Year in Review: Highlights from 2009

That’s it for 2009. How was yours? As with every year, I hope we’re all that much more experienced and that much more enamored with Web design! As has become tradition, I’d like to give a year end summary of my favorite Monday By Noon articles from the past year.

Based on some stats, the Monday By Noon readership has grown a bit which I can’t be happier about! That said, I think posts such as these can really help those new readers check out what they may have missed prior to their discovery of Monday By Noon. If you’re so inclined, certainly have a look at the highlights from 2008, the highlights from 2007, and even the highlights from 2006.

As with every highlights post, the following list is ordered only by publish date, it’s not ranked in any other way, enjoy!

Fear not. I Have Conquered IE6, and You Can Too
IE6 again in 2009 was a huge topic of conversation. There is a great divide when it comes to handling the browser, and my personal opinion is that we as professionals should indeed “support” the browser. There’s a heavy usage of quotes when referencing support, more on that in a later highlight. When it comes down to the gritty details, there isn’t a whole lot you need to change about your style to support IE6.
How I Use OmniFocus to Help Get Things Done
Task management is huge. If you don’t have some sort of system in place I can definitely say you’re doing yourself a disservice. Although my favored decision is OmniFocus, the point of my including this article is just to suggest that you have some sort of system in place that you can truly integrate within your workflow. A system that doesn’t take longer to maintain than it takes to do the work itself. If you’re effectively managing your tasks, your productivity will increase and so will the quality of your work. On top of that, and arguably most important, your stress level will decrease.
Improving Your Process: The Browser Gauntlet
We all know browser testing is super important. I’ve got a tested system in place for browser testing that has worked wonders for me. I’ve found that having a list to follow when doing your browser testing will help you stay on point throughout the life of the project, and ensure that you aren’t faced with deal breaking surprises on launch day when your client’s sister’s brother in law’s third cousin removed checks out the site and notices one element overlapping another.
A Couple of Quick Tips for JavaScript Optimization
I spent a good amount of 2009 working with JavaScript, and I’m so happy to have had that opportunity available. There is a ton to learn about JavaScript, and I wanted to do my best to contribute applicable knowledge at various points throughout the year. I definitely have a ways to grow, and plan on doing so throughout the upcoming years.
Improving Your Process: Thinking More About Your CSS
Everyone loves articles about CSS, right?! I always enjoy reading about various techniques to writing CSS, and I love sharing the techniques I use every day. Object oriented CSS was a flash fire topic in 2009, and I closely relate to many of the techniques brought up in those discussions.
Improving Your Process: Faster Front End Development
Faster is usually better, right? While not always the case, speed is often a sign of experience. I’ve said it before many times, but I can’t stress enough that the best way to get better at front end development is to build more websites. In this article I take some time to explain my process of front end development from start to finish.
Current Events: The Official End to XHTML
This was huge news. In 2009 the XHTML 2 working group officially announced that it would disband, opening the flood of news surrounding HTML 5. I’m happy to say that HTML 5 exploded after that announcement, and we’re already reaping the benefits. 2010 is going to be a great year for further advancement with the markup, and I can’t wait.
Getting Back to Basics: Effective Use of Images
With all the advancements in nearly every aspect of Web design, it’s not too unlikely to find yourself completely misusing some of the technology that’s been available since the first time you opened a text editor and built a website. Image use leaves a lot open to interpretation, but I have a specific set of criteria I try to follow on projects that help me to make the most out of my images.
The Art of zen-coding: Bringing Snippets to a New Level
If any tool made a big splash in 2009 it would have to be zen-coding. Writing your HTML by utilizing the philosophy behind CSS selectors? Yes please! I was quick to adopt zen-coding into my daily workflow, but I don’t use it for everything. It comes in super handy for those generic snippets you find yourself writing quite often, but it’s not an “every element all day” type of tool for me.
How to Handle IE6: Aggressive Graceful Degradation
Again in 2009 the talks about IE6 carried through the entire year. As later versions of IE came out, the unsupportive camp gained momentum and more developers than ever were leaving IE6 users to view a poorly rendered document or upgrade their browser (if possible). I still don’t completely agree with that approach, and discussed how I go about handling IE6.
The Trouble with Lightbox (and its Variants)
Lightbox has been around forever and a day, but I still see some major usability issues with the technique. I took some time to solve one of the issues I found to be a reoccurring problem with users, and published what I found to be an appropriate solution.
Inspiration is Something to Have and to Hold
As I mentioned earlier, I hope that now, at the end of 2009, you’re more inspired than ever to work in the field of Web design. Inspiration can often be the biggest road block in any working industry, but there are a few things you can do to help foster inspiring bits throughout your daily life.

I hope you new readers see at least one or two articles that pique your interest, and it would be even better if long time subscribers find something you accidentally marked as read in your feed reader!

Here’s to 2010!