Stefan Hayden

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Archive for the 'design' Category

Sure it’s a popularity contest but the competition for Best Blog Design at the Blogger’s Choice Awards is pretty thin. The Design community needs to jump in and show them who’s boss. (vote for me! Ick.. clearly it’s using alexa’s old cashed image of my site)

Nothing is worse as a designer then not knowing a color. It’s such a core part of art that most people assume artists know every color. Well here is a great way to learn that names of more colors with a nice little javascript app.

OMG… photoshop can auto crop and straighten photos scanned in on a flat bed scanner! I will not forget this.

New site design. This one is hopefully a little cleaner and feels more open. A lot of the extra info I like is still in the sidebar but it fades out of view until you really want to focus on it. Over all just more focus on the content.

The 2008 SXSW Interactive Panel Picker is live. What horrible panels do they have planed this year? My god don’t vote for anything that looks like a waste of time.

If an elevator faces a window sunny days turn it in to camera obscura (video) (via Obeastiality)

Royksopp – Remind Me (via Dev)

It’s always bothered me how websites enforce heteronormativity. Facebook made a huge leap ahead in relationship status with its “it’s complicated” status. Pownce seems to be trying to make a similar jump forward with their gender selections. Most are just for fun but hopefully a Transgender option will be put to good use by the community. There are still a lot of subcategories of transgender and hopefully they will come about at some point.

One reason many sites avoid complicated gender options is some ads can be targeted to gender and sites do not want to let people choose options that they can not monetize. While this makes perfect sense to marketers it just sounds dumb to every one else. If I was an advertiser and a site was serving my targeted ads to men and transgendered individuals were seeing the ad I would be upset that I was paying for that. As an advertiser I would push websites to have real world options for real world people. Conversely without the option on most websites the transgendered community effectively becomes invisible.

So weather they intended it or not Pownce is doing a service to the web.

The consistent theme for weather icons seems to be extremely tacky with a chance of animation.

I feel comfortable calling Faruk AteĊŸ’s post on pagination the definitive source on the subject.

Chris Messina has a crazy amount of design element, user flow and interface screen shots in his flickr account.

Vimeo has gone through on of the most extensive redesigns I can remember in a while. Google analytics was large, Upcoming’s was moderate and youtube been focusing on one small change at a time. Vimeo seems to have really dug their teeth in and redesigned their user interface from scratch.

Vimeo was not slouch to begin with either. It was a nice looking site with a quirky variant of the web 2.0 look. One of the most striking things about the redesign is the color change. Formally a white on sea foam green with orange and yellow high lights they moved to a much more reserved dark brown on tan with much more muted highlights of orange and yellow.

That color shift alone is an interesting choice. Most times companies retain their color pallet though design changes. Why did they choose such a dramatic color shift? I personally feel they move to a more muted pallet to seem more gender neutral. Being a niche video site they can’t have people avoiding their service because of it’s color pallet.

Color alone is not the only shocking changes Vimeo has tried. One thing that seems extremely odd is the alignment of the main column. Why in the world is it a full 20px higher then everything else? My best guess is to bring prominence to sections such as your inbox and registration. Despite that logic on first glance it just seems like a mistake and even today it still does not look correct to me.

Vimeo has also chosen a very unique navigation and icon set. The pagination seems unconnected to the content it is supposed to be effecting. The ability to type in the page number saves the space of listing all the pages and the previous/next arrows do not look like buttons. The icons share the button-less look.

This kind of interface might be very off putting to the average web user and I’m sure Jakob Nielsen would disapprove but I truly believe it’s not only visually appealing but wonderfully quirky interface that is perfectly usable and a adds to the quirky flavor of Vimeo. I’m a strong believer in challenging users to raise to the challenge to new an innovative interfaces. If you respect the intelligence of the user I fully expect them to raise to the challenge.

These top and bottom links also seem a bit out of place. With no scroll bar on the content you are going from top to bottom of it seems like there is little indication of what those links do. Once again this is a daring choice that I think will work out as additional Vimeo quirkiness.

I’m a big fan of the “How to Get Started” box. Kathy Sierra would be very proud of their list of small goals with positive feedback. There is tons of money to be made with adding more game like features to a site. People play good games for hours and web sites can greatly benefit for their methodologies. Vimeo started with a very small implementation but hopefully they will see great value come from this little feature and expand it in the future.

I can’t remember what kind of ads Vimeo had before but their new ads look great. At first I was surprised they were convincing advertisers to go with Vimeo’s in house ads. Most advertisers would not bend to make their ads special for just any site. Quickly you see that each ad is a simple amazon affiliate link. While this lets them design their own ads I can’t imagine it’s very profitable. Amazon affiliate links have historically not performed well and so it’s an odd choice although a visually appealing choice.

Vimeo has pulled off an awesome redesign. It’s gone from a visually appealing site to visual appealing site with some daring interface choices. Just as apple is an experience company Vimeo seem to be pioneering their own unique user experience. This kind of respect for their users will only create a greater dedication to their service as it seems more personal then most other sites.

It’s funny seeing designers talk about how great it is to make web apps for the iPhone. From every one having a variable width to something very fixed on the iPhone.

This is the exact difference between PC games and Console games that game developers have fought with since the 80s.

This is just the first time web designers have a console.

In honor of The Eames Era playing at Hennessy’s here’s a good look at the history of the fine design aesthetic.

No matter hoe much people argue against html email I remain unconvinced. Zeldman’s arguments remain unconvincing:

E-mail was invented so people could quickly exchange text messages

Wasn’t that was the entire internet was originally for? The internet wasn’t designed for streaming video, maybe we should stop doing that too?
I like html emails and I’ll bet there are tons of other who do as well. The internet is doing tons of things it was never designed to do, why should that stop email?