Monday, October 1, 2012

New Trends in Web Design -ers Closet

I just returned from a Breaking Development conference in Dallas, Texas and despite reinforcing my fears that the world is going to smaller and smaller screens and that I will have to adapt accordingly, I learned something very interesting.
There is a stereotype out there that web folk are either really hip or really nerdy. Well this stereotype is for the most part true, but there is a contingent in this profession that don't fit the mold, the in-betweeners. We do exist and apparently I did not get the memo that I need to wear cotton plaid button down shirts.
Now I will admit that I am way out of touch with anything that resembles fashion. My wife still can't figure out how I can wear LL Bean slip on shoes to work or Crocs with socks any other time. (Don't judge -- I like to be comfy!) This resurgence of cotton plaid has me perplexed though. Are the hippest of the hip really wearing these things and now we are all following suit? Has this been going on for some time and I am just way out of touch? Am I to glean some irony from this trend or is something more sinister at play?
Flannel in the 90's because it was just really cold in Seattle. Now 10-15 years later, due to global warming, we have the same thing just in a lite version. I guess if I want to be taken seriously as a web developer, I am going to have get me one of these relics of 70s and fall in line. My only fear is that once I do, everybody else will be in a pink Izod with a flipped up collar.

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Modern Web is Making Me Sick

Anyone with a modern web browser who has been poking around some of the new CSS3 websites has probably encountered jparallax and the nausea inducing navigation leveraging within-page transition. Stuff is moving all over my browser now and I am not sure why - just because...

I can't remember what version of Microsoft PowerPoint introduced the transition, but I do remember that once folks found these in their file menu, it seemed every single one was being used within a single presentation to spice things up. I thought those days were over and common sense had won out. I was wrong. In an effort to showcase "talent," designers are leveraging these interactions with seemingly no design purpose. When is the last time you saw a professional video use a checkerboard wipe? Maybe in the 80s or NEVER! This transition is included in most video editing packages, but editors know not to use it unless they are are covering a chess tournament.

So now everything is moving all the place and to make things worse since all the content is on one page, load times are through the roof. Hello loading status bar. I've yet to meet a status bar that I liked because it means I am waiting. And what is the payoff? Vertigo! Thanks W3C. Some of these sites are really well graphically composed as my examples below will show, but it is apparent that the developers missed that motion graphics class in art school. All that I ask is that if you are going to use these new effects, use them with a purpose. Think of the entire design and understand that some of the older cerebellums out there can't handle all this motion.

Here are some bad uses:

Here are some "good" uses:
At least it makes sense why things are moving and making me sick.