Mark Bult Design: San Francisco, CA, Established 1988

Web design and development for small and large business, e-commerce, b2b, b2c, SAAS, and community websites. User experience design and usability testing.


Sunday, July 31, 2005

Vodaphone Futures

This Flash site presents future technologies in a really well done, interactive site.

Is it Arial or Helvetica?

Can you tell the difference between Arial and Helvetica? This quiz is truly only for the typographic dorks out there like me.

And hey, I only got 8 out of 10 correct.

Will the groundhog ever catch his shadow?

A hilarious campaign by Pennysylvania's government, preceding last year's Groundhog Day [Flash].

Thursday, July 28, 2005

grrrrr snarrl *bite* youch! duh

I present the latest evidence in the ongoing argument between Ynnej and me about whether dogs are stupid or not.

Hooked on ...keyboard humping?

I've got to get this song in my iTunes.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Apple introduces smallest MP3 player in history

It's awesome! [QuickTime]

Top 10 Web fads

Remember the Dancing Baby, Hampsterdance (sic), Star Wars Kid, and Mahir? Then you might remember some of the other things those crazy kids have come up with over the years on Internet´┐Ż. CNET has published its Top 10 Web fads as part if the 10th anniversary of CNET.com.

My question is, do I have any readers who've been Net-savvy long enough to remember Kibo?

A little polarization always cheers me up on a Monday

From Craigslist: Dear Red States...

"Don't these people READ? Well, as you will see from my research, they indeed do NOT read..." Feeling blue?

Can't we all just get along? Purple America

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Download.com redesign launches

After nine months of design work and a fast-paced production timeframe of about a month, the redesign of Download.com went live on Monday. There are some spacing issues that I need to call to the attention of the production team, but it actually launched looking better than I thought it would.

Feel free to peruse the new site and post a comment whether you like it or you hate it. And if you feel nostalgic for the old look, you can always count on the Wayback Machine.

Kelly forwarded me the first comment to come in: "Whoever came up with this design deserves a pay raise. This is much better."

I'll remind her of that in nine months when we're all sick of green ; )

The early stats say that the new design is driving more users to rate and write reviews of software, which was one of the things we wanted to do, so that's good. But it's way too early to see the overall impacts.

I'll eventually get around to posting some before and after screenshots in my portfolio. After I catch up on sleep maybe.

Lunatic Googlers

Thirty-six years ago today, something awesome happened and the world was changed forever. No, I'm not talking about my birthday, that was 36 years + a month ago. I'm talking about the first time mankind set foot on another planetoid. Yes, our moon is a planet, insofar that the Earth and Luna are together considered a "binary planet."

Those lunatics over at Google decided to commemorate the day with Google Moon. Hint: Zoom in all the way for a truly unique view of the moon's surface.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Waiter Rant

Waiter Rant is an entertaining blog by an anonymous waiter (who's also a good writer and story-teller) at a bistro in New York, I think. The post with tips to patrons is especially good, and the comments are just as interesting. And you have to read the post titled Special People, which is hilarious.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Tell the President to fire Karl Rove

From Act for Change:

When it first came to light that someone in the White House had leaked the identity of Valerie Plame, a CIA operative working to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction, President Bush vowed that he would find -- and fire -- the responsible parties. Now, Karl Rove's lawyers have admitted that he revealed Plame's identity to at least one journalist before the first stories were published. It's time for the President to hold Rove accountable and fire him.

Rove's political retribution against Plame didn't stop there; he also launched a coordinated campaign to smear both her and her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson. Ambassador Wilson, you'll recall, was the one who publicly disproved the President's infamous claim that Saddam Hussein was trying to buy uranium from Africa.

» Tell the President to fire Karl Rove...

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

A personal note

In case anyone has wondered why I haven't put anymore photos from St. Louis up yet or haven't posted in almost a week, it's because my dad's been in the hospital in critical condition and I haven't had time.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

That Tree Stood for So Much

Jason Wilson was just 21 when a Lakota elder gave him a spirit name.

Wilson, she said, was destined to carry a heavy weight. He would need the medicine of the name she offered, she told him, "to carry that weight in a good way, a strong way and as far as it needs to be carried."

Three years later, on a September day in 1998, the bearded redhead from Missouri lay in a fetal curl on the floor of a Humboldt County forest, rocking and sobbing in the duff. Next to him was 24-year-old David Nathan "Gypsy" Chain, his head cracked open by the blow of a tree felled by an enraged logger.
» Read the rest of the LA Times article...

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Eritrea

All the news coverage of the G8 meeting (on NPR and the BBC at least, since you won't hear anything about it on the US media) has meant that I've heard an unusual amount lately about African nations that one doesn't normally hear covered that much even on NPR and the Beeb. Within two hours today I heard two pieces on two different shows about Eritrea.

You've probably never heard of Eritrea. Neither had I in 1993 when I met a tall, lanky Eritrean named Teclu Tesfazghi. At that time, almost no one had heard of Eritrea, because it was the world's newest nation, after having just won independence after 30 years of war with Ethiopia.

Tec asked me to donate my design services to help fundraise for the International Committee for the Eritrean Blind (ICEB). Three decades of war had devastated the small North African country's population. Nearly everyone had been touched by the war; tens of thousands had lost limbs, eyes, and so on.

The ICEB was establishing itself in the U.S. through expatriots living and working here. Tec was doing some contract work with the City of Palo Alto, where I had worked until very recently, and he was volunteering to raise money for the ICEB.

I designed and wrote content for a calendar that was to be sold by local volunteers to raise funds to send back to Eritrea, in order to create skills-building programs that would allow the blind to go back to work.

We had almost no photos or other graphical assets for the project, and it's not as if you could go to a stock agency for photos of Eritrea, so I had to be very creative. I also had to do a lot of research on this country, in order to create some interesting text for the calendar. This was a bit of a challenge, since the country was brand new and encyclopedias still had it listed as a province of Ethiopia, if it was mentioned at all. This was, I might add, before the time that the Web made such research a lot easier.

In the years since the project I've followed the small nation's progress with interest, whenever I came across and information on it. While Eritrea's future was very bright in the mid-1990s, war with Ethiopia flared up again and the democratically elected head of Eritrea shifted towards dramatically totalitarian policies.



In one of the NPR pieces I heard today, I learned some new things about Eritrea I had never known, but which shouldn't surprise me. For example, I didn't know that the U.S. had poured money and weapons into the country for years and had maintained a strategic listening post there for use during Cold War spying on the U.S.S.R. and other nations. Terry Gross interviewed author Michela Wrong, whose new book, I Didn't Do It For You, is a history of Eritrea. I should very much like to read this book. I have strategically and un-subtly added it to my Amazon Wish List in case you would like to purchase for me as a belated birthday gift ;)

There are precious few books about Eritrea, but another one I enjoyed quite a bit was To Asmara by Thomas Keneally, who is most well known for having written Schindler's List (the book which the movie was based on). To Asmara is a novelized version Keneally's own travels in the land during the last years of the revolution that set Eritrea free from Ethiopia, and it was a very good book indeed.

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, July 01, 2005

Some landlords are such pricks

"Landlord Evicts Victim Of Murder Attempt For 'Being Too Loud' "

What is the best way to die?

I find the Guardian's Notes & Queries column to be great fun and even occasionally enlightening. But this topic elicited the most hilarious reponses.