Introducing DesignGeek Central

January 6, 2005 - 3:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new
As most of you are aware, I didn't send out ANY DesignGeek issues in December. My apologies! But I have a good reason … I was working on something that I hope you'll find just as useful as a couple issue's worth of tips, if not more so. And I just didn't have time to do both.

It's a project that I actually started back in July 2004; and I couldn't see going into the new year without finishing it. I took down the old "Tips, Pubs and Downloads" section of my web site and installed a shiny, new "DesignGeek Central" section in its place.

I think I was inspired by the HGTV show "Clean Sweep." ;-)

Now, instead of what you used to find in that awkwardly-named section — an unorganized collection of random tips, recommended mailing lists, and links to old plug-ins — you'll find a series of design software resource pages and the new home for this e-zine.

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DesignGeek Resource Pages
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Every time I do a training session, I'll recommend one or another Plug-in or XTension that the client would find useful, or a white paper from Apple's site, or a great book on Amazon, or whatever. And of course I can never remember the URL of what I'm recommending, so I have to jot down "send Gloria the link to the that PDF about transparency on adobe.com" and hope to remember to follow through when I get back to the office.

So primarily for the benefit of my training clients (which includes all of you, in a way, right?), I assembled *all* my frequently-recommended resources for each program I teach and each topic I've written about or given a seminar on, and put them up on my site, one page per program/topic. I've done eleven resource pages and I'll be adding new ones in the coming months.

The software resource pages that are up there now cover Adobe InDesign, Adobe InCopy, Adobe Photoshop, QuarkXPress, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe GoLive and Adobe Acrobat; as well as the following "special topics": OS X for Designers, Managing Fonts in OS X, Marketing Online for Creatives and OpenType.

Each resource page includes links to related DesignGeek articles, great links from the developer site, user communities (forums, listservs, user groups), links to online and video training, recommended books and magazines, and my favorite "fanzine" type web sites related to the subject.

There's no way I could've listed *every* resource for these programs and topics; as I said they just list what I personally find very useful or what people who are trying to master the subject would find useful. There were many URLs I had in my own collection that I didn't include just because I have to keep the resources manageable … I limited myself to one page per program.

Still, I know there's probably a few fantastic resources I'm not aware of; so each page carries a small "suggest a resource" form in case someone's feeling like "I can't believe she didn't list acme.com! It's way better than the ones she's got up here!"

I'm really happy with how these pages came out. If I had all the time in the world I'd make each topic its own web site; but even in its abbreviated form, it's going to be a huge help to me when I'm teaching or doing seminars. When I recommend a certain resource that'd be perfect for the audience, I can just direct them to that program/topic page on my site.

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DesignGeek e-zine
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The section is also home to the DesignGeek e-zine. I re-did the archives page to make it easier to use. The full titles of the articles are included with each issue link, I added a Search DesignGeek Archives field, and I made each old issue an actual HTML (actually PHP) page instead being buried in an unbookmarkable pop-up frame, which was how they used to appear.

The opening page of the DesignGeek Central section contains the current issue and links to the subscribe page (yes, I fixed the form so people from outside the US have a place to enter their province … got a lot of grief on that) and the archives.

I would like to spend more time on the DesignGeek archive issues to "pretty them up" with graphics and CSS, or at least add some illustrative screen shots, but I have many other irons in the fire. So for now, they'll remain as plain as the format you're receiving them in via e-mail.

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Feedback appreciated
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When you get a chance, please stop by the new section and meander through a few pages:
http://www.senecadesign.com/designgeek/

If you find anything particularly useful, let me know, if you think I missed the boat on something, let me know that too. This new section is "version 1.0" — actually I'm still putting the final touches on it — so your comments will have a great impact on their development.

Thanks, and thank you again for your patience through a DesignGeek-less December. I have a fat backlog of great topics so there's a lot of good content coming soon.

  

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