All entries for Thursday 23 February 2006

February 23, 2006

Current style in web design

Writing about web page http://www.webdesignfromscratch.com/current-style.cfm

Interesting article about current trends in web designs. The author picks out half a dozen or so sites (9Rules, IconBuffet, Mozilla, Plaxo, etc.), not because they're the very best looking sites out there, but because they're representative. And the trends he spots are:-

  • Simple layout
  • 3D effects, used sparingly
  • Soft, neutral background colours
  • Strong colour, used sparingly
  • Cute icons, used sparingly
  • Plenty of whitespace
  • Nice big text

Interestingly, I don't think we do many of those. Warwick's main web site is a fairly complex layout, it eschews any 3D, it uses photographic imagery which by its nature means that the soft background colours, strong colours used sparingly, and icons, aren't really part of our design vocabulary.


Google Page Creator

Writing about web page http://pages.google.com/

Google Page Creator

The Google machine marches on. Their latest is Google Page Creator, a tool to let anyone make a web site - not a blog - using WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editing. Anyone with a GMail account also automatically has a URL for their site of the form name.googlepages.com where name is your Google email account name.

And it's pretty slick. There are four page layout templates to choose from, lots of colour schemes and each user has 100MB of space for their site. Everything on the page is immediately editable by clicking on it, and there are simple options to insert images, hyperlinks, headings, etc. As you create more pages, making links from one page to another is a WYSIWYG operation, and when you upload images you can reuse them from page to page by clicking on a thumbnail.

There doesn't seem to be any way to do automatic links so that you can have a set of links to all your sub-pages which updates whenever you add or remove a sub-page, though. I don't see any way to insert a table, either, and there are bulleted lists but not numbered lists.

Also, the resulting pages don't validate – six errors on my simple "Hello World" page.

It is, however, (inevitably) a beta so I guess more functions might come along in due course. It raises an interesting question; what's the proportion of people who want a personal web presence who don't want a blog? This tool is clearly aimed at the non-technical individual, not at organisations or techies, so it's operating in exactly the same space that all the blog providers are in. Is there a distinct demand?


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