August 4, 2007, 4:07 AM
Monthly Archives: August 2007
An original concept : speaking animations. Up till then nothing extraordinary, until you know the mouth’s movements are synchronized to an audio recording or, and that’s even more interesting, to a text you type yourself. What’s the use, you as me? Well in real life you can use this for reading out loud web articles, especially useful for near blind people (or lazy people), and fun for tech savvies. The website selling that kind of service is called Sitepal. They are not the only ones to offer this kind of technology, I’m essentially thinking about the screen reader you can find on the Agoravox website. But that’s less interesting for me, first because there is no animated character, and this is a website about graphic design, and also because it therefore feels less personal.
That technology is especially impressive in English. In French the voice sounds very synthetic…
The Sitepal website
The ReadSpeaker website
, 2:46 AM
It’s trendy : creating avatars based on famous animated series, such as the Simpsons or Southpark. You chose your colour, hairstyle, eyes shape… If you don’t know what an avatar is, it’s an image which represents you, shown every time you add a message on a forum, or when you discuss with someone on instant messaging software ( Skype, MSN… ). Yet another extremely unuseful invention, which therefore proves itself to be extremely necessary.
Create a Simpson avatar ( click on Create your Simpson avatar )
Create a Southpark avatar
, 1:54 AM
If you are a web designer, you know what CSS styles are. You are most certainly using them. They are progressively replacing tables, even though might sometimes be even more complicated to use. Sometimes they can create a real challenge where tables gave you a simple solution, for things such as vertical centering. They are not the most compatible system, showing differences between Mozilla and IE if they are not well created, and they’re close to unusable for e-mailings as email clients prefer very old style html.
But you cannot avoid them, as they enable you to have a cleaner encoding, are used in CMS, enable you to change the graphical aspecrt of a whole website just by changing a file and, more importantly, enable getting read of unnecessary information on the webpages themselves by removing references to colour and layout on them.
It can be hard to realize how much flexibility they enable. That’s why a website is dedicated to them, a “proof of concept” website where one simple page est is declined under a huge amount of CSS styles, very different from each other.
CSS Zen Garden ( To see the different “layouts” chose one in the right hand menu )