(do you see the 3d image? if so, email us what the visual is and we will send you a FREE symmetri technology baseball cap.)

Flat Design: When Should Design Go Flat?

I’m a fan of both flat design and skeuomorphism (realistic design style). But recently I’ve noticed that flat design is popping up everywhere. This isn’t a bad thing, but it doesn’t sit right with me. More and more people and companies are moving away from realistic, skeuomorphic interfaces, and trading their in-depth button designs for simpler, edgier ones. This had me wondering: why go flatter? Flat design done right can make an amazing layout and even better user experience. But is this why web designers started to favor a flatter look?

Grand Opening and 5-Year Anniversary

It could be argued that a 6-person Drupal web development firm may not need a nice office; or any office for that matter. A year ago I would have agreed. We launched some really amazing web sites at our individual home offices or over coffee at the local cafe; for an average daily rent of $3.00 (not a bad deal!). But as both our client list and team grew, it became apparent that having a home base was a must. Not just for the space, the new desks, or even the beer fridge — but really for the culture.

Debugging Drupal: Flashback to DrupalCamp Michigan

I dug this video out of the archives from the first DrupalCamp Michigan in 2011.  While many Drupal developers have a lot of success building websites without a coding environment more complex than a text editor many times more serious tools are required.  My presentation below gives users a basic introduction to debugging Drupal and how you can get started within no more than an hour worth of effort.

Building a scalable Drupal deployment in the cloud

When Commercial Progression launched the new [Ad Sales website](http://www.commercialprogression.com/project/national-geographic) for National Geographic Networks, they loved it so much that they wanted everyone to come and see it.  To help encourage them, they sent out an e-blast to thousands of ad agencies around the world that offered a chance to win a free iPad to first 100 visitors.  The resulting traffic spike brought our server to it's knees.

Being an intern at Commercial Progression

When I first walked into Commercial Progression as the new intern I was nervous. That’s understandable… for the fact is that this is my first job in my field, web design, that I've had up to this point. I’d done some work for local businesses around my hometown but this feels different. I was hired on, going to be in an office working with other people, trying to move a company forward with work that I’d help create. The thought was frightening at first, but once I got to sit down and work, it just felt natural. The communication that everyone has around here is amazing. The fact that you can walk 4 feet from your desk (most times just turn to your left or right), find one of the five other guys here, sit down and hash out a solution to your problem, most of the time in a matter of minutes, is just great.

My Drupal Development Tools

I am always fascinated by the tools that other developers use. It’s usually the first thing I ask them. “Hey, I know I haven’t asked you your name yet, but what operating system do you use? What IDE? How many git commits have you made today?”

Presenting at Wordpress vs Drupal

I'll be participating on a panel discussion about the decision to use Wordpress or Drupal for your organization's website. Having experience as a former Wordpress developer and now a dedicated Drupal advocate I'm looking forward to this event at the June 1st Lunch Ann Arbor Marketing meeting!

Git Introduction for Drupal 7

Watching a really good webinar from the Los Angeles Drupal User Group on how to use Git for version control (Drupal.org is moving from CVS to Git with Drupal 7).

If you're familiar with CVS or Subversion this is a great introduction that provides some comparisons between methodologies and commands. If you're new to version systems then Git is a great place to start.

Applied Drupal: Leveraging The Nature of Open Source to Deliver Great Websites for Clients

Below is a video from my presentation at Refresh Detroit last month. The audience consisted of web designers, librarians, Wordpress and Joomla fans, and more. I explained a little about why Drupal is open source, what that means to people and businesses, and how you can both benefit from and contribute to Drupal.

Presenting at Refresh Detroit 6/16

I'll be giving a presentation in a couple days at Washtenaw Community College. I've been invited by Brad Czerniak to speak as part of Refresh Detroit's monthly meeting on using Drupal to solve real-world problems. The presentation is entitled Applied Drupal: Leveraging The Nature of Open Source to Deliver Great Websites for Clients.

Presenters are Brad Czerniak, Alex Fisher and Steve Colson.

Override how a Drupal Page is Displayed Based on Content Type

Have you ever wanted to change the way Drupal displays pages for certain content types? Drupal has built-in functionality that allows you to add additional template files to your Drupal themes. However, as of Drupal 6, it will not allow you to override page.tpl.php based on content type. You change this by adding a small amount of code to your Theme's template.php file:

Two Types of Web Designers: Which Is Building Your Website?

There are two types of people who design websites. The first, who I'll refer to as Type 1, is someone who's less experienced or not fully focused on web design and lets technical issues or the constraints of an off-the-shelf template dictate the end web site product. The second, called Type 2, is someone who figures out what the site must do to be relevant and meet business goals and then designs the site so it does exactly that.

How To Create A Blog With Drupal

Creating a Drupal based website with a blog on a page other than the front page can be frustrating and a bit confusing. By default, when Drupal is installed it has two content types, Story and Page, and lists on the front page any stories or pages you create and mark as Published and "Promoted to front page". However, many sites want their front page to be a static or semi-static Page and a blog in a different section of the site.

Drupal Webforms With Dynamic Select Boxes Tutorial

When I originally set out to create a form with dynamic select boxes I thought it'd be easy enough to just create some fields, throw some values into the fields, and then repeatedly modify the options on one field based on the option selected in another field. While Drupal is built around forms (and provides many ways for creating and changing them) the best way for handling dynamic select boxes populated from an external database wasn't obvious.