Bakery fanatics rejoice! Cupcakes finally hit Israel.

Several new immigrants to Israel have found that the taste of their childhood celebrations can be turned into a solid business model: cupcakes are becoming the latest rage in the Holy Land. In the last several months three new cupcake businesses have opened up selling their treats online.

Hayley Rabie, 28, from South Africa opened the first virtual cupcake store in Israel about six months ago with her partner, a Manchester woman named Danielle Levy. Both are new immigrants to Israel and their shop “I Love Cupcakes” has hit the ground running.

Read more about this cupcakes in Israel article on Israel21c.org

web design conference from internet retailer

Internet Retailer Web Design conference is coming soon.
Here are 10 common web design mistakes they have prepared to inspire people to attend the conference.

1. The Home Page Syndrome
You put most of your design resources on the home page and treat product pages as mere information pages—not marketing opportunities. In the session Designing Landing Pages that Sell, you’ll learn that the sale is really made on the product page.

2. A Design Pet That Bites.
You fall in love with one design function, using all the cool graphics you can, at the expense of meeting other key objectives, such as simplifying site navigation. In the session called One Site, Many Masters: Accommodating Conflicting Design Objectives, you’ll learn how to please your pet while not overlooking basic rules

3. Beware the Overbearing Geek.
You let your IT professional run wild and dictate design parameters that ignore marketing or merchandising needs. In Programmers Are from Mars, Customers Are from Venus, you’ll learn how to let the customer rule the design roost.

4. Conventional Wisdom Can Be Stupid
You adopt generally accepted design standards but fail to adapt them to how your own customers use your web site. In the session How Your Market Defines Your Design, you’ll learn how to gauge what design elements your customers are looking for.

5. Do It Now—Ask Questions Later.
You make a relatively minor change to your design without rigorously testing it. The next thing you know, your online sales are dropping. In the session called The Importance of Testing, you’ll learn how to thoroughly test the impact of design changes.

6. The Don’t Fix What Ain’t Broke Mentality.
Your site is working so well you don’t think about redesigning it until it blows up on you. In the session called Is It Time Yet? You will learn how to spot telltale signs that your site is overdue for a do over.

7. Who Are You Anyway.
You choose an outside designer to work on your site without checking his/her retail web qualifications or success record. In Choosing the Right Design Partner, you’ll learn how to spot a good retail web site designer before you move forward.

8. The Anything Goes Attitude.
You assume that with broadband web access everywhere, you can load up your site with all kinds of images. In Every Byte Counts, you’ll learn otherwise.

9. It’s Just A Store.
You think web sites are just like stores and need only products neatly arranged. You forget that non-product content is often what attracts people to a site. You will see what we mean at the session What Engages Shoppers Now—And What Will Engage Them Tomorrow.

10. What Are You—Anti-Social?
If your site doesn’t use forums, blogs and reviews, it fails to connect to the community it serves. Retailers in particular miss this, but the session Leveraging Social Technologies Strategically in Your Site Design will set them straight.

registration details can be found here: http://irwd09.com/registration.asp?eid=24246027&bid=142881

Evernote software free web clipping service

Working in web design, i’m constantly visiting other web sites getting ideas. I’ve found a web site that enables to cut and paste things and keep them available online. pretty interesting. So if i leave my office in Los Angeles to go on vacation i can check my notes remotely. You can find it on ZDnet. It’s called Evernote and allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at any time, from anywhere. This extension provides a button and context menus to easily add a selection or an entire page to Evernote. Capture what you like, find it when you want

Stop forgetting things. Capture everything now so you will be able to find it all later.

Things to capture:

  • Tasks and to-dos
  • Notes and research
  • Web pages
  • Whiteboards
  • Business cards
  • Scribbles
  • Snapshots
  • Wine labels

firebug Firefox Plugin is great for web site design debugging

Chrome isn’t ready yet for the big leagues because it doesn’t integrate with Auto Form Fillers like Google’s own SEO friendly toolbar, or Roboform so we still use Firefox and IE when doing web site design projects in our Los Angeles based LaDezign.com. That’s why today I’m writing about a new plugin for Firefox called Firebug which puts a wealth of web development tools at your fingertips while you browse a web site.

  1. You can edit, debug, and monitor CSS, HTML, and JavaScript live in any web page.
  2. Firebug is always just a keystroke away, but it never gets in your way. You can open Firebug in a separate window, or as a bar at the bottom of your browser. Firebug also gives you fine-grained control over which websites you want to enable it for.
  3. Firebug makes it simple to find HTML elements buried deep in the page. Once you’ve found what you’re looking for, Firebug gives you a wealth of information, and lets you edit the HTML live.
  4. Firebug’s CSS tabs tell you everything you need to know about the styles in your web pages, and if you don’t like what it’s telling you, you can make changes and see them take effect instantly.
  5. When your CSS boxes aren’t lining up correctly it can be difficult to understand why. Let Firebug be your eyes and it will measure and illustrate all the offsets, margins, borders, padding, and sizes for you.
  6. Your pages are taking a long time to load, but why? Did you go crazy and write too much JavaScript? Did you forget to compress your images? Are your ad partner’s servers taking a siesta? Firebug breaks it all down for you file-by-file.
  7. Firebug includes a powerful JavaScript debugger that lets you pause execution at any time and have look at the state of the world. If your code is a little sluggish, use the JavaScript profiler to measure performance and find bottlenecks fast. The command line is one of the oldest tools in the programming toolbox. Firebug gives you a good ol’ fashioned command line for JavaScript complete with very modern amenities to execute javascript on the fly.

Free software for photo and image editing

Because I am involved so much with web site design projects out of my Los Angeles office, I constantly have to deal with playing around with photos and images for my clients’ websites. Most ecommerce software and content management solutions don’t include sophisticated editing tools. And I am constantly on the lookout for free software to do simple tasks like making color corrections, printing, managing photo albums, or any of 100 other routine image-editing tasks. If you have a budget to spend on your digital photography passions then a commercial program like Adobe Photoshop is a great solution. But if you are low on a budget (hint think of the economy now) and you just need the basics like the ability to resize and crop images then you can find some good free software alternatives I’ve found below on a recent review from download.com.

When working on a recent web design project, I found a quick and easy download for doing some basic editing in a program called IrfanView, The tiny download weighs in at 1.24MB and literally can be installed in seconds. Once you’ve got it running, open the image that you want to edit and select Image > Resize/Resample to edit the size of your photo. To crop, click your cursor in the top left corner of the area you want to crop, then drag the cursor to create a rectangle. Select Edit > Crop Selection, and voila!

Another free application is Resizr, created by Matt Miller back in 2006. Resizr is a free online tool that lets you upload an image from your hard drive or via a URL. You can then rotate, crop, and resize your image, as well as make edits to brightness and contrast. You can even adjust levels and convert PNG files to JPEGs.