2012 was a very tough year for most of us. As if the economy itself wasn’t bad enough, natural disasters entered the fray and brought the dismal “recovery” to a complete standstill. Companies that were just beginning to think about spending again got sidelined, either directly or indirectly, by storm damage.
The volume of proposals I had written, many of which I presented in person to apparent delight and inclinations toward signing remained unsigned. Follow-up yielded silence. I decided to try a new direction.
The last several years of my life have been consumed with care-giving my elderly mother. I have learned a great deal about legal, medical and practical issues surrounding the process of advocating for one’s parents when they no longer can fend for themselves. I have established relationships and gained intimate knowledge of the various types of insurance required, how to manage money, how to get things accomplished. It’s clear that there will be multitudes of people facing these kinds of trials in their lives, and that raising their awareness would be a great public service. Providing assistance could be a lucrative and gratifying business.
So, I have started “Light of Gray,” a resource for people who want to know more about care-giving and preparing for the prospect. While “Graphic Detail, Inc.” will not be going away, I will be more focused on this new direction in the coming months.
Imagine my surprise when, just before Christmas, one of the proposals I had written brought a new client! Wow! Well, as long as I have income, I might as well invest it in software that will help me stay relevant and supportive of this new project.
I’d been dragging my feet about jumping into Adobe’s Creative Cloud. The last release I’d purchased was Creative Suite 5.5 (Design Premium), last of the physically installed versions. I felt justified in taking on the expense of this new service and collection of subscription-based apps for this year, so I dove in. One of the goals of my new project was to build a “responsive” web site that would work well on desktops, tablets and smartphones. After doing some tutorials and working with some of the enabling technologies in the new Adobe tools, I decided to build the new pages in Dreamweaver CS6’s “liquid layouts.”
While Adobe Muse is a nice, graphical page layout application for web design, I’m not yet conversant in it, and thought it best to go with the more “industry standard” tool for this particular site. I also played around with Adobe’s new “Edge Animate” application, which allows designers to create Java scripted HTML5 animations which work cross platform (Adobe’s nod to smartphone and tablet domination that supplants the Flash technology in which they had so heavily invested several years ago when they acquired Macromedia). Frankly, this new client doesn’t need animation. They’re an HVAC company looking to enhance their visibility with residential and business clients in northern NJ. So it would be nice for smartphone visitors to be able to use their new site. And I’m also implementing a blog and Facebook page for them.
Since I’m someone who learns best when I have an application for new knowledge, I’ve decided that I will be building my Light of Gray web site with Muse. But in the interest of pleasing my new (paying) client and getting the site built in a timely and effective manner, I constructed the pages in Dreamweaver and the liquid layout worked out very well. When the site goes live, I’ll make the link available to anyone who’d be interested in seeing it. You may even be able to save some money on your heating!