Tag Archives: Design

Is Web Design An Art?

Is web design an art? I believe it is, and I’m prepared to vehemently defend my opinion. :P

Layout/logo design takes time, effort, and ability. Take a look at Ars Technica, Apple, The Leaky Cauldron, North X East, and ProBlogger. Notice their designs.

When designing, your goal is to create not just something functional, but to convey a message. Look at Apple.com. The design says “High tech,” “clean,” and several other things.

A few months back I wrote a post on logo design. Near the end it said “Logo design is an art, as is web design (or virtually anything with the word “design” in it…).” A Digg user said in response “no, design isn’t art. Art and design have mutually exclusive purposes. Thanks for playing.” Typical of Digg users, but whatever.

I want to know what everyone else thinks. Is design an art? Yes or no? Comment below, and feel free to explain your decision.

Websites Through The Years: Apple.com

Apple Inc is the maker of the worlds coolest computers, as I’m sure you already know. Their website has, for the last few years, been very innovative and has started several design trends. What has Apple’s website like in the past? Let’s find out, with a little help from the Wayback Machine. Ready? Let’s get started.

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Websites Through The Years: The Leaky Cauldron

The oldest (and best) Harry Potter website, The Leaky Cauldron, has just updated their layout today. It seems like a good opportunity to feature them on Websites Through The Years.

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Websites Through The Years: Blogger

Blogger, perhaps the most famous free blog provider, pretty much kick-started the blog phenomenon. Though Blogger doesn’t measure up with a self-hosted WordPress installation, it’s a heck of a lot better than LiveJournal and WordPress.com.

October 12, 1999

Not much, is it? This is blogger when it first started. Back then there was no Blog*Spot hosting service. You had to host the files on your own web space. Too bad the Wayback Machine can’t get at the administration pages, it would be cool to see what the write post page used to look like. Oh well.

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Websites Through The Years: Ars Technica

Ars Technica is one of my favorite tech news sites. Though they’ve been around since 1998, they’ve had very few layout redesigns. Nowadays they have an ultra-cool design, but they didn’t start out that way…

April 22, 1999

I despise (most) designs with a black background and white text. It’s hard on the eyes, and come on, that color scheme should have died with DOS!

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Websites Through The Years: CNet

Welcome back to Websites Through The Years! Today we tackle CNet, one of the oldest tech sites. We’ll start with the earliest design the Wayback Machine could find: October 1996.

October 22, 1996

Nothing says “90s” like a design like that! Okay… The yellow is a little hard on the eyes, but other than that it’s not too bad for the ’90s. My biggest complaint: Their shameless touting of Internet Exploder, er Explorer. Obviously I maniacally support Mozilla Firefox (download now, quantities are unlimited!).

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Websites Through The Years: Yahoo

After the success of Web Sites Before and After, I decided to start an article series going more in-depth about the various websites. In Websites Through The Years, I’ll be picking some designs and, with the help of the Wayback Machine, going over the various stages of the sites’ lives. We’ll start with Yahoo.

October 17, 1996

This is as far as the Wayback Machine goes. As you can see, Yahoo wasn’t a “portal” like it is today. Back in ’96, it was just a web directory, albeit a very popular directory. Take a look at the design. Reminiscent of Google, with just a logo and a quantity of links, it’s a very simplistic page by today’s standards (being a mid-90s design helps…). Yahoo has since ditched the minimalistic method of design, opting for a more image-heavy design.

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Web Sites Before and After

What have websites looked like over the years? With the help of the WayBack Machine, we’ll take a look.

Below are eight sites. Each has a prior design on the left and the current on the right. Nice ‘n easy to compare.

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Developing for the iPhone

The Apple iPhone is out, and the web is filled with everything you could possibly want to know about the iPhone…and plenty you don’t.

Sure, the iPhone can display normal web pages correctly, but the iPhone offers an interesting new opportunity: More powerful mobile web apps. Some sites are already building iPhone-itized versions. Take Digg for example. They’ve just released a beta of Digg for the iPhone. In case you didn’t notice, it’s designed to work in a similar manner to the apps built-in to the iPhone. Since Apple isn’t about to let developers write their own software for the iPhone, people are making web-based apps instead.

Do you want to do something like that? First of all, you should read Apple’s “iPhone for Developers” page and also their “Tech Specs” page.

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Design Spotlight: North X East (July 6, 2007)

Today’s highlighted design is….North X East. The owner of NxE, Collis Ta’eed, is obviously a designer. Take a look at the current design (as of July 6, 2007….who knows? It could change again. :) ). It’s not your ordinary blog design. It’s pretty unique. Then there was the old, design (which was really cool as well). Collis has even said “I admit I do tend to dislike my own old designs :) Actually you’ll laugh to hear that I’ve already started to dislike this one, but this time I’m going to ignore myself!”. That’s how I feel about my designs as well. I sort of….get bored with them after awhile. When you know how to design, you tend to want to design more often than you get a chance to, and you get tired of your blog’s same old design.

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