Archive: December 14th, 2007

No Ideas But In Things

"No Ideas But In Things is a library of controls, animations, layouts, and displays that might be a source of inspiration for interaction designers. Dan Saffer is the curator. The title comes from a William Carlos Williams poem."

Official Google Blog: Encouraging people to contribute knowledge

Google have a service called Knol on the way. It looks like it's going up against Wikipedia.


Flickr have launched a new stats feature for pro members. It’s very nicely done with lovely graphs and lists. It kept me occupied for at least five minutes. Personally, I’m just not all that into tracking referrers but it’s really nice that this data is available.

One of my more popular pictures lately is a surreptitious snapshot of the new BBC homepage that I snapped at BarCamp London 3. The photo generated quite a bit of interest and speculation. Fortunately there’s no longer any need for pundits to form their opinions based on a blurry photo of mine—the BBC blog has revealed that the new homepage is available to preview as a beta.

The greek letter isn’t the only Web 2.0 cliché that has been embraced:

  • Rounded corners: check,
  • Sloppy gradients: check,
  • Garish colours: check,
  • Drag’n’drop: check.

To be honest, it all feels a bit . That said, some of the interactions work very nicely and everything still works fine without JavaScript.

Overall it’s fine but some of the visual design elements irritate me. The gradients, as I said, are sloppy. As is so often the case with gradients, if they aren’t done subtly, they just look dirty. Then there’s the giant Verdana headings. Actually, I kind of admire the stubbornness of the BBC in using a font that really only works well at small sizes.

But the biggest issue—and this was the one that generated the most debate at BarCamp—is the way that clicking a link under the big image changes the colour of the entire page. I like the idea of pushing the envelope with CSS like that but the effect is just too extreme. It implies a relationship between the action of clicking that link and changes to other areas of the page. No such relationship exists. Confusion ensues.

I love the clock in the corner though.