UPDATE: Thank you to Rixtur for the update for iOS 6. Steps updated.
This guide is adapted from Dustin Caruso’s note on viewing source in Safari for the iPhone.
Some pages require an inordinate amount of time to load. For most sites, this is a big problem. Webmasters and SEO specialists know the value of a quick landing page load, because they know that netizens have short attention spans.
Dynamically built webpages, (especially applications), require time to load and visual feedback that something is happening. The most famous example is the gmail loading page:
Gmail uses a more sophisticated progress bar to represent the loading of the webpage. I found an article on yensDesign that gives some great advice on how to do this, if you want to get really fancy.
If you have a dynamically built page that you’d like to give a loading message to that doesn’t require a full progress bar, I recommend simply displaying a message and an animated gif.
I was just doing a ShareThis icon for a client I’m working with and found that how to properly style the button is poorly documented. In order to replace the whole icon and text, you are supposed to use the developer API.
The web Contact Us form serves as an important starting point for people interested in a product or service. For a big company, handling inbound leads over the course of a long sales process requires a strong CRM. SalesForce is a fully featured CRM plaform, however in my experience it has somehow ignored an important source for sales leads: contact us forms on the company website.
Salesforce does not explain how its clients should go about crafting a quality Contact Us web page.
What is a quality Contact Us web page?
Generally you’ll find the same type of fields on Contact Us pages across the web. You are asked for your first and last name, job title, complete address and something specific about your query, like Where did you hear about us? Or What model Range Rover are you interested in?
One of my guides for creating a slick FB profile recently made PC World’s list of 10 tips for Facebook Power Users (Tip #5). That coverage sort of endorsed me as a thought leader in tweaking Facebook. The user interface and design of Facebook is only of interest to me because I enjoy the service so much and like sharing my experience with it.
As you might guess I’ve been following the redesign of Facebook pretty closely. My pal Bryan just posted a link to another great PC World article on Facebook “caving” to user concerns in the redesign. The article contains a good summary but also some important links worth checking out:
One of the most important parts of a person’s Facebook presence is their profile photo. This is displayed in the top left corner of a page. The photo can be a newly uploaded image or it may be drawn from any of your online albums.
Typically, a profile photo shows someone’s face, and appears in front of the light blue-grey line that connects from the left side of the profile to the left-most tab. View an example of a typical profile page with a normal photo.
Unlike Myspace, Facebook’s uses a common color and layout for every profile. This makes the site look better overall, but also limits your ability to affect the look of your profile. You can display Facebook applications on the left sidebar, and have them in tabs, but any changes to how the page’s style or how it is displayed overall are limited.
There isn’t a legal way to ‘hack’ Facebook, but there is a method to changing your profile photo to make your profile look subtly different and cooler. It isn’t obvious, but the placement of a profile photo allows you to lightly innovate on Facebook’s sacred profile layout. Continue reading A Guide to Hacking Your Facebook Profile Photo
I received an unsolicited email a few days ago from id Software requesting that I join their beta program for Quake Live. I haven’t played Quake since since 1999, but remember playing quite a bit of Quake 3 Arena–especially capture the flag.
In order to beta test, you first create an id Software user account, and then you have to create a second beta tester account just for Quake Live. Both accounts require you to go through a registration/authentication email loop.
The gameplay is quite good, it feels just like Quake 3 Arena with a number of the original maps available for play. The most impressive thing is that the game runs smoothly within a browser tab. You can easily change game settings, including resolution changes on the fly, with a brief loading routine by the app.
There is some interesting discussion going on in the Facebook Developer’s forum. The gist is that Facebook has made changes that are causing some developers to feel disenfranchised. A few developers are upset enough that they are speaking of creating a union of independent Facebook application developers.
What might the goals of a union of Facebook application developers be? It would help to look at what has stirred the pot recently. About two weeks ago someone posted a complaint that Facebook had unfairly bent the rules to give CBS’s Sports NCAA bracket application advantages for faster viral spread across the Facebook user base. Adding insult to injury, the thread also pointed out that the CBS Sports NCAA bracket application had a poor user rating.
Two days ago another developer posted a thread titled, “Facebook has stolen my idea!” which describes the recently added “Do you know these people?” page on Facebook. The developer suggests he feels “cheated” because the new Facebook page duplicates his own application’s functionality. The developer’s application was forced to comply with platform development rules that required an obstructive approval process in order work correctly.
I’ve been interested in writing for Facebook for some time because I believe that companies need to be expanding their online presence into applications built for major social networking platforms. It is easy to say that people should pay attention to things like OpenSocial or Facebook’s API, there have been plenty of articles about it. But nothing can convince you like building and running one yourself.
My application began with only allowing users to choose a photo for their profile. Then I added the ability to select prior Dave Matthews Band shows. The problem came when people said they wanted to show their tour history further back than 2007.
I’ve been sourcing my data from the DMB Almanac, a site that I promote fairly heavily through the Weekly Davespeak’s front page and in the forums. I have a feeling I send them a good portion of traffic. Continue reading My First Database Refactoring
One of my colleagues at Babson asked me how my Dave Matthews Band website ranks against others on the internet. I had a bit of a cloudy answer so I decided to have a look this evening. I was surprised to find that it appears Weekly Davespeak overtook Nancies.org in reach and page views sometime earlier this year. Reach measures the number of users who frequent a website, measured as a percentage of all website visitation.
Weekly Davespeak still lags Antsmarching.org by a wide margin, but I’m preparing some changes and a new service for WDS that has the potential to act as a game changer. It will take time, community effort, but I think that WDS could become achieve the lion’s share of Dave Matthews Band traffic within two years.