Obama & Change.gov embraced change. It has become a buzzword for his campaign, but also for our nation. When I started started this blog it marked a change in my business and personal life. I was going to keep track of the major things that I learned that enhanced my web application experience and that of other designers and developers. Thanks also to the many people who contributed ideas for topics, their experience both through interviews and comments, and for everyone who read and got something out of this site. I appreciate all your support, phone calls, and emails. It means a lot. I’ve already received a couple suggestions for topics next month, so don’t hesitate to contact me.

Looking back on this month the major themes were vision, challenge, and solution.


I started the year out by creating a vision plan for my personal goals. This set the stage for what I wanted to accomplish and a plan for what I needed to do to accomplish it. Since goals sometimes are overwhelming, I decided it was best to break them down in smaller more obtainable pieces through a process called mind mapping. This allowed for clear goals and risk assessment early in the project lifecycle.


One of the first topics I explored where the lessons I took from the challenges of 2008. Ruth who is helping me with PR sent a request out to web developers and solution providers asking them what their biggest design challenge was for 2008. They came back with many different things, but the major one was web browser compatibility.

We explored this topic over the next week in more detail. Looking first at a strategy for going to battle with the web browser and then identifying problems. We then looked at 5 tools to help resolve problems once identified and how the browser works to better understand how the problems occur in the first place. Interactive websites provide another layer of complexity that requires assuring that user content doesn’t break the site. Once all problems have been dealt with a continuous testing and monitoring plan should be put in place.


Throughout the month we looked at various solutions. First at how using stylesheets can help ease development and create a professional website. Then looking at two stylesheet based menus for a single line drop down menu and a 2 line menu. We enhanced a site with video using public providers and a content delivery network. Added a little flair with a favicon and made sure people could find your physical location.

How do you avoid documentation, make it part of the application. How do you avoid making a complicated calendaring application, use one that already exists.

We looked at office technology that is just as important as what you are doing online. We looked at solutions for backing up your projects and remotely assisting people who get stuck or find a bug in your application.

We then scratched the surface of designing and developing great applications. After all web developers are the key to keeping the entrepreneurial spirit alive. First make sure that you get paid for the work you do. If you are using the software as a service (SaaS) model you have different options for Application Pricing. How do you create fans of your web application? By creating Apps that are Spankin’ Good.

Share what you’ve learned this month with your friends. Hang out for next month as we explore these topics and more on 365 Web Applications!