I make films. I'm also a nerd.

Posts in design:

Flatter (Design) Isn’t Necessarily Better

Steven Bradley decided that a lot of “flat” interface designs were leaving him cold, despite his natural predilections for “minimalism with an emphasis on design fundamentals”:

When flat designs started appearing I had mixed reactions. Sometimes I liked what I saw, but many times I didn’t care for the flat designs I encountered. Other than the handful of cases of truly poor design, I didn’t understand why some of this flatter aesthetic didn’t resonate with me when it seems to agree with much of my own philosophy about design. I’m finally beginning to understand.

For one it’s an awful name based on a surface detail of what’s going on. And because it’s been given a name it’s ripe to become a fad. The name implies the new aesthetic is based solely on it being flat and I don’t think this literal interpretation is the reason for this new aesthetic.

Design is about more than mere aesthetics—usability is the far more important consideration. What good does it do if an app or a site is pretty, but no thought is given to whether people will actually want to use it?

In Defense of the Sidebar

While I’m certainly in favor of any design trend which continues to take us farther away from the eye-crimes of yesteryear’s Web—please don’t get me wrong—there seems to be a growing propensity among design nerds to strip away everything on the page other than the “content.” That’s all well and good when the things other than “content” consist of useless cruft, but what about providing some kind of context for your content? What about designing a page which makes navigation easy instead of really, really hard? Why should we be so quick to damn the sidebar and make our Web pages harder to use? In our quixotic quest for the most minimal layout possible, don’t we realize somewhere along the way that the most minimal layout is simply a blank page?

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