I use Campaign Monitor to send out my monthly (or sometimes slightly faster than that) newsletter. Campaign Monitor is an excellent service, and I’ve been really pleased with what they offer, especially for the price. They recently turned me onto Fractal, an HTML/CSS email validation tool. It’s simple to use…Just take the HTML and CSS portion of the email you’re about to send, post it in the textarea on the Fractal home page, and submit the form. The result will be a list of all HTML tags and CSS properties that have no or partial support in desktop, Web-based, or mobile email clients (Lotus Notes 6 & 7 came up a lot for me; I didn’t really people still used Lotus Notes!). Then you can use that information to tweak the HTML email, to insure better reliability for viewers.
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Peachpit Press has published on their Web site my “Five Critical E-Commerce Security Tips in Five Days” series of blog postings. The specific postings are:
- Maintaining Secure Passwords: Five Critical E-Commerce Security Tips in Five Days
- Securely Handling File Uploads: Five Critical E-Commerce Security Tips in Five Days
- Have a Emergency Plan: Five Critical E-Commerce Security Tips in Five Days
- Validate, Validate, Validate: Five Critical E-Commerce Security Tips in Five Days
- Understand Your Hosting, Five Critical E-Commerce Security Tips in Five Days
The postings are in concert with my “Effortless E-Commerce with PHP and MySQL” book, although the information provided, from theory to actual code, should be useful whether you’ve read that book or not.
I was reading some articles about validation routines in Flex (as part of a book I’m writing on Flex + PHP), when I came across a particular article that’s part of the Adobe Developer Connection. The specifics of the article revolve around validation in Flex, of course, but I thought that the section on “Best Practices for Client-Side Validation” would be good reading for any one doing user interface. There are four suggestions there, all on how an application should treat the user. Those suggestions are:
- Prevent, Don’t Scold
- Give Immediate Feedback
- Let the User Work
- Innocent Until Proven Guilty
The first rule ties in nicely to a post I just wrote on putting the user in a place where they can succeed. I don’t want to waste time here re-iterating what’s said there, but give it a read—at least that part about best practices—and keep that perspective in mind the next time you go to design a user interface.