Flickr with a Purpose

So I’m a little late this this, but FFFFound is hot. Very hot. I think of it as Flickr with a purpose, or Flickr with a brain or something.
Dalematic told me, “It’s better than going to the bookstore ….almost.”
What is great about the site is the simplicity. It’s easy to start browsing just the images that speak to you.

My First iPhone Wish

Ok, I’ve got my first “wish-I-had-this-on-my-iPhone” item.
No, cut-and-paste is not on the list, surprisingly.
I want a program that will cache my RSS feeds so I can read them offline.
Like when I’m in the subway or don’t have a WiFi or mobile signal.

Those Were the Days

Remember back in the day when you were using Netscape 4.47 – if you resized your browser window it would wipe out all your CSS to Times Roman?
…so you had to include a Javascript to refresh the page when the window was resized?
Yeah. Those days sucked.


So we just hired a great interactive art director at Schematic. His name is Victor Brunetti, and he’s the kind of person you need in today’s digital design world. He knows design and he knows code – and then he knows how to cook em into amazing experiences.
I hold hybrid designers like this in high regard. Probably because I’m one as well. 🙂
We’re like the mixed-marital artists of web design.
We’re dangerous.
*also check out Victor’s blog. I just found a killer link to Nitro Group on there. Damn!

Combustible Webclips

So I’ve retired my Treo 650 (I will write a separate entry on that topic) and replaced it with an iPhone. As I suspected, the iPhone is an incredible device and I’m already changing the way I work and organize myself.
One of the great features is the ability to make ‘webclip’ icons for your home screen. In essence, they’re just bookmarks to websites, but like favicons, its another way to customize your site – or entend your branding/identity. The way you implement a webclip is similar as well – just drop a 60×60 pixel PNG file on the root level of your public server folder and name it ‘apple-touch-icon.png’.
More on iPhone webclip customization at AisleOne and cameron i/o (via Shaun Inman)

Exercise In Futility

Edward Tufte has contributed a lot to visual communications, but I’ve put him in the category with people like Hillman Curtis – people who’s ideas and non-design work are more important than their visual contributions. His books are intelligent, beautiful and well constructed – christ the guy has his own printing press.
…with that said – Tutfe needs to shut up with his critique on the iPhone.
In a video on his website, Tufte shows how smart the iPhone interface is.
WOW! Really?! It’s innovative? Apple has simplified things? They’ve eliminated scrollbars? Get out of town!!! Thanks Eddie, I would have never figured that out for myself.
Let me get in a Ferrari and show you why its an amazing car.
Thank you Captain Obvious.
And then to my second point, on which I agree with Jon Gruber – his critique of the weather widget is completely misguided. What’s funny is he gives a side-by-side comparison of the Apple weather widget next to his ‘improvement’ which is hardly legible. It makes me wonder if Tutfe designed his screen interface on his printing press. What size slugs did you use? Was the type set in picas instead of pixels or ems?
iPhone screen side-by-side with Tutfe's crappy improvement
This reminds me of an article in Wired magazine where they asked a handful of artists and designers how they would redesign the Google homepage. This, like Tufte’s iPhone widget ‘improvement’, was an exercise in futility. None of the redesigns hit anything resembling a target. They were self-indulgent interpretations by artists egos that didn’t take into account brand consistency or relevance to the public at large.
On a related note, Tutfe needs to lay off the Gill Sans, it’s not the best screen font, and Eric Gill was a sicko according to this post by Jason Kottke.

Video on the Web

I don’t watch the news at home on that ‘television’ thing. I get the news throughout the day form videos and RSS feeds. Here are some spots you can get your video fix, whether its for news or entertainment.
Reuters Video – Top News, Business & Entertainment
Funny or Die – for HAHA stuff
SuperDeluxe – more HAHA stuff Video Player – U.S. and World news. I like how MSNBC is branching out (a little bit) from the most the other video players in this list. They’ve given the player a more immersive page, using a darker background with broadcast-like texture. It has a good feel to it.
CNN Video – U.S. and World news
CNet TV – geeky, tech-y news Full Episode Player – Just like the name, this player has full episodes of ABC’s shows. They even have some you can watch in high definition.


Tolleson Design – I’m not sure how long this site has been up, but it looks great. After my last post on print designers not understand web design, Tolleson has come a long way and his site is working pretty well. We can forgive him for the large amount of type-as-GIF, remember print designers need that precision control of type. Giving typographic control to CSS is a risky proposition for a print designer.
At one of my previous employers, we used to call his book, Soak Wash Rinse Spin, “the bible”. It still sits on my desk. Always a source of inspiration.
Tolleson Design

Bad, Bad Quark

Quark: Flash tool for Leopard, new Quark Labs
Can someone tell me who told Quark Express it was a good idea to make a tool for print designers to build Adobe Flash websites?
What the hell are they smoking?
I’ve talked to many print designers over the years and when I tell them I’m involved in interactive design, they all say the same thing:
I’ve been meaning to get into Flash …do you know any good places to start?
Print designers should be the last people designing Flash websites. This is a bad idea Quark, a very bad idea.
I was taught print design in college (there were not interactive classes anyway) and when I graduated (1999), there was a fork in the road. One direction led to print. The other direction went to web. I’m happy I decided on an RGB career. It has worked out very well for me and I don’t regret a thing. Most my classmates stayed with print design.
Like any profession, you can’t just give a print designer a web design tool and expect them to “get” it. Being a web designer is in your genetic make-up. All the best interactive designers are born experimenters. They can flip between code and design effortlessly.
Flash designers understand that not only is there a composition to be conscious of – but also the element of time. After you click on a button how much time passes before the interface reacts? How do elements reveal themselves on the screen? Do they fade in? Slide in? Cascade in randomly?
Giving a print designer a tool to make Flash websites reminds me of when Michael Jordan tried his hand(s) at baseball – sure he was a competent athlete, but it just didn’t click like basketball.

The Online World In 2008 and Beyond

Venture Fundings Hit $29.4 Billion in 2007: The Year in Charts
All I can say is wow. This news from the past year added to the inevitability of a recession hitting the United States in 2008 makes me think. It makes me think I’m glad I chose to pursue web design when I graduated from college over 8 years ago.
This isn’t to say thinks won’t be getting rocky for the web world – they will. Although it might not be directly related to the economy, Yahoo! is laying off a chunk of people soon, but I feel optimistic about online growth for 2008.
First off, for the last 6 years or so, online ad spending continues to grow. Add to this the explosion of video on the web and converging video products and technologies and you got a breeding ground for opportunity.
I’m also excited to see broadcast television get their internet training wheels off and start producing some genuinely solid alternatives to, compliments to and partnerships with Apple’s iTunes Store. iTunes is not the end-all be-all of online media purchasing models. Once old media starts taking notes from Radiohead, MySpace’s record label, and all the yet-to-be-discovered opportunities for their content, they’ll start making some progress (read: They’ll start making customers happy). They need to let go of DRM and embrace multiple distribution channels at their disposal – cable TV doesn’t just get delivered through a cable anymore.
The TV writers’ strike isn’t hurting online media either.
Despite what director David Lynch thinks, portable viewing is only getting more popular, and in peoples’ busy lives, they like their media bit-sized.

Links For Today 01.21.2008

I have some links I ran across today in my Google Reader RSS feeds. It’s sad that I run across so much bullshit, fake product competitions and hyperbole. Let’s spew out some exhaust, it’s long overdue:
HBO begins offering Internet video service – It’s bullshit that’s it’s Windows-only, but it does prove there IS life outside of iTunes Music Store. (Amazon is proof of that.)
Lenovo already prepping “Air killer” subnote? – No. It’s a friggin’ compact sub notebook. It’s software-ically impossible for it to be a Air-killer since it runs Windows.
Let’s please stop using “killer”, to instigate fights and arguments.
Also, I’m sick of people confusing coincidence with irony. If you’re confused, or even if you aren’t, please read this Wikiquote page to refresh yourself. George Carlin’s examples are particularly enlightening.