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Innovation in Design — Finding Problems to Fix

Thursday (4/8/05), 7:21 pm. 1 comment.

I was reading Innovation, Progress, and Imagination by Steve Smith the other day, and I thought this was an awesome statement:

Now, to make things even more difficult, innovation, to me, is not just solving a problem. It�s finding new problems. Sure, you can innovate an existing concept, but to me, true innovation goes beyond our current scope of knowledge. To do this we need to understand the tools which drive our innovation.

I think in order to find new problems we must not take anything for granted. Normal must not mean acceptable. If Thomas Edison had considered candles an acceptable source of light, we might still be using them. Somebody had to be determined that there’s a better way to make light than a piece of string with wax on top.

What problems can you think of that have yet to be solved? What things can you think of that have been considered normal and even acceptable that should no longer be? What could be changed on your sites (and mine) that would make them more accessible, even if the things that would be changed are currently common to most sites?

I believe it’s people constantly asking questions like these that make the most successful sites and designs.

PR Update

Saturday (30/7/05), 8:37 am. 13 comments.

Looks like Google gave us a PR update last night. Unfortunately, this blog didn’t get any PR (after all I just released it a few days ago), though it was indexed. Looks like I managed to skip the sandbox, which is nice. :)

Uppervent.com did mangage to jump from a 2 to a 4
Elliotswandesigns.com mangaged to get to a 3, I believe it had a 2 before.

How’d you folks fair?

My First Offical Post In Which I Tell You About The New Site

Sunday (24/7/05), 2:52 pm. 145 comments.

Well, first off welcome to elliotswan.com. And second off, I encourage you to bookmark this site (or even subscribe to my RSS feed), and keep on comin’ back. There should (hopefully) be lots of good content.

As my first official post, I’ve decided to give a list of “whys” about the new site and design, including why it doesn’t validate.

Why I used WordPress

To be honest, I picked it because it was easy to install and it looked like a fairly good piece of software. Now that I’ve been using it, I’m pretty impressed. Very nice to theme.

The Colors

Over at MorgueFile I found this awesome photo by Zach Carter of a door with a 3 painted on it, so I had to use it. I put it in my header, and most of the colors came from it as well.

I had used pink on my last blog, and actually put up quite a fight for it. I remember having comments posted on it such as this:

It’s…like…PINK…o_0

But seriously, I didn’t overdo it at all, just some accents…So anyways, I eventually won that battle, and I just had to keep it in this new design.

WHAT??!! IT DOESN’T VALIDATE!!11!!

Nope. And the basic reason for it can be spelled out in two letters:

IE.

But for a more detailed explanation:

Standards and validation were made for a reason, and that reason wasn’t bragging rights. It was to create accessable, cross-browser sites. Most of the standards were well thought out, but Microsoft, of course, didn’t want to follow them and along came IE. Things like transparency can’t be done on IE using standard code (as it can on more newer browsers), but Microsoft does recognize non-standard code to do the same thing. Then why not use it? To follow the book of validation but not the idea just plain doesn’t make sense.

Don’t get me wrong, I put this site through the validator several times. The validator is a good tool, but it is nothing more than exactly that–a tool. It’s not a designer, it’s not a developer, and it doesn’t know what you are trying to achieve.

Follow the rules of validation, and you can have a pretty good site. Follow the ideas of validation, and you’ll have an even better one.

If you want to read more about it, click the button over on the sidebar or read Mike Davidson’s post on it.

Well that’s all for now.

Entries in the future...