Actually the site PSDTUTS has great tutorials for Web Designers. But one of the recent articles about what design roles that constitute a good web design discipline did not convince me. The reason is that the author uses rather weak definitions of the core terms.
The article proposes three components:
- Aesthetic Design
- Interface Design
- Information Design
These terms are not very specific in their application to web design – and yet the article uses rather narrow definitions.
But a better terminology for the core question the article is raising would be
- Visual Appearance
- Interaction Design
- Information Architecture
With these terms a reader would find much more useful information.
Content, structure and form
Any design problem can be separated into questions of content, structure and form. This is most simple approach is to reflect them (even web design). A given design task touches three domains:
- Making sense with given CONTENT
- Creating appropriate STRUCTURE
- Finding the optimal FORM
And this is how these three domains relate to the terms I proposed above:
- Visual Appearance asks »How does FORM interact with CONTENT?«
- Interaction Design asks »How does STRUCTURE interact with FORM?«
- Information Architecture asks »How does CONTENT interact with STRUCTURE?«
PS: While I have concerns about that particular article I think the PSDTUT website offers a lot of very good tutorials. The site even offers a $9/month plus membership with additional material for people with professional ambitions. I think that is a very fair deal!
In few seconds I was able to create a new music browsing application combining puzzle pieces together without any effort:
All I needed was Fluid and an example to learn from.
Fluid basically is a bare-bones web browser that turns a website into an double-clickable application. It is a website – but it feels like an application (as long as you are not offline of course). The original idea for Fluid was inspired by Mozilla’s Prism project.
But wait… what’s happening here?
Is this a step back because it disregards the openness and hypertextuality of the web by suggesting to constrain web pages that are not meant to be pointing to other sites into windows?
It is an interesting trend that — after big browser vendors now finally comply to standards — new concepts appear that require users to use certain devices or browsers (or plug-ins) to use them. Actually the initial design goal (and the reason for standardisation) was to get rid of these dependencies.
But this is not just about the web as standard. It is about users being able to create applications from the rich offerings of the web. It is about DJ-ing with code, mingling logic and shining ideas. Users that can translate “cool ideas” into fun things without becoming an expert first. And it’s about developers creating pieces that are basic and yet well crafted and interoperable. It is about everyone contributing to the story.
While it right now does conflict a little bit with the device-independency that has made the web strong… it may turn out big on the long run.
CSSEdit appears to be one of the best CSS Editors for Macintosh around. Xyle Scope was a perfect tool to analyze CSS, but CSSEdit includes a very good editor.