Is Design important with so many people using a Reader?

31 10 2008

Hi Guys,

How are we today?

Do you use an RSS reader to view most of your web content? How many sites do you actually visit these days?

Up until about 3 weeks ago I used to have loads of bookmarks in my browser that I would check up on every now and then looking for new content. However, since then I have taken the plunge and started to use Google Reader to follow all of my favourite sites. The main reason for this was the recent poor showing from the site design float, which I used to use to keep me updated.

Anywho, now I have made the switch I don’t really see many actual sites now, except for the showcased sites on some of the CSS galleries I follow. I’m pretty sure I’m a late adopter to the RSS trend and I am in the mindset that the majority of you are using one type or another. Does this mean that as web designers we should be putting even more emphasis on the content than on the design? Sure, the first time someone visits a site if it looks horrible and is inaccessible no one is going to subscribe to the RSS feed. However, a really really plain site with very easy access and great content shouldn’t stop anyone. From then on I guess uses would very very rarely visit the site, just keep up to date with the regular updates.

I’m interested to hear what you guys think, and how you browse the web. Do you actually visit sites that you are subscribed to? Do you think that design is becoming less important with the days of RSS?

Please let me know your thoughts…


Inspiration – Augustine Kofie

29 10 2008

Hi Guys,

I found this artist on the web the other day and have been visiting his site every day since. His work is, in my opinion, amazing with his use of geometric lines and gorgeous colours. It looks so simple but yet so complex, I really do admire his skills.

I’ve been trying to use this style in a poster design since discovering him but after a week I’m still along way from finished.

If you have a look on his site there are a few time shift videos showing the work as he completes it. He really does make it look very simple and I just wish I could produce that sort of thing. If I do ever get to a place where I am happy with my attempt I will be sure to post it here.

Anyway just a quick one for now…Visit his site!!!!

Will mobile surfing mean the end of the hover?

24 10 2008

Hi guys,

I have what I think will be a very interesting topic of discussion for you here.

A colleague of mine at work found this awesome site yesterday that made me think.

This is a quite brilliant site that kills the need for any clicking enabling every action to be performed via the hover function. The site is really well done and I urge you to check it out.

However, the future seems to be set for the mobile internet to take off. The iPhone is doing well and now the android and nokia are getting in on it, with blackberry closely behind. Does mean the end for the humble hover? Browsing the internet on a mobile device is completely controlled by clicks. The screens do not detect a hovering finger and why would they?

I would like to make a bold statement here and say an early R.I.P to the hover. Of course, mobile internet will probably never completely take over normal web browsing with a mouse and a screen but if, as is predicted, it does become a norm websites will certainly have to take notice and design functionality with that in mind.

What do you think? Will that ever happen?

I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts on this. The future of web always excites me.

Massively unimpressed by the new macbook range!

15 10 2008

Hi all,

I’m sure most of you by now have seen the new offerings from Apple with their macbook range. However, can I just say I really do not like them!

I was very much against the macbook air when it first came out, noticing that not only was it hugely expensive for the crap specs offered but it also looked pretty cheap, in my opinion.

This new range of macbooks and pro’s sadly have followed that trend and while a lot of apple’s hype has been around this single piece of Aluminium, I really don’t like the look of it. The overly rounded edges in my opinion make the whole thing look really plasticy and poor.

The main thing that has annoyed me, and is getting more annoying the more I think about it, is that the macbook and the macbook pro look exactly the same! I really liked the fact that they were different looking before meaning that you instantly knew if it was a macbook or a pro thus justifying the different names. They may as well get rid of the macbook pro range and just release a 13″, 15″ and 17″ macbook with varying specs.

Also, the spec upgrade really isn’t that great, bearing in mind the price has gone up massively! I was secretly thinking that if I could find a buyer for my year old macbook pro I would consider upgrading to the new macbook pro just because i’m a bit of a tech geek and I like to have the latest things. However, I would have to put at least a £1000 toward it after that sale because the price is huge.

Gladly though, I really do not want one of these and can happily carry on using my lush macbook pro. Maybe I’ll just upgrade my ram instead!

In my opinion I think it’s a very poor move from apple, although taking into consideration all of the mentions they have been getting today and yesterday it looks like they’ll sell well.

What do you guys think?

Let me know your opinions and if you think you’ll buy one…

10 ideas that will make you millions without even trying!

7 10 2008

Hi guys,

Sorry for the over the top and elaborately sarcastic title to this post but I think it display my point quite well. Are people these days too willing to be spoon-fed ideas and use other peoples templates to save themselves time?

I’m a regular surfer of design blogs and have my homepage set to the front page of design float, and more and more I’m seeing posts that are offering free templates or free icon sets or free love etc

Is this really something people should be using? Surely any designer worth their salt should be making these things themselves. It saddens me that there is seemingly a market out there which is tempting bloggers to make their designs available for others to use. Surely this will lead to a huge number of very unoriginal designs that have been knocked up and thrown out with minimal effort.

I would hate to think that out there somewhere these people have also been given design contracts on the basis of their (template) site. As I write this it saddens me to think that there isn’t anything to be done about this. Especially in the current economic climate where (certain) clients are looking to get work done on the cheap.

I’m all for collaboration. If there’s something that you need doing and it isn’t your particular skill by all means ask a friend to help or pay a professional to do it for you. This indeed is the basis of a huge amount of the best work out there at the moment.

As I type this, within the top 16 articles being floated on design floats front page 6 of them are giving some sort of design away free for anyone to use. The fact that these are being floated obviously shows they are popular.

Do things like this devalue the work of others? Or does it in fact make the really good work stand out even more, knowing that so much crap must be being made using other peoples designs?

I’d love to know your thoughts and opinions on this, please discuss…

Auto margins

30 09 2008

Hi guys me again,

Today I had a bit of a moan at work and I thought I’d relay that rant towards you.

It’s (if you have read the title of this article quite obviously) about the use of auto margins. Nearly every site I have built has been contained in a wrapper div. I set a width on that div and give it auto margins. I’m sure this wont be too alien to anyone here. However, I came across two sites in a row today that had not used this convention and it just looked wrong. Why would you want your content to be all squished over there on the left when, on a big screen like mine at least, there is loads of lovely space begging to be used on the right.

I understand that some designs need to be contained on the left and I am by no means saying auto margins are a must, but I would ask that when designing your site you think about us guys with lovely big screens. It’s not too much to ask is it?

Let me know what you think about this and if you have any examples of a site that negates the auto margins to great success I would love to see them.

Cheers everyone!

Are the best blogs floating to the top?

24 09 2008

Afternoon campers!

Today I have been wondering if websites like Digg, and all of it’s copy-cat sites, are really allowing the best content to be highlighted to the masses?

I got thinking about this after noticing that a number of the bloggers I follow on twitter (my link can be found at openly ask followers to ‘digg,float,fart’ etc their posts. This really is a pitiful thing to do in my opinion. If the content is good enough then people will feel the need to help it up the rankings. You shouldn’t get up there just because your previous posts have managed to get you a following.

An example of this happened today where an unnamed designer posted on twitter asking people to ‘float’ his post hoping to get on the front page of design float. I had seen this post yesterday and had in fact been very disappointed with it, feeling that I had read pretty much the same post numerous times, to the point I had seen his title image in another post before (how original of them.)

Still within an hour of his tweet (or whatever it’s called) he had reached the top of design float and I’m sure lots of people subsequently visited his poor blog post.

Of course some people may have visited his post and genuinely liked it, but I guess what I am asking is that if you are a blogger have the class not to ask people to ‘digg’ your site just because you are you. Secondly, if you are someone who sees this very sad request, by all means ‘digg’ the post but at least wait until you have read and enjoyed it.

If this continues the people at the top could ensure they stay there by asking their influential contacts to give them the exposure needed by asking their followers to help out.