By counting the number of copies of each letter in a box of printer’s type, Morse and Vail designed the code so that the most common letters had the shortest equivalents in code; “E,” the most comment letter, was represented by a single dot.
But for right now, I don’t think this design is a mistake. I think it is a harbinger. We can’t keep designing as we used to if we want people to engage with our content. We can’t keep charging for ads that our layouts train readers to ignore. We can’t focus so much on technology that we forget the web is often, and quite gloriously, a transaction between reader and writer.
When I see fragmentation, I remind myself that it is unsustainable by its very nature, and that standards always emerge, whether through community action, market struggle, or some combination of the two. This is a frustrating time to be a web designer, but it’s also the most exciting time in ten years. We are on the edge of something very new. Some of us will get there via all new thinking, and others through a combination of new and classic approaches. Happy New Year, web designers!
New Look, New Domain, New Realization: Mobile First Means Simple & Elegant | om.co. Absolutely love the clean main content area. Not too crazy about the left-hand sidebar.
Announcement of the second version of Path. Here’s a link to the iPhone version of the application. I downloaded the application yesterday and played with it a little bit. The application itself is beautiful (and feels a little like a replica of the Facebook news stream), but I think it faces the same ownership challenges I feel about other platforms.
Little Printer lives in your home, bringing you news, puzzles and gossip from friends. Use your smartphone to set up subscriptions and Little Printer will gather them together to create a timely, beautiful mini-newspaper.