Keep it Simple (Stupid) and more Principles

Monday, November 3, 2008

When it comes to all forms of design and art, the general rule is to keep it simple. Writers are told to "Kill your Darlings" and self-conscious girls are told that "Simplicity is Beauty" Web designers and logo designers on the other hand are given the saying "Keep it Simple, Stupid"

However contrary to popular belief, it's actually much more difficult to make things simpler than to complicate things. Let's take for example a blank blue box. It is a lot easier to fill that blue little box with text, images, brushes and patterns than to think of a single pattern or a single text or a single image that would translate everything you want to say in one fell swoop.

Simple designs can sometimes be alternated with minimalistic and there's nothing wrong with that. However simplicity is not about cutting everything off, it's about balance. Excluding a lot of functionality in a website can prove to be appealing to the eye but users would curse while trying to decipher where the damn "sign up" link is. As with fashion and with any fashion trend, there is also what we call a Fashion Victim.

Smash Magazine has a list of simple web designs that can be a good model for web designers aiming for that balanced, simple look. My favorite is this:

Springloops Website

What I like about this design aside from its colors is its usability. The eyes move downward and the information flows.

The New Ipod Nano - just so so?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Perhaps it seems that Apple is running out of creative juice? The newly released Nano-Chromatic boasts of having practically all the colors of the rainbow. It's slim and curved which Jobs claim that would make the display look sleeker. The new iPod Nano promises to be fun and gear towards the younger generation what with all those colors to choose from. From what I've seen, I was actually tempted to buy the green one or the blue one.

The new iPod Nano may look nifty and I do admit that the shake feature of the new Nano that shuffles the playlist but I don't think I'd be purchasing one just yet. Sure the prices are cut down from the usual but I don't think it's worth it. You get practically the same performance and the same features. Apple just pretty-fied it. I probably would buy it once I totally get tired of my Nano or just for the sheer sake of vanity and matching my Nano with my clothes but aside from that I wouldn't give it a second glance.

What is up with Apple and their baby steps to improvement? iPhone 3G leaves much to be desired and now Nano Chromatic lacks a little in the performance department. Maybe we all should wait a little more for some real groundbreaking changes in their products.

Large Hadron Collider: What the?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The project has actually been ongoing for quite some time now and it's only these past few days that it's given the spotlight.

Though the Large Hadron Collider is far from what you'd call a gadget, for purposes of discussion (and because I want to join in on the bandwagon) I'm going to post a little something about the LHC. Oh and because HowStuffWorks already posted "Will the LHC Destroy the World" which I greatly enjoyed reading, I'll be looking at another topic.

Remember the Y2K bug? The threat of the Y2K bug was plausible. The threat was so real, people can taste it and then what did the people to do? Well, the skeptics made money out of it of course! Customized Y2k shirts came flying around the market as well as mugs and other merchandise.

The thing with the Large Hadron Collider is that even the scientists aren't sure of what might happen. And the description of the possible offset of the LHC proves something to be alarmed about. We won't be seeing just a small smoke here. We're talking about a black hole disrupting the balance of the Universe and possibly ending existential life. That is of course, blowing things completely out of proportion since the chances of that happening is close to nil. Strangelets, those little things they say would eat up the Earth is still largely hypothetical.

The doomsayers are funny though. They're wasting no time in spreading the scare in an effort to get something out of this. Meh. But it's amusing to see what the hype is doing to everyone's humor. It wasn't just once that I read "Large Hardon Collider" the motivational posters are all over the net.

But ultimately, what does the success of LHC mean to us? It means knowledge advancement. It's uncovering something we don't know and it's overthrowing the things we do know to make way for the truth. That's really all there is to think about it.