Monthly Archive for February, 2010

Life Below ‘The Fold’

Irish design­er Pad­dy Don­nel­ly, in a nice­ly-designed arti­cle, attempts to sub­vert the accept­ed wis­dom of the page fold:

The fold is one of those guide­lines that has been thrown about so much that it’s now become a ‘rule’ of web design (or maybe more appro­pri­ate­ly a ‘ball and chain’ of web design) with web design­ers blind­ly obey­ing with­out ques­tion…

If every­thing of excep­tion­al qual­i­ty is pushed upon the read­er at the begin­ning, once they start explor­ing and the rest of the site isn’t of the same cal­i­bre, they’re going to be let down.

I agree—scroll below the fold on most large-scale web sites, and the qual­i­ty dimin­ish­es as you move down the page. I don’t know if that’s because too much atten­tion is paid to ‘the fold’ myth, or because most web sites have a ver­ti­cal up-and-down ‘rail’ struc­ture… or, if we’re just bad design­ers.

Peo­ple scroll. Peo­ple read left-to-right. We should design for these rules.

Actual Objects

Actu­al Objects pro­vides ele­gant roy­al­ty-free (and rea­son­ably priced) design and illus­tra­tion assets by Matt Owens and the Ath­let­ics crew, here in Brook­lyn.

Royalty-Free Illustration from actualobjects.com

Screen shot on Flickr

My tal­ent­ed col­league Jason Bish­op worked togeth­er with Matt on the eco­nom­ic bailout col­lec­tion, seen above, and two oth­er sets. The two have pre­vi­ous­ly col­lab­o­rat­ed for some of the great info­graph­ics in GOOD Mag­a­zine.

New Capndesign.com

I love Matt Jacob’s just launched redesign. Bright and fresh, with cool jquery charts, archives that mashup pho­tos and posts, and some Type­kit.

New Capndesign.com

Screen shot

Con­grats, Matt! If only things didn’t look so stale around here.

Packer & Bilton, on Twitter

It’s been fun fol­low­ing the debate between the Times Bits blog­ger Nick Bil­ton, and New York­er staff writer George Pack­er, on whether Twit­ter is a god­send, or a har­bin­ger of doom.

Pack­er opened with a dec­la­ra­tion that he’s old school:

I don’t have a Black­Ber­ry, or an iPhone, or a Google phone, and I don’t intend to get an iPad. I’ve been care­ful not to men­tion this to sources in Wash­ing­ton, where con­ver­sa­tion con­sists of two peo­ple occa­sion­al­ly glanc­ing up from their Black­Ber­ries and say­ing, ‘I’m lis­ten­ing.’

After point­ing out recent news sto­ries that Twit­ter had a hand in breaking—Iran, Haiti, Obama’s Elec­tion—Bil­ton fires back:

…when trains were a new tech­nol­o­gy 150 years ago, some jour­nal­ists and intel­lec­tu­als wor­ried about the destruc­tion that the rail­roads would bring to soci­ety…

I won­der if, 150 years ago, Mr. Pack­er would be rid­ing the train at all, or if he would have stayed home, afraid to engage in an evolv­ing soci­ety and demand­ing that the trains be stopped.

Ouch. One gets the sense that there is some kind of gen­er­a­tional clash going on here. Pack­er tries again:

If a Lud­dite is some­one who fears and hates all tech­no­log­i­cal change, a Bil­tonite is some­one who cel­e­brates all tech­no­log­i­cal change: because we can, we must.

George is ask­ing the right ques­tions, but it’s hard to dis­agree with Bilton’s point—by refus­ing to par­tic­i­pate in social media, he’s miss­ing part of the sto­ry… you can’t bury your head in the sand and expect to keep up.