Closer Together, Further Apart | Localtype

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Closer Together, Further Apart

Originally written on: August 16, 2005 at 7:51 pm

Last Updated: August 16, 2005 at 7:51 pm


A List Apart now has a new look. I like it. However, when I read Zeldman’s introduction to the new layout, I started to wonder if the ALA crew is drinking too much of their own kool-aid.

“The numerical bug that sits atop the logo and astride the nav bar makes each issue feel like an important limited edition.”

But it’s not a limited edition. This is the web. It will be in that space for all eternity, or until someone stops paying the bill.

“The design has a classic, almost scholarly feeling, although there is a hint of teasing play behind elements like the laurel wreath”

No doubt, the design is pretty. For me, it’s also a bit difficult to read, as the font is a bit too small, and the main content column too wide. I also think the code blocks could be set up for better scan-ability. That said, ALA has been about taking a practical approach to web standards and design –a “for the people” mentality. This design, in my opinion rather cleanly breaks that, and puts them into an ivory tower. The wreath? It further enforces the ivy league elitist vibe.

“The magazine will be published on Tuesdays. Not every Tuesday –just when we have something fabulous to share.”

Well, this actually says nothing. It says “We’re going to come out with something new on Tuesdays… or not.” Um, ok. How is this different from the status quo? What seems to be happening in the whole web-standards arena is stasis. We in the field have covered all the topics, and there really isn’t that much else to say. This is why ALA’s articles have been going a bit down-hill as late –not due to bad writers, but rather, a sense of “been there, done that”. In the struggle to find something interesting, there have been more articles that further divorce ALA from the original goal of providing practical, standards-based design information.

The reality of the situation is that web designers are stuck until IE7 is delivered. Then we can learn about all sorts of new hacks and tweaks to get around their already-admitted un-compliance. Until then, we’re in a holding pattern.




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