All posts tagged ‘Visual Design’

Is the iPad Sending Design Back to the Dark Ages?

Jeffrey Zeldman thinks so. In his essay, “iPad As the New Flash,” the author and standards guru argues that designers are now coding up device-centric user experiences at the expense of web standards, accessibility and the advancement of open web technologies.

Everything we’ve learned in the past decade about preferring open standards to proprietary platforms and user-focused interfaces to masturbatory ones is forgotten as designers and publishers once again scramble to create novelty interfaces no one but them cares about.

While some of this will lead to useful innovation, particularly in the area of gestural interfaces, that same innovation can just as readily be accomplished on websites built with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript—and the advantage of creating websites instead of iPad apps is that websites work for everyone, on browsers and devices at all price points. That, after all, is the point of the web. It’s the point of web standards and progressive enhancement.

He takes issue not with apps in general, but with the design choices being made by popular magazines as they rush to embrace the new shiny. His ultimate conclusion: “Masturbatory novelty is not a business strategy.”

The comments are enlightening, too. A few make the point that web standards like JavaScript and CSS can now be used to develop experiences that can be delivered both natively and through a browser. Another suggests this is just the Old World struggling to understand a new platform.

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File Under: Visual Design

Find Design Inspiration in Pattern Tap’s Minutiae

The web is littered with design galleries showcasing beautiful websites, but most such galleries focus on the site as a whole — where do you turn if you just want some inspiration for a navigation menu or a really slick sign-up form?*

We stumbled across Pattern Tap, which is a design gallery of sorts. But it breaks the showcased site down into specifics, like sites with awesome navigation menus, great looking web forms or really eye-catching typography.

In some cases, the overall designs of the featured sites are great. In other cases, not so much. But that’s bound to happen with you start breaking a design down into tiny components like great-looking code snippets or often neglected aspects of web design like sites with really good copy.

Pattern Tap also emphasizes the social stuff by offering “user sets” — if you find something you love, you can easily see who posted it to the site and what else they’ve contributed.

If you’re looking for some inspiration for that weekend web project, head to Pattern Tap and narrow your search. Just remember, Pattern Tap is a site for design inspiration, not your ticket to wholesale design theft.

* Yes, such a thing exists. Like pornography, you’ll know it when you see it.

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