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runwithscissors :: core
[may 29] :: field trip
I recently (May 19-20) travelled to Los Angeles, California to attend a couple of presentations by Lou Rosenfeld and Steve Krug.

Lou was presenting on Enterprise Information Architecture, which is particularly poignant for me right now as I'm managing the redesign of the web site for the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), a large, wily enterprise if there ever was one.

Steve presented a second serving of the information in his hugely-successful book Don't Make Me Think!, which is quickly becoming a must read for anyone concerned with the usability of their web sites.

All in all, it was a very informative two days and I'm still trying to distill much of the information into a summary I can deliver to my team. While a little pricey (especially from a Canadian perspective), I highly recommend the seminars. There's still a set scheduled for Chicago in June, so if you can afford it, do attend.

[april 16] :: in print
Well, I finally made it into print. I am a contributor to Redesigning Web Sites by Stefan Mumaw, recently published by Rockport. The book features 25 case studies on the topic of site redesigns, as told by the agencies and individuals that completed the projects.

For my part, I discussed the redesign of Upside Wireless, which also received a Cool Homepages award last year. You'll find the write-up and accompanying before-and-after shots starting on page 18.

It's a nice book and provides some fascinating insights into the way that different people approach the redesign of web sites. Pick it up if you have a chance!

[february 26] :: enthusiastically
Hey! Three new projects on the concepts page!

Check it out!

[february 17] :: um,, happy new year, etc.
I'm too lazy to even install a blogging tool here (and really, with eight (um, nine) posts — three of which are contrived — in as many months, why would I?). Seriously, view source. I'm manually creating the illusion of automation. Lazy or stupid, you decide. I'd install one of those web polls...but I'm too lazy.

I'm working both full-time (web developer) and part-time (instructor) for an educational institution. I also continue to work part-time as a freelance web designer. I'll be posting some new screenshots of recent projects soon (see note above re: lazy).

Sometimes I'm just really sick of computers and the web. But it pays the bills. And Dexter's gotta eat. Well, so do I. And my wife, she likes to eat too. I call her my wife, but we actually just got engaged last month. We've been together nine years. Anyway, I've noticed that one thing we have in common is that we like to eat.

I'm gonna go watch TV.

[october 28] :: an update? an update!
I figure if you don't have anything interesting to say, then don't waste people's time. I have interesting things to say I'm just really frickin lazy. Or rather, I spend so much time in front of a computer earning a living, I'm not particularly inclined to spending my leisure time in front of one as well. End result: this page doesn't get updated often.

Having said all that, I figured I should post something here since I finally got around to adding some new sites to the concepts page.

[july 16] :: gearing up
Work has begun in earnest at MACCAWS, where designers and developers are working together to create a resource for convincing clients and managers that standards-compliant development is in their best interest from a commercial standpoint.

Have a look and join the club. Or the Wiki.

[may 28] :: scene and herd
So, like everyone else in town, I'm looking for work. Mainly contract, but there's nothing wrong with a full-time gig either (as long as you don't have to start too early in the morning.)

In my distracted travels, I stumbled across lotusmodern while perusing the "career opportunities" at local companies. It's a nice little designers' portal (like so many others), but local.

I think it's hosted/maintained by some of the folks at bento box, a local design firm that I would work for if they ever had a position open. Nice stuff.

[may 21] :: at the core
Up until a couple minutes ago, when you clicked core, you got an annoying coming soon pop-up window (which you still get on some of the other links.)

I always envisioned that the core of my site would consist of things of use to me, my family, friends, clients, etc., including a semi-regualr update of my activities (blog). Eventually, I was going to sort out all my crap and post it in a clean, attractive layout. I've just never gotten around to it.

Then found me.

And then you did.

The posts below tell you a bit about what's happened in the last couple days; but I wrote them all this afternoon.

[may 20] :: a new skin
It took a day and a half but there's finally a look I can live with on the design concepts page. It's image and table heavy, but it'll do for now...if you're a CSS fanatic, please don't harangue me.

I can't do anything about the people who have come and gone (and likely "harrumphed" at the whole deity thing), but for those of you just arriving please feel free to send me a note ( and let me know what you think!

[may 18] :: a false god? or is that prophet?
I can't bear to think that people are following a link declaring someone a "god of...layout" only to find an awkward interface.

I'm proud of the work on display, to be sure; and in my defense, the page was thrown up hastily following my layoff from a previous employer.

Nonetheless, something must be done about that layout.


[may 17] :: A freakin god?!
Okay, this may be a bit much to live up to:
"For the first time ever, in 5 years, we are linking to a portfolio page. Dave Tanchak or however you pronounce it, is a freakin god of clean attractive layout and color design. Look and learn. Oh yeah, his homepage is great too!"
- Site of the week,
Hope this doesn't go straight to my head...
[may 17] :: 15 minutes
So I get an email from Tim Donahue at, telling me that he's made runwithscissors the site of the week. That's pretty freaky. Even freakier is, I've got 63 people _on_ my site right now

No one ever comes here. Now I suddenly have to tidy up. Well, better get at it...



design. dangerously.
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