Our family are suckers for well-designed children’s books. The Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood and Renata Liwska is now on our hit list.
Although QR codes (also called matrix or 2D codes) have never really taken off here in the U.S., this will be fun to try out at SXSW: QR Codes @ SXSW. “Along with your badge photo, you will have a square bar code to scan. When you meet someone at an event, let them scan your badge with their smart phone, and they will automatically be following you on my.SXSW, where they can message you or access your contact information.”
Gimbal-mounted kids snack bowl. My house needs 4 of these. Ones for cups too, please.
Wired magazine has a great piece in the March 2010 issue on the dotcoom boom and bust, complete with illustrations, statistics, and quotes as if they were rendered by browsers from the period. Memorable if you lived and worked through it all. It doesn’t do it justice like the print version, but here’s the online version.
Photojojo’s Keyboard Shortcut Skins for Mac. Just ordered one for Final Cut Express/Pro. Also available for Photoshop, Aperture, Lightroom, Pro Tools, Logic Express/Pro, and After Effects.
“In response to the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the Society of Typographic Aficionados issued a call to action to the typographic and design communities to participate in Font Aid IV. The result was Coming Together, an OpenType font that contains over 400 ampersand glyphs designed by participants from around the world.”
Engadget: The Noteput interactive music table. “Finally we get the chance to literally lay a track down.” This would be a great teaching tool for beginning music students, among other things.
“Are You an Awesomely Modest Front-End Developer Looking for New Digs?” San Francisco-based Flickerbox wants to hire you.
GOOD ran a contest asking readers to design an infographic about the earthquake in Haiti. The submissions are stunning. First and last are favorites.
Brick Lamp by HC Wang. “You can prop the Brick Lamp up on any of its four sides to cast a gentle glow across a wall or table. It’s not a super-bright task lamp, but instead the kind of subtle hint of light you want on your desk—all coming from a super-modern aluminum lamp that matches your everything-Mac desk.” This would be a better fit for my workspace than the red lamp in the corner, which casts similar lighting.
Nicholas Felton: Home Away From Home. An interview with Cerentha Harris, including photos of his SoHo studio.
This is brilliant and overdue thinking: Product packaging that allows for opening, testing, and repackaging. Incase: “Our research showed that consumers were opening packages and test-fitting products before making purchases. In most cases, the packages were not correctly returned to the shelves or were somewhat damaged and unsightly, making it difficult to sell these products.”
Microsoft has literally nothing to lose by completely overhauling Windows Mobile OS—its global market share is paltry, and the UI is nearly unusable for anyone other than the die-hard Windows user. Hence, the unveiling of Windows Phone 7 is impressive news, regardless of whether or not it gains significant market share. It’s proof that Microsoft realizes it’s lagging far behind in OS innovation and is taking dramatic measures to correct its course.
It’s worth sitting down and studying the new AisleOne design—1202px width, “infinite” scrolling, grid-based, toggles for Dashboard and Grid/List… Lots to appreciate.
Jeffrey Zeldman: Flash, iPad, Standards. “Lack of Flash in the iPad (and before that, in the iPhone) is a win for accessible, standards-based design. Not because Flash is bad, but because the increasing popularity of devices that don’t support Flash is going to force recalcitrant web developers to build the semantic HTML layer first.”
Komodo Media’s Social Network Icon Pack. If you need icons for your socially social endeavor, this is the pack for you.
It’s hard to describe this without seeing it. The Archipod is a self-described “garden office” that sits in your backyard, and its looks are futuristic but tempered with garden-appropriate shingling. I could see myself using one of these. Via Herman Miller.
I agree with just about everything Keith Robinson says about the specialist vs. generalist debate. “I think it’s clear that there isn’t any answer to this debate, and that’s just fine…. I think what truly matters is a genuine interest and passion for what you’re doing, not so much the depth and breath of your skill set.”
Jessica Hische’s Letterpress Drop Cap limited edition poster is full of WANT. I am running out of room on my walls for all the incredible type posters available on the internets.
I Love Typography: My Favourite Fonts of 2009. Fantastic list, and the introduction is fitting: “Perhaps the most difficult part in compiling this list is not what to include, but what to leave out. There are, then, many other typefaces that should be in this list, but aren’t.”
The second installment in my letterpress poster series is available next month. Are you on the list to be notified when it’s available?
Liz Danzico: “Confidence for good.” “People, both women and men, should be so fiercely passionate about good ideas that self-promotion is a natural extension. Otherwise, why is it worth doing in the first place? It’s when confidence and self-promotion are obfuscated from passion that the claims become flimsy and empty.” Even without the quoted passages, Liz’s advice would be super solid.
Rent Swiss Miss’s desk space for two months in NYC starting February 15. $500/month gets you some awesome studio mates and a creative workplace.
Cranky Pressman’s Flickr photostream showcases some excellent letterpress work.
I resolve to find a way to use Freight Micro in half of my projects this year. I’m enamored.
The hottest Typophile content of 2009. Like it says. (Be sure to grab a copy of Quicksand while you’re there.)
Mast Humidifier by Shin Okada, “a passive wood based humidifier—no electricity required.” Brilliance and beauty together.
If Tim Van Damme is right about his predictions for the Apple Tablet rumored to be revealed on January 27, it will be exactly what I’ve been needing for some time now. The elegant touchscreen interaction of an iPhone, the portability of a laptop for travel and around-the-home use, and the increased power and storage space of a docking machine. (I don’t like having two machines or replugging all the cables with one machine, and often my MacBook Pro is lacking when it comes to stuff like video editing.) If it doesn’t happen on January 27, it’s bound to happen at some point. Via Daring Fireball.
Ten Rules for Startups by Evan Williams, Twitter CEO. Loaded with sound advice. Evan wisely includes an eleventh rule: “Overgeneralized lists of business ‘rules’ are not to be taken too literally. There are exceptions to everything.” Precisely.
FontShop: Top Type of 2009. Of the “top fonts of 2009” lists, this is by far the most comprehensive I’ve seen. Well done.
Designing for Mobile with CSS3 with Dan Rubin (UK, April 1). Undoubtedly worth attending.
Gifted and seasoned speaker Andy Budd offers several ways to improve your public speaking. Lots of great advice here.
D. Keith Robinson: “Asterisk 52 is an old concept given new life…. I’ll be updating this site once a week, for 52 weeks in 2010, with a new bit of writing paired with a new photograph or illustration.” Keith’s wisdom is always worth considering, as his inaugural post demonstrates. “Consensus is for losers. It’s true and I just like saying that.”
Somehow I’ve been lucky enough to have been recruited as one of the 2010 HOW Board of Advisors. Hopefully my advising leads to your benefit for HOW conferences, magazine content, and the like.
The good folk over at Mister Retro have rebuilt their super handy Machine Wash filters, which I blogged about way back when, packaging everything in plug-in compatible with Photoshop and Fireworks. You can download Machine Wash Deluxe and give it spin (pun) before purchasing any of the texture sets.
The VLAA (Volunteer Legal Assistance for Artists) offers a fairly extensive FAQs page on common copyright and trademark questions.
Contemplating the switch to WordPress or hoping to get the most out of it? Pick up a copy of Digging into WordPress authored by WP experts Chris Coyier and Jeff Starr.
The Known Universe. A captivating look at our little world in the context of the cosmos.
“Using no ink whatsoever, these 18”x24” posters are foil stamped and embossed to create an alphabet composed of letters from many of the more famous (and some infamous) logos of all time.”
Missed last week’s live DesignChat with Ryan McGovern and myself? Watch it here.
Brand New: The Best and Worst Identities of 2009. Notables: LendingTree, MyFonts, New York Public Library.
Really enjoying everything about desire to inspire — site design, posts, photos, etc. Recently discovered via Times Online’s “50 of the world’s best design blogs”, which in turn was discovered via Tina Roth Eisenberg, who is featured on the list.
Posted back in April 2008, but it’s news to me: “WebKit now supports alpha masks in CSS.”
24 ways: Rock Solid HTML Emails by David Greiner, Campaign Monitor co-founder. It’s a shame tables are still required for proper email rendering, but having just designed an HTML email of my own, I can attest to the tips David provides.
Ommwriter, a full-screen writing environment for Mac. “Ommwriter is a humble attempt to recapture what technology has snatched away from us today: our capacity to concentrate.” It looks and functions beautifully. (Do consider, however, opposing remarks from Mark Pilgrim, written in 2007 and applicable to all full-screen text editors.)
Jason Cohen explains why statistical significance is critical in A/B testing and offers a simple formula for calculating it, specifically when using AdWords. Bonus equations towards the end for the mathematically inclined.
I’ve just started reading Todd Zaki Warfel’s Prototyping, and this observation in the front matter caught my eye: “Prototype fidelity is a sliding scale. Don’t be concerned with hi-level or lo-level fidelity. The level of fidelity that matters is whatever is needed to help you accomplish your goal with the audience of your prototype.” Well said.
Vimeo: Going to California. “5D MKII + Steadicam Merlin footage taken on a road trip from Seattle through California last winter, visiting Redwood, Sequoia, Yosemite, and Death Valley National Parks along with Mono Lake.”
Organic’s Jonathan Cohen speculates on why Apple is purchasing streaming music service Lala, and it’s a wise observation IMO: “Finally, at long last, and despite Steve Jobs’ arguments to the contrary, consumers are starting to show a penchant for access over ownership…at least with regards to music and video media…. One could conceivably ask why Apple would want to fortify a business that in and of itself is not particularly profitable. I think the answer is as simple as the business rationale for the continued investment in iTunes; it helps sell hardware: iPods, iPhones, Macs and hopefully Apple TVs and iTablets, and that is a very good business for Apple.”
Love the simplicity of this concept: Infographic Coins. “Instead of a full circle for a 25 cent piece, it is shaped in to a quarter circle, and half a dollar is exactly a half circle shaped coin.” Via PicoCool.
Missed Jared Spool’s presentation from yesterday’s An Event Apart San Francisco (or the entire event, for that matter)? Jared has posted his slides with audio, both of which appear to be from another event a few weeks ago, to SlideShare: Revealing Design Treasures From The Amazon.
Jeffrey Zeldman on self-promotion: “Direct self-promotion is ineffective and will go unnoticed unless it is backed by a more indirect (and more valuable) form of marketing: namely, sharing information and promoting others…. The more you find and promote other people’s good work, the more in-the-know and ‘expert’ you are perceived to be—and the more you (or your brand, if you must) are liked.” Couldn’t agree more.
Workspace: Parliament Design, Portland. Stunning.
Mike Davidson reviews Anxiety, a lightweight OS X to-do app that syncs with iCal and Mail. He also offers thoughts about the “ideal workflow of an e-mail/task management system.” (First time using Anxiety following his review. Really enjoying it so far.)
Debbie Millman’s new Look Both Ways. “This new site coincides with the publication of my new book, Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays on the Intersection of Life and Design. It is a book about life, art, love, design, tunes, brands, poetry, shame, and even physics.” Design by Armin Vit.
ReadWriteWeb: Analysts predict 1 billion+ mobile web users by 2010. Redemption, I suppose, for my clamoring about the mobile web since 2005.
LIFE: Boxcar Logos (photo gallery). A fascinating look back at logos in transit.
A look inside ISO50. ISO50 founder Scott Hansen is one of the most talented creatives on the planet. Music, design, even shipping & handling finesse — the attention to detail is unparalleled.
Each year, MEX, the Mobile User Experience conference, publishes a manifesto to frame the content and discussion for the year’s conference. Traditionally these manifestos have focused on mobile devices, operators/carriers, and the like. However, this year’s manifesto speaks repeatedly of “multi-platform” experiences. This is telling, as MEX is usually on top of trends in the mobile industry, and this is the first I’ve seen of a substantial focus on multi-platform. Something to watch for in 2010. (Aside: The manifesto approach is a fantastic way to organize content and presenters for an annual conference.)
Andy Clarke: What does browser testing mean today? “Only a few years ago browser testing meant that I would spend hours of my time (and a lot of my clients’ money) on attempting cross-browser, pixel perfection. Now, not only is this not practical or affordable, it’s not possible. That is, unless I reduce my designs to the lowest common denominator or use expensive workarounds…. It is not a web designer/developer’s job to fix or improve a browser. That is a browser developer’s job, plain and simple.”
Hard Graft, purveyors of fine handmade lifestyle accessories. I don’t recall to whom the via belongs to at this point, but I do remember what he said. “I’ll take one of everything.” Agreed.
Touch screen UI resources, a massive list of ‘em.
I should have linked this up the day it was published (they’re already sold out), but the site design is definitely linkworthy nonetheless. Ligature, Loop & Stem,”limited edition products created to delight those who love typography and design.”
Save Your Logo, an initiative targeted at helping to save the very creatures that brand identities represent.
Tyler Thompson’s Squarespace design incarnation, New to York, is as impressive as its predecessors.
For those of us who can’t untether when backpacking, a laptop drybag by Haglöfs.
His-and-her Plug and Socket Duo Ring by Yu Yu.
RIM is working on a WebKit browser for BlackBerry, and this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.
If you’re serious about taking quality photos with your iPhone, read Phil Coffman’s iPhone Photography. Covers several of the photo apps available, and the sample photos are incredible.
The Hivelogic 2009 Podcasting Equipment Guide. Dan Benjamin does it again with the definitive guide for equipment purchasing, from beginner to prosumer.
Minimal Mac: Home office reorganization. Or better said, wire minimization.
Greg Hoy: Getting to No [with Clients]. “I’ve learned that the hardest part isn’t closing the deal, but ﬁguring out which deals are actually worth closing. It all begins with taking a hard look at the prospect you’re talking to, and keeping an eye on early behaviors that all too frequently lead to problems.”
Mark Boulton, whose lovely redesign I completely failed to notice, has published an excellent article on typographic structure. “This is the third model of typographic design I’ve been working through now, and not only is it sticking, but as I’m beginning to explain it to other people, I’m not having to change it too much. It has almost passed the mother-in-law test.”
Design and architecture digest MoCo Loco introduces its redesign with horizontal and vertical viewing options, among other things.
Somehow, I never encountered Where the Wild Things Are as a child. But as Michael McAghon explains, the printed, illustrated version of the fabled book reinforces the story it tells. “After numerous reads, it becomes clear how strong an influence that the design and layout of the book is to reinforces the story, and more importantly assert the theme of imagination. The size and placement of visuals vary considerably throughout the book, and they’re used to indicate where we are in Max’s concocted world and to reinforce the imagination experience.” Related, see Chiasmus and the Poetic Pagination.
Dive Into HTML5 by Mark Pilgrim, a manuscript work-in-progress to be published by O’Reilly “with illustrations from the public domain.”
“The competition-winning design of the main stadium for the 17th Asian games in Incheon, in South Korea, illustrates a new level of sustainable design in stadia in Asia. The stadium will hold 70,000 people for the main event in 2014 and will reduce down to a single sided grandstand for 30,000 afterward as a People’s Park for the city of Incheon.” What an incredible design. Love how it completely encompasses the surrounding area as if it were part of the stadium.
Classic vehicle diagrams from Haynes Manuals as wall art.
Designing a t-shirt? You probably need a vector t-shirt template, don’t you.
Need to enlarge rasterized images? Photoshop certainly doesn’t cut it, but Scott Hansen reviews Genuine Fractals, a Photoshop plugin that does. It’s not cheap ($150), and as Scott argues, a $700 piece of software should have something as fundamental as this built into it.
Notable is a collaboration app for reviewing comps and web pages. I’m usually skeptical of these kinds of apps because they get used for a week or two and then left behind after that. However, this one seems rather nice in that you can capture a URL and it’ll separate the design, markup, and copy and allow you to comment on each separately. Additionally, the UI is very well-done — it’s a breeze to use.
Trademarkia allows you to “search all U.S. trademarks filed since the year 1870 for free”. And, of course, offers services for registering your own trademark.
Jason Grigsby tackles five common arguments for native iPhone development vs. web development and whether they’re valid arguments. “Over the last year I’ve heard a lot of people argue that building anything using web technology, particularly for the iPhone, isn’t a viable option. These five reasons are the main arguments I hear over and over again. However, three of these arguments don’t apply in all situations and the other two can be addressed with a hybrid application strategy.” Via Little Springs Design.
“Handmade in Portland, Oregon the Canby [sunglasses] are available in Zebrawood, Wenge and Maple. Each pair comes equipped with your choice of imported Carl Zeiss or polarized lenses to complete the package.”
“Based on the premise that good advise sticks, we asked 9 leading designers, ‘What’s the best piece of advice that you have been given or gave, that has stuck with you?’” And then, naturally, their advice was printed on a roll of clear tape. Available for purchase at Blanka. Via TypeNeu.
Unique Business Cards, a blog about, well, yup.
A look inside Facebook Headquarters.
I grew up outside Oakland, California, but certainly not in a home as stunning as this.
Oh, and you’re a Fireworks user, you say? No problem. Download Metaspark’s Fireworks iPhone UI Toolkit.
Mobile Messaging Breaks Another Record, VeriSign Reports. Specifically, “VeriSign delivered 178.8 billion messages worldwide in the first half of 2009. To put this volume into perspective, it translates to 26 messages for every person in the world (roughly 6.7 billion).” It isn’t clear if these numbers are based on VeriSign’s gateway services, their mobile platforms, or statistics they’ve compiled — all three are mentioned as sources. But the numbers are impressive, nonetheless.
10 Revealing Infographics about the Web. I’m amazed we have that much cable lying on the oceanic floor (see #10).
Luke Wroblewski: “Today at their headquarters in Palo Alto, Facebook’s design team walked through their philosophy and approach to designing for a quarter billion users. In particular, they emphasized the importance of writing code, sharing designs early and often, being involved with a project from start to finish, and not falling in love with your work. Making sure designers are technical enough to write code came up a lot.” Though not a big fan of Facebook, I couldn’t agree more with their overall process, especially #3.
7 Japanese aesthetic principles to change your thinking. From none other than Presentation Zen (Garr Reynolds). “Ironically, the spontaneous nature of the Japanese garden that the viewer perceives is not accidental. This is a reminder that design is not an accident, even when we are trying to create a natural-feeling environment. It is not a raw nature as such but one with more purpose and intention.”
Make magazine weekend project: Tilt-shift photography using a plunger, VCR tape case, and oversized lens.
Case study: NPR.org redesign. “We were tasked with making visual something that has historically been exclusively audible. Everyone knows what NPR sounds like, but what does NPR look like?” Via Airbag.
Veerle Pieters: My drawing for the Travelling Moleskines. The concept of a travelling Moleskine is fascinating, but oh how I wish I could draw like Veerle.
Mike Giesser’s typeface Weapons of Mass Reduction and Seduction.
This Apple video demonstrates how low-vision or blind users can use an iPhone. There’s a lot of text entry that one does using iPhone, and I’d like to see how the keyboard really performs with a blind person. But this is pretty fascinating stuff nonetheless. Via Daring Fireball.
Should this be classified as a “wow” or an “ugh”? Adobe to acquire Omniture.
BMW Group Designworks USA to assist Michigan-based Landscape Forms in using the power of design to elevate public furniture, “a ubiquitous, but often overlooked, branch of design” (severe understatement).
Notepods, “notepads shaped like an iPhone and pre-printed with an iPhone bezel design, ideal for sketching up app ideas.”
HOW webcast: Communicating with non-designers at the office. Takes place this Thursday. Registration is $69.
Why You Should Switch from Subversion to Git. Switch cautiously, though, as the comments suggest Mercurial is a better option than both, but even that argument is heavily opinionated. For now, I’ll stick with Subversion.
Veer’s “Take a Picture” contest is running now through October 30th, open to residents in North America. Prizes include subscriptions to Veer Marketplace and a MacBook Pro with accessories worth nearly $8,000. The latest contest challenge, “Framed”, was posted today.
Eight years later, the fallen still stand.
Motorola unveils the Cliq (or Moto Dext internationally), their first Android device and possibly last attempt to save the ailing manufacturer. So far there are no images of the interface available other than the single home screen, even on Motorola’s site. Not surprising from a handset maker that has a history of over-focusing on hardware over software.
The Saab Roadster for the little ones at home. At 339.00 € (nearly $500 USD), it’s hardly affordable, but it looks incredible.
IDEO’s Human Centered Design Toolkit, billed as “an open-source toolkit that uses human-centered design to inspire new solutions to difficult challenges in the developing world,” is available as a free PDF download or in print via Blurb. Page 36 (or 38 according to your PDF reader) is especially brilliant, showing how a camera can be used for self-documentation.
On Prototyping: The Simplest Solution Never Comes First. A must-read article whose principles apply to more than just product design. “In [Studio 7.5’s] opinion, if they are outsourcing prototype development, they are also outsourcing learning. By being able to develop fully functional prototypes in house, ‘The learning from building prototypes stays here and we can be faster, more agile,’ says Roland. ‘The simplest version works the best, and the first version is never the simplest.’”
Elena Shaverina has translated my article, Full-time freelancing: 10 things learned in 180 days, into Russian. Here it is: Фриланс: 10 вещей, которые я понял за 180 дней.
“Reading a newspaper, I saw a picture of birds on the electric wires. I cut out the photo and decided to make a song, using the exact location of the birds as notes (no Photoshop edit).”
Interested in doing WebKit-based mobile design work and experimentation with HTML5 on a large-scale site? MSNBC.com is looking for a designer “who believes in making a beautiful Web using bulletproof HTML and CSS.”
The next big thing in mobile is… voice? Those of you who attended my presentation in Seattle know that I believe voice is a “technology” often overlooked with mobile development, despite the fact that every phone in the world can do voice at a minimum.
New End User Licence Agreement For FontFont. This appears to be good news as it pertains to font embedding, but keep an eye on the comments.
Bulletproof @font-face syntax. Bear in mind we’ll likely see numerous presentations of @font-face syntax in the coming months, but the exploration and thinking here looks solid.
The Economist: When less is more. “As an aircraft enthusiast since boyhood, your correspondent has long had a special place in his pantheon of heroes for the poet-aviator Antoine de Saint Exupéry, who pondered the meaning of flight as he ferried mail through the North African night in the 1920s. ‘Perfection is achieved,’ he mused, ‘not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.’ How much better the world might be if more of today’s product designers could adhere to such a principle.”
A comparison of virtual keyboards: iPhone vs. Android. A very thorough comparison, I might add, and great documentation of user experience as it relates to keyboard use. “A virtual keyboard lives and dies by the details. It’s not that there’s a single feature which makes the iPhone’s virtual keyboard better than Android’s; it’s death by a thousand cuts. A number of small differences end up making a huge difference.”
.net magazine: The world’s top 20 designers. I’m honored to be included in such a list, but it’s a stretch to try and reduce a very long list of talented web designers to just 20 individuals. There are many individuals absent from this list.
Dutch-made Vanmoof Bicycles are stunning. The simplicity of the frame and built-in LED lights make for a winning combination. “‘We were inspired by the good old-fashioned Dutch bike’, explains the 28-year old Dutch designer Sjoerd Smit, ‘we stripped the bike from whims that can only break or cause frustration and added innovation and style’.”
I’m finding it difficult not to link up here or on Twitter something found on Ministry of Type on nearly a weekly basis. This one comes from last year’s archives: Guilloches, the term for those line patterns often found on banknotes, among other things. In this article, Aegir Hallmundur describes the software (and equations) he uses to create guilloches.
A List Apart: Inline Validation in Web Forms by Luke Wroblewski. A fantastic article with test data and screen capture videos. “Not all web form questions are equal. There are some things, such as given names, that we know instantly. Other things, such as new passwords, take more thought. When you consider using inline validation, you must first understand the questions the form asks. This was evident in our test results.”
jQTouch, “a jQuery plugin for mobile web development on the iPhone, Android, Palm Pre, and other forward-thinking devices,” is now available in public beta. This obviously blurs the line rather extensively between native app and web app and, as such, I’m still formulating an opinion. But the approach to cater to WebKit-enabled devices is a plus one.
Siete d Febrero, Diseño Web en San Juan. Love the watercolor textures in the logo and background.
The city of New York commissioned fuseproject designers Yves Béhar and crew to create the NYC Bike Helmet, “designed with every rider, every season and a greener environment in mind.” Love it. Via Coudal.
Firerift, “a completely new breed of CMS for developers,” is now available for purchase starting at $49. Template independent, built-in REST API, and CSS class names for content inclusion. Watch the screencast or try out the demo.
T-shirt shop Exploded officially opens its doors for business. From the FAQs: “These are internals of actual equipment. We buy items, usually via eBay or Craigslist, and we take them apart. Sometimes this requires special tools. Then we photograph the pieces and meticulously render them in Adobe Illustrator.” Except, of course, the iSteamphone. (I’ve got the boombox tee on today.)
“Bram Geenen’s Gaudi-stool weighs just one kilogram. The lightweight carbon fiber chair was created in the same way that Antoní Gaudi designed the structure of his churches, by making a model of hanging chains and letting gravity determine the strongest and most logical shape for withstanding forces.”
IntoMobile suspects, with good reason, that Motorola is going Android (in part or in full) on September 10. Android isn’t a perfect mobile UI, but there are few things worse than Motorola’s UI. They would be wise to switch entirely to Android. “Android is expected to be the struggling mobile phone maker’s saving grace, so this launch event is about as pivotal to Motorola’s roadmap as it gets. We’ll know more in the coming weeks.”
ISO50’s Scott Hansen pits a Vertex 120 solid-state drive against a stock Mac Hitachi drive and documents the performance metrics. “As you can see, the SSD destroyed the standard drive in every conceivable way. The speeds I am seeing are nearly comparable to my RAID0 system which has 3 drives and a highpoint controller and cost me over double the amount I paid for the Vertex SSD.”
Twelve South’s BookArc Desktop Stand for MacBook has been ordered. Two of them, in fact.
Andy Rutledge’s final installment in his Gestalt Principles of Perception: Closure. “We humans are very adept at drawing conclusions from less-than-all the information. Mostly, we’re good at drawing the wrong conclusions…. The degree to which the principle of closure works is inversely proportional to the effort required to make it work.”
Objectified, Gary Hustwit’s documentary on industrial design, is now available for pre-order on DVD, limited-edition DVD, limited-edition USB, and Blu-ray.
“As flat-screen TVs look more and more like works of art, why not give them a proper display on the TV Easel.”
I try not to double up Twitter linkage with this linkage, but this exception is one I’m happy to grant. Typedia, a shared encyclopedia of typefaces, is finally live. It’s the result of efforts from many of the great design and type minds: Jason Santa Maria, Khoi Vinh, John Langdon, Liz Danzico, Mark Simonson, Stephen Coles, and several others (congrats all!). Among many other wonderful things, the invitation in the right column on the home page, “Three things you can do to make Typedia better,” is a stellar example of participatory encouragement.
BBC News: Video-in-print ads to be published in U.S. magazine Entertainment Weekly in Los Angeles and New York this September. If you’re willing to send me a copy in the mail, I’m willing to reward you handsomely. Contact me if interested.
“According to some reports, toy designer Tim Kehoe spent 15 years and $3 million US to bring his vision of colored soap bubbles to market.”
Need mouse hand and arrow icons? Grab them here.
6 new apps arrive in the Palm App catalog. Six? You (and the Palm dev community) can do much better than that, Palm.
Interested in searching Authentic Jobs by location or keyword, and creating customized feeds? All of that is coming soon on the site proper, but in the meantime try Iain Mullan’s AJ Feeds.
Remember the Dollar ReDe$ign Project? The winning entries have been announced.
Web veteran Drew McLellan’s 10 Vital Lessons for Web Start-Ups. “It’s very tempting to be put off from launching something just because there are already other products that do a similar job. It’s important to remember that it’s not only the job you do, but how you do it that counts. If your product can offer something different, be that in user experience, a way of working, unusual features, or specialisation for a role or industry, then they’ll be some kind of market for it.”
Lessn, “an extremely simple, personal url shortener written in PHP with MySQL and mod_rewrite” by Shaun Inman. See also Shorty, which is much the same (I think) and, surprisingly, was released three years ago.
No Sign-up Necessary (the strikethrough method). “By explicitly pointing out that you don’t have to create an account, these sites defy our expectations and strive to delight us with the welcome news. You mean I don’t have to create an account? Wow…that’s nice.”
Daring Fireball: The Android Opportunity. An Android G1 owner myself (in addition to iPhone), I completely agree with John’s arguments. “Don’t aim for the middle of the market. That seems to be what all the other Android manufacturers are doing and it’s the road to NobodyCaresAboutYourPhoneVille. So instead of trying to sell half a million phones to anyone, try to sell half a million phones to a specific target: people in the market for the latest and greatest phone in the world. This is a story line the press will love. The press is itching to write ‘iPhone No Longer King of the Hill’ headlines.”
Smashing Magazine: Taming Advanced CSS Selectors. A thorough look at many of the CSS3 features currently supported partially or fully by browsers.
The Making of the NPR News iPhone App. I’ve only discovered the app following this article, so I haven’t yet formed an opinion about the app itself. But reading through the development process signals a solid approach. “It was clear that our most loyal listeners expected us to stay close to our roots in audio journalism…. But it was also clear from our user interviews that there was a new kind of media consumer on the horizon, one who expected 24/7 coverage, time-shifted broadcast content, and the ability to actively customize a news browsing experience.”
Two typefaces from MyFonts added to the wishlist: Aviano Sans, a lovely retro Art Deco typeface with ligatures and alternates, and Darlin BTN, a 6-year-old’s handwriting typeface created by an actual 6-year-old.
NO!SPEC interviews AIGA president Debbie Millman. “[AIGA is] against spec work. The reason for the line, ‘while recognizing that the decision is up to individual designers,’ was included was to try and acknowledge how cultural and technological dynamics have changed. We are finding that we are more effective communicating with younger designers when we do not preach. Instead, we are seeking to educate the next generation of designers by clearly outlining the inappropriateness of a spec work.”
IntoMobile: RIM says BlackBerry Browser Will Match Mobile Safari Next Year. Filed under “Hardly a Big Surprise.” In fact, every mobile browser should give up and just go WebKit.
Twitter is currently down (denial-of-service attack), and it feels as if the world has stopped. Suddenly, posting an update such as this to my blog feels very 2008.
FontShop’s latest FontFonts news issue #49 contains some great typefaces, notably the FF Unit font family with Slab and Rounded faces.
Tutorial: jQuery banner code displayer thing using the Authentic Jobs affiliate banners as a model.
Hidden Secrets of the Amazon Shopping Cart. Evolution of the Add to Cart button. If you’ve seen my “Good vs. Great Design” presentation, pay attention to how the visual hierarchy improves over the years.
Polaroids of the 1981 Xerox Star 8010 GUI. In 1981 this must have looked as futuristic as the Minority Report interfaces did just a few years ago. As I recall, this is the GUI that Steve Jobs and others were able to see at Xerox Parc, which led to the Macintosh OS and eventually the Windows OS. (If you’ve got links to information about this, please mail me.) Via Daring Fireball.
Retro 45 RPM t-shirt. Ordered.
U.S. retailer Best Buy is doing some rather interesting stuff with mobile these days. In addition to their mobile site being a pleasant experience, you can now text any product SKU to 332211 while shopping at retail locations and get customer reviews with a link to the mobile site’s product page. (Try it out: Text “9230691” to 332211.)
In a continual effort to merely rename its products as a means of overcoming negative perceptions instead of actually making a better product, Windows Mobile will now be known as Windows Phone (seriously).
Need a mobile device detection script? Andy Moore’s customizable PHP device detection script is a great option. Use the Function Generator to handle specific devices and specify redirect options.
Jakob Nielsen: Mobile Usability. “When our test participants used sites that were designed specifically for mobile devices, their success rate averaged 64%, which is substantially higher than the 53% recorded for using ‘full’ sites — that is, the same sites that desktop users see. Improving user performance by 1/5 is reason enough to create mobile-optimized sites.”
Wired’s review of the Spotify iPhone music app (see also video). “This slick app grants instant access to over six million on-demand tracks and your customized Spotify playlists, and it sounds great even on planes, subways, and other places where you can’t get a decent cell signal thanks to an offline playback feature. Spotify is currently only available in Europe but the company plans to roll out in America by the end of the year.”
Birds of Sadness letterpress poster by Studio On Fire. “If there are any left when the show comes down at Art Minion, we’ll sell them on our site.” Yes please.
Catching up on Johno’s post, “Web fonts — where are we?” is a superb summary of where things have been, where they’re at, and where they’re headed as it pertains to font linking and embedding on the web. I’ll repeat again what I’ve said before: Web font linking/embedding will be the industry’s biggest story in 2009.
According to AdMob’s stats from advertising partners, Android market share now surpasses Windows Mobile. It’s rather unlikely this means there are more Android devices than Windows Mobile devices around the globe, but it does support the argument that successful mobile web experiences require successful mobile devices. And by all accounts, Windows Mobile devices are far removed from being labeled “successful”.
For those of you who missed commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Moon landing as I did (traveling/speaking), Jason Kottke’s “The giant Apollo 11” post provides plenty of commemorative resources. I’ll add Discovery Channel’s fascinating When We Left Earth series to the list, specifically “Landing the Eagle” (iTunes link).
In A Good Day’s Busy Work, Khoi Vinh debates the merits of tweeting frequency vs. actually getting things done during the day. “What does it mean, exactly, to ‘embrace the medium’? Apparently, it means a compulsive dedication to what essentially amounts to busy work: checking in with your followers or friends repeatedly and often, authoring bursts of quasi-communiqués at all hours of the day, continually updating your statuses, tending a limitless onslaught of friend requests, managing an unyielding firehose of housekeeping tasks. It just means spending a lot of time just wasting time.”
Missed Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) this year? Videos from the sessions are now available for purchase.
The Brand New Sketchbook. I’m a fairly die-hard Moleskine user (hardcover, pocket size), but the red cover and tweets spread throughout were enough to convince me to order two for trial.
Dustin Curtis tested various phrases for encouraging his readers to follow him on Twitter, and his write-up explains “You should follow me on twitter here” had the highest conversion rate for his readership. Be sure to peruse Dustin’s other posts, written as feature articles with custom artwork.
15-year-old Matthew Robson, an intern at Morgan Stanley Europe, wrote a report on teen media habits, which was published by the firm and generated “five or six times more responses than the team’s usual research.” Read the summary about the report or the report itself.
“Matt Willey recently recorded his decision-making on a feature design for the Royal Academy magazine” and strung it together as a video. Note the grid usage, as well as how the headline(s) changes during the process.
CNET’s top 5 free iPhone music apps.
“Why carry around a separate bulky keychain when your key can be the chain?” Brilliant.
Sigurdur Armannsson’s Font Anatomy wallpaper (free download). “For some time I have tried to get a reliable information about the individual parts of the characters of the alphabet. The anatomy of type if you like. It was not so easy to find online…. [So], I collected all this info together and put in one as complete as I could.”
Noupe: 30 useful CSS3 tutorials.
Gestalt Principles of Perception: “Common Fate”. Andy Rutledge: “Human beings are, in fact, biologically programmed to recognize contrasting movement more readily and more strongly than we recognize color, tone contrast, size, or any other visual cue (owing to instinctual survival skills). It is no accident then that the flip-side of that coin (common fate) would also be a compelling sensory cue.”
Introducing the Google Chrome OS. “Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks … available for consumers in the second half of 2010…. We’re designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds. The user interface is minimal to stay out of your way, and most of the user experience takes place on the web.”
How (Not) to Write like a Designer. Some great advice from William Bostwick, a self-labeled “design writer”, for writing and talking about one’s work, among other things. “Often, the design for a dining table won’t ‘capture the thrill of a Medieval feast,’ say, it will ‘strive to capture the thrill’ or ‘seek to capture it.’ These verb-plus-infinitive constructions (sorry for the jargon) are just plain boring. Don’t be shy—after all, if your work is only trying to do something, why should we care?”
Bubbles, a Flickr photoset by Richard Heeks. Check the bottom three rows for some pretty amazing shots.
Aegir Hallmundur writes about David Earls’ beautiful print work for Brighton & Hove City Council. “There’s a new service, just launched, which lets you text a code for a particular bus stop to a number and get an SMS back telling you the next five buses to go from that stop…. It’s a beautiful arrangement of type and colour, designed to appeal mainly to teenagers and young adults (and, incidentally, typographers) and adapts well to a wide variety of applications.”
Jeremy Keith: Misunderstanding the W3C’s XHTML 2 announcement to mean XHTML (in all its forms) is dead. “I’m not saying that XHTML syntax is better or worse than HTML syntax. I’m saying it’s a personal choice…. The death of XHTML 2 does not mean the death of XHTML syntax. If you want to continue to close all tags and quote all attributes, you can do so. You can either use the existing XHTML 1 spec or you can use HTML 5.”
Hope & Fear, a project by Evan MacDonald. Did you read all the way to the bottom? I did. A great example of engaging copy (and presentation).
mobiThinking has posted some data on teens and mobile devices, based on an interview with Jill Rosengard Hill and Kristin Dykstra of research firm Frank Magid Associates. “This is a generation of cell-phone users –- 90 percent penetration –- and mobile phones are consistently ranked at the top of the ‘things I can’t live without’ pyramid. Among teenaged Millennials (age 13-18) specifically, 69 percent say they text an average of 55 minutes a day, while 87 percent say they talk an average of 45 minutes a day.”
Results from the Basecamp account screen redesign. Just as inspiring as beautiful design is design that pays off. “The goal was to increase overall upgrade conversions and encourage people who are on Basic plans or lower to upgrade to the Plus plan…. I’m glad to report our design hunches appear to have paid off.”
Jesse Bennett-Chamberlain deferred to Brad Haynes for follow-up work on Campaign Monitor’s beautiful (and very usable) site, and Brad guest blogged the process after-the-fact on Jesse’s blog: Campaign Monitor Landing Pages. As usual, you’ll find several inspiring design concepts in the article.
Von Glitschka: Living a Creatively Curious Life. I missed Von’s presentation — one of the best at HOW Design Conference from what I’ve heard — because we were scheduled to speak at the same time. Download Von’s creativity pack, watch the entire room dancing, and a get a recap of the presentation.
Checking for installed fonts with @font-face and local(). “Firefox 3.5 was released, [but] one slight drawback of the technique is the blank space that’s displayed as the new font is loaded into the browser…. The way to get around that is quite simple; use local() to check if the font is on the user’s system first.”
Independence, Canada, and Whatever-Else Day Sale: Get 17.76% off your letterpress poster order plus free shipping anywhere in the world. Use code FR33. Sale ends July 6.
“I will not brag to interns about things I did when they were 11.” -Words to Work By
“Tell me, I forget. Provoke me, I engage. Tease me, I buy. Love me, I come back.” -Kellie Konapelsky
If you’re an original 2G iPhone owner too (2-year anniversary yesterday!), IntoMobile announces ActivateMMS2G will offer MMS capability for iPhone 2G. I’m not fond of jailbreaking my phone and have yet to do so, but at this point — 2 years later and way past warranty coverage — I’m much more open to the idea.
You know those fine, interweaving lines you see on currency notes and other official documents? YouWorkForThem’s Empire collection of vectors and brushes empowers you to make your own fine, interweaving lines.
A List Apart: “Visual Decision Making” by Patrick Lynch, writer, artist, and web designer at Yale University. Fantastic article. “[T]he instant, pre-conscious pleasure of seeing a well designed page [makes] you predisposed to find a beautiful design easy to use—an effect that lingers long after the slower, conscious behavioral and reflective levels of processing kick in and make you aware of how you feel about what you see.”
ENG 371WR: Writing for Nonreaders in the Postprint Era. “Students will acquire the tools needed to make their tweets come alive with shallow wit. They’ll learn how to construct Facebook status updates that glitter with irony, absurdity, and dramatic glibness. When tweeting, for instance, that ‘John is enjoying a buttery English muffin,’ why not add a link to an image of a muffin with butter oozing from its nooks and crannies? Or why not exaggerate a tad and say that there’s bacon on that muffin, even if there’s not?”
If you don’t have budget to fly around the world and witness how people use mobile phones in emerging markets, this may be the next best thing: Adaptive Path’s Mobile Literacy project is complete with photos, anecdotal reports, and video interviews (scroll down to see the videos, which are also on Vimeo).
Punchcut’s list of mobile apps they couldn’t live without. Just downloaded a couple from the list.
Break the vector mould, a vector artwork tutorial by Paulo Arraiano (aka YUP) for Computer Arts magazine. Includes .ai files and 15-step PDF tutorial.
Fever°, a new feed reader from Shaun Inman, is “your slice of the web” mixed with Twitter Trending Topic-like personalization. “Fever reads your feeds and picks out the most frequently talked about links from a customizable time period. Unlike traditional aggregators, Fever works better the more feeds you follow.”
Adios, Ale Paul’s latest typeface, not only looks scriptly fantastic but includes a whopping 1,470 glyphs.
html5 Gallery, a showcase of sites using html5 markup.
Gizmodo: Every Mobile Browser Should Give Up and Just Go WebKit. “There simply isn’t a better mobile browser than WebKit right now. It powers the internet in the iPhone, Android, Symbian S60 and Palm Pre…. It’s fast, it’s competent and most importantly from a development perspective, it’s open source.”
Inayaili de Leon’s article for Smashing Magazine, “Take Your Design To The Next Level With CSS3”, details numerous CSS3 examples and resources — RGBA, multi-column layout, multiple backgrounds, box-shadow, etc. Worth a read.
Washtenaw Community College. An unusually fresh design. Unusual because you don’t often see stuff this good — aesthetics, identity — from the collegiate web folk (I’ve been in your shoes many times, college peeps).
Not a useless link: BlueLounge Studio Desk. Want. “This compact workspace features an innovative storage compartment hidden by a sliding desktop surface, letting you hide all your cable clutter, with only a single cable running from the desk to the wall.”
On the theme of nearly useless links for a fun Friday, here’s another: Post-it stop motion video.
Bug or feature? This handy infographic will help you decipher between the two. (Hey, it’s Friday. Cut me some slack :)
With backpacking season almost in full swing, how to start a fire with your mobile phone should you find yourself stranded in the wild. Only problem? You need an old-school phone. (You’re better off just carrying flint in your pack.
Andy Rutledge on dog and pony show design: “You must never allow a client to decide how many design concepts are appropriate …because design is not a process whereby you see just how many darts you can fit into your hand in hopes that one of them accidentally hits the bullseye. Beautiful accidents can happen, but accident is not the basis for design excellence. Purposeful discovery followed by focused, skillful conceptualization and execution is the basis for design excellence.”
FontFeed: Vendetta [typeface] for Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events. If you’ve not yet seen the end credits for this film, be sure to watch the video included in the article. These credits are probably the most inspiring closing credits I’ve seen designed in any film.
Mobile HTC ‘Rosie’ UI screenshots. These look fantastic. Of course, it’s all in the user experience as a whole and not just a few shiny screens. (And HTC doesn’t have an impressive record with UI thus far.)
Top-stitched letterpress wedding booklet by Studio on Fire. Unbelievable.
Blind Prom, a photo gallery and interview from Sarah Wilson. There’s something undeniably moving about all this. “I remember last year overhearing a conversation a couple was having as they were reuniting before prom. She grabbed his hand and ran his fingers along the sequins of her dress, to the curls in her hair, and to the strand of pearls around her neck. His response was an exuberant, ‘Wow, you look so beautiful!’ I know that she felt beautiful.”
Paula Scher on Failure. “[T]here’s nothing better for you than to make some big ugly terrible thing that’s just a disaster. The thing about your mistakes is, when everybody praises something, you don’t learn anything. But when you do something terrible, you know what not to do. And that’s fantastic.”
Core77 book review: I Miss My Pencil by Martin Bone and Kara Johnson. “At once joyous and confusing, I Miss My Pencil left me incredulous in the same way an avant garde indy movie produced by a major studio would. Every once in a while a completely impractical beautiful thing slips past consumer focus groups. At numerous times while reading, I wondered what sort of person would want to read a book about the joy of following absurd premises like ‘what does a laptop taste like?’ to their logical (!?!) conclusions. Perhaps the audience for that sort of thing is tiny, but I think it includes us.”
A Vision of Business Design Curriculum in 2012 (PDF) from Ryan Jacoby, business designer at IDEO. What a fantastic list of suggested courses. If this became a reality, 2012 could not come soon enough.
“Microsoft has never been a paragon of good design, or even decent design. But this is rubbing it in design’s face.”
New from Corbis: Storied. “Notable voices tell the story behind celebrated photography.” Love it. Check out taking flight, Johnny Cash pre-show, and Neil Young tuning up. (Kudos to Corbis for providing permanent links within an all-Flash site.)
CSS Mania has redesigned. Cleaner design, and still plenty of great designs linked up. (Did I mention Authentic Jobs listings are featured on each gallery item’s page?)
Best Buy Idea Exchange, developed by Bust Out Solutions, seems like a solid way of engaging customers in improving U.S. electronics retailer Best Buy. Good way to compel the user to participate right on the home page, too.
Beautiful poster proposals by Alan Clarke Graphics for the London 2012 Olympics. Brilliant simplicity.
“Apply is a free [OpenType font] that allows you to customize any font you wish with an array of inky splatters and sprays.”
Google Throws Its Weight Behind HTML 5. Personally, I’m not yet ready to throw my weight behind it, as I think we’ll all easily transition to it when it’s really ready for public consumption. But it’s highly likely we’ll see that happen in the near future.
“Beast Pieces” is the blog of letterpress shop Studio on Fire, and there’s plenty of great stuff to have a look at: Woodgrain & Crest Letterpress Wedding, Black Tie & Black Paper, and they’re hiring a letterpress operator too.
If only all surveys were like this: The Deck Ad Network Readership Survey. It’s entertaining enough to keep you reading (and answering and telling your friends about it), and yet you’ll see the questions they really care about inconspicuously hidden throughout the survey.
Jeffrey Zeldman: Web fonts now (and how we’re doing with that). Mark my words: The web font-embedding discussion will be the industry’s biggest and hottest story in 2009.
Kelvin Luck: “[Back in February,] Grant Skinner started a competition on Twitter called Tweetcoding. It’s very simple: ‘#tweetcoding: code something cool in <=140 characters of AS3’…. Below are some of my tweetcoding attempts.”
Veer: Kern in Space. Fun. Brings back memories of playing Astro Lander (or something like that) on Dad’s computer as a little kid.
jQuery Themeroller, a theme customizer for jQuery. Select settings at left, see them previewed on the page real-time, then download your theme.
Fingertype by Jonathan Looman.
Dollar ReDe$ign Project. “We need to rebuild our country, revive our economy, redesign the Dollar bill. Email us your ideas. Win a prize. Join in. In God we Trust. In Change we Believe.” A few decent entries have already come in (scroll down).
Related, Top 10 Wolfram Alpha Easter Eggs. “How many roads must a man walk down before you can call him a man?”
Wolfram Alpha launched over the weekend. I had previously tweeted that this might be Google’s first real competitor in years, but I’m certainly not convinced of that yet. My initial test searches (“mobile web”, “mobile users”) yielded no results, which indicates Wolfram Alpha currently lacks sufficient data to cover *any* query we might throw at it. (Still have high hopes for it though.)
A recent (re)discovery, WebAIM’s Introduction to Web Accessibility offers a wealth of resources on the topic.
Andy Rutledge and crew redesign Woot at 1080px. “Lastly, we were given license to go non-standard, to expand on the brand’s visual lexicon, to present something daring…. They wanted to see what an outside, more objective group might do with their brand—with the caveat that the results might serve as little more than a thought piece; something used only to fuel Woot’s internal discussion. We were keen to take up that challenge, though, and as it turned out they were pleased with our initial work such that the results went directly into a daring re-launch of all of their websites.”
Just a Moment clock by Reddish Studio, “a cross between analog and digital representations of time.” Love the simplicity of it.
The Line Length Misconception. “Classically-trained designers, and really every professional designer, should know the old adage that long line lengths can have a counterproductive impact on readability…. But research doesn’t support this claim, at least on the web…. [A study] looked at how well college students read news on the screen at different line lengths. They tested line lengths of 35, 55, 75, and 95 characters. The study came to two important conclusions: Reading speed was highest at 95cpl, and lowest at 35cpl on screen. Reading efficiency was again highest at 95cpl.” Via Jason Santa Maria.
Artist Stefanie Posavec has visualized the chapters, paragraphs, sentences, and rhythm of a book titled On The Road with a collection of stunning data visualization designs. Prints are available here, and thanks also to Stefanie for the nod to ImageKind’s on-demand art and photo printing service.
i love typography: Show some restraint, in which John Boardley shows no restraint linking up a fantastic list of typography designs and resources.
New York Times: Searching for Value in Ludicrous Ideas, an exploration of whimsical and inspiring ideas by Steven M. Johnson — a desk turned sleeping chamber, the dashboard toaster oven, the wearable bike vest, etc. “As the 70-year-old told me last week, ‘America has been falling into a depression, a psychological depression, for many years. Yet this is a land of pioneer inventors. It annoys me that an untrained person like myself can think up products easily (in fact I usually spend energy ‘turning off’ the idea-generating machine just as psychics train themselves to turn off their capability) and yet the nation seems to sit helplessly passive and wait to be saved somehow.’”
On the topic of yesterday’s post about staying gainfully employed, Andy Clarke chimes in with his wisdom on charging healthy rates for sustainability: “Your value is in more than just the hours, days or weeks that you spend working on your current job, or the next. Your value to your clients is that you’ll be there for them, to help them when they need it, in the future…. When a potential client asks if you’ll work for a lower rate, explain to them that it’s in their interests that your business is happy and healthy and that what they might save now will likely cost them dearly in the future if you’re not around.”
Dave Shea: Font Embedding Now. “This is really for the foundries and the browsers to figure out. What you or I think should happen probably isn’t going to change the outcome of the debate; only overall trends in the market have a hope of doing that. So it seems to me that if we want font embedding to take off sooner rather than later, a change in our own methods and expectations is in order. And maybe a little voting with our pocketbooks.” On that note, I sense (and have good reason to believe) there will be positive news about this topic sometime soon.
Mike Kus recorded his screen while preparing slides for FOWD London 2009 (“Graphic Design: The Forgotten Web Standard”), and then set it to music at warp speed. Pretty inspiring stuff.
A brief history of the ‘@’ symbol, whose first recorded use is from “a Florentine merchant named Francesco Lapi [who] used the symbol @ in a letter written 473 years ago today, on May 4, 1536.”
“EBAY”, 2007 by François Curlet. Not sure I’d hang artwork depicting eBay (of all things) on my wall, the interpretation is beautiful.
Brian Fling has compiled a list of mobile development resources he’s been using in workshops. Worth a look.
Jason Santa Maria questions whether the golden ratio has any practical use in web design. “By its very nature the web is a medium of displacement; content is not tied to being viewed on a specific device, screen, browser, and most importantly, at a standard size. Regardless of how well you plan your layout to work according to a ratio or principles such as the rule of thirds, you can’t predict how much of it will be viewable at a glance. If a visitor’s window or device prevents them from seeing the entirety of the layout, as you can by merely looking at a book or poster, the effectiveness of these principles is reduced drastically.” Well said. I too have struggled with using ratios effectively online.
Friday’s Draplin vs Glass layer tennis was probably the best one to date, largely because it held true to the form of the match. Every volley built on the previous one, and Glass’ video work helped cement the “storyline”, if there was one.
“Created by Tribal DDB and Stink Digital, this new interactive campaign promotes Philips’ latest entrant into the television market, the CINEMA 21:9…. Director Adam Berg responded with an idea for an epic ‘frozen moment’ cops and robbers shootout sequence that included clowns, explosions, a decimated hospital, and plenty of broken glass and bullet casings.”
Tyler Thompson’s latest Squarespace design is fresh and inspiring.
“I am not a photographer - I am just a Rocks Balancing Artist that love to take pictures of My work … for years i’ve been looking for this lucky shot.”
Design Observer: Ten Graphic Design Paradoxes. An absolutely brilliant list. I can’t even articulate how much I agree with *every* point, especially #2: “The best way to learn how to become a better graphic designer is to become a client. On the few occasions that I’ve been a paying commissioner of graphic design, I’ve learned more about being a designer than by anything else I’ve done. It’s only by commissioning graphic designers that we discover that most of us are not very good at articulating what we do and how we work…. As part of their training, all designers should be obliged to spend a sum of their own money on graphic design.”
Jacquet Fritz Junior’s toilet paper roll sculptures. Love that they all look like they just expended the entire roll.
Student Shon Tanner’s design for Swiss Canton ice cream packaging.
Honda and Vimeo collaborate to produce Let It Shine. Yet another reason why Vimeo rocks.
Jason Santa Maria’s latest article, Pretty Sketchy, is continuing proof that storytelling online is not only a possibility but an opportunity for crafting compelling user experiences. See also the Pretty Sketchy Flickr pool.
The Typographic Desk Reference. This looks like a fantastic reference. Hadn’t even heard of it before. “From the outset it’s worth stressing that this is not a how-to book. It does not compete with Bringhurst’s The Elements of Typographic Style or Felici’s The Complete Manual of Typography. It is, as its title makes quite clear, a reference book. Think of it more as a dictionary or rather a pocket encyclopedia of type terms.”
Flickr: The Modern. Impressive, even more so coming from iPhone’s camera.
Jill Sylvia creates art with ledger paper. Fascinating.
The Ora ilLegale clock tips to compensate for daylight savings time. Brilliant.
Glyphish, a free icon set for iPhone app developers. Lovely. Expect many more sets like this from everyone and their sister to be announced soon.
Dave Shea explains why he’s switched from XHTML back to HTML 4.01 Strict. “Six years ago, many of us thought XHTML would be the future of the web and we’d be living in an XML world by now. But in the intervening time it’s become fairly apparent to myself and others that XHTML2 really isn’t going anywhere, at least not in the realm that we care about.”
What Happens When Twitter Gets Mainstream Attention. “More hay and less needles. This increase in people, and brands of all sorts joining Twitter will cause more noise and content to be created. We haven’t even seen the half of it, as devices like your car, laptop, can start auto-emitting signals that could become tweets. As a result, expect more filtering tools and analysis by humans to matter more and more.”
Ben Terrett: Is it time to retire the black and white logo? “A couple of times whist working on these identities we’ve discussed a black and white version, that’s a normal thing to do. And every time someone has asked, why?. Every time it’s been a struggle to answer that question…. Most of the time, I think I’m a pretty traditional designer. Function before form, ideas will always win, etc etc. And I can put together a decent case for a black and white version of a logo. But if you start to look at the evidence it becomes harder and harder to defend.”
Jon Gallant, Microsoft: “I just finished Cameron Moll’s ‘Mobile Web Design’ book. Not only is it a great book…short, sweet and comprehensive, but it has a lot of great references. I figured I’d help others find the references by bookmarking them on delicious.com.”
Core77’s book review of The Design Entrepreneur by Steven Heller and Lita Talarico: “Each case study consists of an interview with the designer, along with photos of finished products and inspirations. The main emphasis, however, is on the entrepreneurial process. Nearly all of the subjects started small and without clear business plans. Their companies grew organically by making one-offs, selling to friends, and just having fun. Only later did the enterprise grow to a scale that required management.”
Design Considerations for Touch UI. Five tips from Punchcut’s Jared Benson, who has spent much of his career designing for mobile devices. “The touch experience is an intimate interaction with the content and UI space. There is an opportunity to transport the user into an interface world that is governed by common rules of physical motion like inertia, bounce and gravity that build and reinforce expectations when the user touches, flicks, or drags interface elements. Dimensionality and/or a sense of physicality may help offset the experience of interacting with the flat aspect of the screen, when feedback may be minimal.”
Between Creative and Technical, a great reply from James White to a recent grad’s questions about style, tools, and taking things to the next level. “Style happens by accident along the way as you continue to say ‘I wonder what would happen if I tried this.’ I’m a metal-head who creates art with rainbows, so to say I never saw that coming would be a big understatement. So my advice would be to forget about it. The idea of ‘style’ sounds like a destination, when art should be a constantly evolving beast.”
Yamagiwa Kigokoro lamp. I’ll also take one of these.
The luxurious, award-winning Santa Ynez home. I’ll take one, please.
Rob Morris: Site copycatting, and what you can do about it. Spend a little time on Rob’s site and it’ll be clear why copycatting is a problem for him.
New from FontShop: ARS District. Love the character of this typeface.
Recent statistics for email client popularity from Campaign Monitor’s customers. Outlook, Yahoo, and Hotmail, while iPod Touch, iPhone 2.0, and Apple Mail are trending upwards faster than others. (Read the fine print about Gmail — I’d be willing to bet the number is much higher than 5%.)
How to Spot Quality within Web Design: Examples & Tips. Plenty of examples, that is.
Wisdom from Bryan Lawson, How Designers Think: “There are no established methods for deciding just how good or bad solutions are, and still the best test of most design is to wait and see how well it works in practice. Design solutions can never be perfect and are often more easily criticised than created, and designers must accept that they will almost invariably appear wrong in some ways to some people.”
Garrett Dimon: Suggestions for Making Feature Requests. Fantastic advice. “Assume that your request is incredibly complex. Just because you’re familiar with the technology or platform doesn’t mean that you know the application inside and out. Every product is unique, and only the developers will know the full impact of a new feature.”
Andy Clarke: “Dear Internets, Let me introduce you to my cat, Lucy. She writes better HTML than you’ll find in Blueprint. Love, Andy.” The conclusion to a couple tweets regarding the Blueprint CSS framework.
The lecture slides and assignments for Stanford University’s CS 193P class, iPhone Application Programming, are available to the public (although right now the PDFs seem to be dead-ends). Even better, videos from the lectures will be available in iTunes soon.
TypeNeu, an odyssey in typography. I’ve linked to this before, but worth re-linking. Love the grid, plenty to explore, and scroll to keep it coming.
A brief interview with myself and Lee Tran, editor of Inside Out, regarding my letterpress posters.
Findings from the A List Apart Survey, 2008. A beautiful, detailed snapshot of the web professional industry.
Lovely science and technology adverts from the 50s and 60s.
How to create great-looking iPhone screencasts with SimFinger and screen capture software.
I create buildings with type. Others create collages with dollar bills. “In the studio we keep hoppers of bills separated into parts to use piece by piece as well as binders of prepared texture swatches and collaged passages to add wholesale. I love all the process.”
Drew Wilson: “Fullsize is an attempt to get a new <IMG> attribute called fullsize into the next version of HTML. Hopefully this site will get the attention of the W3C, and they will add fullsize to HTML and make it a standard.” Example:
<img src="me.jpg" alt="Me" fullsize="me-big.jpg" /> jQuery plug-in also available.
Marketing agency Forty makes a compelling argument against fixed-fee billing. “If the project always, always changes in the middle, why would an agency bill based on the assumption that they can predict it from the very beginning? When these inevitable changes happen, they’re only ever seen as unwelcome intrusions…. Fixed-fee projects turn the agency and the client into enemies; they’re competing against each other.”
FF Nelio OT is a rather interesting mix of script and pixelated styles in the same typeface.
I’ve been a stargazer since I was a young lad. The Flickr blog has a great collection of incredible astronomy photography.
Ecoki, the eco-conscious news community. Nice idea. Equally nice design.
An invitation to get your geek on, literally: jQuery word cloud t-shirt.
The audio is up from my recent Skype interview with a high school class in Maryland, US.
Uh oh, somebody pointed me to Inhabit, and I fear I’ll now be spending plenty of time (and money) there.
Plot #24 of the ORDOS project by architects Multiplicities. “Situated at parcel number 24, the (X) house’s life revolves around a series of intersecting patios that inhale/exhale everything it needs and wants at different times closing tired cycles and opening new ones. The white lung takes and bounces light and air inside the house to keep the black skin healthy. The black skin absorbs heat and gives protection and warmth to the lung as well as varied activities, providing different programmatic thicknesses creating buffer zones wherever it is necessary.”
WaSP InterAct, for which the curriculum was announced at SXSW 2009, “is a living, open curriculum based upon web standards and best practices, designed to teach students the skills of the web professional. Adapt and reuse our resources. Contribute your own content and ideas.” I’m thrilled to see where this goes and hopeful it fills a gaping void in the curriculum currently being taught to tomorrow’s bright minds.
YouTube: Bob Parsons hand lettering his name on an amplifier. Lovely. Via Ministry of Type.
Core77’s Allan Chochinov reviews Gary Hustwit’s Objectified. “In the end, the viewer is likely to leave this film having been sensitized to what is perhaps its strongest invocation (and something I am forever yelling at my design students about): the notion of intention…. Everything IS designed, which, the viewer learns over these 76 minutes, is the whole point of it. Design and intention become synonymous — not a bad definition at all — and one that designers and non-designers would do well to understand.”
Roger Johannson offers a couple resources for setting up a screen reader testing environment.
TheDieline: Milk by David Fung. “This was a personal experiment in form, function, and fun. The goal of this redesign was to use a standard milk carton as the canvas to create a clean, modern, and functional design yet still approachable for the average consumer.”
Tycho/ISO50 “Progress” poster. Added to the wishlist.
Samsung i7410 projector phone. Yes, the projector thing is fab (though not the first handset to do this). However, I’m really impressed with what I see of the UI in the demo video.
Typographic World Map by Russian artist Vlad Gerasimov.
Derek Powazek: Advice for the SXSW-bound. “If you want to meet people, write a question on your name badge. People always glance at your badge, even if they don’t mean to. If there’s a conversation starter there, it really helps break the ice. (I once wrote ‘What should I name my company?’ on my badge. I got a ton of funny suggestions, and I’ve never had so many people ask me to pitch them.)
Jesse Bennett-Chamberlain of 31Three with a behind-the-scenes of the new Campaign Monitor design.
Seth Godin: The difference between PR and publicity. “Publicity is the act of getting ink. Publicity is getting unpaid media to pay attention, write you up, point to you, run a picture, make a commotion. Sometimes publicity is helpful, and good publicity is always good for your ego. But it’s not PR.”
Jive Software gets a nice realign. Site looks great, guys.
I’m late linking to this, but I’d be remiss not to given all the great content I’ve consumed during its lifespan: Digital Web Magazine closes its doors. Thanks to Nick et al. for the fun while it lasted.
Seth Godin: The two elements of a great presenter. “Don’t apologize at the beginning of the talk. For anything. Don’t hide in the dark. Don’t hide behind a wall of bullet points. And then, as the talk (pitch / presentation / interview) begins, don’t focus your energy or concern on yourself. It’s not about you. It’s about them. The presenter who loves his audience the most, wins.”
LEGO Digital Designer. My boys discovered this on their own just a few days ago. They’ve been building non-stop since, even my 3-year-old. Build your own LEGO creation from scratch or by using a template, and then order your set from the factory. Compatible with PC or Mac.
For those looking to go green at home, the residential Sunforce 12-volt, 400-watt wind generator. Tower not included.
Swiss? Drum Corps? Say no more: Top Secret Drum Corps performs at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo in August 2006. The “sword fighting” that begins around 03:30 is enthralling.
“AIGA have put the complete set of passenger and pedestrian symbols online, free of charge, apparently for the first time…. The fact we still see (most of) these symbols everywhere speaks of the quality of the design process they employed.”
NL Architects’ proposal for the Taipei Performing Art Center is stunning visually and functionally. “The public character of the center is guaranteed by the elevation of a substantial part of its program, creating a public square underneath it. As such the square becomes part of the building inside of it.”
Okay, this is a cool idea: Arc90’s Readability bookmarklet allows you to strip all the UI cruft from any site, leaving the readable copy formatted to your liking. Really simple setup, too.
In other iPhone news, Why the Japanese Hate the iPhone. “Besides cultural opposition, Japanese citizens possess high, complex standards when it comes to cellphones. The country is famous for being ahead of its time when it comes to technology, and the iPhone just doesn’t cut it. For example, Japanese handset users are extremely into video and photos — and the iPhone has neither a video camera nor multimedia text messaging…. Japan’s carrier environment is very competitive, which equates to relatively low monthly rates for handsets. The iPhone’s monthly plan starts at about $60, which is too high compared to competitors, Kuittinen added.”
According to numbers from Net Applications, iPhone accounts for 66% of all mobile web usage. Take caution, however, as these kinds of reports are often based on traffic to the company’s products and services, and not a true snapshot of all web traffic. Indeed, Net Applications admits, “We collect data from the browsers of site visitors to our exclusive on-demand network of live stats customers. The data is compiled from approximately 160 million visitors per month.” (thx Clifton)
Ethan Marcotte’s article for A List Apart, Fluid Grids, is technically and conceptually fantastic. I needn’t say more.
Exploring Logo Designs with Mathematica. Mathematica, as I learned today, is software used in the scientific, engineering, and mathematical fields to do some fairly complex computations. Graphic designer and Wolfram Research employee Chris Carlson used the software to explore logo and typography design. An interesting read irrespective of familiarity with the software.
comScore: “In total, 42 million people [in the U.S.] used their mobile devices in October 2008 to access news and information content on the Internet, an increase of 57 percent from October 2007.” Never too late to grab a copy of The Book.
jQuery Sparklines. If I have to explain what jQuery is or sparklines are, this probably isn’t for you.
ReminderWidget. I’ve had the 1.0 widget installed for probably a year now, and it’s safe to say it’s the most helpful widget on my Dashboard in terms of productivity and GTD. Easy to set a tickler reminder for any period in the future and forget about it until you’re reminded.
Why working from home is great, from the same author who brought you Why working from home sucks. “Here’s a hypothesis about this: if you looked at a standard cubicle-filled engineering office, and just measured what times of day each person was in their cubicle, you could identify the most critical team members simply by picking out those who tend to be at their desks when most of their coworkers aren’t. Those are the folks who come in, find out where the build broke, and fix the bugs before the rest can come in and schedule a meeting about it. Working from home is a way of reserving the privilege of focused concentration by default, without having to drive in at 6am or work late in the evening.”
jCarousel, scrolling carousels with jQuery. Pretty straightforward stuff. Giving it a try on a current project.
A new look for Jack in the Box by Duffy & Partners. I’m not sure when we’ll get over this rebranding of classic logos meme (Pepsi, Xerox, Tropicana, etc.), but I’m not as put off by this design as others. And to be honest, the vibe it gives off probably suits their marketing style better than the old.
“My friend Charlotte works for LEGO and the last time I saw her there, she handed me her new business card. When LEGO employees get a business card like this, they even try to match the look of the minifig (gender, hair, glasses) to the person.”
The Book Cover Archive, an archive of book cover designs and designers. In “steady beta”, no less.
Ray Glover’s Weblog offers a fresh take on blog design. Lots of details to enjoy.
New one-of-a-kind wallets by Resist Today. Two of these have sold since this morning’s announcement a couple hours ago. Grab one before they’re gone.
I don’t drink, but I can still appreciate 25 brilliant wine label, bottle & package designs.
This round metal tray by Bodie and Fou is just beautiful.
TED 2009 Talk: Ed Ulbrich: How Benjamin Button got his face. “What you might not know is that for nearly the first hour of the film, the main character, Benjamin Button, played by Brad Pitt, is completely computer-generated from the neck up.” This is an easy watch, as Ed Ulbrich is a very engaging speaker.
A Simple Pledge: “I PROMISE I WILL NEVER USE HOBO COMIC SANS OR PAPYRUS EVER AGAIN.” Related, an article from the Valencia Graphics blog with screenprinting advice for beginners and a look Lure Design Inc., the shop who printed the Pledge poster.
The 100 Best Business Books of All Time by Jack Covert and Todd Sattersten. I’m not usually into the Reader’s Digest kind of thing, but Amazon customers’ positive reviews (including one from Seth Godin) are encouraging.
An interview with Nicholas Feltron of Feltron Annual Report fame. “Once we’ve made the gathering as easy and detailed as it can be, some interesting things might start happening. I can imagine how counting fireflies over the summer would make a poetic record of the way the summer was spent for an individual, but if 100 or 1,000 people are doing the same thing, does it start to tell an aggregate story that speaks more to global warming or habitat loss?”
Here’s an overdue idea: Mix stock photography with 3D masking to place your design in an environment or on packaging, and you’ve got LiveSurface.
Admittedly, I have hard time getting past the NYTimes.com home page. It’s too dense for casual reading. However, over the weekend they released what they’re temporarily calling Article Skimmer. This might be exactly what I need to engage more fully with NYT content. (Try the up/down arrow keys and ‘a’ and ‘s’ keys.) Via DF.
Jakob Nielsen: Mobile Web 2009 = Desktop Web 1998. I agree with a lot of the points and observations in this article. However, take cautiously this advice: “For the best user performance, you should design different websites for each mobile device class…. The very best option is to go beyond browsing and offer a specialized downloadable mobile application for your most devoted users.” Device detection and device-specific development are simultaneously a blessing and a curse. (More information in The Book.)
The UI for The Invoice Machine is pretty clean, as evidenced by this tour. A lot of modals in play (not a big fan of modals for the sake of modals), but clean nonetheless.
Stunning photography of parking garages by Branislav Kropilak.
Last Friday was our Second Annual Design Review at work. My letterpress poster was created to commemorate the event last year. This year, several posters were created, including this one by Pepe Sustaita. (These are actual Mexican luchador masks placed over our profile pics. I’m in the middle with the ‘M’ on my forehead.)
The results from Leslie Inman’s research on the state of web academia has been out for a few weeks now. If you’re faculty or staff for a college or university, I highly recommend you begin with Teach the Web: Monograph and dig deeper along the way. There’s no shortage of helpful data if you’re looking at revising or establishing new curriculum.
School of Visual Arts’ Requested Reading Recommendations for MFA in Interaction Design.
“The Neo Gramophone by Kinky Form is an edgy polygonal update on the traditional gramophone. The angled gramophone features multiple speakers and a subwoofer with the horn as the bass-reflex tube and plays music via streaming or loading tunes via Bluetooth.”
Plenty to like about the new swissmiss redesign. Congrats, Tina. Don’t miss the handy layout switcher next to the search box.
Harrop Designs. Great one-page(ish) design by Jason Harrop.
8 Questions for Tina Roth Eisenberg. She’s Swiss. She’s an Authentic Jobs partner. Double FTW.
UrBonfire by Rephorm. Want.
Designing Obama, February 19, San Francisco. Admission is free. “Sol Sender and Scott Thomas, the minds behind the Obama logo, will be in San Francisco in a couple weeks to talk about the process and development of the campaign.” Shepard Fairey / AP discussion not included.
Not only is Jeff Toll’s body of work very impressive, but there’s something about the layout of his portfolio that’s refreshing and elegant all at once.
Thelonius Monk’s advice to saxophonist Steve Lacy (1960). “Don’t play everything (or everytime); let some things go by. Some music just imagined. What you don’t play can be more important than what you do play.”
How Twitter Was Born. “I’ll never forget the family-friendly feeling of that day. We all knew that we were going to change the world with this thing that no one else understood. That day stands out in memory as the deep breath before a baby’s first cry.” Via DF.
A huge fan of 9-ball, I’m impressed by this “glass” pool table. “Replacing the traditional slate and cloth surface, the revolutionary pool table boasts a patented transparent resin-playing surface named Vitrik, which is available in both transparent and frosted finishes and a variety of colors.” I’d really like to see how it plays compared to cloth, though.
Mob4Hire, crowd-sourced mobile application testing. Haven’t used the service myself, but the idea seems promising.
Not sure how I missed this one, but here it is: 5 options when website budgets get slashed. Brief but insightful.
The reviews and links are popping up all over the web, and hopefully I have time to offer my own review, but Mark Boulton’s A Practical Guide to Designing for the Web is now available for purchase. I’ve only skimmed the review copy Mark offered me, but from what I’ve seen it looks like a well-balanced resource that covers topics ranging from traditional graphic design to typography to specifics about the web.
Brilliant. “Artist Kevin Tong captures the invention of daVinci, the imagination of H.G. Wells, and the brilliance of Jonathan Ive in this Exploded Phone drawing.” Available as a T-shirt or poster. Via Coudal.
A friendly reminder that this Saturday is the last day to take advantage of the Authentic Jobs promotional discount: Post a listing and use promo code MOLL09 to receive $125 off a full-time listing, FRLANZ09 for $25 off a freelance listing.
Berliner Philharmoniker Digital Concert Hall. Not only is this site full of character, but the idea is fantastic: Purchase online tickets to watch live streaming concerts in full-fidelity video and audio.
Brione House in Brione sopra Minusio, Switzerland, by architects Wespi de Meuron. Absolutely stunning.
Why working from home sucks. “The first thing to go is probably motivation. For this you can blame a massive cut in feedback. In an office you get feedback constantly. At the coffee pot in the morning, eye contact shows interest in your latest tasks, or nods express sympathy about difficult colleagues and bosses. When you have a question about something, your coworker’s eyes and facial expressions will tell you, consciously or subconsciously, if you’re sounding smart or stupid. Chances are, you depend on this feedback more than you realize.”
Netdiver Best of the Year 2008. Plenty of inspiration here.
Fluid 960 Grid System, based on 960.gs. I’ve had many discussions with colleagues about the need for a fluid framework. This is the first I’ve seen.
Two interesting reports from comScore, an analytics measurement and tracking provider: Global Internet Audience Surpasses 1 billion Visitors with China and U.S. in first and second, Japan a distant third; Job Search Ranks As Fastest Growing U.S. Online Category In 2008 and women played an important role in the growth: “It’s possible that women are being either disproportionately affected by job losses, or perhaps are playing a more active role in the job searches of their spouses.”
Dan Cederholm on Beautiful Accidents: “We can’t plan these mistakes, but wish we could. What seems like disaster, turns into the spark that ignites what we perceive later as ‘rightly so’.” Couldn’t agree more with Dan’s point, and I’ve benefitted from these so-called “mistakes” as much as anyone else (in both design and music, as well).
NETTUTS: Chatting with Cameron Moll. This is the first interview I’ve conducted in a while after not having enough time to respond adequately to previous interview requests. A little more informal tone than I usually exhibit in interviews, and that made it fun to participate this time around.
“Numbers” is a new collection of typefaces from Hoefler & Frere-Jones exclusively for the typography of, you guessed it, numbers. Sixteen beautiful fonts inspired by numbers found in everyday life: Indicia, Depot, and Claimcheck to name a few. (Be sure to check the “H&FJ suggests…” recommendations with each typeface.)
Beautiful new typeface from FontShop: Federico Multilingual OT, “based on the handwriting of Federico Garcia Lorca, the eminent Spanish poet and playwright.”
As of yesterday, Sumo Paint, the browser-based Photoshop/Fireworks, is now officially 1.0. Not entirely sure how practical it is in the long-run, but still impressed with its capabilities within a browser environment.
The Sartorialist, The Book. To be published later this year by Penguin and “around 500 pages of images with a little writing.” Suzanne and I will be visiting Italy for the first time in a few months, and right now The Sartorialist’s home page is completely full of Italian style. When in Rome…
“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination…. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic.” –Jim Jarmusch
The Impossible Project. “We aim to re-start production of analog INTEGRAL FILM for vintage Polaroid cameras in 2010. We have acquired Polaroid’s old equipment, factory and seek your support.”
Little Springs Design’s MobileDesign wiki is already full of great content and is open to the community for adding additional content. Start at popular pages and you’ll see there’s plenty to keep you busy reading.
i love typography: Inconspicuous Vertical Metrics. “There are generally taken to be five vertical measures of note in type design: descender, baseline, midline*, caps-height, and ascender. But if you delve into the minutiae of font design, you soon discover that there are a slew of important vertical metrics that aren’t much talked about. In this article, I will take a look at several of these metrics, and how they are used in font design.”
Is there a more shining example of the privilege that it is to be a web professional in the United States than the new WhiteHouse.gov? I’m no longer embarrassed to link that up.
A List Apart: Elevate Web Design at the University Level by Leslie Jensen-Inman. “As an educator, I want to see my students succeed. I want to give them every opportunity to graduate with skills that allow them to have fulfilling careers—careers where they contribute to the field. Although, universally this is not happening now, I challenge us all to change our thinking, to get over being depressed, and to move beyond complaining.”
Registration for HOW Design Conference, June 24-27 in Austin, is now open. I’ll be presenting “Good vs. Great Design” and, quite frankly, I’m thrilled to be giving this to a largely non-web crowd. Early bird rate now through April 1.
Mirko Humbert: “Google has just announced a new layer in Google Earth. When this new layer is activated, you can browse a selection of famous paintings from the Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain. Once you’ve chosen a painting, you can take a very close look at it, which I had a blast doing.” According to Google, “the images of these works are about 14,000 million pixels, 1,400 times more detailed than the image a 10 megapixel digital camera would take.”
Smashing Magazine’s Mobile Web Design Trends for 2009.
2009 Rare Book Calendar from 42-line. Gorgeous. Just ordered a copy for a mere $10. “[E]ach month is accompanied by a printed reproduction from an important piece of bibliographic history. January’s Giovanni Battista Ferrari copperplate engraving of an amaryllis is a beautiful example of 17th-century lettering and illustration….”
Anthropologie is one store I’m happy to visit with Suzanne. An eclectic palette of texture, color, and style makes it enjoyable to peruse. If you’ve got Flash chops, they’re seeking a Flash Developer for Anthropologie.com.
Miles From India. “Miles Davis meets the sounds of India in an endlessly compelling meeting of minds and cultures.” This album includes a new version of “So What”, which is one of the most imaginative jazz pieces I’ve heard in a while. Via typegirl.
Richard Rutter on the font-weight values “100” to “900” few of us probably even knew about. “[T]here’s more to the lives of many typefaces than just bold and regular. There’s Ultralight, Extralight, Light…. Since its inception in 1996, CSS has provided a way of displaying these other weights through use a numerical scale with the font-weight property. This is still almost entirely broken in every current browser except Firefox 3 on Mac…. Frankly it’s really depressing that this bug is still present after 12 years, and regardless of success or otherwise in Acid tests, these browsers cannot truly say they support even CSS 1 fully or correctly.”
Web Directions’ State of the Web survey results. Nothing too out of the ordinary from what I see in the results, but a good reference for seeing what’s happening with web development across the industry.
New from TypeTrust: Black Monday by James Puckett and Silas Dilworth, “featuring three character sets in varying degrees of treatment and an advanced OpenType ligature feature which automatically substitutes obvious glyph repetitions.”
Campaign Monitor: The current state of video in email. “The results are quite conclusive — the only reliable way to embed video in email is an animated GIF.”
It’s been all over the internets today, and rightly so: Nicholas Felton’s Annual Report, Feltron Eight this year, is always a treat to look forward to. A beautiful example of information design and self-promotion.
Flickr: El Capitan from Cathedral Beach. It’s been years since I’ve seen El Capitan. Aside from seeing it in person, this is the most compelling capture of its magnificence I’ve seen since.
Jon Hicks: Recent work for FontExplorer Pro. My heavens, Jon, you remind me yet again how humble I need to be regarding my design capabilities. Beautiful. (BTW, if you’re on a Mac and you’re not yet using FontExplorer to manage your fonts, you’re totally missing the boat.)
Congrats to colleagues Tadd Giles, Gilbert Lee, and Chris Mayfield who have launched Choosy this week, a web app designed to help you manage, review, and collaborate on job candidates. It seems like a challenging time to launch something like this given the decline in jobs lately, but the opposite is true — with fewer positions available, more candidates apply, meaning more time needed to sift through them all. This is where Choosy comes in. (And if your hatred of enterprise apps like Taleo equals mine, you’ll agree an alternative is needed.)
Over the break, the R/C airplane I’ve been working on became the Virb Corporate Jet using a decal I had lying around. And apparently just in time, given the new Virb has just unvelied a public sneak peek. If you’ve got a spare decal for your company/app/band/whatever, send one my way and I’ll consider throwing it on the plane: PO Box 1525, Salt Lake City, UT 84110.
Pocket Grappling Hook ($27). Yes please.
70 minimalist typography examples. Many of these might be filed under designing with type characters. Inspiring.
Wow, this seems really handy: Stuart Robinson’s Flipping Typical lets you view many of the fonts installed on your computer from within your browser. “We create some hidden elements and measure them before and after changing their font-family. It turns out that this isn’t a new idea.” Works in Firefox 2+, Safari 3+, IE7+.
Greg Storey on sustainable business in 2009: “To those who own their own business: I challenge you to push harder. If you need $50k to keep your family under house and home then do everything you can to bring in $150k. Chances are you won’t make the larger goal, but you’ll do far better than selling yourself short and it’s likely that you’ll need extra resources to finish all the work, help from people who are looking to supplement lost income.” This is a topic that I personally know has been on Greg’s mind for some time, and he addresses it very appropriately.
How-To: Sizzle Ride Conversion, a Flickr photoset. One of my projects over the holiday break.
Flickr: fading light at round valley. Love the colors in this photo.
It’s all over the internets by now, but I’ve not been able to post until today: Trailer for Objectified, a new documentary by Gary Hustwit on industrial design, in the same vein as Gary’s previous film on graphic design, Helvetica. Looking forward to new music from El Ten Eleven, as well.
Nice full-screen experience for NY Times’s 2008 Year in Pictures. (Happy New Year to all!)
Nice site design by David Hellman.
Myagi is a typeface based on Yagi Link Double, a “famous 1970/80’s typeface published within some old Letraset catalogues.”
Today and tomorrow only: Order a copy of my letterpress poster and your order will be upgraded to USPS Express (next day) shipping to ensure arrival before Christmas. International orders will also be sent via Express (but won’t arrive until after Christmas).
“The White Fruit Radio has no knobs or buttons … has a LED display under its thin surface. Volume is controlled by rubbing the ridges on top and the channels are changed by running your fingers across the surface of the wood.”
The new MyFonts is really impressive, replacing a design that I’m pretty sure has been around since at least 2002. Lots of nice features, not the least of which is the handy toolbar for draggable font resizing, easy typesetting and preview, etc.
“Say you’re EA sports, makers of the Tiger Woods videogame franchise. And you see a video on YouTube, where some kid is mocking you for a bug in the game that lets Tiger walk on water. Here’s exactly what you do.”
I’ve been looking for a good dictionary for iPhone for some time, and I think I found it: WordBook is a really solid dictionary and thesaurus with a great interface and lots of extra niceties. Worth the $8 if you’re wanting a good dictionary on the go.
John Dilworth’s MFA Final Project Summary Book looks fantastic. “I used handmade paper for the cover and bound it all together using a modified Japanese stab binding technique…. I’ll be releasing the final project itself in a few weeks.”
A prototype iPhone case for blind users. “The silicon[e] case has debossed, tactile logos, icons and characters, yet is still thin enough for the screen to register touches. Used in conjunction with text-to-speech features, it opens up a world of possibilities for those without sight.”
Sifter, Garrett Dimon’s hosted bug-tracking app, is now available to the public. Free 30-day trial available (limited to 1 open project with 50 MB of file storage).
Joe Pemberton makes the case for an Amazon iPhone app, despite a solid mobile website, and despite my disdain for the app. “While the mobile web version is impressive, the iPhone app just might justify it’s 40 square pixels of real estate on my increasingly crowded home screen…. If I were a regular Amazon shopper, the iPhone version would become a staple as managing my cart and wish-lists is easier. Unlike Safari Mobile which fails to remember usernames and passwords, this application can.”
If you’re like me and can’t afford the $3,795 cost of the actual report, mocoNews.net has a brief summary of Portio Research’s “Mobile Messaging Futures 2009-2013”, calling text messaging the darling of mobile data revenues. “…although the U.S. is considered late to the SMS party, Americans now send double the number of messages that Europeans average each month. Filipinos lead the industry with an average of 755 messages per subscriber each month and Chinese subscribers are hovering just over 100 messages a month.”
Antonio Carusone’s The Grid System is a one-stop source for articles, tools, and books on the topic of — you guessed it — grids.
Mark Boulton has announced his self-published Designing for the Web will be available February 2, 2009. I recall Mark and I chatting in London a couple years ago about self-publishing, as both of us were kicking around the idea at the time. Good to see him following through with it.
Drew McClellan’s 24 ways is back, and with a new design to boot. “24 ways is the advent calendar for web geeks. Each day throughout December we publish a daily dose of web design and development goodness to bring you all a little Christmas cheer.” Also, follow along on Twitter.
New tees from Resist Today, just in time for Christmas.
The reengineered Campaign Monitor is now live and available for plumbing through. “Send [email marketing] for yourself and your clients, or design them templates and let them send their own. Rebrand it as your own app and resell it to your clients for a profit.” If you’re looking for some residual income as a freelancer, this could be a viable option. (Site design by 31Three.)
If you use Google Reader for RSS feeds, have a look at Helvetireader by Jon Hicks. “I was going for minimal, inspired partly by Times, a newspaper style RSS reader, and the postcards that came with the (Deluxe!) Helvetica Film DVD.” More about it on Jon’s site.
Seth Godin: “The only reason to answer the phone when a customer calls is to make the customer happy. If you’re not doing this or you are unable to do this, do not answer the phone. There is no middle ground on this discussion. There are no half measures. Saving 50 cents a call with a complicated phone tree is a false savings.”
Numbered Type’s Seeing Eye Calendar. Stocking stuffer.
Not only is the building beautiful, but the video for the 56 Leonard Street by Herzog & de Meuron is equally beautiful.
Mobile boarding passes. “American Airlines is the latest and the fifth airline to test mobile boarding passes [using a 2D matrix barcode], which it hopes will not only cut down on paper waste, but also make things a little more speedy and convenient for travelers.” Matrix barcodes and much more covered in the book.
A look at the Nokia Damage Test Labs. Learned this morning the correct phrase is actually “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”, and with Nokia phones the phrase holds up. Hands down, Nokia phones are by far the most durable phones I’ve ever owned. Anyone else dropped one in the toilet and it still worked just fine? (A clean toilet, mind you.)
Mobile Web App Design: Building an online store. A fairly straightforward tutorial for sketching and coding a mobile-friendly store.
The new Campaign Monitor, which merges Campaign Monitor and MailBuild, is available at the end of next week. Honestly, if you’re doing any kind of email marketing — plain text or HTML — this is the app for you. Resell email marketing to your clients, as well.
Boston.com’s Big Picture: California wildfires (yet again). Stunning, to say the least.
Speaking of Veer, they’ll soon be selling Alan Chao’s Type Coasters, as reported by Core 77. I was lucky enough to get a set of these in laser-cut wood directly from Alan before Veer acquired the product. (Veer’s will be frosted acrylic.)
Malcolm Gladwell’s new book, Outliers: The Story of Success, was released today. Available at Amazon in print and Kindle format, as well as in audiobook format at iTunes. I’ve read (and enjoyed) the previous two, Tipping Point and Blink. I might have to spring for this one, as well.
Versions, the Subversion client for Mac, is now officially 1.0. I’ve been using this in beta for about 5 months, and I can verify it helps SVN noobs like me not hate SVN, even enjoy it.
Take black and white photos on your iPhone with Vint.
Ad Age: Why Yahoo[’s size] Still Matters For You. “… according to Chrysler, a home-page buy on Yahoo is worth 75 TV ratings points — the equivalent of four 30-second spots in a hit prime-time show such as ABC’s ‘Desperate Housewives.’” I’m not certain the ailing automaker is the best source to cite for a story such as this, but it’s reminder that Yahoo is still a key player in the online advertising market.
The University of Wisconsin and Resilient Technologies are creating a non-pneumatic, “bulletproof” Humvee tire “that will support the weight of add-on armor, survive an IED attack, and still make a 50 mph getaway.” Love it when design literally reinvents the wheel.
Remember Fifty People, One Question? There’s now an NYC version, and other locations are on the schedule for filming. Also, Benjamin Reece, director for the NOLA one, has posted his rig and settings for using a consumer-grade HD camera, 35mm adapter, etc. to get a pretty high-quality shoot.
Web Directions North returns next February, but in Denver instead of Vancouver. Awesome line-up of speakers. (I was also in talks to speak but regrettably couldn’t make it work.) Register by December 5 for just $795, half day workshops for just $195.
Apple Publications Style Guide 2008, “Apple’s in-house style and usage guide, first update since January 2006.”
These mobile statistics* are a reminder that, while iPhone’s market share is growing rapidly, it’s still a drop in the bucket of global mobile phone usage. *It’s important to note these statistics are derived from wapalizer.com, and iPhone users may not be hitting sites that use wapalizer.com stats tracking nearly as much as other device users.
Josh Williams shared advice a few years ago, and reading Coroflot’s article on freelance rates reminded me of it: As a full-time freelancer, even though you may work a full 40 hours a week, on average only about 24 hours will be billable each week. This is due to blogging, email, self-promotion, and other unbillable activities. Calculate your hourly rate (if that’s how you prefer to bill) and how much you’d like to gross each month based on 24 hours per week, not 40.
20 “amazing” movie posters. #1 and #20 are beautiful.
The Vector Lab, royalty-free vector artwork at affordable prices.
Neobama. “Ardent Obama supporters need to learn quickly that if there is to be ‘hope’ and ‘change’ it’s going to have to come from their actions just as much as it does from the president elect. And that starts with being open to listen to others who may not think a like. The ‘for me or against me’ mentality stinks just as much coming from left leaning persons as it does from those who are bent to the right.”
Aisyah Rozi’s nicely designed site.
Seth Godin: Three new jobs you might want to consider. “3. MANAGER OF FREELANCERS. Find and hire and manage the best outside talent in the world. If it can be defined as a project, and if great work defeats good, seriously consider having the MOF get it done.”
So, did somebody link up one of my SharePoint articles lately or something? I’ve suddenly had a few emails from readers giddy about SharePoint. To which I kindly reply (and relink), AVOID IT IF AT ALL POSSIBLE.
“Only a jewelry designer could have such an intricate attention to detail, and our fave Aussie gals at Polli have certainly outdone themselves with this gorgeous art piece!”
The Herman Miller Embody is the $1,600, 95%-recyclable successor to the Aeron chair, and Gizmodo has a positive review with plenty of pics. “They claim that this will reduce stress, help circulation, lower your heart rate, improve your posture and pretty much make you a better worker. Does it work? It’s hard to say conclusively, or scientifically without a doctor actually hooking up electrodes and taking blood samples before and after using the seat. But it is the most comfortable chair we’ve ever sat in.”
Airbag: Completed. A nice round-up of recent work by Airbag Industries and crew.
ObamaBats, “a collection of 24 high-quality dingbats featuring Barack Obama and various design elements! This collection is completely free for download, upload, distribution, use and modification.” Via Typegirl.
Break Music for Creatives, vol. II (iTunes). I’ve been working on this collection long enough to feel comfortable posting it for public consumption. Please enjoy.
Some impressive work is to be found within the portfolio of Paris-based iLK, which is comprised of “two very cool guys, Ludovic Prigent and his cat, Pitou.”
John Dilworth, in an email responding to yesterday’s NYT link and the Electoral College system: “The President of the United States does not represent you directly. He represents the ‘United *States* of America’. The President of the United States is elected by Electoral College because he represents the People and the States…. From Wikipedia: ‘The constitutional theory behind the indirect election of both the President and Vice President of the United States is that while the Congress is popularly elected by the people, the President and Vice President are elected to be executives of a federation of independent states.’”
Remember NB: Studio’s typographical map of London? A couple projects from other studios in the same vein: Jodie Silsby’s map of Portsmouth in “slang, renaming each street in the Pompey dialect.” Also, Ork’s type posters of popular U.S. cities at an affordable price.
New York Times: How Much Is Your Vote Worth? I’m ignorant of and lacking sufficient knowledge in the Electoral College, but I’ve never been fond of it, and this article highlights yet another reason why. “In the Electoral College, the combined effect of these two distortions is a mockery of the principle of ‘one person, one vote.’ … [A] voter casting a presidential ballot in Wyoming [is] three and a half times more influential than a voter in Florida.”
@font-face in IE: Making Web Fonts Work. Seems a bit complicated for IE at the moment, and the choices for commercial faces that permit embedding are currently limited, as Jon notes. But I’m all over @font-face embedding should it take off like many of us hope it will.
“Spoonflower custom prints anything you design onto premium cotton fabric — window seats, quilts, aprons, potholders, baby clothes, hats, curtains, purses, etc.”
“Is there anything you wish CSS could do?” My reply included among others.
A friendly reminder: Tomorrow is the final day to take advantage of 30% off your Authentic Jobs listing. Use promo code MOLL31.
The Twitter 100. (Remember the era of the Blogger 100?)
David Sutoyo’s personal site, A Simple Cell, is elegantly designed, good typography to boot.
I so could have used this back when I was a freelancer and wasn’t accepting new offers for work but had several requests a week to reply to…
I’ve not purchased any full-on “games” yet for iPhone, but Flying Aces might very well be the first.
Crestock’s Photoshop Contest 2008 is in full swing. Top prizes includes Mac Pro and 30” HD Cinema Display.
Rediscovered Jason Kottke’s Silkscreen font yesterday. Great for type in tight places, especially with -125 tracking applied.
Myles Grant: AJ Near Me. What’s under the hood of Authentic Jobs’ API.
The evolution of the front page of Los Angeles Times, offline and online, with hierarchy and grid indications. Via Angie McKaig.
Pixish will be closing its doors October 31, and founder Derek Powazek offers a few lessons learned from the experience. A good read for startups and entrepreneurs. We need to do more of this as an industry, that of talking candidly about “failures” and lessons learned from our mistakes.
TypeNEU, “an odyssey in typography.” A typography smorgasbord. Love it.
Classics App is an iPhone app that wraps classic books in a very readable UI. Introductory price to be $2.99, and free updates to include additional titles.
Fonts available for @font-face embedding. Like it says.
Symbian exec David Wood, paraphrasing Tim Bray, who completely changed the topic of his FOWA talk the day before giving it in order to speak about surviving tough economic times as a developer: “Users will give up their HDTVs, their SUVs, and their overseas holidays, but they won’t give up their cell phones…. Developers in the audience should consider migrating some of their applications to mobile — or creating new applications for mobile.” Agreed.
Idée Inc, “the visual search company,” has numerous products and demos which include Multicolr Search Lab for searching Flickr based on color, and TinEye Mobile, an iPhone app for searching the web/iTunes by taking a photo of an album cover.
Okay, this is cool: Arabic-speaking Visual/Interaction Designer needed for a freelance gig in Barcelona, Spain. How unique is that?
JSM does what I’ve been wanting to do for ages but haven’t made the time: On the Subject of Design, a dedicated section on Jason’s site for books he’s enjoyed reading over the years. (Aside: Nicely done on the markup for your post, Jason.)
Love the idea (and design) of Lushpad, “the buy and sell marketplace for modern collectors.”
Montague Script by Umbrella Type. Beautiful.
<head> Web Conference, taking place later this week, is an interesting concept: Hold a global web conference, but with local hubs around the globe. “The premise for <head> is simple: instead of making you come to the web conference, let’s make the web conference come to you. <head> is a web conference with all of the traditional elements. We have live speakers, presentations, question and answer sections, and networking opportunities. The twist is that the conference takes place everywhere — all over the world — and at real-world gatherings called local conference hubs.”
I’m not a WordPress user myself, but the redesigned admin in 2.7 looks fabulous.
A couple mobile web news items: Twitter Mobile now includes replies (finally), Firefox Mobile “Fennec” alpha released with very limited device compatibility (i.e. one device) but can also be installed on desktop machines.
Costume Studio is a costume shop with a charitable twist: 100% of the proceeds benefit war-torn children in the region of Uganda. Each product page includes the precise amount donated with each purchase. Cool idea.
“I’m very excited to kick-off our new Goodness blog with this little project. I asked a group of outstanding graphic designers the following question: Please recommend a book that you have found particularly inspiring or meaningful to your development as a creative person? The one restriction: Please no books on graphic design.” Via Kottke.
FACE, a Memphis AIGA event coming this November. Speakers include Luke Hayman (Pentagram), and Patrick Coyne (Communication Arts), and others.
Scroll Magazine, a print, PDF and online magazine for web professionals by Maxine Sherrin and John Allsopp. John tells me by email, “Rather than just another ‘top ten tips’ style web site, Scroll is actually printed on paper, and our goal is to have longer, more indepth articles on things related to the bigger issues in web design, development, IA, UX, accessibility, and more.” Logo design by Veerle Pieters.
Dave Shea wonders if we’ll stop accommodating text resizing in our designs in the near future. “Somehow over the last year or two we’ve landed in a situation where most browsers now default to full page zoom instead of traditional text-resizing…. With full page zoom, the responsibility for ensuring page integrity and legibility is moved out of the designer’s hands, and placed fully on the browser. With text resizing, the designer needs to be conscientious of the ways their layout will break at different text sizes, and compensate accordingly.”
Function Brush Set: 33 Subtle Grunge Textures & Effects.
A List Apart: Ten Years. As someone who has contributed to and greatly benefited from ALA, congrats!
AppleInsider claims “Apple has drastically surpassed analyst’ Q4 iPhone sales estimates, and reached its goal of selling 10 million iPhones in 2008 three months early.” Gruber, can you verify?
NYT: Design Is More Than Packaging. “…a growing cadre of advocates say the world of design has much more to offer corporate America. They are proponents of ‘design thinking,’ which focuses on people’s actual needs rather than trying to persuade them to buy into what businesses are selling.” Having a marketing degree and growing less and less fond of traditional “marketing” (selling a product rather than the product’s utility selling itself), I couldn’t agree more with what’s quoted here.
NYT: Gawker Cutbacks an Early Indicator of Ad Slowdown. Many of us in technology industry, specifically dotcoms, have been largely shielded from the economic woes suffered by other industries the last couple months. I’ve said before that as soon as we start getting hit too, we’ll know things are getting pretty serious. This article, coupled with downturns in AAPL and GOOG stock among other things, may be evidence that we’re finally at that point.
Suzanne gifted me a copy of Live/Work: Working at Home, Living at Work last week as part of our anniversary. Awesome book. Nothing but pages and pages of inspiring home offices.
Sweet. Work on the Tiger Woods EA Sports website in sunny Orlando, Florida.
I sheepishly admit that I’m a big sucker for a good ballad. For nearly every year we’ve been married, I’ve created a mix titled “Songs for a Starry Night.” This iTunes iMix pulls together some of the better ones from 10 volumes of mixes. Go have a listen.
For the LDS folks out there, give the new Move Player a try this weekend. You might be surprised how well it works. The technology is from Utah-based Move Networks and is probably the most functional, hi-def (and low-def) streaming media player available today.
Google AdWords keyword suggestion tool. The great thing about this? It’s external. Back in the day, Overture (now Yahoo Search Marketing) offered a similar external tool. Yahoo has since restricted access to it for only users with Yahoo Search Marketing accounts.
Flickr Mobile now has an iPhone-friendly version. Go to the m.flickr.com address to access it. Nicely done.
The KOR ONE hydration vessel is available for purchase later today. Credit card in hand.
Marta Strickland, What Makes A “Digital Native” Different? “For many children that are growing up with early adopters for parents, they have never known a time without cell phones, they have never known a time without wireless internet buzzing through the walls of their home…. We are reaching a new baseline for culture. It’s a baseline where ‘online’ is no longer a technical state. ‘Online’ just is.”
Coldwell Banker Real Estate releases an iPhone-friendly adaptation of their website for property listings search and home value estimates. Of course, the timing of the release is rather ironic given the current state of the housing market…
Swiss graphic designer Mirko Humbert’s Designer Daily is a little under-appreciated. Give it a read and you might agree.
Apple: “We have decided to drop the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for released iPhone software…. [T]he NDA has created too much of a burden on developers, authors and others interested in helping further the iPhone’s success, so we are dropping it for released software…. Please note that unreleased software and features will remain under NDA until they are released.”
Kiva, to which Authentic Jobs donates 1% of total revenue each month, is one of five finalists in the American Express Members Project. If you’re an AMEX card member, go vote now for Kiva or for one of the other four noteworthy projects.
Peter Schilling, director of IT at Amherst College, compiled some rather interesting statistics based on incoming students (438) and the total student population (1680+). 33% applied online in 2003 vs. 89% last year. 432 of 438 incoming students have Facebook accounts. 1 in 2 incoming students predicted to own an iPhone or iTouch. 94% of incoming campus mail is spam.
Dan Benjamin’s helpful Podcasting Equipment Guide includes three tiers: entry level, midrange, and prosumer. I’ve bought a few items similar to those on the list following a tweet asking for recommendations. Perhaps I’ll share more about this soon.
iPhone calendar icon tees, any day of the year. Birthday and newborn gifting just got a little bit easier.
Microsoft and Nokia are adopting jQuery as part of their official application development platform. “This means that jQuery will be distributed with Visual Studio (which will include jQuery intellisense, snippets, examples, and documentation)…. This [also] means that jQuery will be distributed on all Nokia phones that include the [WebKit-based] web run-time.”
Tube, Nokia’s response to iPhone, rumored to be announced next week. S60 Touch operating system, 640 x 350 3.2-inch touchscreen display, 3.2 megapixel camera, GPS, 3.5mm headphone jack, etc.
The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam argues that visual thinking is one of the most effective ways to “tackle tough business problems.” (Video ‘C’ on the home page is particularly interesting.)
Jeff Barry, former IT manager for a university, on the reality of allowing university employees to attend conferences: “University budgets for travel are just not very extensive, sometimes no more than $1,000 per year per professional…. What a developer employed by a univ can do is to offer to pay their own air fare and hotel and skip the per diem so that the univ only covers registration and provides days off with pay…. [N]o amount of persuasive talk about mission statements is going to work to fully cover travel expenses to pricey conferences.”
Chris Coyier’s screencasting setup for Mac. Mic, software, XML, and other recommendations.
Museo Sans, a free typeface by Jos Buivenga. Probably one of the most quality-looking typefaces I’ve seen released for free.
Seeing the UI in this product tour of the G1 reminds me of Microsoft’s response to Apple in the early
80s 80s and 90s — let’s do the same UI stuff as Apple, but let’s make it different so it doesn’t appear we’re copying their UI. Apple: Files on desktop aligned right, Apple menu upper left. MS: Files on desktop aligned left, Start menu lower left (though ergonomically these were bad choices). Apple: Enter PIN on home screen, incoming SMS front and center. G1: Draw pattern on home screen, incoming SMS in top toolbar (will I even see that?).
It’s all over the internets by now, but Reverie, an independently-produced video by Vincent Laforet shot with a pre-production Canon 5D dSLR, is really impressive.
Jared Spool: What Goes into a Well-Done Crititque. Fantastic article. I can vouch for much of what Jared observes here, and I’ve learned a few things I can improve on myself, too. “A well-done critique is a way to step away from the specifics of the design process and better understand how to create great designs…. A critique is different from ‘proofing’ the design. When we proof, we’re looking for those little details, like typos and inconsistencies, that distract us from reaching perfection. Proofing is about polishing, whereas critiquing is about reaching understanding.”
Some of what’s new in Adobe Creative Suite 4 from a UI perspective mostly, directly from John Nack, Principal Product Manager of Adobe Photoshop.
The first commercial phone to use Google Android has been announced: T-Mobile G1. Available in the U.S. October 22 for $179. “How will the G1’s Gmail differ from Gmail on other non-Android phones, as well as from the Mail service on Apple’s iPhone, one reporter asked. The two key differentiators Brodman mentioned were a much quicker search function, and the first-ever mobile implementation of Google Talk Presence — a function which currently enables Google’s Talk IM users to determine each other’s availability and location.” Don’t know that I’d call those “key differentiators”, but rather “nice features”.
⌘C ⌘V Character. Aye! Added to me locker o’ bookmarks.
Griffin AirCurve, an acoustic amplifier for iPhone. “AirCurve’s waveguide has been engineered to deliver amazing amplification — you’ll swear there are full-sized speakers in there.” Available next month(?) for $20.
Today, Jason Santa Maria’s Articles Archives page is my newest favorite page. A beautiful layout, both functionally and aesthetically.
Apologies for the dust and silence around these parts. I’ve been completely consumed by a pretty substantial project the last 4 weeks. Regular programming to resume (hopefully) soon.
iPhone-controlled RC car. Cue phrase “a little too much time on hand…”
BriefCrate, the briefcase made from milk crates.
Joel Spolsky says he’ll take the new Nokia E71 over iPhone. “For many people, the iPhone 3G is perfect. I thought that it meant ‘game over’ for all the other handset makers. But Nokia is a fantastic company and they weren’t going to give up that easy. Their new E71 is a fantastic phone, clearly inspired by the competition, and the game is not over.”
John Gruber’s Notes and Observations Regarding Yesterday’s ‘Let’s Rock’ Apple Special Event. Thorough and educated, as usual.
New Veer Kern Zip-up. “Embroidered arrows point inward, cuing you to tighten the letterspacing. A shaped zipper pull points down, asking you to widen the gap.” Love it.
Co-worker Gilbert Lee unveils Around Shirts, “offering t-shirts about countries and cities around the world.”
FontShop has created a mini-site for FF Meta Serif, one of my favorite new faces, and it includes a thorough history from artists Erik Spiekermann et al., OpenType examples, and an “In-Use Gallery” (includes one of my designs). I’d love to see similar mini-sites for some of my other fave typefaces — Avenir, Bickham Script Pro, etc.
Alissa Walker, Core77: Eight Ways to Save Design Conferences. “Lately, design conferences have begun to feel less like intellectual retreats and more like conspicuous consumption…. [W]e organizers, speakers and attendees have to start demanding more meaningful conference agendas. Together we can make a difference. And maybe without having to actually get together.”
Logos by Saul Bass. For those stateside, bet you recognize nearly every one of these.
Coming soon: Photoshop.com Mobile. This sounds more exciting than it really is. “As you probably noticed by reading this list, there seems to be no photo editing functions, so the service’s name is lame and totally misleading. My advice: stick to Flickr!”
In “Illustrating lifestyles from the developing world”, Stephanie Rieger gives first-hand accounts of actual persons from Philippines and Thailand and how they use mobile devices in everyday life. (The persona stuff for the first two-thirds of the article is great, but I wish she would have spent just as much time talking about how they use mobile technology.)
Co-worker Ted Boren offers some pretty thorough advice on designing in a team. “Customer happiness is highly correlated with whether they feel “listened to,” and that in turn has a high correlation with whether they can see their ideas filtered through your design process and manifested in the product. That doesn’t mean that the customer designs the product, but it does mean that they can see their concerns and ideas have been addressed. Good communication skills help, but you must also be able to transform what you hear into what you design.”
“jParallax turns a selected element into a ‘window’, or viewport, and all its children into absolutely positioned layers that can be seen through the viewport. These layers move in response to the mouse, and, depending on their dimensions (and options for layer initialisation), they move by different amounts, in a parallaxy kind of way.”
Introducing Ubiquity for Firefox. Pretty neat stuff (video). This hints at a prediction I made last year, that perhaps the next wave of web development are experiences derived by the user rather than simply for the user. Ubiquity is also another great case for microformats.
Poolga: iPhone and iPod Touch wallpapers for the rest of us. (I’ve linked to this before, but they’ve added a ton of new ones since last time.)
Philips “iCables”. Also gorgeous. “It fits snugly in your ear, easily loops together around your neck when not in use, and prevents bacterial growth which is 700 times more concentrated in regular ear buds.”
Quiksilver “The Ray”. Gorgeous. Limited edition (1,000), hand-crafted from ebony wood.
Dear Lulu. “My plan for the workshop is to investigate the visible and tangible parameters of graphic design — type specimens, halftone screens and, in particular, colour tests and calibration charts — and make a book of our own self-produced tests which we will send to print on Friday afternoon using the online print-on-demand system Lulu. The book project will therefore act as a colour/type/pattern test of the very system with which it is produced.”
Tyler Thompson, Creative Director at Squarespace, has a terribly well-done personal site. Attention to detail = non-fail.
Quiksilver is seeking a Graphic Designer. Huntington Beach? Where do I sign?
Aaron Cannon’s Web Accessibility Checklist in German.
IDEO’s 20 Questions is a nicely creative way of presenting the company’s culture, knowledge, and opinions.
Jeremy Keith live blogged Liz Danzico’s presentation at An Event Apart, The Framework Age, and from the sound of it her presentation was not to be missed. “It’s time for a new way of working: designing for improvisation (but remember that no one single process will ever be successful). Our design process should reflect the trend towards user participation that we’re seeing on the web. People’s tolerance for improvisation is increasing and our role as framework providers should reflect that.”
Convertible Compact Desk by Crate and Barrel. Yes please.
In the ornate style one expects from Marian Bantjes comes a poster for the Academy for Educational Development. “But also, the poster, of course changes, depending on how you view it, and what you view through it, as these images will attest. These are all the same poster, shot in different locations.”
Contrast.ie. Love the ingenuity of this site. Can’t say enough about the vibe it gives off. (Though I would like to see portfolio links.)
Mint.com’s new site is a little disappointing. I have to tread carefully here because I may know the person/firm who designed this, but this a good example of a design gone too far in terms of shadows, number of typefaces, and a little too much going on visually.
Earlier today I was interviewed live on CouchCast, an internet radio talk show. Archived audio available here.
Dan Cederholm: Use the Best Available Ampersand. A little late linking to this, but a good primer on using elegant ampersands in HTML text. “We can use CSS to cleverly specify a list of our favorite ampersands, with the reader getting the best one available…. We can weight our list, putting our favorites near the front, understanding that the reader may get one or none, depending on which operating system they’re on, and if they have the font installed.”
Antonio Lupetti’s Tech Blog has some lovely design details throughout the site.
The third of three must-reads: Deafness and the User Experience. “Captioning by itself oversimplifies the matter and fails many Deaf people. To provide better user experiences for the Deaf, we need to stop thinking of deafness as simply the inverse of hearing—we need to understand deafness from both a cultural and linguistic perspective. Moreover, to enhance the online user experience for the deaf, we must understand how deafness influences web accessibility.”
The second of three must-reads: Divide. “The idea of design divorced from engineering is laudable, but the way it so often plays out makes it implausible. Yes, in theory, the design team should come up with a perfect solution and the engineering team should be smart enough to figure out how to pull it off and neither should ever have to talk to each other. The resulting product would look exactly as designed and would work perfectly. Keep on trucking you radical dreamer. Here’s a quarter for the jukebox.” (Love the minimalism of the site, btw.)
The first of three must-reads: Why Apple doesn’t do “Concept Products”. “It turns out that when capable designers are given real constraints for real products they can end up creating great results. In Apple’s case, groundbreaking products like the iMac, the iPod and the iPhone. Constraints have a wonderful way of focusing the mind on the fundamentals, whereas concept products can often have the opposite affect.”
Veer: Flora by Corey Holms. Gorgeous.
Veer: Modern Interiors. I don’t know that’ll use any of these photos in a project any time soon, but they provide plenty of interior design inspiration.
This is interesting. Drew Wilson’s content management app, Firerift, will soon be available to the public. For now, Drew, who doubles as a film producer, has created a teaser “commercial” for the app. The first of these two commercials are available on the site’s home page. (Aside: Drew Wilson is easily one of the most well-rounded, talented creatives on the planet.)
Liz Danzico: Misforgivings of the Mobile Signature. “You can spot the novices immediately. Any expert emailer knows when to (and when not to) use a proper email signature when composing a mail…. But unlike desktop sig files, mobile sigs have emerged as a method to excuse and educate, rather than to provide a curriculum vitae. Mobile sigs report from the field, bringing information and apologies.” Via Airbag.
Type treatments by Joshua M. Smith. Inspiring.
“I was going through some old magazines the other day when I came across this: Design Matrix of the 20th Century,” which was then translated (I believe) by the author, “Johnny Strategy”. Via swissmiss.
WSJ: How to Create a Successful Web Site For Nothing (or Almost Nothing). Honestly, this reads as if it were written in 1999. Unsubscribe. Via Jeff Croft.
The Future of the Internet—And How to Stop It. “This extraordinary book explains the engine that has catapulted the Internet from backwater to ubiquity—and reveals that it is sputtering precisely because of its runaway success. With the unwitting help of its users, the generative Internet is on a path to a lockdown, ending its cycle of innovation—and facilitating unsettling new kinds of control.” Interesting, to say the least.
Props How To: Beginner to Intermediate BMX Tricks (DVD). This is actually a pretty good video. Bought it for my son’s 8th birthday. Covers techniques on dirt ramps, flat ground, peg work, and even a how-to for building a ramp.
So, I’ve long wanted to be able to search for typefaces by look alone on occasion, not by name or style. FontShop’s TypeNavigator, a lucky find last night, fills that need.
Drum Rocker, a semi-realistic electronic kit for Rock Band. $300 price tag and currently pre-order only.
“skate” is a beautiful short video shot at 120 FPS with (I think) a RED camera, which employs a “35mm cine sized sensor … with wide dynamic range and color space in 12 bit native RAW.” The music featured is “It’s Alright” (iTunes) by Bang Gang. Props to Jason for the find.
AdMob, which serves banner and text ads on mobile web pages for more than 5,000 publishers totaling 3.5 billion ads monthly, publishes monthly usage reporst based on the the data in their network of publishers. The June 2008 report (PDF) has some interesting statistics in it: Percentage of handsets worldwide capable of streaming video is 49.6%, whereas in the U.S. it’s just 23.5% (lame!); top device used is still a Motorola RAZR V3, whereas in India it’s a Nokia N70. NOTE: This isn’t entirely accurate for the global market as it uses only their data and includes only phones that have web access, but it’s at least a decent snapshot of the market.
BgPatterns, a tiled background maker thingy.
If you like the Aaron Koblin stuff, see also Visual Complexity, “a unified resource space for anyone interested in the visualization.”
New from FontShop: Co Headline by Dalton Maag (OpenType). Love it.
More Photoshop brushes than you’ll ever need. Probably right.
Two noteworthy photography links: Boston.com’s The Big Picture continues to impress me with their stunning, large-format “news stories in photographs”; Blow Up is a Flickr plug-in(?) that, well, “blows up” your photos full-screen — enter your username and view on-site, or download and install on your own.
Dissolving Paper Shampoo. Yes, please. This would solve (one of) the space-consuming, liquid-spilling problem I currently have when backpacking with toiletries.
Keyboard Napkin (scroll down to #4). Yes, please.
2008 logo trends. Trend categories: supernova, fine line, foldover, global expansion, loops, jawbreakers, strobe, nimbus, stich, colorblind, amoeba, facets, doodles, flourish, fibrous.
A rare and in-depth look at Scott Hansen’s design process for his Obama “Progress” poster. Lots of full-res screens showing his Photoshop work. “When planning out an image I usually like to dive right into Photoshop as a first step, just to try and establish a color-scheme and basic structure…. I sometimes hear people talking about always using pencil and paper as a first step in design, but I personally find the computer a much faster and intuitive way to concept things out so I like to leverage that power right off the bat as a good way to kick-start the project.”
After changing the last of 14,000 diapers, The Wife gives some advice for those with children in diapers, and those transitioning to the tighty whitey.
Aaron Cannon’s screencast showing the importance of HTML headings for accessibility. Ars Technica, Google, and YouTube reviewed. (We’ve encouraged Aaron to create another showing why pages without headings are difficult to consume, as he doesn’t cover that enough in this screencast.)
Windows Mobile in the Dunk Tank. Really great write-up by Russell Buckley suggesting Microsoft get their mobile act together rather than going after search. “…it’s far more important that Microsoft gets their mobile strategy sorted out than worrying about Search — as it’s no less than a matter of medium-to-long-term survival. I’d suggest that Windows Mobile probably isn’t going to be the answer and they need to think of a radical and brave new direction to assure their future in a world where the mobile is rampant.”
Balsamiq Mockups. Not sure how to describe this, but it’s like sketching, really rapid prototyping, OmniGraffle with UI stencils, and Photoshop all in one. Worth a try, I suppose.
Fantastic commercial for the Zürich Chamber Orchestra. Notice such subtleties as the notes that look like roller coaster cars and passengers, and the actual notes of the music on the track. Via Carlos Segura.
Delicious redesigns. And when did they get rid of the periodness in the url? Obviously I missed that news.
Garfield Minus Garfield to become a book, and creator Jim Davis approves.
Mobile Web Europe 2008, London, 22-24 September. A strong line-up of speakers, and the agenda looks solid, too.
John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” (iTunes) is on sale, $7.99. Considered a must-have for Jazz aficionados and music appreciators in general.
Chad Mueller: “[B]elow are 50+ examples of what I have found inspiring in my quest to achieve typography greatness.” Probably the most inspiring thing I’ve seen this week. (Useless aside: “Müller” was my mother’s father’s real surname before his family emigrated from Switzerland, at which point they changed the name to Miller.)
The Grammar Cheat Sheet. For the astute grammarian. Or for the rest of us who mess up most of these half the time.
“Coasters for the typophiliac. These coasters are made from 4 mm Eurolite plywood, and treated with mineral oil to prevent water penetration. Each coaster is approximately 3.75 inches in diameter, and is done in the typeface Baskerville SemiBold.” $25 and free EPS artwork to reuse the design elsewhere. (thanks Amanda)
The date on the site is incorrect, but I’ll be speaking by invite from the Salt Lake City AIGA on August 14th at The Art Institute of Salt Lake City (Draper, Utah). Admission for members is $5, guests $10. Topic title is “Good vs. Great Design: Striving for design excellence individually and as a team.”
Design Bureau of Amerika’s Photoshop brushes, color swatches, and fonts, all free of charge.
Future of Web Design NYC is coming up this November. Speakers include Hillman Curtis, Khoi Vinh, and others.
The unofficial Beijing Olympic tee, designed by SCHOOL, an organization that helps “companies with youth ambition to connect better with youths.”
The 2008 Typophile Tee Battle winner, “Light, Regular, Bold & Bold Italic,” is understated but something I could see myself wearing. Great choice.
Numbers, a magazine by frog design. Issue 08 includes words with Erik Spiekermann.
comScore report: “…8 percent of American mobile subscribers and 3 percent of European subscribers [access] maps from the mobile phone … a growth rate of 82 percent and 49 percent in the number of users, respectively…. 73 percent of mobile subscribers accessing maps are doing so via the browser in the U.S., and in Europe, 57 percent.”
IDC Digital Marketplace Model and Forecast: “IDC expects the number of mobile devices accessing the Internet will surpass the number of online PCs by 2012…. Roughly 40% of all Internet users worldwide currently have mobile Internet access.” Other statistics and predictions included.
Daring Fireball has openings available for its feed sponsorship. I saw great results from the ad I placed for Authentic Jobs. Positive ROI without question.
Speaking of conferences, the schedule for An Event Apart Chicago is now online. I’ll be speaking on a brand new topic, “The In-House Designer.”
Jeff Veen’s Start, a conference for entrepreneurs, is now accepting registrations.
The Mobile Internet for Dummies book site does what I had hoped to do when I published my book but didn’t have the time: A nice list of mobile-friendly websites and other mobile resources (see sidebar links)
“It is a well known fact that all inventors get their first ideas on the back of an envelope. I take a slight exception to this, I use the front so that I can incorporate the stamp and then the design is already half done.” –Roland Emett
John Allsop: iPhone native Apps - the great leap backwards? There is a lot I agree with here. If I had the time I’d do a full write-up echoing some of John’s thoughts. But in short, something I wrote in the book — before the first iPhone even hit the market — still stands today: “In all likelihood, most users will probably download a smart client or widget [or in this case, an iPhone app] for a couple of their favorite content providers, but beyond that a browser will be — or should be — sufficient for interacting with web content.”
GrandCentral doesn’t seem to be accepting new users right now, but its service seems pretty promising: Have one phone number forward to any phone (or phones) you’d like. A visual voicemail feature for mobile is also included.
“Posterous is the place to post everything. Just email us.” I’m not sure I see the value in this service, but linked to FWIW.
Words Are Pictures, the lovely and well-stocked portfolio of Craig Ward.
tap tap tap. Nicely designed, simple site for a few simple iPhone apps.
Bamboo office chair mats. Sure beats those plastic poky things.
Mobile experts reply to the question, Will the mobile web dominate the future of the internet?. I’m surprised how many of us say something similar, that the future of the web is ubiquity, which includes mobile but isn’t necessarily limited to “mobile.”
Sound advice when working from home. “There’s also the ‘closed-door’ policy, in which your family understands not to bother you if the door to your office is closed. James Higginbotham’s policy means, ‘If the door is closed, please don’t interrupt unless [there is] a fire or loss of limb,’ which says a lot to his five year-old…”
FreezeCrowd is seeking a freelance Ajax developer based in the U.S. Bonus reward for great work.
PhoneSaber. How’d I miss this one? A duel will be in order between Suzanne’s and my phone.
New York Times: “Does Iran’s state media use Photoshop?” Or, the story of a possible photoshopped missile in a recent Iranian news image.
Getty Images partners with Yahoo to monetize Flickr images. “Getty plans to offer the images as part of a new Flickr branded collection of royalty free, rights ready and rights managed photographs.”
If you missed the news like I did, the iPhone 2.0 OS is available (unofficially) a day early. Follow the download link, read the instructions, and you should be ready to go.
Ars Technica is arguing the mobile web has reached “critical mass.” I don’t know that I fully agree (yet), but we’re definitely getting there. Which, incidentally, makes it hard for me to not slip in the occasional “told you so.” (thanks Aaron)
New and old AT&T iPhone plans compared, cost increases detailed. Again, the reason I’m not upgrading. That’d be an extra $30/month for the wife and me.
James White: “Forge is a simple Flash application I developed about 3 years ago to help me generate random assortments of shapes and patterns. As simple and clunky as the program is, Forge has helped me create quite a lot of useful vector assets I use in a lot of my art…. The piece above is just a sketch of it’s capabilities, with effects and colors added in Photoshop.”
“The handwriting of typographers intrigues me because it raises so many questions, big and small: Do typographers exert some extraordinary control of the pen that laypersons don’t? … So, to satisfy my own curiosity I asked a number of prominent typographers to send me a scan of their handwriting. This is the result.” (thanks Sam)
iPhone 3G lines started forming at the NYC store on July 4. My heavens, I’m glad I’m over the hype this time around. Courtesy warning: There will be PLENTY of phones after the lines die down, if last time is any indication.
Mediaslap, “Photoshop brushes of the highest standard.”
According to the quotations in BusinessWeek’s “Welcome to the Weekend Web”, mobile browsing was up by 89% last year, with mobile page views up by 127% (both U.S. figures, I believe). Most of that is probably attributable to iPhone, but the numbers bode well for mobile in general.
Google Talk for iPhone. I’m not certain this is a good thing, as I’d rather text than IM with my phone. JiveTalk has been around almost since iPhone’s launch, and yet I rarely use it. (thanks Clifton)
Moleskin Pouch. 100% wool felt with elastic accessory holder.
Jakob Nielsen: Reduce Bounce Rates: Fight for the Second Click. “To measure site success, you should count only loyal users who return repeatedly…. Chasing higher unique-visitor counts will undermine your long-term positioning because you’ll design gimmicks rather than build features that bring people back and turn them into devotees and customers.” As much as the industry gripes about The Jakob for whatever reason, you have to admit he still puts out a lot of relevant, helpful data.
PUMA v1.08 Trainer. Doubles as a street shoe and training boot. Cannot. resist. it.
YouTube: Top 10 long-shot goals. They’re all crazy insane, but the (lack of) angle on #8 is incredible.
Carlo Longino on the Symbian OS news from earlier this week. This inevitably will put Symbian in a position to pit itself against iPhone and Android.
Andy Rutledge: The Employable Web Designer. A must-read. “Almost daily I receive one or more emails from design students and aspiring Web designers unsure about their current education. They’re concerned that what they’re learning will not sufficiently prepare them for the real world…. Unfortunately, I think most of them are right to be worried.”
An original sketch of the Twitter UI. Too bad nobody ever sketched the database and scalability plans…
BusinessWeek: Moving to the Mobile Web. Jessie Scanlon’s article on the current state of the mobile web and iPhone’s influence on it. (Somehow my name slipped into this article a few times.)
TwitPic. Share photos on Twitter.
AdaptD.com. Love the color and semi-retro feel of this site.
Time: The Long Odyssey of the Cell Phone. The first recorded experiment with mobility and phones was actually in 1910 by Lars Magnus Ericsson, mentioned in Jon Agar’s Constant Touch: A Global History of the Mobile Phone.
Jon Tan’s The Paragraph in Web Typography & Design is one of the most well-written (and thorough) articles I’ve read in some time. Includes a history of the paragraph element, thoughts about print and web usage, and several examples with code.
Tyler Tate’s Visualizing Color is a good, brief history on color theory.
Firefox 3 brings ugliness to the Mac. “Using Firefox 3 is really a different experience from using OS X. It’s not Windows, it’s not OS X and it’s not Linux. It’s something else. It’s too much apparent that there is no overall design team involved in Firefox development, and for me personally it’s enough reason to not want to use Firefox at all.”
Adam Polselli’s iPhone wallpapers.
In light of JSM’s new EE-powered site, consider Ryan Irelan’s Learn ExpressionEngine with the EE Screencast Series.
Video excerpt from my talk at An Event Apart New Orleans.
Jason Santa Maria flips the switch on his new design. Be sure to read in full the post on the home page. Your experience will likely be similar to mine: “This is nice” when you first visit, and then after reading the post and understanding the approach, “This is brilliant!” is likely to follow.
Daring Fireball: The iPhone 3G Upgrade Question. It’s been a week since the WWDC, and for me it’s no longer a question: I won’t be upgrading to iPhone 3G for the very reasons John explains in his write-up, those reasons being I can do without 3G and GPS while still getting the 2.0 OS upgrade.
Video snippets from An Event Apart New Orleans. More please!
Tim Russert died today. Wow, that’s terrible news. I’m with Greg Storey: Who didn’t like Tim?
“I just used your fix on Engadget’s IE6 (per)version,” writes Mark Priestap, Senior Designer for Engadget. “Thanks a ton man! It’s working like a charm.” Note to self: Engadget uses a resolution-dependent layout. Awesomeness.
Campaign Monitor’s Guide to CSS Support in Email is by far the most comprehensive I’ve seen. Also available in PDF or Excel formats.
Oops. In addition to the new AT&T/iPhone plans costing an additional $10 for data (U.S.), you’ll also now pay $0.20 per text message or $5 for 200, bringing the new total to $35 (up from $20 currently).
Doug Bowman’s level-headed response to the whole Photoshop vs. HTML/CSS debate. “I have advocated in the past that HTML and even CSS are not design tools. They are tools used to implement design. There’s a big difference.”
Freelancer / Agency Design Survey. Let’s give Andy Rutledge a hand as he gathers data to support a large personal project needing the widest response possible.
emerils.com mobile recipes. B**! (thanks Tim)
Liz Danzico and Steven Heller announce NYC School of Visual Arts’ Master of Fine Arts in Interaction Design, coming Fall of 2009. Expect *many* schools to follow suit the next couple years. (thanks Emmy)
Video showing how Aaron Cannon, blind web developer, uses the web.
Dave Shea: “calling a design ‘clean’ seems to be a new shortcut for ‘I like it, but I have no idea how to critique design’.”
The new/redux’d Veer Ideas launches. Really liking what I see so far, strong typographically as well.
dConstruct 2008. Registration begins 24 June for the “affordable one day conference” held on 5 September, Brighton, UK.
Web Standards Design + Development: “As of today, Sunday, June 8th, there are four-thousand WSD+D members. The member roster is made up of a wonderful collection of skills sets and levels of talent. We’ve got everyone from the big names in the business to students and professionals to amateurs who would love to quit their day job and become a full-time designer or developer.”
A Genealogy of Pop/Rock Music, Tufte-approved. (thanks Fosters)
Business Week: “Some analysts say Apple may sell 40 million or more iPhones by the end of 2009. If that prediction pans out, iPhones will outnumber BlackBerry devices…. That track record would make the iPhone the most successful single product in Apple’s history, based on adoption rates. It took the vaunted iPod four years to break the 20-million-unit mark.”
CrunchGear: iPhone 2 photos leaked? One never knows if these things are real, but linked up FWIW.
Resist Today: Remix. “Download high-res, layered Photoshop files of our products, remix the images and email us your design.” Winning entries to be printed as tees, and artists get 50/50 split on sales.
Contextual search in “real-life” environments? This is eerily similar to an exercise I use in all-day interviews: What device or technology would you create to make a printed book searchable by keyword?
Remember Segregation. Love the impact of this site’s entry pages. How appropriate. (thanks Chris)
Dave Shea’s latest incarnation for Bright Creative is up and looking lovely. Note the subtle rollovers on the nav (jQuery, I believe, not Flash).
Currently enjoy Keith Robinson’s latest Muxtape.
Architecture in Switzerland. Wishlisted.
“Last week, I was in Chicago for the TechCocktail Conference…. Gary and AJ Vaynerchuk and I headed to a nearby Borders to pick up a few board-games for post TechCocktail activities. While in the Borders, AJ and I hunted down Gary’s freshly minted book and then called Gary over. As soon as he came over, he grabbed my pen and started writing in one of the books. I quickly grabbed my video camera and started recording.”
m.cnn.com. Same as ABC Mobile: Nothing terribly exciting, but nice to see another major mobile site added to the list.
mobile.usaa.com. Mobile web banking (and done well, I might add).
grain edit, “inspiration from vintage kids + rare graphic design books.” Bookmarked. (thanks Rick)
Lots of mobile linkage today, here’s one more (though its merit is questionable): “Mobile Web 2.0” revenues to reach $22.4bn by 2013, up from $5.5bn currently. The research defines Mobile Web 2.0 as “social networking, … mobile search and mobile IM,” which is about as vague as “Web 2.0.” Nonetheless, we can probably deduce that the mobile space is continuing to grow considerably as many of us predicted.
Android prototype demos at Google IO. The compass demo (2nd video on the page) is pretty impressive.
Alltop, a new venture by Guy Kawasaki. Think of it as popurls organized by categories of content.
Refurb’d MacBook Airs are now just $1,549.
Overcoming creative block. Helpful advice from Eric Karjaluoto. “Just like you’ll eventually become accustomed to the tacky wood-veneer in your basement, you will lose objectivity for your project if you work on it for too long. So, do something to change your way of looking at it. If you are writing something, read it out loud to a small audience. If you are designing something, look at it in the mirror. If it’s a video on a high quality monitor, watch it on a tiny, old television. Trust me; it’s amazing how this will help you see where the weak points are.”
m.abc.com. Nothing terribly exciting here, but at least another mobile-optimized site to add to the pile.
The Ampersand. A blog entirely devoted to… yup.
Early Intervention Support. A beautiful, relevant design that houses what appears to be helpful parenting advice for children with “challenging behavior, a disability or developmental issue.”
Free vector world maps. Like it says.
msnbc.com’s Spectra Visual Newsreader is a pretty fascinating visual experience. I don’t know about the long-term utility of something like this, but I love that msnbc.com continues to explore the outer boundaries of the online news experience.
This is another of those oft-asked questions by email: “Recommendations for affordable, quality printing, Cameron?” 48hourprint.com. I’ve used them for many projects over the last few years. Highly recommended. (Ex: The Selectors Cheat Sheets were printed as rip cards.)
Mobile Browsing Report, courtesy of Opera Software. Highlights: Nearly 40% of mobile web traffic worldwide is to social networks; “full Web surfing” comprises more than 77% of all traffic, compared to 23% for “WAP and .mobi sites”; nearly 12 million people used Opera Mini in March, which, according to the claims of the report, makes it the world’s most popular mobile browser.
NY Times: XO laptops to begin shipping soon with Windows XP. Fantastic. Let’s perpetuate poor computing experiences to new computer users throughout the world. This news comes only as my displeasure for the OLPC effort is growing. (Anyone need a NIB XO laptop? I’ve got a spare…)
“I am really noticing people are not posting to their blogs anymore. Like everywhere.” Yes. And oh the irony that I’m posting to my site by linking to a tweet.
I can’t always keep up with Andy Rutledge’s redesigns, but when I do, they’re usually well worth a visit.
Jeff Veen has left Google. “So what’s next for me? I’ve got a couple of small projects in the works, but mostly I’m going to take a little break, travel a bit, and catch up on some serious miles on my bike. It’s been a crazy couple years … I could use a nap.”
Office mate John Dilworth attempts to answer the question, What is the one skill that can most positively impact your profession? “Great designers must perform many different tasks throughout the course a design project. Great designers need to be generalists. They need to have the right attributes, broad knowledge, and good skills in all the areas that they might be required to work. In general, the work that designers are expected to do falls into one of the following three categories…”
Typotheque’s OpenType features list works pretty well as an OpenType cheatsheet.
Sean Klassen’s personal site has a well-stocked portfolio and engaging blog. Did I mention it’s superbly designed?
“All Streets” by Ben Fry. “All of the streets in the lower 48 United States: an image of 26 million individual road segments. No other features (such as outlines or geographic features) have been added to this image, however they emerge as roads avoid mountains, and sparse areas convey low population.”
An interview with Guy Kawasaki. “What concepts are you tired of seeing? A fill-in-the-blank version of Facebook. That is, Facebook for guinea pig owners, Facebook for senior citizens, Facebook for Loch Ness monster believers. I’m getting anti-social in my later years.”
I’m a little behind on this, but Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 New York subway map is now available as an updated, signed print.
“Hello. This is a website. It’s for fauborg, a New Orleans Creative Community. In order to move around click and drag me.”
Ask H&FJ: The ampersand. “Though it feels like a modern appendix to our ancient alphabet, the ampersand is considerably older than many of the letters that we use today…. As both its function and form suggest, the ampersand is a written contraction of ‘et,’ the Latin word for ‘and.’” Via Daring Fireball.
Mobile browser concurrency test. “With mobile devices, the speed of web pages is even more important given bandwidth, processor and memory constraints…. To our knowledge, this it the only public test that attempts to determine the number of concurrent http connections by observing the behavior from the server instead of the client. This is useful for any browser, but it particularly useful for mobile browsers where it is more difficult, if not impossible, to implement client-side network sniffers….”
I Love Typography: The Rather Difficult Font Game.
How do you begin designing? I was hoping to do this live in my AEA presentation but ran out of time. Feel free to cast a vote or view the results thus far. (Note:
Don’t take this too literally, as the “Sketches” option is checked by default and therefore could very well be skewing the results. Fixed now, but previous results still may be skewed.)
“GRAVITY FREE is a truly unique multidisciplinary design conference. Each year we pick a theme. Then we select 22 of the most passionate designers, design thinkers and innovators on the planet from 20 different design disciplines to help us explore the theme. The result: an experience like none other — a remarkable cross-fertilization of ideas and inspiration that only happens when such a remarkable variety of design influences interact.”
GridFox, a Firefox extension that overlays a grid on any website. (Default width? 960, huzzah!)
Creating tiles in Photoshop, a brief tutorial by Sadhana Ganapathiraju.
The Design Observer Playlist. The comments are chock full of music suggestions if you’re seeking to expand your work music library.
Though Authentic Jobs’ partners have already made mention of this, it’s worth repeating here: A shiny new API is now available, along with an Affiliates Program and the chance to earn up to $75 per referred listing. (Apply and I’ll personally review and approve your application.)
Huzzah! Mobile Web Design is *finally* listed on Amazon.
FontShop: Lamar Pen by Three Islands Press. Lovely.
Departika brushes are available for purchase as Photoshop brushes, Illustrator vectors, or PNGs.
Let it be said I really respect Russell Beattie, but I have to agree with Carlo Longino’s assessment of Mowser’s fallout. Any service that hangs its business model on a dying segment of the mobile market — low-end handsets that can’t render web content well — is destined to fail, IMO.
Tips on entering the field of illustration, from none other than Kevin Cornell. “Ninety-percent of illustration work out there is freelance work, and you make a living in freelancing by keeping your eye out for good opportunities, and pouncing on them. So don’t worry about doing things ‘right’— the only things you can do wrong is curling up into a ball and whimpering when the path forks.”
Wow, not sure how I missed this: Veer Type City Gallery. Fun.
ALA: Accessible Data Visualization. Great tutorial by Wilson Miner on creating charts and sparklines that are not only aesthetic but accessible too.
Walther NightHawk Air Pistol. “Honey, um, birthday next month, mine, just thought I’d…”
Twisted Intellect. Yup, it’s very well-designed.
Brian Fling has left Blue Flavor to revive Fling Media full-time. Lots to love about the one-pager he’s put together — static footer, Send Us A Note widget, and solid design overall.
NYT: IPhone Users Love That Mobile Web. “84.8 percent of iPhone users report accessing news and information from the hand-held device. That compares to 13.1 percent of the overall mobile phone market and 58.2 percent of total smartphone owners.” (thanks Clifton)
CSS Naked Day is today. Ironically, this comes precisely as I was intrigued by Typesites’ review of Twisted Intellect, the likes of which appears to be very well-designed, and the likes of which I cannot view until Naked Day concludes.
Gruber: “We should settle for nothing less than beautiful and accessible currency. This isn’t it.” Couldn’t agree more, John.
Oldstyle figures (OSF), lining figures (LF), and tabular and proportional widths: When to use which. A really straight-forward primer for typesetting numerals properly.
“Typorganism is a web-based project focused on interactive kinetic typography and communal interactivity in the web environment. This project was started with my metaphorical belief that ‘Type is an Organism.’”
FancyBox, a jQuery lightbox plugin.
Amazon Kindle packaging. The product may have a questionable future, but the packaging sure is hot.
Early Morning, April 4. Another anniversary, another opportunity to remember Dr. King.
New UK coins unveiled, designed by 26-year-old Matthew Dent. These not only look really sharp but also function as one design when pieced together. “The Shield of the Royal Arms has been given a contemporary treatment and its whole has been cleverly split among all six denominations from the 1p to the 50p, with the £1 coin displaying the heraldic element in its entirety.” Via Kottke.
The User-Needs Gap, a snippet from Bryan Lawson’s How Designers Think, excerpted by yours truly. “The traditional image of the designer establishing a personal relationship with a client/user is grossly misleading…. Frequently communication between designers and their users is both indirect and, as John Page has argued, filtered by organisational politics….”
“This year, in keeping with the 2008 TED conference theme, IDEO posed a series of questions to TED attendees…. Created in conjunction with the 2008 TED conference, this widget supports questions that are important to IDEO and to the extended TED community.” Via Airbag.
Cottonseed Oil Tour. Nice design.
Basecamp: Reply to messages via email. As much as I absolutely detest email, I find time and time again that any collaboration software that doesn’t consider email a critical part of the collaboration process blatantly ignores a simple fact: Email, like it or not, is by far the most prevalent form of communication in business today.
Design for Mobile 2008, September 22-24 in Lawrence, Kansas. Put on by the very knowledgeable and experienced individuals at Little Springs Design, “this will be a two-day conference focused on strategy and tactics for user research, product definition, interaction and other design, and usability testing.”
Interactive Vietnam Veterans Memorial, from the good folk at Footnote.com. (Incidentally, Footnote.com’s headquarters are just over the hill from me.)
Bronwyn Jones, Apple copywriter: “Let me preface this by saying that some of my best friends use moodboards. I just don’t care for them. Moodboards, that is, not my friends…. Moodboards are Paris in Las Vegas. They are a bad cover version of your favorite song. They are carob chip cookies. They are pale imitations of true inspiration.”
This alphabet popup book by Marion Bataille saw plenty of linkage on the web last week, and rightly so.
For the wife: Puma ‘Sabadella’ Flat.
Spotted on an office mate’s desk: The Incredible Book-Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers. Beautifully illustrated. Off to order one for the boys…
Photoshop Express, a web-based Flash app for photo editing and storing.
Häagen-Dazs: Help the Honey Bees. Appealing site, engaging content.
“MethodIzaz is a unique photography experience. Subjects are unaware of the exact moment they will be photographed and of the photographer’s identity. Instead, the subject is photographed completely naturally, living life as normal. MethodIzaz will provide you with a portfolio of pictures representing the fleeting moments of an authentic lifestyle.”
I’m not typically one to buy Nikes, but the Nike Trash Talk is beautiful. And environmentally responsible, to boot.
I kid you not, when Suzanne and I were returning from SXSW I was telling her of an idea I’ve been mulling over for literally years with the amount of traveling I’ve done. The premise was simple: An app that could centralize all my travel plans (hotel, air, car, etc) for ease of printing, mobility, etc. Somebody finally built it: TripIt, as spotted in Luke Wroblewski’s “Sign Up Forms Must Die.” The implementation is sheer brilliance — just forward your travel plans by email and they take care of the rest.
Continuing to feed my penchant for pillows, the Inhabit Bamboo pillow by 2Modern is an easy target.
“The designer, Rian Hughes, was researching old wood type, but instead found the lettering at the beginning and end of each reel of microfiche far more appealing. Based on the intro and outro messages, Dukane (named after a Microfiche reader) has the battered and scratched quality of mistreated film stock.”
“With a cover made from pages of braille editions of magazines like Seventeen and Rolling Stone, the 32 pages inside each notebook are made from reclaimed paper which is smooth for writing, doodling or working out life’s complex mathematical formulas.”
Scott Hansen’s gorgeous new Northern Lights poster is, well, gorgeous.
Video from the Jeffrey Zeldman / Michael Lopp (Apple) discussion at SXSW 2008.
A day in the life of… A few snippets from conversations around the Moll household, as captured by Suzanne. “Edison: I smell donuts. Everest: That’s my bum.”
Jason Santa Maria on, among other things, the impact Twitter had on blogging and Flickring at SXSW (and the impact in general, I’d add). “Twitter really became the story and storyteller of the conference.”
iHole. “I even left the serial numbers [of the iPhone box] intact, so if my roommate ever needed to return it he could.”
Got a built-in iSight or webcam? Choose webcam mode and enjoy.
Typesites, “a weekly look at sites that have great typographic design.”
Wired: Top 10 amazing chemistry videos.
Typographica: Our Favorite Typefaces of 2007. Undeniably worth the wait. Each typeface includes detailed commentary by the person who selected it.
I passed up presenting with the Design Eye team this year at SXSW, but you can view the big reveal for this year’s site at designeye.org/sxswi. Coincidentally, they overhauled the SXSW website, and the reveal appears to be very content- and community-centric. Nicely done, guys!
Debbie Millman: How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer.
Filed under “rad jobs”: U.S. Banknote Designer (Apprentice). “The incumbent develops designs in whole or in part; assisting and preparing models of various designs for use in determining approved and adopted designs for the production of United States currency and miscellaneous security items produced at the Bureau.” (thanks Adam)
23-year-old Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, becomes world’s youngest self-made billionaire. What in the world is this based on? I’d love to know how one becomes a billionaire with $150 million in total revenue in 2007.
I’ve long contemplated penning an article titled, “Bizarre musical instruments worth knowing.” One of these is the theremin, an early electronic instrument whose “alien-like” sounds were popularized in sci-fi movies. A recent TED talk features Pamelia Kurstin, theremin virtuoso. And if the theremin really becomes a bizarre thing worth knowing for you, there are several home-made models available on eBay.
Jon Tan. A recent discovery, not sure how I’ve missed this one. Lovely layout and type treatment.
“This table re-creates the beloved classic game Pong, introduced by Atari in 1972. The tabletop has 2,400 LEDs and two track pads embedded in its surface, turning the white Corian into a digital gaming board.”
This Is Where I Write The “Hey Internets, I Redesigned Teh Site” Post and You All Pretend To Be Excited. Beautiful redesign, Jared.
jesuschrist.lds.org. Designed by colleague Chris Mayfield. Very nicely done, Chris.
Measuring the state of mobile Ajax performance. “This thesis evaluates the presentational capability and measures the performance of five mobile browsers on the Apple iPhone and Nokia models N95 and N800…. By far, the fastest browser is Opera Mobile on the N95.”
Engrave’s laser-engraved Moleskins and MacBooks. Absolutely stunning.
Flickr pool: Every chair at the Visual Studies Workshop.
Yahoo! Go. Saw a friend playing with this the other day. I’m not exactly sure how to describe it, perhaps “a package of mobile widgets for email, weather, stocks, etc.” Or perhaps, “make your candy bar phone work sorta like an iPhone. Sorta. But not really.”
Designing for Disagreement. This is a brilliant diagram. A must-review for anyone involved in iterative design.
An Event Apart New Orleans is just two months away. Use discount code AEAMOLL for $50 off registration. With Andy Clarke, Dave Shea, Jeffrey Zeldman, Eric Meyer, Jason Santa Maria, and several others, you’d be remiss to pass up this opportunity to enjoy great content, as well benefit the economy of New Orleans. (And not that you’ll be coming only to see me, but I’ve restricted my speaking this year to a very few select events. This is one of them.)
Satsu Design, “Isle of Man Web Design Agency.” Nicely designed.
Singapore’s beautifully architected School of Art, Design and Media at Nanyang Technological University.
Keith Robinson: How I GTD.
2008 web conferences calendar. Where is the Web 3.0 app for this kind of list? (thanks Randy)
Netdiver’s Best of 2007. I’m a little late posting this, but worthy of thumbing through nonetheless.
Trust me, do this.
Happy Cog Philadelphia is seeking a Creative Director. No doubt an incredible opportunity.
Backpack updates #2: Messages & Newsroom. Very much looking forward to the new Backpack updates, but Command+F+”basecamp” confirms the same concern I have: How much longer will — and should — Backpack and Basecamp remain separate apps, despite 37signals’s descriptions about their unique features? (Photoshop and ImageReady come to mind here.)
Is Adobe Flex Really Accessible? Penned by blind colleague Aaron Cannon. “Hopefully, Adobe will put some more time into making Flex truly accessible. It would also be nice if they could get Freedom Scientific (the company which owns and maintains Jaws for Windows) to bundle the scripts with the program as has been done for many other applications. However, until that happens, I can not recommend Adobe Flex.”
Brian Fling: The Immutable Laws of Web Design and Development. A good compilation of several “laws” and theorems related to software engineering. This list could easily be twice as long.
Icon Design Explained (Quickly). Mr. Hicks shares a brief slide deck showing his approach to icon design.
“Uncredited is the first book to offer a general and historic insight into the role played by graphic design in films…. It presents a critical analysis of the opening title sequences, thus throwing a light on the typographic work and composition of anonymous designers or of those rarely accredited.” Pardon me, but can you expedite the order I just placed?
The Rolling Bench. “Turn the handle on the side of the bench and the seat will rotate to expose the dry side of the seat.” Say it with me: I can’t number the times I could have used something like this.
I’ve been frequenting Design*Sponge for some time now, and their latest redesign (launched a few months ago) continues to impress me. It isn’t standards-based, but lovely nonetheless.
“There are a lot of books about the Enlightenment, but none of them actually provide light. Studiomeiboom has combined this idea into a lamp which is in the form of a book.” Beautiful.
HOW Magazine has redesigned its site. I’m not terribly impressed with the aesthetics, especially given how respectable HOW is in print. But the content seems much more accessible, and it’s a measured improvement over the aesthetics of the last iteration. (Thanks Jason)
iPhone 16GB now available. ‘bout time.
Sneak peek at the Vans Finger Fracture skateboarding game for iPhone. Sweet!
wapedia.mobi, mobile-friendly access to Wikipedia.
Advancing Advanced Search. Good advice here about considering progressive disclosure of functionality.
FontShop’s Ten Typefaces of 2007. Grab a free copy of Anziano Small Caps while you’re three (scroll to the bottom).
AirMail, an actual manila folder (well, vinyl) sleeve for your MacBook Air.
“People come to Google. We don’t so much take from other employers.” What every employer seeking to hire this year should strive for, IMO.
January ‘08 iPhone update (video). This is an exhaustive update. Location awareness in Google Maps, SMS broadcasting, drag-n-drop customization of the home screen, and more. (Love the icon wiggle.)
Today’s the last day to take advantage of 50% off at Authentic Jobs.
“The ‘Mosquito’ chair [by Michaël Bihain] is the result of a thought about humanism and the autonomy of furniture…. It may be piled up in two ways: pragmatically or graphically.”
Bell glass domes by Smith & Hawken double as elegant terrariums.
The SANYO Solar Ark (gallery), “a unique, ark-shaped, solar photovoltaic power generation facility, offers activities to cultivate a better appreciation of solar power generation, and thereby of both ecology and science.” Beautiful. Via Notcot.
Derek Powazek, half photographer half web geek, suggests a CSS technique for better photo copyrights.
Studio MIKMIK. Great design. Lots of inspiring stuff within.
omspace.cn. I wouldn’t necessarily say this is something I could see myself designing, but the sheer fact this appears to be a Chinese design blog fascinates me.
Высокий берег. I’ve no idea what the site says, but the layout is solid.
“In a mild/medium/hot scale, where mild is a lame keynote that’s mostly a ‘state of the Apple Union’ address and hot is a major new product along the lines of the iPhone, my gut feeling is that we’re looking at a medium — spicy enough to be enjoyable, but not one for the ages.” John Gruber’s prediction for the upcoming Macworld Expo Keynote.
Phil Renaud has written 52 essays during six semesters at university. On average, those with Times New Roman or Georgia have garnered an A- or better, while those with Trebuchet have garnered a B-. There’s something to be said here about statistical correlation, but this is an interesting observation nonetheless.
Sir Edmund Hillary, the first to climb Everest, has died. There’s a personal connection here, given we named our oldest son after the mountain he scaled.
Raphael Pontual, interactive designer. Lots of inspiring work here. (Note: Scroll up, not down.)
An incredible drum solo by Joe Morello in this 1961 recording of Take Five (Dave Brubeck), around the 1:45 mark. Such subtle restraint, and then some serious speed to top things off.
ElanChicas. Lovely design. Fewer lightboxes and some alt attributes would make it even lovelier.
Dharma Lounge Chair, whose seat, constructed entirely with letters, reads “Stand, Forget, Breathe, Acknowledge & Observe.”
Xerox gets a brand makeover. What was wrong with the current one? Oh right, it didn’t have a spherical Aqua-like mark.
MyFonts: Top fonts of 2007.
An Event Apart: New Orleans. April 24–25, Hilton New Orleans Riverside. I visited New Orleans for the first time about a year before Katrina hit. I anticipate seeing just how much has changed since. (And of course, hopefully meeting some of you!)
Flickr: Subindo ao Céu.
“Chyrp is a blogging engine designed to be very lightweight while retaining functionality. It is driven by PHP and MySQL (with some AJAX thrown in), and has a pimpin’ theme and module engine; so you can personalize it however you want.”
Each year the Mobile User Experience (MEX) conference publishes a manifesto prior to its event, and the MEX08 Manifesto is worth skimming. #3 is particularly notable: “Fragmentation is the enemy of innovation. The structure of the mobile industry is killing application developers. There is a tidal wave of innovative content and services waiting to be unleashed if we can build a business environment which enables new companies to make money from mobile.” Amen.
“2008 is the year of the mobile internet, right? We hear that every year. Let’s forget about predictions and focus on what’s available right now. We bring you over 20 mobile internet applications that you’ll actually use.”
Fool.com’s 4 Predictions for 2008. Topping the list is Microsoft acquiring Yahoo!.
Interested in seeing how the XO (OLPC) browser renders without needing an XO? Try Liam McDermott’s tip for OLPC virtualization.
I think I’m getting a handle on this Twitter thing. You can now follow Authentic Jobs listings at twitter.com/authenticjobs.
Drew Wilson’s redesign is gorgeous. I’m envious, Drew.
Garr Reynolds has taken the idea of his popular blog Presentation Zen and turned it into a book: Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery.
2008 mobile predictions from MobHappy’s Carlo Longino and Russell Buckley (part 1, part 2). Predictions include year of the mobile web, 3.5 billion phones, projection screen phones, Android overhyped, and more.
Fortune Magazine lists Radiohead’s “In Rainbows” album as #58 in their 101 Dumbest Moments in Business. “Can’t wait for the follow-up album, ‘In Debt’.” Right. As in $3 million in revenue kind of debt, oh wise Fortune Editors?
Beautiful new release from TypeTrust: Epic. I might have to gift myself an early Christmas present…
Flight of the Conchords performing live: “Jenny”.
37signals: Mobile web app interfaces linked up.
Trailer: The Dark Knight, sequel to Batman Begins.
Rock Band Logos, a running critique of, well, you can probably guess.
Phonofone II, essentially a gramaphone for your iPod. “Without the use of external power or batteries, the Phonofone inventively exploits the virtues of horn acoustics to boost the audio output of standard earphones to up to 55 decibles* (or roughly the maximum volume of laptop speakers).”
The Potters. Header elements play well together, a touch of snow. Nice design, Ben.
A must-watch for any designer: Helvetica, the movie. Perfect Christmas gift, too. (Today’s the last day to order for Amazon two-day shipping to U.S. addresses.)
Fluid. Give your favorite web apps a site-specific browser and home on your Mac OS X Leopard dock.
Blind colleague Aaron Cannon writes on the inaccessibility of CAPTCHAs and possible solutions to make them accessible. “I believe the best and most secure option currently available is to create an audio captcha with human read characters…. CAPTCHAs are currently one of the biggest barriers to accessibility. Unfortunately, there appear to be no perfect solutions.”
Google announces “Knol”, Wikipedia competitor. See? WorldDomination™ is indeed just around the corner…
In an apparent attempt to stay current with the rest of us, Merriam-Webster crowns “w00t” word of the year, precisely four years after most of us began using it.
2007 Was The Year of Social Media. 2008 is the Year of Mobile Media. “Whether or not Apple corners the mobile market is irrelevant. Apple has proven that the mobile experience doesn’t have to suck and in fact can be delightful.” (thanks Chuck)
Tomorrow is the last day to take advantage of holiday pricing on Mobile Web Design.
Lifehacker: Top 10 Quicksilver plug-ins.
Google SketchUp, a 3D software tool that’s extremely easy to use. Admittedly I’m growing more and more concerned now with 1-800-GOOG-411, Android, this… is WorldDomination™ next?
Good URL Bad URL, a photo journal of URLs in the wild.
Veer Merch: Fancy Corduroy Bag. “Rich chocolate brown corduroy outside, embroidered with the Fancy logo. Inside, a decorative blue lining lovingly patterned with Fancy images. $65”
BootB. Plenty to love about this site, even the small details such as background treatment & repositioning.
CommandShift3 also launches today. “It’s like Hot or Not. Except, instead of clicking on hot babes, you click on hot websites.”
Jason Gaylor tells me the new Songpull went live today. “Many of the Songpullers adhere to a 30 day rule - performing a song in which all aspects have been written within 30 days prior to the Songpull event.”
DryIcons, free icons available as PNG in sizes 16x16 through 48x48, including 128x128 PSD source files.
Currently enjoying Drew Wilson’s Muse, a more thorough collection of inspiration with interviews and not limited to web work.
I’m not usually one to make gift recommendations for women, but if you’re looking for an extra something for the wife this Christmas, go with any of the Thymes Kimono Rose products. Trust me on this one guys, she’ll adore the scent.
Ping pong pro Wally Green schools Veer’s Jon Parker using his mobile phone.
Plotting in jQuery. “Drawing on inspiration from Plotr and PlotKit, software developer Ole Laursen wanted to bring the same plotting functionality to jQuery. So he built his own jQuery plugin and called it Flot.”
A bench with a seat cushion made entirely of upright pencils.
Designing For Flow. “The goal should not necessarily be to create a simple site. The goal should be to create a site that feels painless to use no matter how complex it really is…. Designing for flow requires an enlargement of empathy and a deepening of emotional and intellectual subtlety. It is the difference between creating chapter markers and telling a story.”
“On Monday November 19th, Amazon released something called Kindle, the latest ‘e-book’ reading device. I’ve been asked to comment on what effect I think this will have, if any, on book design as we know it. Here goes. None. Sincerely, Chip Kidd”
The 9513. Solid grid design, nice design details throughout.
Global mobile phone subscriptions reach 3.3 billion, a figure equivalent to half the human population. “‘The mobile industry has constantly outperformed even the most optimistic forecasts for subscriber growth,’ Mark Newman, head of research at Informa said in a statement.”
Speaking of the book, a review of Mobile Web Design by Dave Williamson, who has been “developing and deploying content and applications almost exclusively for use on mobile devices” over the last 10 months.
Google Maps for mobile (version 2.0) now provides location approximation for many of the smartphones without GPS using cell tower triangulation. Here in the U.S., the same technology has been in use for a few years now to locate 911 calls from mobile phones, part of the Wireless E911 mandate. (As an aside, both location awareness and Wireless E911 are covered in the book.)
“Choose a typeface or group of typefaces that will honor and elucidate the character of the text. This is the beginning, middle, and end of the practice of typography…. Letterforms have tone, timbre, character, just as words and sentences do. The moment a text and a typeface are chosen, two streams of thought, two rhythmical systems, two sets of habits, or if you like, two personalities, intersect. They need not live together contentedly forever, but they must not as a rule collide.” –Robert Bringhurst, The Elements of Typographic Style, what many (myself included) regard as the typographic Bible.
As described by Type for you, “From France, Thomas Huot-Marchand gives us Minuscule, a typeface for extremely small sizes, which could be used under the commonly acknoweledged threshold of legibility (around 7 points).”
Email Standards Project. A noble effort to create some consistency among mail clients for standards and accessibility (HTML emails).
60 Unite for Children: “60 artists and designers from the whole wide world are gathered together through a book dedicated to UNICEF’s actions. Featuring the work of Joshua Davis, Renascent, The Ronin, Jason Siu, Niko Stumpo…” Site | Shop
Guitar Hero? Accordion Hero!
2008 is just around the corner, thus a couple calendar links: Pentagram 2008 Typography Calendar designed with 12 typefaces by Matthew Carter, and an infodesign challenge whose entries attempt to use “better design to fit a year calendar comfortably within a business card.”
ALA Issue 249. Proper CSS text sizing and a lucid definition of “web design.” Both articles worth your time.
Color Decoder, a color picker that speaks English.
“Advanced Search”: Is The Name A Problem? This line of thinking is about 7 years overdue. “I want visitors to understand that Advanced Search actually is Easy Search or Better Search. I reckon the best way to do this is to encourage larger companies, like Google to change their approach and actually change the name on ‘Advanced Search’ to something more welcoming, and try to make it some kind of standard.”
RFP, R.I.P. “The worst kind of business, in my humble opinion, is that which beckons in the form of an RFP…. Talk to most experienced design managers and they’ll feel similarly: RFPs simply don’t work when it comes to purchasing design services.”
Keep browser lock-out a thing of the past. Amen. “Locking out users, be it because they do not use a particular device or application to browse the Web or because they happen to have a disability, completely misses the point of the Web. The Web is meant to be universal, device-independent, inclusive, and accessible. What, exactly, is the point of deliberately preventing people from accessing your site with the user agent of their choice?”
The Book Design Review’s Favorite Book Covers of 2007.
Crayon Physics Deluxe. This looks like a blast that not only the kids would enjoy but me too. When’s the “Coming to Mac” version available?
“Croatian creative agency Bruketa & Zinić have designed an annual report for food company Podravka that has to be baked in an oven before it can be read.”
You growl, it blends. Gives new meaning to the term “interactive.”
Wii finder widget. Yeah, so I’m in the market for a Wii this Christmas. Apparently so is the rest of the world. (If you know where I can get one without paying double the retail price, I’d love to hear from you.)
A brief interview with Olivo Barbieri, whose unique photographs appear to be miniature sets rather than actual locations.
The Great Firewall of China. An understanding of how it works, its flaws, and ways to get around it.
CSS diagnostics with XRAY and MRI bookmarklets.
John Gruber, in his article Shipping Means Prioritizing, regarding why Mac OS X Leopard did (or didn’t) include certain features — and a good reminder for software dev in general: “Shipping is hard. The only way to ship software is to prioritize, and prioritizing means dropping things that are less essential in exchange for things that are more essential.”
Flickr: speed racer.
Sweet YouTube Halloween costume.
“Make My Logo Bigger” creme. Really works.
Wired: Tweak Mac OS X Leopard’s User Interface. Rid the 3D reflective dock, replace glowing dots on dock with triangles, rounded screen corners, and change the startup bg image.
Despite the fact I’m a little late discovering this, here’s a wise use for mobile content: Calfire.mobi, mobile-friendly links, news, and numbers for the recent California fires.
AppleSac, a MacBook/Pro sleeve made of burlap and 100% polyester sherpa fleece.
If you’re into using OmniGraffle for wireframing, consider Michael Angeles’ OG Wireframe Palette.
Web Directions North returns in January 2008 for “enlightenment, inspiration, networking, and of course snowboarding.”
cause/affect, a design competition for do-gooders, is a biennial event which celebrates the work of designers and organizations who set out to positively impact our society. The deadline for entries is coming up soon (Nov 9th).
CIA “Terrorist Buster” logo. You’ve got to be kidding.
Looking for a position in Hawaii? eHana is seeking a Web Application Engineer.
Stunning design with textures by Maciej Hajnrich.
Greg Storey: “Each month I receive questions relating to the field of website makery and/vs. post-secondary education. Instead of replying privately, as I have for years, these inquiries will be posted publicly. Here is the first: What happens when you feel like you’re stuck at a place who refuses to go beyond what was done five years ago. However, you’re still in college, about to graduate, trying to find some experience, but worry that you won’t get work that will get you out of this place.”
Thumb drives and external hard drives? Bah. Just dock the hard drive.
Veer’s Type City Prints are gorgeous. A collection of 10 prints with letterpressed illustrations designed entirely with type.
Stunning color paper sculptures by Jen Stark. (thanks Kaleb)
Gmail Mobile updated. 30% faster, contacts viewer, and a few other upgrades.
Socialight, described by CoolHunting as “a combination of Dodgeball and Google 411.” A bit like Citysearch I suppose, but on your mobile and a lot more social. Video showing how it works. (Utilizes location awareness, which is covered in the book.)
AdMob Mobile Metrics. “This initial report covers the month of September and includes manufacturer, device and country-specific data on AdMob’s top four markets by impressions served: US, UK, India and South Africa.”
Khoi Vinh: “Apple’s designers have borrowed the boldly elegant ‘X’ from the packaging of its predecessor, Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, and placed it against the goofy, sci-fi-fueled, airbrushed nebula of stars from Leopard’s Time Machine feature. Why they did this, it’s not clear, because it looks horrific. Apparently, Leopard’s most lucrative potential customer base may all be devotees of the plasticky, bombastic and yet still naIve era of science fiction we call the Nineteen Eighties.”
Podcast: An interview with Jared Spool and Cameron Moll. Recorded in Brighton (England) following d.Construct, in preparation for my upcoming UI12 workshop.
Herencia, an elegant handwriting typeface by Diego Giaccone.
Flickr: Snail display team!
100 resources to attract, retain and utilize rock star programmers.
Quiksilver “Ignighted” Fedora. A beaut indeed.
A brief history of G.I. JOE, including an accounting of the sad shift from Real American Hero to Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity.
“For some problems, the distance to a solution must be measured in days, not hours. It might take only a few hours of work, but if you try to work those hours all in a row, you won’t solve the problem.” –Jesse James Garrett (thanks Ted)
Sundance Film Festival. Fantastic site design, standards-based to boot. (This takes place just 30 mins from home!)
VanityRing. “It shows the number of Google hits you get, when you search for the name of the person who wears it.”
Fight For Kisses! Nice.
MSNBC.com acquires Newsvine. Holy Hanna. Congrats, Mike!
New Backpack feature: Add Anywhere. Awesome. I’ve been really pleased with the revised Backpack, except for three fairly major UI flaws. This fixes one of those three. Great work, guys.
Fast Company’s October 2007 issue, “Masters of Design,” is definitely worth securing a print copy. Yves Behar ($100 laptop, Jawbone headset), Philippe Starck, Paola Antonelli (MoMA), and more. You can read most of the articles online, though the online version doesn’t do the visuals justice.
Visualizing Fitts’ Law. Great in-depth article by Kevin Hale.
iPod Zeppelin speakers by Bowers & Wilkins.
Scrap text resize widgets and teach people how to resize text. “Instead of cluttering client sites with this kind of widget I’ve started adding a set of pages with information that helps the user resize text in their browser…. The reason I’m providing this info instead of text resizing widgets is that I hope it will teach people how to use their browser, thus enabling them to resize text on every site they come across while using the Web.”
Michael Bierut: “… I carried my work in a black portfolio, 34 by 42 inches, acetate sleeves, pockets in the front and back. That portfolio sat in a box, largely untouched, with some other junk in the closets and basements of the three places I’ve lived in the last 27 years, sort of like a slowly decaying design time capsule. A few weeks ago, I opened it up for the first time in a long time.”
Chalkwork iPhone replacement icon set. Rock. On.
Air. Taken by a colleague just outside our offices (@ Dew Tour in Salt Lake City).
creativepro.com: Mobile Web Design excerpt, “Four Paths to Mobile Web Design and Deployment.” Download a PDF segment from the book not available elsewhere.
Incredible. These ornately decorated cupcakes are absolutely stunning.
“A group of kids from one of our local elementary schools has formed a ‘mini-laptop club.’ They don’t use electronic machines. Instead, these first-, second- and third-graders draw their own laptops on construction paper and pretend to e-mail each other. They dedicate a surprising amount of time to this activity. I once had a chance to examine one of their ‘keyboards.’”
Webstock. Back for ‘08, and a wicked new design to boot.
Mobile phone operators O2 and T-Mobile chosen for iPhone debut in UK and Germany, respectively. Both will offer iPhones starting November 9. Discussion on the intertubes thus far indicates Apple may not receive as warm a welcome overseas.
Ahoy ye lubbers!
“The Tree of Meaning is a collection of thirteen lectures given by internationally-renowned poet, linguist and typographer Robert Bringhurst [author of The Elements of Typographic Style].”
Urban Dirty, free texture stock photography for your artwork, designs and desktops.
Icon Magazine: 50 Manifestos. “For our special 50th issue we asked 50 of the most influential architects, designers and thinkers to tell us what they believe in.” (thanks Ted)
“Photos of a book i designed, titled ‘the loser’* by Thomas Bernhard, as a part of the ‘book design & typography’ class in my college (taught by Ankati). *the book’s title in hebrew is ‘Hatovea’ - ‘the drowner’.”
Jesse BC offers a behind-the-scenes peek at the design iterations for mobilewebbook.com.
“Velvet is a spiral shaped sofa upholstered in a sensual and luxurious smooth velvet. Its wooden frame is covered with a thin layer of polyurethane.”
Flickr: Tribute In Light.
Flickr: another season 2.
Pics of an original 1984 Macintosh User Manual.
Why we need standards support in HTML email. “This much is clear - arguing about HTML vs plain text or complaining about standards support in email isn’t going to get us anywhere. It’s time to get off our butts and actually help email client manufacturers to introduce better standards support.”
Tomorrow’s the last day to enter Smashing Magazine’s 1st Anniversary Giveaway. 5 copies of Mobile Web Design included in the prizes.
The Fallen Will Forever Stand. A moment of remembrance.
“On Saturday, September 29 at 11:00, Tobias [Frere-Jones] will be leading a typographic walking tour for AIGA/NY, which promises two and a half hours of the city’s most unexamined — and imperiled — typographic treasures.” Wow. How I’d die to be in NYC that day. (As an aside, Tobias designed the Gotham typeface used in Mobile Web Design and the accompanying site.)
Khoi Vinh: “…there is an inherent learning plateau in Apple’s [iPhone] software keyboard, and that plateau falls short of full accuracy. That is, the vast majority of people will never be able to type comfortably on the keyboard with anything close to one hundred percent fidelity. You can get good enough to type what you need, but no better. Am I completely wrong?” Nope.
Speaking of not sleeping, I’m headed to Brighton (England) today to speak at d.Construct. Come say hi if you’re in attendance!
Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine reviews Mobile Web Design. The opening line couldn’t be more true at the moment: “Cameron Moll, who never sleeps it seems (writes books, gives lectures, runs several websites including a very popular one for web jobs while holding down an awesome day job…”
jQuery plugin: Accessible news slider. Reminiscent of the iTunes store home page.
Netvibes, my saving grace for keeping life organized, has gone mobile.
Checkout, point of sale app for Mac.
Multi-Safari. Stumbled on this earlier this week needing to test for previous versions of Safari.
This Way to the Web, Print Designers! (Don’t skip the comments.)
Future of Web Apps: Road Trip. Great idea, great site design. Nice job, guys.
Carhartt Streetwear. Lots of things to like here — grid usage, photography, typography.
If it’s as good as LEGO Star Wars, we’ll be pre-ordering this one for the boys: LEGO Indiana Jones. Available Summer 2008.
Tutorial Blog: Cool Workspaces.
iPhone copy and paste proof of concept.
AdMob now serving 1 billion ads per month. Who says there’s no money in mobile website advertising?
More iPhone wallpapers, this round via Garrett Murray.
Khoi Vinh discusses Blueprint, a foundation for developing typographic grids using CSS, with its creator, Norwegian tech student Olav Frihagen Bjørkøy.
Incase’s 15” Canvas Sleeve.
In Do Transcoders and the iPhone Make the Mobile Web Obsolete?, Dennis Bourique makes a rationale case for mobile-optimized content, despite the presence of “full-web” browsers such as MobileSafari and Opera Mini 4.x — a view I obviously agree with. “It’s true that full-web browsers are changing the mobile web landscape but that doesn’t mean web designers don’t need to adapt content for them…. [G]etting to the information on a full-web site, even using a great browser like Opera Mini is often a tortured and painful process.”
Currently enjoying A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson (abridged, iTunes required). This is a fascinating book to say the least, and the author narrates it extremely well to boot.
Sparky, a Sparkline-like Firefox extension for Alexa stats.
“On this mini-site are examples of great 1960s design I found when helping my mother-in-law move a few years ago. The spreads and detail shots are from ‘The Improvement Era’, the precursor to ‘The Ensign’, a publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.”
Thinking and Leaping, the story I often recount in conference presentations of Abraham Wald’s ingenuity in data analysis during WWII (fix vs. prevent).
The new Apple Keyboard. Mr. Ives continues to exhibit unsurpassed industrial design excellence.
BusinessWeek: Jeffrey Zeldman: King of Web Standards. It’s about time mainstream media profiles the impact he’s had.
“The Font Clock is a 21st century take on the British 24 hour clock design icon. Twelve different fonts are printed within the mechanism of the clock providing a random, mixed display of graphic language within a single time piece.” Via Uncrate.
“A project about faking weightlessness.”
Future of Mobile 07, London, November 14.
Web Designer Wall. No holding back on the ornateness here, no sir.
The 5, 10, 20 year plan. “At the end of every interview someone inevitably asks ‘Where do you see 37signals in five years? Ten years? 20 years?’ My answer remains the same: ‘Still in business. Beyond that I have no idea.’”
“We are a group of designers who felt a need to give back to our community…. So we started OrangeTreeProject, a line of original products that have both contemporary appeal and an inspiring message. These unique products are for sale on this site, as well as in select retail stores.”
“The White Room is a constantly changing meeting place providing a wide spectrum of possibilities…. The room and its interior design have an all-white theme and the four Bang&Olufsen 42” flat screens mounted on the walls can be used for all kinds of visual shows such as video art and presentations.”
Zeldman: What Apple copied from Microsoft. I repeat my comment: Not only is this an insightful article, but it’s written so beautifully it’s blissfully painful. Thank you, Jeffrey, for reminding us how to write.
Google iPhone-optimized search. This is probably used in conjunction with device detection, but this seems totally unnecessary.
Web apps are feeling more OS-like at an increasing rate these days, if evidenced by at least these two simple examples: Moving items to different pages in Backpack and Drag ‘n drop route customization in Google Maps.
Thoughts about what an iPhone Nano might be like.
YSlow for Firebug “analyzes web pages and tells you why they’re slow based on the rules for high performance web sites.”
AT&T: 146,000 iPhones activated on June 29 and 30, far less than what most were expecting. However, this number reflects units activated, not sold. I imagine the number of units sold by Apple was much higher, especially given the rampant activation problems with AT&T the first couple of days after launch.
Google Print Ads. Now available from within your AdWords account.
Carson Workshops: 2-day in-depth XHTML/CSS with Eric Meyer, London. You’ll walk away knowing all things cascading and extensible.
APIs and Mashups For The Rest Of Us. A good primer on APIs for those of us considered noobs on the subject.
Behind the scenes: Sprint’s TV ad, “Dream”. Done with entirely with a few flashlights and stop-motion photography.
The Open Source Web Design Toolbox. 100 tools, resources, and template sources.
I wish I could say these’ll be the last for a while, but I doubt it — more iPhone linkage: Apple’s Optimizing Web Apps and Content for iPhone, David Pogue’s iPhone Period-Typing Shortcut, and Mike Davidson’s A Week With the iPhone.
Zeldman: “We are still crunching numbers on the Web Design Survey… [but] preliminary data supports what anecdotal experience led us to expect: almost no one who makes websites works in their company or organization’s web division. That’s because almost no company or organization has a web division.” I’m pleased to report our division is pretty webby, even despite being a large religious organization.
Hadn’t even noticed they bothered to indent the home button on the iPhone packaging. Nice touch.
Burma Riders. Beautiful site, rich content (I think, as I can understand just a few words).
Roger Johansson: “Recently a movie clip that was published on the official London 2012 Olympic Games website (Warning! Contains colour combinations that are painful to look at. Yes, really.) contained an animation that caused seizures in at least thirty people. And those are just the people who contacted the charity Epilepsy Action about it.”
Kottke: Quick iPhone review.
Daring Fireball: iPhone First Impressions.
“We chose just a handful of pieces of art from some of greatest masters of painting to show a little of how they were inspired by color… or perhaps, how they inspire us with color.”
Print ad: Raid, “The Flight of the Bumblebee”. Great concept, great execution.
iPhone reviews: The first batch. NY Times, Newsweek, WSJ, and USA Today.
iPhoneDevCamp, July 6-8, San Francisco. “By the completion of the weekend event, a number of iPhone-ready web applications and web sites will be launched to the public.” I still have plenty of reservations surrounding the idea that we all run off and create iPhone-optimized sites (remember the days of Treo-optimized sites?), but I’m pleased to see this is focused mostly on web apps.
An Event Apart iMix. Wax nostalgic with the music that played between sessions.
Twisted Trailers: MS Surface. “Instead of using one of today’s more popular compact devices to get directions to where you’re going, why not use a device the size of a small car?”
So I missed it the first time around, but “Web 2.0 Internet standards”? What’s that all about, Apple?
How to recruit a designer. Nice work, Washtenaw Community College. In today’s tech job market with record unemployment lows, this is how it needs to be done, folks.
Biola University Undergrad. Love this design, and I’d imagine this targets the target audience rather well.
Need to open Publisher or Excel docs (and other formats) but don’t have MS Office installed? PDF Online works quite nicely, if only for viewing purposes.
“Yeah, but you still bought it. And so do I. Cottonelle is good stuff, man. Even if they do have stupid infographics.” -Jeff Croft’s reply to Mike Davidson’s post on the subject of useless bathroom infographics.
John Gruber: “Telling developers that web apps are iPhone apps just doesn’t fly. Think about it this way: If web apps — which are only accessible over a network; which don’t get app icons in the iPhone home screen; which don’t have any local data storage — are such a great way to write software for iPhone, then why isn’t Apple using this technique for any of their own iPhone apps? … If web apps running in Safari are a great way to write iPhone apps, why aren’t web apps running in Safari a great way to write Mac apps?”
“The printed and scored leather ‘jewels’ tell an interesting story, they’re based on actual stolen jewels, in fact pixilated images of the stolen gems from the web, and printed on scored leather so that each facet/pixel can be bent out.”
“Poppies” is currently Cyberoptix’s best-selling tie, and it’s no surprise why. Lovely.
Safari on Windows? Meh. But how about the new apple.com, laying to rest a design that held true for +6(?) years?
Khoi Vinh’s thoughts in response to the Ideasonideas’ interview with Erik Spiekermann. “Over the past few decades, it seems as if design has become increasingly more labor intensive — or time intensive, anyway. Young designers are typically working fifty hours a week or more in all corners of the globe. Is that what it takes to achieve success in this field?”
Zeldman: E-mail is not a platform for design. I have to admit I side with Zeldman on this one. I’ve been a plain-text email sender for as long as I can remember, and I choose plain-text for receiving emails whenever given the chance.
Amigo Mark Wyner is seeking a standards-focused web designer in the Portland, OR area. Great guy to work for, tons of great work on the table, as well. While we’re at it, if you’ve got PHP chops, I’d like to hear from you.
Zeldman: Daily Reports from 1997 on. “You don’t need the WayBack machine to go way back in zeldman.com history.” I revel in, and envy, Jeffrey’s collection of archived writings. In their original visual format, no less.
HTML entity Dashboard widget. (thanks, Sam)
Ideasonideas interviews design virtuoso Erik Spiekermann. “I have a bad history of neglecting my private life…. Today I actually cancelled a trip to Korea to see the complete senior management of a big client there because my son and my grandson will be visiting me during that week. This is the first time I’ve ever done that, and we may lose the contract.”
Viget Labs. Fun site, lots of moving parts.
Speaking of pillows, how about a bedtime story blanket?
“This little note is to thank you for your outstanding help through your Authentic Jobs venture. Thanks to your site, we were able to not only hire one freelancer but two and mark four down for potential work down the line, all in a single week.” -FJ de Kermadec, Founder, Webstellung.
This may have been announced elsewhere, but it’s news to me: iPhone available June 29, as seen in these ads.
Apple refurbished items are now under the umbrella of the
Apple Outlet Special Deals. Faruk, Jina, I presume you had a hand in this redesign? (And I can finally link to outlet products without the session expiring?!)
Google Street View. Map a location, view panorama photos from that location. (thanks, Rob)
Jeff Croft’s chapter from Web Standards Creativity, Creative Use of PNG Transparency in Web Design (republished at Digital Web Magazine), looks like a great primer on PNG usage.
Seventy-nine Short Essays on Design by Michael Bierut, who writes, “I discovered that putting the words on paper changes the claim those words make on your attention. Is it better? Is it worse? The answer may be different for every reader. As a designer, I am very grateful I’ve been given the opportunity to let you see for yourself.”
“I just wanted to write a short note thanking you for creating authenticjobs.com. Tomorrow I start a new position that I found on your site. It’s very nice to have a resource for jobs where standards fluent designers and developers know that employers are thinking ahead.” –Tim McElwee, who earlier this week went on the clock at Wunderman in NYC. Congrats, Tim (and Wunderman!).
Jesse Bennett-Chamberlain splashes 31Three with new paint, and it’s gorgeous. I have nothing else to say, Jesse. Speechless.
“Solace in Sore Hands” (iTunes) is the latest album from Swedish Amandine, and so far I’m really enjoying it. The wispy vocals, glockenspiel and banjo combination are reminiscent of Sufjan Stevens, and all told it makes for good listening.
Roger Berea: Creating bulletproof graphic link buttons with CSS. The code isn’t perfect, but until CSS3 arrives…
Fanimation Enigma ceiling fan. Unique single-blade design, single halogen light in the center. This is incredibly beautiful.
3Circle Studio. Catch me on the other end, I’ll be adoring Justin Carroll’s work for the next little while.
“A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.” –Douglas Adams
Tutorialblog: 30 pink websites. Because who doesn’t adore pink?
Miguel Ripoll informs me he’s just published a site for professor Jesús Rodríguez Velasco, UC Berkeley Department of Spanish & Portuguese. The somewhat unorthodox aesthetics fall within the same grid as the parent site, which was also designed by Miguel. Stunning work, to say the least.
The Secret of Apple Design. “‘The most fundamental thing about Apple that’s interesting to me,’ [Mark Rolston] says, ‘is that they’re just as smart about what they don’t do. Great products can be made more beautiful by omitting things.’”
Aside from the obvious apple.com rip, Color Oracle is pretty handy, allowing you to quickly filter your entire display and any open windows to test for color blindness issues. Update: Shane Guymon tells me the apple.com theme is apparently (and ridiculously, if so) a template within iWeb.
TeamSnap, an app for managing sports teams, looks like it has some potential. Love the straight-forward home page that communicates beautifully with photography, iconography, and concise copy. (Mike Davidson also offers his review of TeamSnap.)
d.Construct 2007. Fun site design (don’t miss the pink nav/switcher at top). But more importantly, will we see you there?
100 apps you may need as a freelancer. Though I certainly hope it won’t take 100 apps to get your work done.
Sign: “Fresh Tomatoes and Leg Waxing.” Because the two go hand in hand, do they not?
Tomorrow (May 15) is the last day for early registration, UI 12 Conference: Register for all 4 days and you’ll take home a video iPod.
Mobile web is now 19% of PC web (UK), 17% (US). Anyone out there still doubting the traction of mobile web content?
The Big Noob is back! Visiting the interweb is now worthwhile once again. (And now an Authentic Jobs partner to boot!)
Mozilla “looking at” mobile version of Firefox. “Most tech enthusiasts have wondered why web browsers on mobile phones suck so much. Mozilla Foundation CEO Mitchell Baker has been thinking about it too, and looking at how Firefox can be ported to mobile platforms.” The interview cites a concern about proceeding cautiously and avoiding the me-too game, and it makes sense given an earlier attempt, Minimo, never really took off.
Missed my workshop “Designing Elegant CSS Interfaces” last year in London? Well, set aside your angst and enjoy it stateside twice this year at Web Design World (Seattle) and User Interface 12 (Cambridge, MA).
Floats, by far, still confound me more than any other CSS property. Thank you, Smashing Magazine: CSS Float Theory: Things You Should Know.
A px-based grid calculator that relies on base font size, number of columns, and column/gutter width. (This would be a lot more useful if you could set the total width and then work from there, but linked to nonetheless.)
How-to: Make a ninja mask with any t-shirt.
“I recently landed a great full time position through your site — the kind of job I’ve been casually searching for for well over a year. When AJ launched, I had a feeling it would prove an invaluable resource, and in my case, it surely has. Quality over quantity indeed!” -Eric Eldredge, custodian of wanderaloud.net, replying to “On drinking one’s own Kool-Aid” (or more appropriately, “Eating one’s own dog food” as some have pointed out).
Veerle: The bathtub becomes furniture (includes some incredible pics).
How to Check E-mail Twice a Day… or Once Every 10 Days. More from the same author in his article, “The 4-Hour Workweek” (great article btw, and yet ironically his first reply to the latter blog post is at 2:30 am — welcome to the not-so-4-hr-world of blogging, Tim).
Suzanne and I will both be present. Will you? @media America.
Mike Davidson: Building a Better Conference Badge. This might be construed as somewhat trivial, but Mike tackles a design issue that’s been ignored at nearly every conference I’ve ever attended (many of which cover primarily, you guessed it, design topics). “The typical conference badge loses its readability at about 10 feet but from my own crack-testing, the S.O.B. appears readable from up to 30 feet away.”
“Sure, there’s something to be said for sticking to your guns. But when every US department store website looks like it was designed by the same person on the same day, and left that way year after year, something is dreadfully wrong.” The opening lines from Andy Rutledge’s “The Stepford Wives”, a critical look at the online “epidemic clone aesthetic” among Dillard’s, JC Penney’s, etc. (Incidentally, a year ago I began the draft of a similar piece that would have extended the discussion to include office supply stores and university sites in addition to department store sites, had I published the article.)
Team members Paul Vaughn and Kaleb Tracy unveil beta.mormon.org, a resplendent update to one of our more prominent public-facing sites. Fantastic work, guys.
“Do they still sell computers? I know they used to but I haven’t seen one on anyone’s desk for a while.” A pointed comment from Airbag’s discussion of HP’s decision to acquire Logoworks.
I’m not a decals kind of guy, but these iPod decals by Lamb-Lamb are gorgeous.
4 Firefox plugins for mobile web developers. Add WML and XHTML-MP markup support, and spoof headers and user-agent strings.
All our pixels are belong to Airbag: Ethan Marcotte becomes Airbag’s newest partner, and the resulting trio is a force to reckon with.
Coda, a new app by Panic exclusively for harmonizing web development apps. “Text editor + Transmit + CSS editor + Terminal…” Looks pretty promising. (thanks, Clifton)
“The People Formerly Known as the Audience.” Love this title and the session topic it described. I suspect Heather and Derek made it worthwhile for attendees.
YellowstonePark.com. Plenty to love about this site, both content and aesthetics.
35 designers x 5 questions. 175 suggestions, tips and ideas from designers and developers across the world.
Edison, second oldest son (5), said to me the other day, “Sometimes I forget things because they get knocked out of my head.” I so know what you mean, Edison.
Kelly Goto’s DIY mobile testing device. “It’s home grown, affordable but most of all it works beautifully. It is portable, light and easy to utilize for mobile-specific testing of mobile interaction.” Kelly doubles as a mechanic on the weekends.
I confess. I’ve always wanted a bookcase door that leads to a secret room. Behold! So cool.
Adobe CS3 Video Workshop. Scores of video tutorials packaged in a handy interface.
Topo: Skia. Love the aesthetics of this piece, but also the way it’s presented in the portfolio.
Digital Web Magazine: Interview with Richard Ishida, internationalization expert. “Localization refers to the adaptation of a product, application, or document content to meet the language, cultural, and other requirements of a specific target market (a locale). This relates to more than just translation. Internationalization, on the other hand, is an approach to the design and development of a product, application, or document content that enables easy localization for target audiences that vary in culture, region, or language.” (Had no idea you could add
dir="rtl" to the html tag for right-to-left text.)
Introducing Mowser, a portal for consuming and delivering mobile web content. It’s a transcoder (strips unncessary styling), mobile site directory, feed aggregator, and AOL-style keyword shortcut navigation. Cool thing is you can transcode any site on the fly merely by linking to http://mowser.com/web?url=[your_url], such as …web?url=mobhappy.com.
Your DNA as portraiture: DNA11. “Each piece is carefully processed to ensure the highest level of quality, and is then printed as a Giclee fine art piece.”
The Official Rock Paper Scissors Strategy Guide. Yes! Filed under Essential Reading.
From the makers of HOW Magazine: In-Howse Conference 2007 for us in-house design folk.
serestandar.es, a web standards conference in Spain, June 2007. ¡Me da lastima knowing that I was invited but can’t make it!
Fireside chat: Icon Designers. The likes of Icon Factory, Cuban Council, Firewheel Design, and The Hicks.
“I had a meeting today with our creative services team and as a part of it they had a creativity exercise where we had to rip a magazine ad out and then try to come up with a better one…. I ended up with an ad for VESIcare, a drug that helps people with overactive bladders. It is hard to beat their advertising, what with their little people made out of pipes and their talk about problems with ‘internal plumbing’, but I took a shot at it.”
Airbag: “After reading Tim’s Blogger Code of Conduct I have a few questions: Will oatmeal cookies be served with the special Kool-Aid or should I bring my own?” (Are we really in want of self-governance to the point that we need a code of conduct?)
Hmm, the copy and UI of this site look strangely familiar…
Though it was released in 2001, I heard it for the first time yesterday and was immediately enamored by this beautiful ballad: Ben Folds’ “The Luckiest” (iTunes required).
Kevin on “Surviving the all-day tech interview”: “Having just gone through a long interview for a consulting position last week the attitude that really helped me was that I was interviewing them as much as they were me…. You have a lot to offer … so act like it’s a chat about a partnership of equals instead of you begging to be granted the privilege of working for their company.”
Joshua Porter: Does form really follow function? “It is interesting to see how the technology of eating has emerged. Petroski points out that because of the way chopsticks work, meat is cut before cooking in Eastern cuisine. In Western cuisine, where you often have access to a sharp knife (if the table knife doesn’t suffice), the meat is cut after it reaches the table.”
Number of mobile subscribers in China surpasses U.S. population total. A mere 301 million subscribers, more precisely.
FullSingle, a single-page site gallery.
“Kevin [Garrad, 3rd Infantry Division,] was hit in the left chest where his iPod was in his jacket pocket. It slowed the bullet down enough that it did not completely penetrate his body armor.” Via DF.
It smacks of Miami Vice, but it’s very appealing nonetheless: The Aldo IDDIG shoe.
New from Veer: Helvetica Notebook. “This two-sided notebook features a loving quote in Helvetica Std on one cover, then flips to reveal a darker intent. Ruled throughout with additional quotes in unobtrusive 3 pt. type.”
Scrapblog is now live. The Flash-based UI is pretty slick, with template designs by Veerle Pieters, Cindy Li, and others. The fact that I can create a scrapbook without first having to sign in is merely icing on the cake.
Hook & Ladder Printing Co., “the original greeting card chocolate bar company,” unveils a site design whose aesthetics seem to accurately represent the company’s products. This, for me, is a superlative example of designing for communication, which happens to be something I’ll be speaking about in San Francisco next month.
I just sent an order across the interweb for one copy of Helmet (L), thereby renewing my Daring Fireball membership for another year. If you can’t start your week without DF, take a minute to do the same.
Announcing @media Antarctica!
The Police + Snow Patrol = Every Car You Chase. This is definitely worth a listen.
Meaningful Design for Global Culture, a seminar by Gordon Bruce debuting in Rhode Island in April and later in San Francisco. “As Asia continues to become an increasingly important region to design for and to design within, designers need to understand the vast differences between the Asian cultures. Focusing particularly on China, Korea, and Japan, this seminar explores the cultural difference per region, in comparison to Western Europe and America.”
Today your client will suddenly need borders that are positively baroque. You’ll thank Jason Gaylor for lending a hand.
Jonathan Hirshon of Horizon Communications probably just set a record of some sort: “I found the perfect candidate within 3 hours of posting [a freelance listing]. You can quote me on that and this: authenticjobs.com is *the* authoritative nexus where top designers and the gigs that pay meet.”
The mStand laptop stand sits nicely alongside Apple cinema displays.
A do-it-yourselfer, though certainly not for the passive hobbyist: Old-school typewriter keys on a new-school keyboard. Via notcot.
Goplan, a Basecamp alternative? Try the demo with “firstname.lastname@example.org” as email and “demodemo” as password. The difference between Notes and Blog isn’t clear, but the Tickets feature is something Basecamp is long overdue for.
A rare glimpse at the CMS screens for a major website (AIGA.org). Let’s be honest: We’d all give our left pinky for a CMS that looks/functions like this. (thanks Gilbert)
From Brit designer Andrew Ingram comes GridMaker, a Photoshop script that generates guides based on a grid pattern you specify. I gave this script a spin a while ago when Andrew was first developing it, and it seems to work well once you get the hang of it. (Currently works only in CS2.)
“Redesigning the ExpressionEngine Site” by close friend Jesse Bennett-Chamberlain. An exhaustive and enjoyable read that covers Jesse’s design process in detail.
John Gruber: Let’s have a panel on what we didn’t like about SXSW 2007. Gruber, as expected, encapsulates the collective chorus of the web community in an intelligent write-up, this time regarding the ups and downs of SXSW 2007.
The Principles of Beautiful Web Design. Book site for the same title by Jason Beaird. It’s always pleasant to see an author walk the talk with a great site like this, and the book looks to be a good resource.
Electric Pulp. Hot site design, great color.
SXSW 2007 infographic recap from the creative eyes of Naz Hamid. This is great stuff and a fun creative exercise to boot.
“I’m not sure why, but I could never respect Dave with that haircut.” Agreed. But this classic video of percussion masters Weckl, Colaiuta, and Gadd is incredible. Growing up I watched a variety of training videos from these three, and this kind of stuff still blows me away.
I missed the news until now, but Todd Dominey is leaving Turner to make SlideShowPro a full-time biz. Other apps in the works. Best wishes, Todd.
Only a few days left to compose your font-related Haiku for a chance to win a Helvetica film poster.
A Roundup for “Developers, Developers, Developers…” Or, A Big Fat List of Project Mgmt, Development, Issue Tracking, and Other Software for Designers and Developers.
Design Observer: “graphic design” on Wikipedia. “I was expecting to read a dry, unimaginative definition of ‘graphic design,’ and I got one. I was also expecting to see a little American modernism, and I got that, too. What I did not expect to see was an album ranked #1 on CMJ’s ‘Top 20 Most-Played Albums of 1982.’”
“All these pictures are 360° panoramas projected to look like small planets.”
Interviews with selected designers and their approach to managing workflow, from the SXSW session by Croft and crew.
AEA Boston sells out. That was fast. Very excited to see all 500+ of you later this month.
“…keep in mind that [these mockups] were put together by designers, who sometimes needn’t bother with dictionaries…” From a review of the USAToday.com redesign, and a jestful jab at us design folk.
North Temple Meetup @ SXSW, Saturday at 7pm. I’ll be there, as well as several (like 15) others from the team. “Come and learn what it takes to manage the many websites and applications of a organization with more than 12 million members, and share experiences from your organization.” (Please RSVP at Upcoming.org)
Chatter about OpenID — a decentralized framework for user-centric identification — seems to be picking up lately. Recent thoughts spotted on the subject: Six cool things you can build with OpenID, OpenID makes web identities real and appealing, I Want My OpenID.
R. Marie Cox enhances the aesthetics and utility of Job Pile, a job board aggregator that seems to be getting better with age.
Bazooka tee. Can’t wait for this one to arrive in the mail.
“How about a handset in which every face carries a keypad, microphone, and speaker? Imagine grabbing it quickly – from inside your bag, from off a shelf, from under a car seat – and freely interacting with it without needing to turn it over or align it right side up?” CUin5 “non-object” concept mobile phone (fast-forward about halfway through).
“Hinting at a metaphor for a broken or mended relationship, the chairs join to form a bench.”
Interesting slide showing presentational control of the interface, spanning HTML 1.0 to CSS 3.0 (from Khoi Vinh’s “Managing UI” @ FOWA 2007).
I’ve been abusing the adjective “impressive” of late, so why not one more time: Video showing additional multi-touch, natural mapping interface work from Jeff Han (of TED fame) and crew, all of which, of course, is very impressive. (thanks Rob)
Recently I had the opportunity to contribute to a Forrester Research study, which is now available for purchase: “What’s Wrong With The Mobile Web?” by Vidya Lakshmipathy. A pretty penny at $31 per page, but the amount of research on the part of Vidya and her team was substantial, to say the least.
Sitios WAP, a directory of mobile sites en español.
“A detailed look at every piece of studio gear used, full explanations of effects and recording processes, and an inside look at how specific songs were recorded, Recording The Beatles is a must-have for any Beatles fan or recording engineer.” Via Coudal.
Croft and Kottke beat me to it, but still worth linking to beatboxer flautist Greg Patillo, whose Pink Panther / Axel F remix is extremely impressive, more so than (though not as nostalgic as) the Mario Bros theme.
“Constructed from GE Lexan EXL semi-transparent resin, the billboard accurately blurs the scene behind it regardless of day, weather, or season.” What a killer concept!
Big Spaceship, LLC. Strong design, even stronger typography.
Punchkick Interactive. Good site design, fun (and very relevant) navigation.
“[Justin Oberman] started by asking the audience to switch phones with the person next to them and then (with their permission!) send a text message to themselves. In 30 seconds, not a person in the room could complete the task. With so many smart phones, we had some pretty dumb users.” Kelly Goto’s notes from Mobile Persuasion, a one-day event by the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab..
Garrett Dimon’s very impressive redesign kicks off with a post appropriately titled Designing for Content. “I originally started to write in depth about the redesign and my thoughts behind it, but felt that was the wrong way to go about sharing. Instead, I decided to share my inspiration by focusing on the inspiration behind the changes. The initial inspiration came almost exclusively from Tufte’s books.”
“I suggested to one Windows product manager that if the company were truly serious about security, Vista might offer a simple way to delete files securely and eliminate all traces of identity and passwords so you could safely pass the machine on or sell it years from now. His reply: ‘Does any other operating system do that?’ That tells you all you need to know about Microsoft. The real slogan: ‘No innovation here.’” From “Dim Vista”, a review by Forbes technology author Stephen Manes. Via UX Mag.
Last-minute Valentine gifts might be gracefully polished with one of these Valentine Brushes.
For the astrology buffs in the crowd: Starry Night Dashboard widget.
Answers.com has a replete list of online color tools (scroll down) for color management, creating color schemes, picking colors, etc., which the Wikipedia counterpart doesn’t appear to contain.
“The Machine is Us/ing Us” is an exceptional video by Michael Wesch, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University. I think you’ll agree it’s a very compelling way to tell a story.
Monoface. Hard to describe this one, but call it a facial mashup for lack of a better term. Bizarre but fun to play with.
Netdiver Best of the Year 2006.
Emigre Fonts Type Specimens, volume I. “From the beginning, we have set aside 100 copies of [our numerous type specimen booklets] with the idea to eventually publish bound sets…. [W]e have now compiled 100 sets each containing 12 of the original Emigre type specimen booklets.” I’m so tempted to drop $95 on one of these right now, especially given the limited run of 100 copies.
Ajaxload, animated loading gif generator.
Hourly rate calculator by Freelance Tipster. I certainly wouldn’t consider this the de facto standard for calculating your hourly rate, but if you’re looking for another way to do it, this might be for you.
Spouse Notes. Fantastic design, fun concept.
12 Stone Art, from the unstoppable Timothy Gray.
“[W]hat sells the mobile Web is not how it is similar to the desktop Web, but how it differs. The mobile Web is a phenomenal platform to build and exploit applications. But until even we, the industry who build them, stop thinking of it as primarily ‘the Internet on your phone’, both users and clients will see it as little more than a poor man’s browser, making it a far harder ROI to sell to potential clients.” From “Mobile First, Web Second” by Gaddo F Benedetti.
Wired: Vista Launch a Late-Night Yawn. Love this photo. You know you’ve got a problem when you need balloons, “Wow Starts Now”, and a “presentation” to sell your product in stores. Related, Seth Godin likes this photo.
Kevin Cornell has packaged his illustrations for coudal.com in one nifty little Flash file (scroll to end of article). The titles are as witty as the sketches.
AdMob, a provider of mobile web advertising, served its billionth ad last weekend. Interesting notes from Russell Buckley’s write-up: “Use of the mobile web is exploding generally, despite being held back (in my opinion) by the lack of flat rate data plans in Europe. The US is our largest market by page views, despite having a smaller proportion of mobile web users - it’s a function of the overall population size.” (Coincidentally, Mobile Web Design contains a section on mobile web ads.)
“Architects are revered for their accomplishments. Graphic designers are revered for whom they have serviced. What does that say about the respective professions? More telling, what does it say about the respective disciplines?” From “Why History? Why Bother” by “guest observer” David Cabianca, to which readers respond with a spirited debate, to say the least.
Stylish dinnerware… at Wal-Mart? Wha?
Drafty door, a how-to by way of Flickr photoset.
sxsw.mobi. Southby on your phone.
Barack to the Drawing Board. “With Barack Obama’s presidential campaign underway, his advisors are working overtime to make sure their man appeals to the American public, and the first challenge is the name… Senator Borat Obama… Senator Hillarack Rodham Obadham…”
The Future of Web Design conference (London, April ‘07) is destined to showcase some top-notch talent, including Joshua Davis and homeboy Jeff Croft.
Good tutorial for adding some life to photography using the out of bounds technique.
Tips for a better design review process. “…be prepared to present your designs to just about anyone. I don’t know how many times a new stakeholder was introduced in the middle of a design review, and what’s worse, they’re usually someone who’s opinion and feedback carry a whole lot of weight. It will happen from time to time, regardless of how much prep work you do. Be prepared for it.”
Another LDS Tech Talk in Provo tonight (Jan 23). Hope to see you there.
I’m a little late to the game on this, but David Greiner reports Outlook 2007 will use Microsoft Word rather than Internet Explorer to render HTML emails. No support for background images or float/position properties, among other moronic changes.
Valencia Graphics. New site from the talented team at Valencia Community College.
Bruce Tognazzini’s review of the iPhone’s user experience. He mentions he hasn’t actually used the phone yet, but some good observations nonetheless. “The origins of these bits and pieces, however, is not what’s important about the iPhone. What’s important is that, for the first time, so many great ideas and processes have been assembled in one device, iterated until they squeak, and made accessible to normal human being.” Also, “…this is the phone that Apple proclaims is revolutionary. It seems the revolution can only truly begin when the phone’s features work virtually everywhere.”
It’s 2007. Is your copyright date correct?
WSJ: Mobile web advertising (subscription required). Of note: Ads on mobile sites currently account for just 4% of all mobile ad spending, but that number is expected to rise steadily the next few years.
“Slim and delicate, rough and weathered, Almond Script combines Latin poise with the sweep of an ancient brush.”
LDS TechTalk in Salt Lake, Thurs night (Jan 18). Dialog will expose the interaction design modus operandi here at the LDS Church.
More work from the unstoppable brush overlord, Jason Gaylor: Japanese Foliage.
Register now for An Event Apart Boston and you’ll not only enjoy the early bird price of $795 but you’ll also get another $50 off when you use the code AEAMOLL at checkout. Suzanne may join me this time around, so we both hope to see you there!
Former colleague Blake Scarbrough says his team have successfully launched Footnote, a repository for the archival and retrieval of, and collaboration on, original documents. See also the video and Ten things you can do on Footnote. (Hey Blake, how about original copies of the National Gazette?)
Speaking of scrolling, Embrace the Scroll. “There is something magical about the scroll as compared to the page. It allows content to be viewed in adjacency in time and space. Pages, on the other hand are separated by time, and making the relationship between two items on different pages is much more difficult. In a scroll, the two items are all part of the same scroll even if we can’t see the whole of each at the same time.”
Pearl Crescent page saver (Firefox extension). Screen grab entire pages, including the portion below the scroll.
Wish I were here today.
Yospace smartphone emulator. Pricey, but allows you to emulate a variety of devices simultaneously.
David Pogue’s iPhone FAQs. “Does the Web browser support Flash or Java? –No…. Can you use it one-handed? –Yes, for some functions. But overall, it’s less convenient than on a phone with physical keys.” (thanks Jon)
Vonster’s Keyboard Characters. “Infuse your [keyboard] with unique and collectible artwork.”
Visual guide to Jquery. A cheat sheet, of sorts. (thanks Brian)
For the two of you that missed the news, the Apple iPhone.
Bookbinding 101. “Basic steps for making a thin, one signature book.”
I’ve indubiously signed on as an Executive Producer for Coudal Partner’s upcoming short film 72°, which may include, but is not limited to, IBM 1401 sound samples, mainframe computing systems, and punch cards.
Kathy Sierra on reverse-engineering user reviews: “Which would you rather hear a user rave about in a review, your product or your company? How should they describe you?… I’m sure most of you already know that the question was a trick. We don’t want our users talking about the company or the product. All that matters is how they feel about themselves as a result of interacting with our product…. All that matters is what we’ve helped them do or be.”
Go Media’s Vector Packs offer impressive grunge, splatters, wings, crests, and other stock vector artwork on the cheap.
Kottke’s Best Links 2006.
Slimmed-down Wall Street Journal debuts. Rumor has it Time Magazine is up next.
How not to design a search form. Stick to insurance, guys.
Facebook Mobile. (You’ll need a mobile browser and supported carrier to view this one.)
Hello, Dale. One word: Resplendent Aussie aesthetic.
What’s with all the great layout techniques the last couple of weeks? Here’s another by Yahoo’s Nate Koechley: Intricate Fluid Layouts in Three Easy Steps using YUI Grids CSS. Don’t miss the complex example.
“The point of a grid is not primarily to ensure that all of the items on a single page are evenly sized and evenly spaced…. Rather, it is intended to ensure graphic consistency across many pages…. This can be accomplished with many types of grids.” Feedback from Christopher Fahey on “Gridding the 960”.
Last-minute gift for design folk? Blue Note Album Cover Art. Just received mine last week. Nearly 300 pages of inspiring cover art, 1958-1981. Faves are pages 27, 59, 105, 172, 239.
Mezzonew. Dave Shea retools the design of Mezzoblue and dubs it Fountain. “So this site works a little like a series of magazine issues. Each post on the site is bound up as part of a collection, along with other posts published around the same date. That collection is then given a photo, and a colour palette derived from that photo. All posts within that collection take on the photo and palette as core design elements, which visually groups them together.”
“Why do you — all three of you — suppose there are so few female graphic designers — or at least so few female ‘superstar’ graphic designers? Is there a glass ceiling in graphic design?” A recap of the answers by Milton Glaser, Chip Kidd and Dave Eggers at the recent 92nd Street Y (moderated by Michael Bierut) and lots of additional feedback by readers.
“This is one of our most successful artifacts during the design process (next to personas and wireframes). A client once said that this artifact ‘takes our 60 page requirements document and distills it down to one page.’” Task Analysis Grid by design and research consultant Todd Warfel.
“A few months ago I had an epiphany of sorts. I realized that I was pretty good at managing projects. Must of the projects that I manage come in on-time, on- or under-budget and with relatively few problems.” Project Management Made Easy by Keith Robinson. Having worked with Keith on a couple occasions, I can attest to his incredible PM superpowers.
Joel Spolsky on Elegance in software design: “On the other hand, if you’re using simplicity to mean a lack of power, a lack of features, that’s fine, if you want to be in the paper clip business, good luck with that, but the chances that your product will solve my exact problems starts to shrink and your potential market share does, too.”
How we’ll lay out websites in 2016 (CSS3 Advanced Layout module tutorial).
Oh my… These cubby trays by design*sponge are stunning. *edits christmas list*
Five Simple Steps by Mark Boulton (coming soon). How’d I miss this fabulous news?
The Digital Web / WDN snowboard contest ends tonight (12/4). I’m *really* impressed with the entries. Big thumbs up to the contestants.
Guest editor Kevin Cornell’s inline sketches at Coudal.com are fabulous — you’ll miss the overall effect if you’re feedreading.
24 ways is back! 24 ways to impress your friends during the holidays.
Avoiding “Developer UI”. Joseph Cooney: “A developer needed a screen for something, one or two text boxes and not much more, so they created ‘the dialog’, maybe just to ‘try something out’ and always with the intention of removing it before the product ships. They discovered they needed a few more parameters, so a couple more controls were added in a fairly hap-hazard fashion [sic]…. The developer thinks of new parameters that would make the ‘feature’ even more powerful and so adds them to the dialog.”
“renourish is a resource for the graphic design industry. Specifically, renourish offers definitions, tips, links, information and inspiration to aid in the development of a sustainable and more environmentally conscious graphic design craft.” Via Netdiver.
Scribble on Walls. “We’re design geeks who get off on creating self-adhesive art for your walls. We’re not hip, Swedish people. In fact, we don’t even know any hip OR Swedish people.” Update: Use promo code “grandopening” at checkout and get 15% off.
PAN-L.HU. The text makes no sense to me, but the design transcends language.
Andy Rutledge’s latest iteration is a pleasure to behold. I have yet to see a Rutledge Iteration I don’t enjoy.
CSS Mastery lands #5 spot on Amazon’s Best Books of 2006 (Computers & Internet category). Represent!
On account of a few positive recommendations from friends, I’ve ordered Designing the Obvious by Robert Hoekman Jr. Hope to hand in my book report down the road.
Speaking of SXSW, a preliminary list of sessions has been published. (If you STILL don’t have a hotel at this point, you might as well book in Houston.)
It begins. Again. The Avalonstar Bowling Extravaganza at SXSW.
Zeldman: Safari [typography] better than Firefox? “Both browsers fake the italics. But Firefox does the job crudely: a child could tell that its ‘italics’ are faked. (Firefox slants the roman text.) By contrast, Safari fakes its italics so well (by substituting a true italic from the next available listed font that contains one) that only graphic designers and type hounds will realize that the font they’re viewing contains no true italics.”
Choices = Headaches. Joel Spolsky, former Microsoft program manager, couldn’t have penned a better title for this article, in which he explores the inexhaustible (and ridiculous) options in Windows Vista for leaving your computer: Switch User, Log Off, Lock, Restart, Sleep, Hibernate, and Shut Down. A classic lesson in using restraint to reduce the number of choices available to users, thereby reducing error and confusion. “If you’ve spoken to a non-geek recently, you may have noticed that they have no idea what the difference is between ‘sleep’ and ‘hibernate.’ They could be trivially merged. One option down.”
Mac OS X Leopard purportedly will allow users to “select portions of websites which they would like to turn into [Dashboard] widgets directly from within Safari. Users simply use a marquee tool to select the portion of a website they’d like as a widget and then click an “Add” button.” Details at AppleInsider.
Web Directions North is holding a snowboard design contest. Prizes include conference pass and lift tickets.
“TinyTube.net is an independent mobile site that hosts 3gp versions of a lot of the current content on YouTube.”
Jeremy Keith: More thoughts on portable social networks. “Suppose, just suppose, that my Flickr contacts page, my Last.fm contacts page, my Cork’d drinking buddies, my dConstruct Backnetwork, and any other contact list on any other social networking site were marked up with XFN [or hCard]. Now all I have to do is provide one of those URLs to the next social networking site I join.”
Big list of sample CSS-based registration and feedback forms, many of which link to tutorials. (Why they qualify as part of the “Web 2.0 era” is perplexing.)
Suman Park has just completed a Korean translation of CSS Mastery. Crazy cool. More details later.
“Created by Kristofer Strom of Ljubilden & Piloten, this stopmotion animation is made entirely with whiteboard! Amazing…”
Anatomy of a Drag and Drop. “The mechanics of a drag and drop are pretty interesting and most library implementations do similar things, albeit to various extents. As I explain the inner workings, I’ll touch on Yahoo’s, Mootools’, and Script.aculo.us’ implementations, what to expect, and how they differ.”
David Seah: “I finally stumbled upon some readily available [flat pens] right at Barnes & Noble, which commenter Claire had first brought to my attention the last time I was penhunting in Boston.” Seem to nicely tuck inside a book, journal, or moleskin.
Copyright Primer for Designers. Good article covering all things “©”. Take heed, as this article was written by patent lawyer slash designer Michael Montgomery.
The Django Book’s website uses a contextual comment system on all of its pages, allowing readers to offer inline suggestions and feedback where relevant to the text. This seems to be a rather interesting way of allowing a community to edit and improve a forthcoming book (to be printed by Apress).
WAVE accessibility validator. Great little tool for doing a high-level accessibility check. Pass your url through it to see how your site stacks up. (Icon explanations; would be nice if these were clickable within the results page.)
News from Pentagram: “Luke Hayman, the National Magazine Award-winning design director of New York magazine, has joined Pentagram as a partner… where his first project will be a complete redesign of Time magazine, a collaboration with Pentagram partner Paula Scher that will launch in January 2007.” Now you’ll know who did it when you see the new cover on newsstands.
“A wallpaper consisting of four layers of varying grey tones on a bright primary backing. Each layer is perforated in a grid format and backed with a tacky adhesive similar to ‘post-it’ notes. Pixelnotes is inspired by the way we work within a space. The walls become functional, an integrated noticeboard that documents our activity within the room.”
No, thank you for allowing me to speak to such a fine audience at Valencia Community College. It was a truly a pleasure.
Getting Microformats. This just in from Jeremy Keith’s quality session here at Refresh06. Good categorized list of links to all things microformats.
Roger Johansson’s favorite typography books. Good list of books here, from both Roger and his readers.
Future of Web Apps UK. Fantastic speaker lineup, in the heart of London. Feb 20-22, 2007.
AEA ‘07. Boston! Steve Krug!
Need more? Archived linkage »