oh i could just spends days and days here learning

I subscribe to three design lists (Evolt, Webdesign-L, and one more that is not very useful but I haven't had a chance to get rid of it (from Graphic Design Network I think).

At any rate, in Webdesign-L there is an ongoing discussion going about the A List Apart site redesign (my take below). In one of today's posts, James Craig provided a link to an example of how to scale blocks in web pages--something I've been mulling for a project I'm starting. Of course, I had to check out his site, cookiecrook2, and from there I found his project Accessibility Internet Rally: 2003 Training, developed for a web accessibility training seminar presented in Austin (read all about it in the Intro--I wish there were events like this one around here).

I've barely begun to look at this presentation and already I know I'll be spending loads of time exploring things. Unlike most "we'll post the slides on the Internet" presentations which, really, mostly suck because there are no notes or context, this is so fully developed it should be used as the pattern for how to post presentations on the web. There are three versions: the presentation, the webpage version, and a plain text version. Superbly done. A LOT of work.

And I have a LOT to learn about making the sites we build completely accessible. So I'm relieved that there is such a great, easy-to-follow resource for this topic.

A LIST APART REDESIGN
The site is finally organized! Hurray! They did that part of it well (it's about time). A lot of useful information finally categorized and organized to make it easy to find stuff. And the discussions are linked to the actual articles even. A definite improvement over ALA v. 2, which was a an example of how NOT to architect an information site. So kudos to Zeldman et al for finally taking the time to organize ALA.

Now for the stuff that is not good. You have to figure out how to link to stuff--the page links are not visible in either the address bar of the browser or in the status bar. Why, I don't get, but it makes it a real pain in the ass to try to link to a page or to email a page link. Maybe there's a point to this, or maybe it's just the way Frankensite (whatever that is) works (the system used to publish ALA). It's damned visitor-unfriendly.

I'm not crazy about the look. It's not ugly, just boring. Nothing special. Nothing inspiring. I much preferred the look of v. 2 as it was at least dramatic and when you arrived at the site you knew exactly where you were. Now it looks like a thousand other blogs. The logotype is also extremely ugly--maybe it was MEANT to look like two eyes and a nose, but the "a"s sure are fugly. Don't know what the font is, don't want to know other than to be able to avoid using it. (There is no colophon unless it's in the stylesheet, which I haven't looked at yet.)

So, the ALA redesign succeeds in that it finally is structured for the actual USERS (which should've been done properly from the start) but is irritating because there are some standard usability features missing and ho-hum in the look department.

Makes me wish I had the time to finish the InfoPulse redesign get it up this week. The design is done--but the meat (content) is not yet finished. I guess I should at least get the new portfolio items up ... [sigh]
Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/25/03 at 12:14 PM
  1. I saw your site in my referrers. Thanks for the kind words. I’ve just seen another related presentation that you may be interested in reading.

    http://www.hotdesign.com/seybold/

    I’m gonna show this one to my boss and clients. It’s got entertaining illustrations so their eyes don’t glaze over like they did when I showed them mine. ;)

    Posted by James Craig  on  10/28  at  01:44 PM
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