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How to Fire Bad Clients

We are used to reading advice on how to attract and keep clients, but sometimes things don’t go exactly as planned in a business relationship. The more common scenario of a relationship gone bad is when the hired person (the web professional, in our case) is fired because they didn’t render the services as expected.

It’s more unusual to hear stories of the hired professional walking out on the client. We don’t hear about it because the client is supposed to be king, and we are supposed to keep them satisfied.

But what do you do when the king becomes a tyrant? You may decide that it would be best to fire them.

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Squarespace has teamed up with us to give out three Advanced account subscriptions for one year. Read on to see how you can win this awesome prize.

For a chance to win, simply answer the following question in the comments: How would you use your Squarespace subscription if you won?

This giveaway ends on October 18, 2011 after which the comments section on this post will be closed. We’ll use your email address to contact you if you win. The winners will be randomly selected and announced on a separate post. Please note that comments that don’t follow the instructions on how to participate (described above) may not be published.

How to Bulletproof @font-face Web Fonts

You’re interviewing for your dream job, and you’re ready to kick some butt. A small group is gathered around a conference phone and some coding exercises, and they’re pulling up your portfolio on a projector so that everyone can review it.

It looks great, except for one thing: All of your beautiful web fonts are gone and have been replaced with… Arial.

No, this isn’t just a bad dream: It actually happened to me recently when I interviewed at a web design company (352 Media Group). It was painful. I ended up getting the job anyway, but the experience made me realize that even following best practices recommended by industry-leading developers such as Paul Irish’s Bulletproof @font-face syntax and in the current situation where there’s much wider browser support for @font-face, web fonts just aren’t foolproof.

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10 Web-based Sandbox Tools for Testing Your Code Snippets

One of the greatest benefits the Internet provides web developers is the ability to share and collaborate with other professionals. When you’ve hit a coding roadblock, you can reach out on your social networks to see if your friends can give you a hand.

When you need to debug, experiment with, and share short code snippets, sandboxing tools are immensely useful.

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Are You Using CSS3 Appropriately?

CSS3 is exciting. When it was introduced, it seemed like the untapped potential of Web Design was finally unlocked.

It proposes speedier web page response times due to the reduction of images needed for things such as text effects and web buttons for our UIs.

It cuts back our dependency on JavaScript for visual presentation purposes such as animation effects, not only resulting in less code (always a good thing) but also equating to even better web page performance.

It promises less reliance on expensive graphics software like Photoshop.

But has anything, in the broader scheme of visual design, really changed? We’re still dealing with the same users, the same content and the same user-centered design philosophy.

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Website Usability Testing Tips and Tools (Elsewhere on the Web)

I wrote an article for Mashable that discusses critical factors you should test when conducting website usability evaluations. The factors discussed are: user task analysis, readability, site navigability, accessibility, website speed and user experience. Each factor includes tips and strategies for testing, as well as some suggestions of affordable tools you can use to conduct usability analysis.

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