Design Focus

Friday Focus #19

This week as Ronalfy and myself continue to split the duty of managing Friday Focus, Ronalfy will begin his own columns, allowing us to bring more depth to your favorite week-in-review article series. Let the fun begin!

These are the two new sections to the Friday Focus, and like always, we appreciate any feedback you may provide. Design Dilemma will ask the readers for feedback on a particular dilemma. And since we have many WordPress readers, Ronalfy begin showcasing a few WordPress plugins every week or so.

Sites of the Week

The first featured design of this week is from Hyperwave. I like the design because it’s clean and professional, and that’s what your going for when trying to sell anything, especially an application that would be used on a business level.


The final two sites this week are both in Spanish, but both look really good. First there is the portfolio of Benito Castro. While the layout is rather standard for today’s blog design trends, the site is still presented in a very clean manner, and the color choices flow quite well.

Benito Castro

And finally there is Presidentielles. An extremely fun, in your face magazine / newspaper type design gives way to a site packed full of information. Now if only I could read it… Regardless, I love the design, layout, and how much content that pack onto just the homepage itself.

Presidentielles Friday Focus

Digg Weekly

This weeks hottest (according to AJ) from Digg.

DesignUnclutter Your Desk: Mount things Underneath
I have to admit, when I saw this I was very impressed. If I had the time and patience I would give it a go, but I’m a bit too lazy. A great solution for those of us with way too much on the table.

Programming – Community Driven Open Source Web Designs
Free, downloadable templates which could help new designs by giving them good looking designs to experiment and learn with.

Design Dilemma

The purpose of Design Dilemma is to post one dilemma a week and allow the readers to voice their suggestions and/or opinions. So without further ado, here is the first dilemma.

You are in charge of updating a company’s website. The client has no technical knowledge whatsoever, and sends you several PowerPoint files and says, “Put these on the site.” However, the client doesn’t want you to simply link to the PowerPoint files. The client actually wants you to convert those to web pages. What would your approach be?

If you have your own design dilemma that you would like addressed, please use our contact form.

WordPress Plugin Spotlight

The first plugin mentioned is called Mint Popular Posts. The plugin works well, but is still rather buggy. This plugin now works with Mint being in a different database. I personally would like to see this plugin evolve and be able to also gauge how popular a post is based on views, trackbacks, comments, and date posted.

The second plugin mentioned is called WordPress Comment Spam Stopper. Spam Karma has been giving me issues, so I have been on a look-out for something like this. The plugin adds a simple question to your comment form that any human should be able to answer. Since installing the plugin, my comment spam has dropped to zero. One drawback of the plugin is that you have to modify the code if you want any customization.

Site of the Month

We would like to showcase one site a month here at Devlounge starting in March. The showcased site will have a detailed review along with a mini-interview with the site’s author.

We would like the site of the month to be user driven. If you think you have a well designed website, or know of one you really like, please submit the site for review. You can find more details on our Site Showcase page. We also may begin website critiques of the submitted sites as well (with permission from the creator of course). If you have any ideas or suggestions for the Site Showcase, please let us know in the comments.

  1. By Qwest posted on February 23, 2007 at 8:39 am
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    My approach to the design dilemma, never having worked with powerpoint files before, would be to see if I could convert the powerpoint file first.

    See if I could convert it to a flash file to try and keep the interactivity of the file.

    If that’s no good, then my next would option would be to re-create it in a different format.

    IF the client didn’t want the look changed, and wasn’t too bothered whether the user could interact with it, I’d convert it into a video file (fla / avi etc) and display that on the site.

  2. By Ben posted on February 23, 2007 at 10:55 am
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    For the design dilemma, there’s always the option of using one of the numerous javascript slideshows. Eric Meyer, Robert Nyman and a few others have put together some great versions.

  3. By Ronald Huereca posted on February 23, 2007 at 5:56 pm
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    I must admit that the first dilemma was my own. The client didn’t necessarily want a slideshow, but just used powerpoint to lay out (in one slide) how they wanted a particular page to look.

    My personal approach was to take a full-screen screenshot of the slideshow and paste it into Photoshop. For the images that needed to be transparent, I used the background eraser. For the images that could standalone, I just cut them out and created new images. For the content, I cut and paste the content into notepad and then into dreamweaver and styled the content accordingly.

    It was more time consuming than anything. I was just curious if there were other ways to get a non-technical client to deliver content other than via powerpoint. Ideally we would have a content management system, but our network is so locked down, a CMS isn’t possible.

  4. By Qwest posted on February 26, 2007 at 6:23 am
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    @ Ben, I never thought of a javascript sideshow! Good thinking!

  5. By Ben posted on February 26, 2007 at 9:59 am
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    I sort of misunderstood the dilemma but would still use a slideshow if someone gave me content and was adamant about keeping it in a powerpoint like format. The nice thing about the slideshows is that a few that I’ve looked at are pretty easy to edit.

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