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December 23 2013


How Christmas is Celebrated Around the Globe [INFOGRAPHIC]

Christmas is one of the best days of the year. In fact, I personally consider it the best day of the year. With food teeming and gifts overflowing, you enjoy the whole day in the company of the people you love, sharing stories, drinking beer and just having fun.

We all have our own Christmas celebrations to tell. Some are pretty normal, and some go beyond what is ordinary. Some follow traditions and others experiment every single year. Somewhere, some groups of people are celebrating Christmas differently than we do. We may find them queer but it’s how they roll and have fun.

True enough, as I’ve peeked at the world’s Christmas celebrations, I felt a different experience each place I looked into. It’s a whole new perspective on how to have fun. For that, I leave you these following countries that I have found great interest.

Infographic is at the end of this post. Feel free to embed it on your blog!



Photo from Ripleys

Santa is absolutely the best good guy you could ever think of. But he has an evil counterpart, yes that’s true. Even Santa gets a nemesis; he’s called Krampus. This Krampus guy looks like a demon and punishes naughty children before Christmas.



Photo from the Guardian

What’s interesting about this tradition is not the tangible product that it boasts but how people came up with it. In Britain, family members take turns in stirring the pudding mix clockwise while making a wish. Some even put coins for good luck, and others, rings or thimbles.



Photo from Vanilla and Lace

In the northern region of the country, people partake in a Taffy Pull, in honor of Saint Catherine – patron saint of single women. Taffy is a candy which is very similar to toffee. Taffy is made by stretching or pulling a mass of boiled sugar, butter and oil mixed with flavors and coloring util it becomes light, fluffy and chewy. In this tradition, single men and women will be paired off and the organizers will heat molasses and pour in a think steam bank. This will result to the hardening of the taffy, making it very difficult to pull. This difficulty is projected to arrive with the couple getting to know one another. The taffy pull is for single women out there, this is the perfect chance to meet the man of your dreams. 



Photo from Power House Museum

Despite the low percentage of Christians in China, Christmas still is considered to be a day of joy. In major cities, Christmas trees, lights and other ornaments are placed and people await for ‘Shen Dan Lao Ren’ (which we commonly know as Santa Claus).

On Christmas Eve, people give apples wrapped in colored paper. People do this because the pronunciation of ‘Ping An Ye’ (Christmas Eve) sounds like ‘Ping Guo’ (which means apple in Chinese).

Czech Republic


Photo from MSN

In Czech Republic, single women perform a ritual to determine if they’ll marry in the following year. On Christmas Eve, a woman throws one of their shoes towards the door. If the shoe lands and the heel points the direction of the door, the said woman shall not marry next year. If it lands otherwise, she should immediately make the wedding preparations. 



Photo from tyrol

In Finland, having a sauna isn’t that difficult to do. Why did I say that? Well, because most Finnish families have their own saunas. I repeat, their own sauna. They believe that an elf lives there and makes sure that members of the family act accordingly. And when Christmas Eve comes, people would go their sauna, and enjoy a good time.



Photo from  Stellar Four

If we had a yule goat in Sweden, we also have a yule cat in Iceland. This cat is depicted to be very scary and eats lazy children. (My goodness, I might be eaten!) How will you avoid being the Christmas dinner of a hungry Christmas cat? Well, finish your work and get new clothes before the calendar hits December 25.



Photo from CRISTINA

Instead of Santa Claus, gifts are delivered by a witch! Called La Befana, this witch arrives on Christmas or Epiphany, bringing traditional holiday gifts. She gives fruits and candies for the nice kids and coal and garlic for the naughty ones. People leave wine for her to drink before she goes, and if you’re nice enough, she will sweep your floor with her broomstick!


Iraq Christmas

Photo from goodman theatre

Iraqi Christians celebrate the Christmas day through a great bonfire made of dried thorns and twigs outside their houses. The thing here is that you should really burn the thorns because it will imply good fortune. You can also make wishes whenever the fire is reduced to ashes.



Photo from Australian Times

Kentucky Fried Chicken is the most famous Christmas dinner in Japan. The demands for these delicious chicken spike up to the point that you need to reserve your chicken 2 months ahead!



Photo from Wikipedia

In Oaxaca, Noche de los Rabanos is celebrated during December 23. At this day, radishes rule the earth as they are formed and designed to portray nativity scenes, historical figures, famous people and more.



Photo from

Brooms during Christmas Eve? No way in Norway. This is because of a very old and popular belief where witches came out of the Eve of December 25 to look for broomsticks to ride on. So, what people do is that they hide them really well. So, during Christmas Eve, expect brooms to be missing or lost.



Photo from Image Shack

Having the longest Christmas in the world that starts in September, the Philippines have a multitude of traditions including the Misa de Gallo (Dawn Mass), Caroling, Monito Monita (Secret Santa) and more!

The country is also famous for its parols, which are lanterns that have Christmas motifs.



Photo from Wiki How

In Russia, Christmas is celebrated on January 7th instead of December 25. This is because the Orthodox Church, where most Russians pay worship, still uses the old Julian Calendar for their religious celebrations.



Photo from

Early on Christmas Eve, the head of the Slovakian family gets a spoonful of Loksa, a dish made out of bread, poppy seed filling and water, and throws it on the ceiling. The more it remains in the ceiling, the richer the crops will be.



Photo from Telegraph

People hide Caganers (famous people portrayed defecating) under their Christmas Nativity scenes and asks their friends to find them. Dating way back to the 18th century, this tradition has become a symbol of fertilization, hope and prosperity for the years to come.



Photo from Red Ice Creations

A giant goat made of straw is built at the start of the holiday season. People will do everything just to set this gigantic goat on fire before Christmas Day. Some dress as Santa Claus and others as elves just so they could get passed the guards and ablaze the goat.  Poor  goat.



Photo from Kwintesessential

Christmas trees are decorated with real spiders and spider webs. According to tradition, this will give the home good luck.



Photo from fest300

For Santa Claus enthusiasts, here’s the Comi-con counterpart of your hobby: SantaCon! SantaCon is a gathering of New Yorkers dressed as Christmas characters. During this day, you see a lot of Santas, elves, snowmen and people just having a great time!



Photo from Hotel Club

In Caracas, the government closes the roads for cars, allowing people to skate together to hear the Christmas Day mass.


Wherever we may go, whatever we may believe (or not believe) in, whoever we are, we will still find a way to celebrate this world-wide holiday. We may do it traditionally, or follow our hearts, but what’s important is, on Christmas, we are with the ones we love and we are happy.

How Christmas is Celebrated Around the Globe Infographic

Click the image for the full infographic.

Copy the code below to embed the infographic on your blog.

<a href=””><img src=”” ALT=”How Christmas is Celebrated Around the Globe” title=”How Christmas is Celebrated Around the Globe” width=”570″ height=”1017″ /></a><br/><a href=””>Source: 1stwebdesigner – Become a Better Web Designer!</a>

June 04 2013


Design in Service: Crafting the Citizen Experience

Many agree that a combination of factors – a demand for better user experience, the rise of ubiquitous technologies and more readily accessible datasets – present the conditions necessary for a more enjoyable life as a citizen of our country. But necessity is just the mother of invention; it takes hard work to get there. To narrow the gap between today’s promises and tomorrow’s opportunities, designers are increasingly intent on improving what’s known as the citizen experience.

The trends aren’t difficult to see. Co-authors Joseph Pine and James Gilmore pointed out eons ago in the web world – back in 1998 – that we live an experience economy. Simply put, people are drawn to products and services that are more considerate of their experience. Additionally, by now, designers are well acquainted with the idea of mobile, ubiquitous computing. It’s hard not to be. It’s the subject of books, blogs, even whole conferences.

One consequence of these trends is data. Lots of it., a site created and maintained by the Obama administration’s Open Government Initiative, houses over 73,000 sets of the stuff. The sheer quantity available begs the question: what can designers do? The (short-term) answer is visualizations. With them, designers turn otherwise confusing arrays of numbers into useful information.

Map-based visualizations seem a relatively humble start, yet the examples appearing on sites such as and readily manifest the power of mere juxtaposition.

Visualizations are only a small part of the story, though. What’s more valuable than the insights created by way of visualizations and others information technologies like them are the storytelling opportunities that these neo-journalism tools afford. By piecing together the narratives behind collective action, locally-minded people – citizens – can tell more cohesive stories about their communities and plan for change. In essence, today’s technological landscape provides a compelling opportunity for designers to affect a positive change across entire municipalities.

The citizen experience

After years of working in the private sector, Jess McMullin had an epiphany. At two in the morning – the Saturday before Christmas, 2009 – he made the not-too-hasty decision to leave the consultancy he had founded six years prior. Jess left his own company to work in the public sector because, in his words:

I’ve found public-sector work to be infinitely more meaningful than private-sector work. I guess that’s because, as an individual, I actually have faith and confidence in the government as a solution to societal problems.

Individually, we tend not to act in a way that’s attuned to our collective needs. The free market led us to the housing crisis and situations like Enron. Unregulated, it’s a sociopath. Government provides a solution to the tragedy of the commons.

Jess Mcmullin

Many of the designers with whom I spoke while researching this piece had a similar epiphany: the “tragedy of the commons” becoming too acute, and projects focused on the citizen experience appearing refreshingly greenfield by comparison. It led user researcher Cyd Harrell to more prominently introduce the term to the community in her article on UX Magazine titled “The Citizen Experience Needs Us: Why UX practitioners should join the Government 2.0 movement.” She says:

Lately, I’ve started thinking that our view of the human as a “user” is incomplete. Yes, interacting with interfaces does come down to using technology, but just as “customer” is a more comprehensive term in the commercial realm, we need another term to describe other important relationships in people’s lives.

Anyone applying for a business license or a building permit, paying taxes, looking up public records, or requesting benefits is participating in an interaction where they are something more than a user. These relationships aren’t exactly voluntary the way commercial relationships are, but at the same time, the public nature of these services makes the user a co-owner in a way that customers typically are not.

Most citizen experiences don’t properly reflect this reality although they should, and it’s interesting to think about how they’d be different if they did.

Cyd Harrell

In other words, the citizen experience is a direct result of the platform provided by a municipality. While its opportunities aren’t as readily apparent, they’re no less important to would-be civic designers.

The civic design spectrum

The gap between today’s user-centered designers and tomorrow’s civic designers is closing, albeit slowly. That’s partially because citizen experience is a relatively nascent idea (to us), and partially because the resources available to designers are few and far between. It’s a bit of a chicken and egg scenario. Some resources do exist, though: Jess McMullin, mentioned above, wrote a guide called Getting into Government Consulting detailing his lessons from the trenches; researchers Nate Bolt and Tony Tulathimutte wrote an account of their work with Stanford University, helping get the word out about Swine Flu; and designers Elizabeth Buie & Dianne Murray co-edited a book called Usability in Government Systems, which acts as a good primer.

Dana Chisnell’s Field Guides to Ensuring Voter Intent were funded through Kickstarter and designed by Oxide Design Co.

Other designers have simply jumped in head first, making a name for themselves by taking part in what author Jon Kolko calls social entrepreneurship. Social entrepreneurship works just like its conventional counterpart except that social entrepreneurs seek to solve humanitarian problems rather than sell products. Dana Chisnell’s Field Guides to Ensuring Voter Intent and Laura Amico’s Homicide Watch serve as good examples, in addition to joint-ventures such as Random Hacks of Kindness (sponsored by Microsoft, Google, Yahoo!, NASA, and the World Bank).

What’s clear is that civic design projects run the gamut – some are visualizations, some are physical objects, and some are quasi-public services. Is there any consensus as to what citizens actually want from the government of the future? This summary, accompanying an Accenture study from 2012, suggests an answer:

The majority of people say they would use digital services if offered by government, especially for routine transactions. And over half want to conduct all their government business digitally in the future. The biggest challenge for government is not catching up with the private sector—it’s giving digital citizens what they want while using digital channels to improve public value.

Laying aside the ambiguity of “public value” for a moment, it seems sensible to conclude that the primary way to increase that value would be to give each citizen a voice, helping them take part in their own democracy. San Francisco’s online service center, @SF311, does just this.

As Cyd explains (in the same article mentioned earlier):

One day last summer, driving through Golden Gate Park on one of our notoriously freezing and foggy June mornings, I noticed sprinklers in full spray all along a major road, wasting large quantities of water. Having recently heard about the service, I tweeted @SF311, and within 45 minutes I had a helpful response assuring me that it would be checked out. The next day when I drove the same route, the sprinklers were off.

Cyd Harrell

Tools such as SF311 are equal parts fascinating and vexing. While one the one hand they liberate – empowering citizens – on the other hand they also represent of an entire class of products and services that are often unheard of until after they’re built.

Better government for everyone

Anyone who’s interacted with an office of their local government knows that the public sector works as best as it can to serve the needs of its constituents. Organizations frequently adopt and adapt solutions along the way which inevitably introduces inefficiencies. Inefficiency, however, is something for which user-centered design is well suited. It’s just rarely the case that these two parties meet in the middle, despite the fact that they have so much to gain from one another.

This disconnect prompted Jennifer Pahlka – a former game-industry leader turned social entrepreneur – to found a civic-design organization called Code for America. Code for America is best described by way of analogy, drawing comparisons to both Teach for America and Peace Core (but for geeks). At its heart, the organization facilitates is a year-long fellowship program, recruiting designers and developers to scope and solve public-sector problems in collaboration with local governments.

In a nutshell:

  1. Designers and developers apply from all over the country,
  2. Next, a handful are chosen to participate in the San Francisco-based program,
  3. Finally, states sponsor a group of fellows to come onsite and collaboratively solve government problems in a user-centered way.

Participation in the program is as much a learning opportunity as it is a gesture to shared future of our nation. The following video provides insight into one of the projects that came out of last year’s program:

Fellows from Code for America describe their latest collaboration with a city government, a website built for Honolulu’s City Hall.

Readers interested in transitioning into the the civic design space are highly encouraged to apply for the 2014 fellowship.

What tomorrow feels like

The most fascinating thing about citizen experience design is that it’s taken so long to come to the fore. The problem space begins with a question that’s pertinent to all of us: what’s it like to be a resident of a town or city? And how could that be better? Living somewhere is “an experience” most do not think of “choosing;” our parents made that decision for us. But as we grow up we do have a choice: do we keep things as they are or do we choose to make our future government better than we found it?

The post Design in Service: Crafting the Citizen Experience appeared first on UX Booth.

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April 12 2013


Lo stato della rete Internet: Report 2013

Lo stato della rete Internet - Report 2013
Negli ultimi 12 anni Internet è stato protagonista di una crescita strepitosa. A livello globale si è passati dai 361 milioni di utenti attivi nel 2000 agli attuali 2,4 miliardi. L’incremento ha segnato una crescita del 566,4% rispetto agli inizi del nuovo millennio. Un balzo in avanti assai significativo che merita un approfondimento.

Nel periodo 2000-20012 le aree geografiche del pianeta che hanno registrato la maggiore crescita nell’utenza sono state l’Africa, passata da 4,5 a 167 milioni di utenti (+3.606,7%), il Medio Oriente, da 3,2 a 90 milioni (+2.639,9%) e l’America Latina con la zona caraibica passate da 18 a 254 milioni di utenti (+1,310,8%).

In termini assoluti, l’Asia con oltre 1,07 miliardi di utenti è il continente con il maggior numero di persone connesse a Internet anche se, in termini relativi, il tasso di penetrazione del Web calcolato come utenti connessi rapportati alla popolazione totale di 3,9 miliardi di abitanti, è appena del 27,5%. Meglio solo dall’Africa che chiude la classifica con un modesto tasso di penetrazione del 15,6%. Dal punto di vista della penetrazione globale i dati restano ancora abbastanza scoragganti. Appena il 34,3% della popolazione globale ha accesso a internet anche se si registra una crescita positiva con un balzo del +5,3% rispetto alle stime che nel 2010 parlavano di appena il 29%.

Sfogliando le statistiche per regione, la Corea del Sud è il Paese asiatico con il più alto tasso di penetrazione della rete con 40,3 milioni di utenti connessi pari all’82,5% della popolazione totale. Seguono il Giappone con 101 milioni di utenti e una penetrazione del 79,5%, il Brunei con una penetrazione del 78%, Taiwan 75,4%, Singapore 75% e Hong Kong 74,5%.

Il Nord America si conferma a livello globale l’area geografica con il maggiore tasso di penetrazione della rete. Il 78,6 percento dei 348 milioni di abitanti, circa 273,7 milioni, è connesso regolarmente a Internet. A seguire l’Australia con il 67,6% e l’Europa con il 63,2%. In totale il nostro continente ha 518,5 milioni di utenti connessi alla rete su una popolazione totale di 820,9 milioni di abitanti.

La Germania è in testa alla classifica dei paesi più connessi in Europa. 67,4 milioni di utenti, pari all’83% degli 81,3 milioni di abitanti, accedono regolarmente a Internet. L’Italia che per numero di abitanti è confrontabile alla Francia sfigura clamorosamente con un tasso di penetrazione di appena il 58,4% e un totale di 35 milioni di utenti connessi. In Francia sono 52,2 milioni, pari al 79,6% degli abitanti. In Europa, la percentuale più bassa di utenti connessi si registra in Kosovo con appena il 20,5% di utenti sul totale degli abitanti.

Il Brasile guida la classifica dei paesi sudamericani più connessi a Internet con 88,4 milioni di utenti pari al 45,6% del totale degli abitanti, seguito dal Messixco con 42 milioni e l’Argentina 28 milioni.

February 17 2012


Why Your Business Must Go Social [Infographic]

Your grandma is probably on Facebook by now. So why on earth isn’t your business?

It’s time to get real, and come to terms with the fact that social media networks are not just for teenagers anymore. Even setting up something as simple as a customized Facebook fan page can enhance your brand online. Studies show that socializing is important for maintaining a happy and a healthy lifestyle. So it kinda makes sense that the same holds true for businesses, no?

Read on for some cold hard facts about why social networking is a must for you and your company.

Shared by our friends from Wix!

your wix business must go social

January 04 2012


25 Best Infographics Of 2011 That Are Still Relevant Today

The year of 2011 went very fast for us in the development world and I am sure some of you accomplished important things for your career during this year. But besides our personal achievements, the whole industry managed to reach something that was unthinkable around 10 years ago. To show you how the web progressed during the past year, I collected a series of infographics from the internet and hope, by the end of this article, you will realize what huge potential this year of 2012 has. Most of the images are not in full here, so you might want to click on them and read the whole infographic for an overall understanding of the presentations.

1. 60 seconds on the web

This one shows what happened on the web during 2011 in a timeframe of 60 seconds, if we minimize the whole year to it. 600 new YouTube videos, almost 700,000 search queries on Google and Facebook status updates and close to 100,000 tweets should say enough about what power the internet holds nowadays.


2. Disruptive Companies

It is easy to see how Apple, for example, disrupts today’s web. The iPhone and iPad start to replace the computers and old phones and always bring new ideas to the table.


3. Instagram’s Fun Facts


4. User Generated Content

Nowadays people say “Content is King” and after reading this infographic you will see why they mean it. There is so much content on the internet that is really difficult to keep up with, therefore we have to sort out the things we are interested in and only follow those.


5. App Store Info

Want to see some interesting information about the apps in Apple’s Store? Then this infographic is for you.


6. Foursquare Reaching 10 Million Users

This is an animated .gif and you might want to see it in full.


7. Spam


8. How Busy are Americans


9. Facebook Relationships

This infographic is not only about Facebook users, but also about their relationships. Very good to understand how Facebook works for us and how we interact with the others.


10. Bugs in your Open Source Code


11. Twitter History

If you tweet a lot, you probably already know some of these, but otherwise this is an interesting read about the records on Twitter and some other statistics. It is not only for 2011, but includes some events from last year.


12. Farewell to Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs, the former genius and Apple co-founder, died in the latter part of 2011. This infographic is more or less dedicated to him and tells us the important milestones in his life.


13. iCloud

Apple’s new technology is shown and explained in this infographic.


14. iPhone Users and their Security Concerns


15. Online Hiring through oDesk in the Bay Area


16. Future Social CEO


17. Loading Time Affects Your Bottom Line


18. How does Google make a Profit

If you still ask yourself where does Google, a free service, make its money from, then this infographic will definitely provide an answer to you.


19. The Life of a Facebook Photo


20. Differences Between Mac and PC Users


21. The Apple Products Tree Since its Foundation


22. Online and Offline Marketing


23. Social Media Marketing and its Effectiveness


24. The StartUp ToolKit for Online Entrepreneurs


25. A Day in the Life of a CEO


November 12 2011


August 16 2011


October 01 2010


40 Super-Cool Infographics You Absolutely Have To See

Infographics can be a great source for learning new facts and getting design inspiration. I even know several web designers who frequently make infographics to practice some skills. In this article we’ll be having a look at a great collection of these that you definitely should see! Here’s something for everyone.

Design can be complicated and design can be simple. By making infographics you can practice using your skills, setting up information in a new and creative way along with educating others in a fun way. There are lots and lots of these out there. This time we’ve decided to simply show you some of the better ones we could find, on any topic. Here are infographics related to design, social media, economy and all sorts of other topics.

Have a look at how the information has been set up. Sometimes these can look just like a mind map or brainstorming notes, while they other times are set up in a more specific way. A lot of the techniques use can translate well into both mind maps, web design and other creative areas.

We hope these can inspire and teach you a new thing or two.

Make sure to click the images to go see the full-sized ones. Several of these are very big and very detailed.


1. The colors of the top 100 web brands

2. Yahoo developer network metro map

3. How Google works

4. The boom of social sites

5. The cmo’s guide to the social landscape

6. Do you need a new logo?

7. The 2010 social networking map

8. A modern history of human communication

9. How much do we really recycle?

10. Money in the food industry

11. Education by the numbers

12. Time wasted on loading unnecessary data

13. Green through the ages

14. Farmville vs. real farms

15. Facebook: facts you probably didn’t know

16. The most widely spoken languages

17. What BP could have bought with all the money they lost

18. Rock ‘n’ Roll metro map

19. Largest bankruptcies in history

20. What are people buying online?

21. The human tongue

22. Digital lifestyle

23. Serial killers

24. Twitter users profile

25. Animals & Humans: What’s the difference?

26. Healthcare costs by state

27. Labor day by the numbers

28. What makes good information design?

29. Nurses by the numbers

30. Can I afford an iPad?

31. A guide to buying your own island

32. The life of a cruise ship

33. What’s cheaper now than it was in 2000?

34. The bumpy rise of a start-up

35. The perfect pour

36. How do I win rock, paper, scissors every time?

37. Rubiks cube

38. Mythical creatures

39. The display ad tech landscape

40. Music preference by gender

Those were our picks of 40 really cool infograhics. We’d love to hear from you!

Which one did you like the best? – and can you see these translating into your area of design?

August 13 2010


30 Beautiful Infographics for your Inspiration

Infographics are graphic representation of wide variety of information. Now a days designers have taken infographics to a new level representing various information visually in such a manner that it is easy to understand as well as appealing to eyes. Infographic design has evolved as a new field, where data visualization is done creatively & neatly. Information like facts & figures represented using infographics are much easier to understand. Here I have showcased some of the best infographics which are not just visually appealing but also provides some great knowledge & information.

1. The Life Cycle of a Blog Post

2. The Boom of Social Sites

3. iPad Data Visualized

4. BSA Anniversary & Infographic

5. World Of Programming

6. A Modern History of Human Communication

7. Open Source Open World

8. Open Courseware: Stats & Facts

9. What Are People Really Buying Online?

10. The State of Social Porn

11. The Gulf Oil Spill: 88 Days Later

12. The Current State of Twitter

13. The History of the iPhone

14. SEO In Pictures

15. State Of The Internet 2009

16. The Cost of Spam: CO2 Emissions

17. The 2010 Social Networking Map

18. How Google Works

19. How Do I Win Rock Paper Scissors Every Time?

20. Which Blogging Platform Should You Use?

21. How Come Cheap Airlines Are So Cheap?

22. The Top Cameras On Flickr

23. Music & Piracy

24. The iPad Apples Next Gold Rush

25. So You Want To Watch Youtube?

26. 100 Pixar Characters

27. What Dose Your Email Provider Say About You?

28. Satellites Orbiting Earth

29. My Digital Life

30. The Yahoo! Developer Network Metro Map

Tell us which of these you like the most if you some other interesting infographics to share do mention them in comments.

July 21 2010


10 Stunning Movie Websites

Adobe Flash is definitely the preferred platform by the film industry when it comes to creating visually stunning sites aimed at promoting new film releases.
Here is a selection of the ten best websites for movies of the current and past season that deserve to be added to your bookmarks as a source of inspiration in the field.

Salt – The CIA officer, Evelyn Salt, played by Angelina Jolie, is accused of being a Russian spy and must use her experience as agent to avoid being caught. The website of this movie shouldn’t be missed especially for the graphics and the excellent quality of images and photos.

Inception is a revelation for the current season, an awesome blockbuster that has been defined by Peter Traverser (Rolling Stone Magazine) as a well done mix between James Bond and The Matrix, with a compelling storyline and spectacular special effects. The website is equally impressive, especially for the transition effects between the different sections. Something I personally liked is the background music taken from the original soundtrack.

For the hardcore fans of the genre, July marks the return of “Predators” the new chapter of the 80′s (almost) homonymous film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. The site is extremely appealing, too bad though for the textures in the background of the menus at the top of the screen, that do not really seem to be of great quality.

The sixth chapter of the Saw series showcases a site with a very dark and claustrophobic mood. Worth a mention, the scenes of the movie appearing in the background while you browse through the pages and the audio effects.

Great visual effort in the website dedicated to the film Splice, a thriller starring Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley and focused on the aberrations of genetic engineering. The graphics are clean and essential, the videos in the background have a good quality and are well integrated with the user interface.

Defined by Stephen King as one of the finest flicks of the year, The Road , starring Viggo Mortensen, sports a website that is essential and yet visually appealing. Beautiful effects and sounds, fading into the background.

Original, impressive visual effects and interface with a 3D navigation menu the site for Iron Man 2 is a feast for your eyes, one of the most spectacular you might expect from a Flash site.

The new movie by M. Night Shyamalan, The Last Airbender, is astonishing for its amazing special effects and website is no exception.

All the unforgettable characters of the most famous action movies ever are gathered in The Expendables film based on the story of a group of mercenaries sent to South America on a mission that seeks to overthrow the local dictator. The site is particularly interesting for the effects of contextual navigation with the mouse and the different animations.

2012, the latest movie about the Apocalypse and a blockbuster of the past season, showcases a minimal website with a clean and basic layout. The spectacular background images and fading animations in the menu make the site pleasant in its simplicity.

July 17 2010


July 07 2010


My Design Swap: A Day in the Life of Dan Mall

A few months back, Trent Walton (@TrentWalton) and Yaron Schoen (@Yarcom) asked if I’d be interesting in contributing “a swap” with another designer for their new project, Design Swap. For those unfamiliar, Design Swap is a way to “build closer friendships with other designers online by letting someone design on your website, whether it’s a blog post, banner image, or “tiny footer doodad.” I couldn’t have been more excited to be apart when asked. They also asked if I had anyone in mind that I’d like to partner with on this fun project, which at the time, I started chatting and DMing Dan Mall (@DanielMall) on Twitter more frequently.

Aside from being familiar with Dan’s work, Big Spaceship (the company he currently works for), a reader of his blog for quite some time, and a few quick chats back and forth on Twitter and Instant Messaging, I really didn’t know much else. This made for a great introduction for the Design Swap project: “Spreading Camaraderie Through Good Design.”

Dan kindly accepted working together, which began with a few brainstorming sessions over the phone for a few weeks. At the end, we decided what better way to approach the project than getting to know each other better through recording observations of each other day’s and then sharing what we both did on a particular day.

We also thought it would be interesting to add a few limitations to our swap by forcing each other to design in the other person’s website style. This meant my swap of Dan’s life had to look, feel and share resemblance of using the same fonts and style, which was inspired by the NY Times and LA Times. We left the idea of how we both wanted to approach sharing this information to the other person, as long as it followed the style restrictions.

Having always enjoying looking at infographics and always wanting an excuse to make one of my own, I thought this would be a fun occasion to do so, while also poking a bit of fun at Dan’s awesome and meticulous recording of that day. I hope you enjoy my Design Swap with Dan’s daily data: A Day in the Life of Dan Mall. Feel free to also read more on our swap over at Dan’s site.

It’s without a doubt been a lot of fun getting to know Dan on a more personal level (apparently he and I lived in Philadelphia at the same time for like 8 years and never knew it) and working with such a smart, talented and passionate guy on this swap! Also, kudos to Yaron and Trent for such a brilliant idea. As an independent designer, it’s really great to connect with so many other talented folks through digital format and glad Trent and Yaron both share that same vision of spreading closer friendships online.

Feel free to also get involved with Design Swap by signing up (for free of course!) and selecting who you would like to pair with. Happy swapping.

Related links:

June 27 2010


June 24 2010


May 10 2010


Designing an Infographic with HTML, CSS & jQuery

I’ve been wanting to get stuck into a creative infographic for quite some time, so recently I started work on a personal project that involved the design and build of a graphic to portray the stats and figures of Line25. To mix things up a little and to take it a step further, I decided to have a shot at building the whole infographic as a complete web page. Here’s a walkthrough of the project, showing how resources like Cufon and jQuery’s ScrollTo plugin were used to add some flair and interactivity to the design.

The concept

View the infographic

View the infographic

The design itself was put together in Adobe Illustrator using a bunch of Line25 stats. A limited colour palette was used to stay true to traditional infographic designs like airplane safety cards, with a couple of blues, greens and greys making up the scheme for the design. Large typography was one of the main ingredients, with League Gothic being the perfect fit with its tall and bold appearance. Charts, diagrams and icons also make up large portions of the design, all aiming to add interest to the otherwise boring facts and figures.

With the idea of building a web page out of the design in mind, I bundled in some large margins and gaps between the sections, the idea being that the jQuery ScrollTo plugin could make for some cool interactive scrolling. Swirly lines and gradients in these areas would add some visual flair as the browser window zooms past.

The basic webpage

Once the overall design concept was complete, the basic information was laid out in plain old HTML. Paragraphs of text and headings were used where possible to allow the majority of the design to be rendered by the browser, then it was all styled up with CSS one section at a time.

Intro section

Intro section preview

<div id="intro">
	<h1>The stats behind <span>Line25</span></h1>
	<p>The LINE25 web design blog by Chris Spooner is home to a range of posts that aim to provide ideas and inspiration to web creatives.
At just over one year old it’s already amassed a wealth of stats and figures. Sit back and take a look behind the scenes.</p>

	<p class="btn"><a href="#section1">Continue</a></p>
#intro {
	background: url(images/section-1.png) 0 485px no-repeat;
	padding: 0 0 1102px 0;
	margin: 0 0 0 100px;

	#intro h1 {
		font-size: 78px;
		color: #c0d8f1;
		text-transform: uppercase;
		margin: 0 0 25px 0;
		#intro h1 span {
			display: block; width: 625px; height: 188px; margin: 8px 0 0 0;
			background: url(images/line25.png);text-indent: -9999px;

	#intro p {
		width: 850px;
		font-size: 28px; color: #c0d8f1;
		#intro p.btn a {
			display: block; width: 128px; height: 128px;
			background: url(images/down-btn.jpg); text-indent: -9999px;
			float: right; margin: 160px -3px 0 0;

The intro section consists of a short header, the Line25 logo, intro paragraph and the first button element. The background of the design was added as a background image to the intro <div>, and plenty of padding added to replicate the large portions of white space. The heading is configured in size and colour, with the <span> coming in handy for some image replacement as the Line25 logo.

Section one

Section one preview

<div id="section1">
	<h2 class="march2009">March 2009</h2>
	<h2 class="launched">Line25 is launched</h2>
	<p>On its first day, Line25 brought in 1,750 visitors. One year later in March 2010, the average daily visitor rate has grown to 5,572.</p>
	<img src="images/graph.png" alt="Graph displaying visitor count from March 2009 and March 2010" />

	<h2 class="average">On average each month, there are:</h2>

		<dd>New posts</dd>

		<dd>New comments</dd>

		<dd>New subscribers</dd>


#section1 {
	margin: 0 0 0 100px;
	#section1 h2.launched {
		font-size: 154px;
		color: #c0d8f1;
		text-transform: uppercase;
		margin: 0 0 15px 0;
	#section1 h2.march2009 {
		width: 858px; height: 398px; margin: -21px 0 30px 0;
		background: url(images/march-2009.png); text-indent: -9999px;
	#section1 p {
		width: 850px; margin: -25px 0 45px 0;
		font-size: 37px; line-height: 47px; color: #a7a9ac;
	#section1 img {
		margin: 0 0 45px 0;

	#section1 h2.average {
		font-size: 82px;
		color: #c0d8f1;
		text-transform: uppercase;
		margin: 0 0 15px 0;
	#section1 dl {
		overflow: hidden; margin: 0 0 100px 0;
		#section1 dl dt {
			width: 360px; float: left; clear: left;
			font-size: 130px;
			color: #c1e6e9;
			text-transform: uppercase;
			text-align: right;
			margin: 0 0 5px 0;
		#section1 dl dd {
			float: left;
			*float: none; /* Quick and dirty IE7 fix */
			font-size: 70px;
			color: #c0d8f1;
			text-transform: uppercase;
			margin: 43px 0 0 25px;

After a short scroll section one begins with a simple graphic, followed by paragraph text which introduces the first chart. The large lists of facts and figures fits perfectly as a definition list, with the two pieces of related information being marked up as either <dt> or <dd>.

Section two

Section two background swirls

Section two chart

<div id="section2">
	<h2 class="total">In total <span>(as of May 2010)</span>, that's...</h2>
	<p class="btn total"><a href="#stats">Continue</a></p>
	<h2 class="categories">The 126 posts are split into 4 categories:</h2>
	<img src="images/pie-chart.png" alt="Pie chart displaying posts per category" />

	<p class="btn continue"><a href="#user">Continue</a></p>
#section2 {
	background: #476079 url(images/swirls.png) 220px 210px no-repeat; padding: 75px 0 50px 100px;
	#section2 {
		font-size: 82px;
		color: #fff;
		text-transform: uppercase;
		margin: 0 0 2362px 0;
		float: left;
		#section2 span {
			font-size: 55px;
		#section2 a {
			display: block; width: 128px; height: 128px;
			background: url(images/down-btn.jpg); text-indent: -9999px;
			float: left; margin: -32px 0 0 10px;
		#section2 h2.categories {
			font-size: 82px;
			color: #fff;
			text-transform: uppercase;
			margin: 0 0 150px 0;
		#section2 img {
			margin: 0 0 150px 0;
		#section2 p.btn.continue a {
			display: block; width: 128px; height: 128px;
			background: url(images/down-btn.jpg); text-indent: -9999px;
			margin: 0 0 0 415px;

Section two switches from a grey background to a dark blue, and starts with a short title and swirly pattern graphic before heading down to the meaty information lower down. This graphic is added as a background image to the section2 <div> and lots of padding added to bump down the content. Classes on each title allows the sizing to be altered to adhere to the original design.

Section three

Section three preview

<div id="section3">
	<h2 class="user" id="user">The average Line25 user...</h2>
		<li class="firefox">Uses Firefox</li>
		<li class="pc">Has a PC</li>
		<li class="time">Browses for 1:39</li>
		<li class="usa">Lives in the USA</li>
		<li class="awesome">Is awesome</li>

	<img src="images/thankyou.png" alt="Thank You, The End" />

	<p class="btn"><a href="#intro">Back to top</a></p>
#section3 {
	background: #c1e6e9 url(images/gradient.jpg) repeat-x; padding: 4100px 0 200px 100px;
	overflow: hidden;
	#section3 h2.user {
		font-size: 120px;
		color: #476079;
		text-transform: uppercase;
		margin: 0 0 100px 0; padding: 100px 0 0 0;
	#section3 ul {
		width: 534px; height: 1135px; padding: 75px 0 200px 600px;
		background: url(images/user-bg.png) no-repeat;
		#section3 ul li {
			list-style: none; height: 60px; padding: 40px 0 30px 130px; margin: 0 0 106px 0;
			font-size: 70px;
			color: #476079;
			text-transform: uppercase;
			#section3 ul li.firefox {
				background: url(images/firefox-icon.png) left no-repeat;
			#section3 ul li.pc {
				background: url(images/pc-icon.png) left no-repeat;
			#section3 ul li.time {
				background: url(images/clock-icon.png) left no-repeat;
			#section3 ul li.usa {
				background: url(images/usa-icon.png) left no-repeat;
			#section3 ul li.awesome {
				background: url(images/awesome-icon.png) left no-repeat;
		#section3 img {
			margin: 0 0 100px 0;
		#section3 h3 {
			font-size: 70px;
			color: #476079;
			text-transform: uppercase;
			float: left; margin: 0 0 0 830px;
		#section3 p.btn a {
			display: block; width: 115px; height: 115px; float: left; margin: -30px 0 0 10px;
			background: url(images/top-btn.png); text-indent: -9999px;

Section three begins after another short scroll which transitions from the dark blue background to mint green. This section presents information overlaid over a graphic, which is set as the background of a <ul> and the information itself marked up as <li> elements. Classes on each <li> make it easy to attach icon graphics alongside each title, and margins align up each list item between the dotted area of the background image.

Entire HTML in summary

Summary of HTML code

Javascript coolness

A couple of simple Javascript resources quickly add some extra coolness to the design. Firstly we have Cufon, which allows us to bring the League Gothic font from the concept into the web based design. Then there’s the implementation of jQuery and the handy ScrollTo plugin which adds all the fancy page scrolling functionality we need.

<script src="js/jquery.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
<script src="js/cufon.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
<script src="js/League_Gothic_400.font.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
<script src="js/jquery.scrollTo.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
<script src="js/scripts.js" type="text/javascript"></script>

In total there’s five Javascript files; the jQuery library; the Cufon script; a Cufon generated font file for League Gothic; the ScollTo plugin for jQuery; and finally my own scripts file for activating and configuring all the Javascript functionality.

To activate League Gothic on the appropriate HTML elements, they’re inserted into the scripts file like so:

Cufon.replace('h1, h2, h3, dl, ul');

As for the scrolling, I already added anchor links to the relevant element IDs in the HTML, so to implement auto-scrolling, the ScrollTo plugin is activated:

$(document).ready(function() {
	$("p.btn a").click(function() {
		$.scrollTo($(this).attr("href"), 1000);
		return false;

Rather than write commands for every button, I targeted the ‘btn’ anchor, then used .attr("href") to grab the target from that particular anchor. return false; then stops the original HTML anchor link from working.

The final design

So here it is, the final result of my little experiment!

View the infographic

View the infographic

January 04 2010


Awesome Examples of Creative Infographic Illustrations

Information graphics are visual representations of data that help to explain complex information quickly. Here is a collection of 16 awesome examples of creative infographic illustrations for your daily inspiration.

Original image hereBank Robbery


Original image hereHigh Velocity Train

Original image hereChina Export

Original image hereThe Fish Farm

Original image here2009 Cycling Statistics

Original image hereCustomer’s Mailstream


Original image hereTrafalgar, The Nelson’s Battle

Original image hereNLMK Company Structure

Original image hereSprint Nextel

Original image hereMartin Luther King Assassination

Original image hereFangio VS Schumacher

Original image hereAIAN Heritage Month

Original image hereDevelopmental Aid Flows Around The Globe

Original image here3 Month Crocheting

Original image hereGrowth Comparison

Original image hereIndian Economy

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