Interview With Daniel, Creator Of Facebook Cover Maker

With all the cool apps and awesome web designs built using HTML 5, it is now without doubt that HTML 5 elements and visual effects are comparable to Flash. In fact, some would say HTML 5 (plus CSS 3) is even better than Flash due to its light weight and search engines friendliness. In this post, we are going to have a little Q&A session with someone with hands-on experience – Daniel Offer, creator of Facebook Cover Maker.

Hi Daniel, I am honored to have you as my guest today at WSHR. Let’s get started with some introduction, shall we? Tell us a little more about yourself and how your project FaceBook Make Cover got started.

Thanks Jerry. Well in order to understand why creating a Facebook Cover Maker was an attractive prospect for me it’s perhaps necessary to inform you about the past web activities I have been engaged in.

Several years ago, I was heavily engaged in the emoticon customization scene. Those of you that used MSN Messenger and had the desire to customize your emoticons would have likely stumbled upon emoticons that I had designed or worked with designers to produce.  Thanks to revenues derived through advertising on this project, I was able to pay my way through an Accounting and Finance degree at Warwick University.

More recently, I set up a Facebook chat app download by the name of Chit Chat. This Messaging application for Facebook was particularly popular; however, since the emergence of Facebook’s own Messenger application it has become less popular. As such, I was looking for a new project – at the time I was looking to modify my own Facebook cover.

I was frustrated by the Facebook cover solutions on offer; they either wanted to tell me what I had to have or left me entirely up to my own devises. I figured that there must be a better way to produce a Facebook cover that lets me engage in the process- but doesn’t rely entirely on my artistic skills and hence my online Facebook cover maker was born.

In brief, what can FaceBook Make Cover do for the users?

Facebook Make Cover

As the title suggests, users make a cover for Facebook with Facebook Cover Maker. However, it’s more simplistic than things would first appear, users do not rely on any creative or paint pallet interface to make their own cover. Instead users engage in the development of their Facebook cover by choosing a character and customizing that character on a canvas.

The use of my cover tool is a click by click exercise making use of HTML5.

Can you show us some live examples? (do send in images if you have any, preferably 600px width)

Of course, please see below.

Facebook Make Cover Samples

Facebook Make Cover Samples

Facebook Make Cover Samples

Facebook Make Cover Samples

You mentioned earlier that Facebook Make Cover is built using HTML 5. Why HTML 5? And, can you share some of your advice or reading reference for beginners who just got started?

Why HTML 5

Well, simply put when I came to developing this tool I had a choice – Flash or HTML5. The former is a technology that has wide spread adoption but is difficult to optimize for search engines, isn’t platform independent and is a technology that is gradually falling out of favor. HTML5 on the other hand is supported by mobile smartphones, is growing in adoption and is the next generation of a technology that is universally supported on the internet.

Advice

Before learning about HTML 5 and starting development, it’s important to understand what HTML5 can or cannot do. After all, there may be languages that are better suited to what you are trying to achieve such as PHP or JavaScript.

The websites OneExtraPixel and HTMLFiveWow are excellent starting positions, to give you an awareness of what HTML 5 can achieve.

Whilst there are excellent HTML 5 teaching resources on the internet, I like to first get to grips with a language with the use of a text book – Responsive Web Design with HTML5 and CSS3 by Ben Frain is what I used and recommend.

Is Facebook the first of many on MakeCover.net? Social networks like Google+  and Twitter and Pinterest and mobile apps like WeChat are all using the ‘cover photo’ concept in its design, do you have any plans to expand MakeCover’s reach to other platforms?

One of the biggest problems in development is trying to focus on too many things at a time, at present I’m planning to restrict the development of this app to the Facebook Cover whilst I continually upgrade the technology– adding new characters and new functionality.

With too many focuses you run the risk of trying to appeal to everyone but end up appealing to no one.

What you propose is something on the drawing board, but not for the next three months at least.

That would be all for my questions. Daniel, do you have anything to add before we end this interview?

The most important thing about developing is providing a service; the language is a tool for you to provide a service to your end users – nothing more, nothing less.

Jerry’s note: If you are new to HTML 5, be sure to also check out our previous HTML 5 beginner post for some sample codes and free tutorials.