Here's a round-up of what's worth noting in Internetland this week:
Email Battle Royale
This is the most-linked-up thing this week, that Microsoft has announced that it will use the Word rendering engine for it's upcoming release of Outlook. That would mean that you can kiss CSS goodbye in emails. Campaign Monitor is FREAKING OUT. This is an issue, especially to clients who like things that are "pretty", but you know what else is nice?...plain-text emails with lots of interesting content. Dead-simple to produce, publish, and communicate to your community with regularity. Nonetheless, everyone apparently loves the html emails, so...
Outlook's broken - let's fix it
Google: "You're Doing It Wrong"
Google is sick and tired of us all building sites incorrectly. They've assembled a pile of best-practices to encourage us to build lighting-fast websites that are properly indexable and searchable. This is what it feels like to be scolded.
Let's Make the Web Faster
Posted on A List Apart this week. It's pretty dry material and kind of advanced, but it takes a stab at fixing the rift that exists between designers and, well, everyone else involved in web projects.
Visual Decision Making
Slice and Dice
It's not often that I use PSDs for web layout, but many people do and are able to build some incredible things by incorporating Photoshop into their process. This post rounds up the best tutorials yet on how to turn your PSD into a coded-site. Some good stuff to be found in here.
20 great tutorials on PSD to XHTML Conversion
Dark websites, those build on backgrounds of blacks and greys and other dark colors, have proven to be elegant and effective design solutions. This round up gathers together some of the most recent and best of them.
20 great dark website designs for Inspiration
I have a significant bias toward uber-clean and minimal web design, but it's always good to be looking at as wide a range of works as possible no matter what your particular jam is. Textures can provide an appropriate feel to websites in the right circumstances, and this gallery round-up pulls together some impressive examples. But remember that a site's focus should always be on the content. Don't, don't, don't let the content be overwhelmed by your site's design "concept." Please use the largest airquotes possible when reading that last sentence.
25 Excellent Examples of Using Texture in Web Design