I’ll be the first to admit that I sometimes get stuck in a rut when designing websites. And navigation menus can be particularly challenging because it’s so important to make them easy to find and use. It’s all too easy to focus solely on making them user-friendly and forget about making them unique! I think we could all use a little inspiration from time to time, which is why this list is a great resource. (Plus who doesn’t love lists?)
And if that’s not enough inspiration, there’s even a part 2!
Due to be released in December, Yes We Can: Barack Obama’s History-Making Presidential Campaign documents Barack Obama’s journey to become elected president. The book features over 200 color photographs taken by Scout Tufankjian, the only independent photographer to cover the entire campaign. She took around 12,000 photographs total, starting before Obama announced his run, and continuing through last night’s celebration at Grant Park.
“From coffee shops and diners to auto manufacturing plants and bowling alleys, Tufankjian followed Obama as he wooed potential voters in expensive houses as well as in poverty-stricken Indian reservations. She covered the primaries, the debates, and the final weeks of the hard-fought campaign, shooting more than 12,000 images—the deepest, most comprehensive, and most personal portrait of the man and his run as well as of the people who came to see him, hear him, and vote for him. Yes We Can is as much about Americans and their hopes and visions for America as it is about the man that gave them voice.” —powerHouse Books
Finally, just what we’ve all been waiting for—an online comic about graphic designers! The comic, written and illustrated by Nate Voss, is supposedly based on a true story. “Sometimes when things reach ridiculous levels, you just need to ridicule them,” says Voss in his blog. Visit 36point every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to view the latest shenanigans!
As election day draws near, there are all kinds of fun little tidbits across the web that make light of the situation. This one promises to be updated daily: palinaspresident.com
I came across this fun little quiz via design:related yesterday. I was surprised to find out that I only recognized a few of the logos. I would’ve thought I’d do better, considering that I spend a good amount of time online and that I usually pay attention to brand identities…anyway, check it out—maybe you’ll have greater success than I did!
I recently discovered Triple Canopy, an online arts magazine that involves a collaboration of different types of artists and writers sharing their perspectives on current social issues. The site itself is quite nicely designed. The intuitive interface almost makes users feel as if they’re flipping through a printed magazine—hitting the arrow key to go to the next screen feels just about as natural as turning a page.
The third issue is now completely live and is a tribute to the city of New Orleans and its residents, commemorating the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The issue reaches viewers on multiple sensory levels and has a powerful impact.
The issue begins with a short introduction that talks about the symbolism of the tragic event. It goes on to include artwork by Rudolph Radlinger and Roy Ferdinand, both local New Orleans artists. Also featured, is photographer Will Steacy, who spent time in the city during the year after the storm, taking beautifully disturbing photographs that document its aftermath.
The section titled Homemade Memorials introduces an ongoing sculpture project that memorializes desecrated, destroyed, and forgotten buildings using photographs that readers have submitted. I’ll be interested to see the future pieces that result from this project. This issue also includes a directory listing various community projects, organizations, and other ventures in New Orleans, as well as virtual tour through NOLA’s Ninth Ward. This article points out how isolated the region has become and how its devastation has, sadly, become a spectacle for tourists.
I found the audio portraits of struggling Ninth Ward residents to be particularly moving. There’s something about hearing stories of people’s experiences told from their own mouths that makes the reality of the tragedy hit home.
I’ve noticed noticed an um…interesting trend lately in musicians’ websites - is it just me or are they starting to look more and more like myspace pages? To investigate, I went to the Billboard Hot 100 Chart to see what kind of websites the top artists had. And sure enough, 4 out of the top 10 definitely exhibited at least some of the traits I’ve noticed: a long scrolling page with an image in the background, and lots of type, images, videos, sounds, animation, links, and anything else you can imagine - all right there on the homepage for our viewing pleasure!
These sites all belong to artists in the Billboard’s top 10:
(I did also discover one top 10 artist site that I really enjoy and doesn’t follow the trend—props to Jason Mraz for being original and having a really cool site that looks absolutely nothing like a myspace page!)
I decided to research the phenomenon further, and noticed that the trend is mainly followed by pop, rap, and r&b artists—not so much by alternative or other generes. Take, for example, Lil Wayne, Pussycat Dolls, T-Pain, and Jay Z, and even my girl, Alicia Keys! Are you starting to see the similarities here?
One possible reason behind this trend is that many of them are incorporating the social networking aspect into their site. They’re allowing users to create profiles so that they can personalize their experiences on the sites—not a bad idea in itself. So I can understand where they’re getting the idea to mirror the popular social networking site, but they could definitely execute the concept differently. Come on - what happened to visual hierarchy and well-organized user interface? Not to mention a little originality! Some of these artists have great music - now they just need beautiful, user-friendly websites to match. Get in touch, people - fluidesign can help!
Have you ever thought you’d found the perfect parking spot, only to realize you won’t fit because of some asshole parked next to it? Of course you have—we’ve all been there. Well, now you can give the driver a piece of your mind.
This fun little website lets you print notices that can be customized fit the situation by choosing from a list of common parking offenses. But the journey doesn’t end there—when offenders receive a notice, they can visit the site and get some useful tips, complete with nifty diagrams, to help them park less like assholes in the future!
[sigh]…Back to the real world for me as I return from a long weekend in San Francisco at the Outside Lands music festival.
Of course, my main reason for the trip was the music – which was amazing, by the way (Radiohead, Wilco, Jack Johnson, Bon Iver…need I say more?) But as a designer, I can’t help but notice the visual aspects of my surroundings. There was certainly no shortage of visual stimuli at the festival to go along with the great music. So I thought I’d share some of my pictures here.