I’ve finally gained enough inspiration (in the form of inspiration coins or the intanglible inspiration points) and so have created my own little button set. It’s frankly nothing good at all, but it was the first professional-looking set I’ve done, so I’m celebrating by tossing them all up here.
One thing I’ve still not “figured out” is having files download. Just the other week, I was trying to put that jQuery link in my sidebar, but I wanted it to pop open as you visited the page. I’m a freak for extensibility, and so I set it to open up to an arbitrary amount, and then animate again to the newly-loaded image’s height. The problem is that the image sometimes takes a few seconds to load. I ended up making the animation very slow, to give the download time to finish.
The same sort of thing happened just now, in that button page. I made up a nice little jQuery file to download the button names and paths from an xml file and cycle through them as you clicked the button.
If I used a spritesheet, I don’t suppose I’d have any problem at all, but (silly me!) I just kept them as loose little 40×40 images. When I uploaded the page and tested it, the button didn’t appear to be working. Eventually, after waiting awhile, the next button appeared.
The only thing I could think to do, besides spriting it all, was to shove a little ‘loading’ animation in that I made, and then move the pressed button to download before the unpressed button. This way it’ll queue them up and shove the loading gif in there while you wait. Not exactly perfect, but at least you aren’t left with something that isn’t working.
That reminds me of cufón. Firefox has the unfortunate tendency to not highlight a selected canvas. (I suppose it’s annoying when you’re dragging and dropping on something and the whole box goes all semi-transparent and coloured. But still.) Most people who see cufón used, while themselves using Firefox, believe that you can’t select text.
Others select a bit of text as they read, as a rule to get across those longer lines of text. In that case, they really are losing something.
I find it funny that it inserts a hundred little canvas tags into your document.
One last thing.
I’ve been wanting to start on the site for what I’ve decided will be my company name, Cozy Cabbage Web Design & Development, and yet I’ve ended up spending a couple hours doing buttons, and then making up that webpage.
That page is thrown together, really. I wanted something not-plain in the background, so I whipped up a diagonal stripe, which is probably one of the least-difficult backgrounds to do. I added in a bit of padding, had some headaches here and there, realized I shouldn’t have the body height set to 100%, and later realized I should tweak some of those greys into red.
It has a certain workmanlike feel to it. And really, I could have done anything I wanted, because it was a throwaway test page. Really, the best place to test out new ideas is to create an environment where it doesn’t matter if you make mistakes, and where you don’t have to give a thought about why you need certain design elements. You don’t have to ask yourself, “How does this reflect my brand? Will this style increase the click-through rate? Will people hate me if I use Cufón?”
(ó I’m getting used to it. Usually, those sorts of characters result in a stream of éäàåçêëèïî before I manage to find what I want.)