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Spydamonkey Digital Blog

Stay up to date and in touch with what's happening at Spydamonkey Digital and in the world of technology, online security, design and development.

The Five Inconvenient Truths of Web Design

The Five Inconvenient Truths of Web Design

  4 MIN READ  |     57 views  |     12 July 2020

Being a web designer isn't easy. Depending on your niche, it requires a combination of finely-tuned technical and visual skills. And it takes a major commitment in order to keep those skills relevant in an ever-changing industry. What's more, the proverbial rug can be pulled out from under us at any moment. Tried-and-true methods can turn to dust and great tools can disappear without a trace. Even industry-related legislation can throw everything into a tizzy. Taken together, it can all be very difficult to deal with - let alone thrive in such an environment. But it's not impossible. Part of the path to maintaining both success and sanity comes from embracing the things we learn from experience: the inconvenient truths. Over my 11+ years as a designer, I'd like to think that I've experienced quite a wild ride. In that spirit, I've put together a list of “truths” that, once understood, can help to make for a smoother journey.
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Every Website Will Break (Eventually)

  3 MIN READ  |     162 views  |     10 June 2020

I know - the headline sounds dire. And, to some degree, it is. But I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and I feel like we, as designers and developers, should have an open dialogue. Recently, after a spate of websites I maintain faced a variety of problems, I came to a stark realization: Every website I’ve ever worked on is probably going to break at some point. We’ll get into the reasons why in a second. But, let that last statement just sink in for a moment. Now, do you get that sinking feeling in your stomach, too?
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Losing Motivation as a Designer and What You Can Do

  6 MIN READ  |     126 views  |     4 June 2020

Sometimes, you just don’t want to do your work. It can be such a hassle to get up, start up the computer, fire up the software, and do what needs to be done. You feel tired and bored, having lost sight of why you chose a career in design in the first place, and you find yourself wondering whether you should just give it all up and become a dental hygienist. It can be really demoralizing to lose your motivation part of the way through a project, but what do you do if you absolutely have to get something done regardless of how you feel about it? I’m going to tell you about a technique you can use when you’re feeling burnt out and you simply can’t bear to think about taking one more step to complete that big, hairy project staring you in the face.
Proper use of the ALT tag

A Look at the Proper Usage of the alt Attribute

  3 MIN READ  |     199 views  |     18 May 2020

By now, most of the web design industry knows the importance of accessibility. We talk about it incessantly and implore our clients to take it seriously. There is no denying the impact it has on the web and those who use it. But sometimes the finer points get lost in the shuffle. For instance, we often hear screams from the virtual mountaintop of “Use alternative text on your images!”. This is good and well-intentioned advice. Still, it’s also a bit vague. While it’s good to know that the alt attribute can be beneficial in terms of accessibility, what we really need is context. What is the right way to use them? Are there times when we shouldn’t use them? These questions were inspired by a Twitter conversation I followed between designers and developers. It helped me realise that I’m not the only one out there who sometimes struggles with how to build websites that do right by users. Today, we’ll attempt to clarify the proper usage of this vital attribute.
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Web Accessibility 101: Designing for All People, Not Most

  5 MIN READ  |     94 views  |     8 May 2020

Web design is about accessibility. Most web designers aim to create products for the largest swath of people within their audience, casting their designs out like gaping nets to yield them the greatest influx of users. And while there’s logic to that design principle, it overshadows a somewhat simpler and more inclusive principle: Design for all people, not most.

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