Tag Archive for 'web design'

Frank Chimero: Horizontalism and Readability

Illustrator/Designer Frank Chimero chal­lenges the “ver­ti­cal scroll”:

We take scrolling for granted today. It’s like run­ning water or Friends reruns: they’ve always been there and they always will be there. And we like them well enough. But, it is an inter­est­ing men­tal exer­cise to actu­ally con­sider scrolling as part of a con­tin­uum of solu­tions in solv­ing the same problem.

This dove­tails nicely with Rex’s think­ing in his Medi­aite design. But the real game changer is the arrival of the iPad. As we move away from the mouse pointer and scroll wheel, design­ers should revisit old assump­tions, and embrace the horizontal.

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.

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.

Mediaite Launch

Rex Sor­gatz on the design of Medi­aite, Dan Abrams’s new media website:

…‘hor­i­zon­tal sites’ build a new kind of impor­tance hier­ar­chy. Design­ers don’t real­ize it, but unaligned ver­ti­cal stacks are a rem­nant of the way that news­pa­pers were designed—in columns, up and down. These new lay­outs are more like movie screens and wide mon­i­tors, with action mov­ing left and right.

A very sim­ple, but poten­tially evo­lu­tion­ary step in our under­stand­ing of how read­ers can best scan and make sense of content.

Introducing Typekit

Jeff Veen announced Type­kit today, a hosted solu­tion for embed­ding fonts on the web:

We’ve been work­ing with foundries to develop a con­sis­tent web-only font link­ing license. We’ve built a tech­nol­ogy plat­form that lets us to host both free and com­mer­cial fonts in a way that is incred­i­bly fast, smoothes out dif­fer­ences in how browsers han­dle type, and offers the level of pro­tec­tion that type design­ers need with­out resort­ing to annoy­ing and inef­fec­tive DRM.

Soon enough, @font-face CSS at-rule sup­port will come to all major browsers, so use of non-traditional web fonts will increase. If this catches on, the web in 2010 might look a lot dif­fer­ent than it does now—I won­der who will be the first major online con­tent provider to use it?

Al Shaw on Redesigning the Front Page of Talking Points Memo

On Redesign­ing the Front Page of Talk­ing Points Memo »
Al Shaw talks about some of the design con­sid­er­a­tions and tech­ni­cal wiz­ardry that went into the face lift of the Liberal-leaning pol­i­tics blog. Be sure to watch the video demo of the ajaxy front page CMS editor.