November 2011 Archives
Cennydd Bowles offers an insightful and balanced take on the dangers of a fundamentalist adherence to the Content Out approach, and the dangers of adopting the paradigm without fully understanding the complexities that informs the medium we work in, and design in general.
Mr Bowles states:
Style and substance are irretrievably linked. Like space and time, they are neither separable nor the same thing – there exists no hierarchy between them, no primacy. One informs the other. The other informs the one.
To create a meaningful design, the two elements must be present, and must inform each other. Occasionally, the interface even has to dominate:
The interactivity and responsiveness of the digital medium means it excels at interface. Text can often suffice, but it possesses limited affordances. It conveys information and gives instructions well, but it’s poor at conferring mental models, creating subconscious emotions, establishing genre, and suggesting interaction capabilities: things crucial for brand-driven sites or functional applications.
Rushing to the extreme end of an argument often makes you a zealot, and the Content Out purists, or purists of any kind almost always represents the actual needs of a very limited audience. The balanced approach, which is eloquently argued in the article, is harder to make into a slogan or fit into a tweet, but as usual, a little closer to the truth.
The new personal site by Mr. Brown feels like a very expensive, hand-tailored classic suit — proof that simplicity and restraint combined with an acute attention to detail and some lovingly crafted little details goes a very long way.
Nice little post by Derek Sivers on the inherent benefits of the sharing mentality that’s made the web what it is today, and Mr. Sivers a millionaire.
Graphic designer and illustrator Simon C Page has put together a wonderful series of ten prints to celebrate International Year of Chemistry, 2011. Available to buy as a limited edition series of prints, they’re guaranteed to delight that special designer someone in your life come Christmas morning. /* Hint. */
Mildly confusing Typekit meets Fontdeck nomenclature notwithstanding, Typedeck is a wonderfully curated resource gathering together a wealth of typographic inspiration. With a mission to, “explore all things typographic,” there’s plenty to tickle your typographic fancy.
Occupy HTML, ‘The Movement to Rid the World of HTML Purism’, speaks out:
To get the world to embrace the best web technologies available to create the best user experiences possible.
Put another way, “Develop for the web using the best technology available.” Stop the fight!
If memorising CSS isn’t your strong point, InstaCSS has you covered. Simply type a query and InstaCSS offers up, “teh docs”. Nice.
Regular readers will be aware that November has been nothing short of a dreadful month on the Standardistas’ Periodical and Notes front, not to mention far from the usual high standards we set ourselves on The Twitter™ front.
For this we can only apologise.
On top of this we’ve been hard work on writing a new course, tentatively titled Design for Interaction. Anyone who has worked in academia will know that writing curricula absorbs huge amount of time, think of it as a black hole of bureaucracy. Sadly, the time we’ve committed to this has left us with precious little time to write here. Rest assured, however, this is about to change.
So, though this month has been a quiet one - for which we again apologise profusely - we expect to treat you throughout the remainder of November. Check back later today, and you’ll see we’re true to our words (which will be flowing, once again, throughout November and onwards).