Web Design Archives (19 posts)

Will The New York Times Redesign Kill ‘The Fold’

Co.Design has a great article on the redesign of The New York Times website. It seems like it was yesterday when Khoi Vinh led the design team that redesigned the NYT in 1996.

I love the direction that the new website is taking because it takes what has become a noisy site, dense with information and distils it down to a simplistic user interface. As a web designer I love that the new design team has done away with pagination and embraced the infinitely scrolling page made popular by Pinterest.

This is huge step in the right direction for web design that often clings to print design elements such as “the fold”. Printed newspapers have a fold and to be above the fold indicates important content. In web design there is no fold but many web designers, creative directors and clients mistakenly think there is. They tend to treat web pages as printed pages even though the web has been around for over a decade. This drives me crazy!

Pinterest, Facebook and now the NYT embrace infinite scrolling which will help to dispel the myth of “the fold” and make my job easier. This makes me happy.

Posted in Web Design at 8:34 PM

A Little Bit Of Something

The web designer that runs a little bit of something has the funniest portfolio site I’ve seen in a long time. It’s short on design examples and links to his work but his cheeky observations about clients are bang on and hilarious.

You are not the web designer. I am the web designer

You wouldn’t tell Mr. Marks of Spencer how to make slacks or Mrs. Audrey Audi how to build motor cars, would you? So please, Sir, don’t tell me I should “bevel” things. Get back to doing what you do best and let me do the web designing.

If you take control, you’ll end up with a huge lump of dog muck, and people will laugh at it behind your back.

Have a laugh and visit his site. You might learn something about web design.

Posted in Web Design at 11:45 AM

Offscreen Magazine

Offscreen Magazine

If you’re a web designer or web developer then you should be reading Offscreen magazine. It’s a beautifully designed magazine about that profiles the people that make websites and apps.

The first two issues arrived from Berlin earlier this week and I’ve been soaking up every page. If you’re like me and you work on your own then chances are you don’t spend a lot of time with other designers and talk shop. Offscreen profiles a lot of designers from around the world that also work on their own.

It’s refreshing to discover how others ended up where they are, what they do all day, their process, what apps they use and how they’ve contributed to the web community. I’m almost through the first issue and can’t wait to see what is in the second issue.

Posted in Web Design at 10:32 PM

Production Artists

Mike Monteiro, co-founder of Mule Design on Episode 43 of The Pipeline:

Designers sell their work. Designers get up in front of people and explain why they’ve made the decisions they’ve made. And if you can’t do that, you can’t call yourself a designer.

Great quote and a great episode. Dan Benjamin, host of the show asked Monteiro what he would call a creative person that works on web designs in Photoshop and Monteiro said he didn’t know what they were. I would simply call them production artists and not web designers.

Posted in Web Design at 4:02 PM

Things Real People Don’t Say About Advertising

Things Real People Don’t Say About Advertising is a great little site that you’ll love if your job has anything to do with advertising.

The important content is above the fold. Sick!

I don’t know how many times I’ve had to tell people that a website is not a newspaper and that it doesn’t matter if “the important content is above the fold”. This site nails that myth and many others.

Posted in Web Design at 4:59 PM

There Is No Page Fold On A Website!

As a web designer it is frustrating to listen to clients and print designers that talk about a page fold on a website. Some people design sites and try to cram all of the content “above the fold” or at the top of the screen as if a website were a piece of paper. Google didn’t help matters when it released Browser Size last week.

People look at websites on phones, televisions, laptops, and desktops with various size monitors. And guess what, the scroll! This is why I love thereisnopagefold.com. It makes it clear, once and for all that there is no page fold on a website.

Love your scrollbar.

Posted in Web Design at 1:43 AM

Powazek Slams SEO - Spammers, Evildoers, and Opportunists

Derek Powazek has had enough about the Spammers, Evildoers, and Opportunists and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve alway had my doubts about the self-proclaimed SEO experts that don’t have any marketing or web design experience. Many of them sell snake oil and have ripped off a few of my clients.

Until now, as far as I can tell, nobody in the web design community has come down so hard on the search engine optimization industry and called them out like Powazek:

Search Engine Optimization is not a legitimate form of marketing. It should not be undertaken by people with brains or souls. If someone charges you for SEO, you have been conned.

A lot of SEO is common sense. Create great content. Make a great website with code that validates. Be passionate about what you’re creating and communicate with your audience.

Posted in Web Design at 10:43 PM

If Architects Had to Work Like Web Designers

I just read If Architects Had to Work Like Web Designers and shook my head because very little has changed since this was written seven years ago.

Take for example the design by committee paragraph:

To insure that you are building the correct house for our entire family, make certain that you contact each of our children, and also our in-laws. My mother-in-law will have very strong feelings about how the house should be designed, since she visits us at least once a year.

I’m still designing sites where clients have a VP come in at the last minute and request changes. Sure, we tell them that we’re in the beta phase and that we can’t make design changes but who do you think wins?

Posted in Web Design at 10:32 PM

Design Inspiration

Where do you start when a client asks you to redesign their website? Fuel Your Creativity has a great article that can help you find inspiration when starting a new web project.

Posted in Web Design at 10:39 PM

Lifford Wine Agency

The website redesign I did for Lifford Wine Agency went live today. Finally!

Lifford is the largest wine importer in Toronto. They supply wine to restaurants and hotels but they also sell wine to consumers. With their new site you can order the wine online and have it shipped to your door if you live in Ontario.

Why would you want to buy wine from Lifford? Because they carry wines that the LCBO does not and they only carry the best. If you’re feeling thirsty or your wine cellar is getting low then visit www.liffordwine.com and view their selection of wines.

Posted in JAK MEDIA and Web Design at 5:41 PM

Jeremy Cowart Photography

Jeremy Cowart Photography is what a photography portfolio website should be:

  • simple design that doesn’t compete with the photography
  • fast (no annoying Flash interfaces that take forever to load and learn)
  • large beautiful images without jpeg artifacts

I’m always amazed at photography sites that have small images where you need a loupe to actually view them. Worse is when you click on a thumbnail image to get a photo that is slightly larger. Talk about frustrating. Jeremy Cowart or whoever designed his site has done a fabulous job.

Posted in Photography and Web Design at 3:49 PM

Make My Logo BIGGER!!!

Make My Logo Bigger Cream is a clever infomercial that unfortunately has a lot of truth to it. If you’ve ever designed a logo or a website for someone, you’ll find Make My Logo Bigger Cream to be very amusing.

Posted in Web Design at 9:38 AM

CSSEdit 2.6 rounds out my web development toolkit

If you’re a web developer you don’t use Adobe Dreamweaver to make websites — you use a bunch of different applications to edit code, transfer files and test your code.

Under Mac OS X I am using:

When it came to editing CSS I would use a combination of BBEdit and Firefox (with plugins) to see how my code was rendering. Switching back and forth between the programs works but it can be tedious. It’s also easy to make mistakes when writing the CSS.

John Gruber has praised CSSEdit for CSS development in the past, so I gave it a try but I just couldn’t get excited about it. I chose Panic’s Coda instead. I drank the Kool-Aid, tried the program a few times but went back to my full-featured toolkit of applications.

The “one-window web development” of Coda is nice but it sacrifices too much in the way of features and by trying to simplify the web development workflow (at least for me). Joe Kissell at TidBITS has a great review of Coda that explains where the program falls short for some.

If anyone is interested, I’m selling my copy of Coda for $30. It currently sells for $69-$79 on Panic’s website.

Today I found myself having to do a lot of CSS editing for a site redesign and thought I would give MacRabbit’s CSSEdit 2.6 another try. I’m sold! CSSEdit is a fabulous piece of software. I don’t know how I managed without it.

The live preview feature allows you to see the results of your coding changes, instantly — no need to upload files and refresh your browser. The X-ray Inspector allows you to look under the hood of any website. This feature makes it easier to figure out the CSS magic from some of the best developers in the industry.

You can also validate your CSS and catch mistakes before your code gets out of control and makes debugging difficult. The interface is very slick and full of useful features that have completely sold me on CSSEdit.

If you’re a web developer and you haven’t tried CSSEdit then download a trial version. Find out why this might be the best $30 you’ll spend his year.

Posted in OS X Software and Web Design and Web Development at 10:43 PM

TextExpander 2 saves me time in Mac OS X

I’ve been on a Getting Things Done (GTD) kick lately — trying to be more productive in my day to day work. Through a series of geeky software tools and by approaching things like email differently, I’m wasting less time than before and being more productive.

TextExpander 2
TextExpander 2 is a great utility that saves me from having to type repetitive key strokes. It will auto-correct my common spelling mistakes on the fly and by typing custom abbreviations, it will spit predefined words, phrases, paragraphs of text.

If I type ‘ddate’ then it inserts ‘October 19, 2007’. If I type ‘andthe’ then it knows that I meant to type ‘and the’ and corrects my spelling mistake.

If you’re a web developer, you’ll love TextExpander. It will generate code for you automatically by typing a simple abbreviations. As an added bonus, the software inserts the cursor wherever you specify.

TextExpander keeps track of the keystrokes that it saves you from typing and translates this into time saved. After a couple hours of use, it has saved me from typing 1,932 characters, approximately 4 minutes of time.

SpamSieve is another fabulous program that has paid for itself many times. Since I installed the software, it has blocked 70,386 spam messages. Every day it deletes around 106 spam messages from my inbox. That adds up to hours of mindless filtering and deleting of messages.

Some links:

TextExpander 2: .Mac syncing and much more
Newsletters that teach

Posted in OS X Software and Web Design at 12:53 AM

Blasting the Myth of the Fold

Web designers, take note and stop cramming everything “above the fold” on the homepage you’re working on. Better yet, tell your clients that you don’t need to cram everything near the top of the page. People know how to scroll.

Blasting the Myth of the Fold by Milissa Tarquini is a great article and something I can show the next client who has a fear of scroll bars.

Posted in Web Design at 12:02 AM


The documentary film Helvetica will be getting its Canadian premiere in Toronto at Hot Docs (April 19-29). It’s at the top of my list of films to see at this year’s festival.

I’ve been hearing bits an pieces about the film on various design sites for the last year. I just watched a short clip of the film on Veer.com that features Erik Spiekermann. It looks very promising and should be inspiring to anyone who is a designer that works with type.

Posted in Design and Movies and Web Design at 2:32 PM

Retro Style - Part 2

Welcome to readers of Design Melt Down.

Bombippy.com is one of the websites featured in an article called Retro Style - Part 2 on the Design Melt Down website. It’s an interesting read on what makes a website look “retro”.

If you’re a web designer, be sure to bookmark designmeltdown.com. It has some great articles, links to design resources and plenty of examples that are sure to inspire.

Posted in Web Design at 1:16 PM

The Logos of Web 2.0

The FontShop has a great blog called FontFeed. If you’re a designer then you’ll want to bookmark this site.

Their latest entry The Logos of Web 2.0, takes a look at fonts used in some of the so-called Web 2.0 sites and brands. Chunky text combined with orange, green and blue colours are the latest trend.

Posted in Web Design at 11:00 AM

stuffandjunk.com redesigned

Lissa’s blog, stuffandjunk.com has been slightly redesigned (sort of) and upgraded from Movable Type v2.66 to v3.15. Hopefully the upgrade will cut down on some of the spam

Bombippy v2.0 is just around the corner.

Posted in Web Design at 1:52 PM