for the term “Dental Marketing.”

Click the picture above for an enlarged image, or you can just go ahead and do a quick Google Search yourself right now for “Dental Marketing” and take a VERY short scroll on down to “Practice Cafe” and go ahead and click your way over to Practice Cafe to see how we are VERY capable at handling any and all of your Dental Marketing needs (ZING!)

Although I still feel like an amateur when it comes to SEO, I am also very happy and proud that all of our work over the year has REALLY paid off. So I am anxious to continue to learn, grow, and develop these skills and to continue to improve both Practice Cafe’s website and the websites of all our clients. Each and every year the internet is becoming more and more important when it comes to a marketing budget, and how people want to market their company or business, and search engine optimization will continue to play a HUGE roll in the future of marketing in the world. So we are happy to be a part of this.

Keywords and Terms Practice Cafe ranks well in:


Dental Marketing: Page 1 – #5
Dental Practice Marketing: Page 1 – #10
Dental Marketing Services: Page 1 – #3
Dental Marketing Companies: Page 1 – #2
Dental Marketing for Less: Page 1 – #5
Professional Dental Marketing: Page 1 – #10
Dental Marketing Firms: Page 1 – #5
Dental Marketing Postcards: Page 1 – #5
Custom Dental Marketing: Page 1 – #2
Affordable Dental Marketing: Page 1 – #1
Dental Office Marketing Budget: Page 2 – #5
Dental Marketing Campaign: Page 2 – #1
Dental Logos: Page 2 – #7
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SXSW Interactive: 2009

For the past 4-5 years I’ve been wanting to go to SXSW Interactive (music and film as well…) but have never been able to afford the $495 to pay for the “badge.” Lucky for me this year my wonderful boss Brian Liddiard was nice enough to pay my way as an opportunity for some continuing education to help improve my own person skill set as well as the companies reputua.

I am pretty excited to say the least. I’m really hoping to be able to run into a few people I’ve been following for the last 4-5 years (eh humm).

So for the past two days I’ve been spending some time going through the schedule and trying to figure out which aspects of the conference I want to make sure I don’t miss. So if there is any chance that anyone else out there reading this is going let me know which things you are excited about seeing.

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Yet Another Reason to Hate Internet Explorer

Just when you thought Internet Explorer was going to finally do something right, they go and do THIS, and totally redeem themselves…

A year ago Microsoft announced (through A List Apart) that standards compliant websites would be forced to opt into a standards rendering mode in IE8. The uproar from the web standards community was loud and clear: the default should always be render in standards compliancy mode. Microsoft backed down.
So it is with considerable surprise and anger to read that Microsoft has quietly gone back to their original position. The gist of it is if you want to be sure your site renders in standards compliant mode in IE, you have to explicitly opt into it. Otherwise you risk being blacklisted and thrown into IE7 Compatibility mode.
The danger here is that Microsoft don’t seem to be collecting the reason behind why a visitor clicked on Compatibility View. So a couple of hundred curious people seeing if the Web Standards Project website works in IE7 Compatibility mode might be enough to stop the Web Standards Project’s website from rendering perfectly in IE8. And the only way they can prevent that is to opt-in to the standards rendering mode. What message does that send to the web standards community when WaSP requires an explict opt-in to IE8 rendering?

*Full article "IE8 Blacklist: forcing standards rendering opt-in."