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The good, the bad & the funny

Netscape’s DevEdge has been redesigned as a standards showcase. Yes, another important web site has been redesigned and built without table-layout. Visually, it’s hardly cutting edge, but is easy on both the eye and the mouse. The drop down menus are rather splendid though, relying on a CSS/JavaScript hybrid. The DevEdge folks rightly say that visitors gain from the redesign:

  • Accessible content: Text and ordering is friendly to screen readers, handheld devices, and other ‘alternative’ user agents.
  • High performance: Faster, lighter pages free of clunky tables and markup improve the user experience.
  • Customizable: Vistors can pick whichever design and text size makes them happiest while perusing DevEdge.

Eric Meyer, of course, has a lot to do with this achievement and is to be applauded. Eric provides some of his own thoughts as well as describing the major redesign decisions, a discussion of the CSS and an explanation of the CSS/Javascript hybrid menus.

  • On a sour note, it seems that the only magazine I subscribe to, Cre@te Online, has come to an end. Cre@te had its faults; it was too thin & too expensive (£6) for a start. However it was the last remaining magazine in the UK aimed at new media creatives.

    I will confess that some of the articles hacked me off; usability & accessibility were never really presented by people that really seemed to understand them fully, and there was one too many featured designers claiming Flash good/HTML bad. What the magazine was good for, and mostly why I bought it, was to see what other folks in the UK were doing on the Web, both experimentally and for corporate clients. I’ll miss it (hope I get my subscription back). [Thanks to Jeremy for the heads up.]

    Alex Tanner, former editor of Cre@te’s one-time competition, New Media Creative, explains why the magazine had to close:

    ...it’s true to say that the post-burst agency bloodshed saw many Web design agencies go to the wall. Some are still wiping the blood from the pine flooring today. But a whole market doesn’t just up and disappear. My own personal philosophy if that designers suffered from a combination of disinterest and exhaustion. When everyone was making a mint and looking at their stock options five times a day, it was the norm for staff to work late into the evenings and over weekends. Not that they don’t do that now – they just don’t see much reward for it.

    Equally, fewer and fewer agencies and professionals are willing to contribute to an article without having their arms twisted to breaking point. So why the turn around in attitudes from, ‘My company MUST be in every magazine as often as possible,’ to, ‘I really couldn’t care less.’ They shouldn’t, but balance sheets in the red can have that effect. And, of course, as agencies cut costs many PR contracts headed for the shredder. With no one shouting for you in the market place, you have no voice.

  • And for a classic Friday moment, have a few refreshes of Jack Handey’s Deep Thoughts.

    Don’t ever get your speedometer confused with your clock, like I did once, because the faster you go the later you think you are.

    I’m probably desperately passé mentioning Deep Thoughts, but Saturday Night Live doesn’t make it to these shores, so it’s new to me.