When awards are given out, they should encourage everyone to be finer practitioners, not louder personalities. Instead of putting people – however deserving – on pedestals out of reach of new talent, when done right, they can promote inclusivity and celebrate our collective achievement.
It’s hard, if not impossible, to deny that performance is by far one of the most critical aspects of any decent web project, be it a small portfolio site, a mobile-first web app, right through to a full-scale ecommerce project. Studies, articles and personal experience all tell us that fast is best.
If you’re a web developer (or designer) read this. Now.
The trend away from skeuomorphic special effects in UI design is the beginning of the retina-resolution design era. Our designs no longer need to accommodate for crude pixels. Glossy/glassy surfaces, heavy-handed transparency, glaring drop shadows, embossed text, textured material surfaces – these hallmarks of modern UI graphic design style are (almost) never used in good print graphic design. They’re unnecessary in print, and, the higher the quality of the output and more heavy-handed the effect, the sillier such techniques look.
John’s article forms part of a larger discussion about the possible emergence of a truer digital aesthetic. Flat interfaces, such as those seen in Microsoft’s Metro UI and the BBC’s GEL project are certainly fashionable, and thankfully, to my taste. Simpler interfaces are particularly suited to the web; high-fidelity interfaces can require a large number of image assets or many lines of CSS, reducing overall performance.
I’m not sure this trend has much to do with HiDPI displays though. I suspect, like most design movements, it’s just a reaction to what proceeded it. Skeuomorphism is to Art Nouveau what flat design is to minimalism. What goes around, comes around.
Be sure to read Max Rudberg’s counter argument, too.
A beautiful promotional film for the Polaroid SX-70 camera, produced by Charles and Ray Eames. I want one. (Via 37signals)
As the page turns on another year, just enough time to close the book on a few personal projects and responsibilities. In doing so, I hope to free up some time (and mind space) for new projects to be unveiled in the new year.
The Christmas break provides the time to tie up loose ends and make much needed progress on personal projects. At least, that was the plan. Once again I find myself distracted by the task of making this website just that little bit faster.
If anything, this whole episode is a demonstration of the slippery charms of tone of voice. The terms and conditions were an example of clear language being used to convey information as simply as possible – it just happened to be controversial information.
The ‘clarification’ is an example of tone of voice being used to obscure and mollify. Almost like a filter applied to a photo, giving it nice fuzzy edges and an air of authenticity.
Earlier today, 24 Ways published an article in which I outlined five reasons why I believe two current proposed markup patterns for responsive images are largely redundant. Here I provide some follow-up, and hopefully clarification around the points I raised.
Justin Avery, who curates the Responsive Design Weekly newsletter, asked me four questions as part of his December Interview Series. Here are my answers.
Peter Saville talks about the genesis of his cover for Unknown Pleasures and its enduring appeal.
Jason Santa Maria:
Ratios and baselines grids can be too rigid for the inherently flexible nature of the web. Just because something works at one size doesn’t mean the same ratio will be appropriate at larger or smaller sizes.
I often design websites to a vertical rhythm, even though maintaining it can be difficult during development. Jason’s arguments made me realise that this practice goes against the grain of the medium; something I discourage in The Web Aesthetic. I need to let go of my baseline grids.
Website optimisation can be a cruel game; everything has a number that begs to be reduced, but doing so requires a lot of experimentation, research and testing. And when you’re playing with the last hundred or so kilobytes, there’s little reward for your effort.
At the beginning of this year I was struck by a realisation, prompted in part by the discussions around responsive images but also the artistic ingenuity of the image optimisation techniques being used by Jeremy. How might the visual aesthetic of the web change if we were to acknowledge its nature and embrace its constraints?
Looking for older posts? Browse the archive