John Topley’s Weblog

Design

Death Of An Ikon

The Ford Ka is about to be replaced after an incredible twelve years in production. Incredible because to my eyes it still looks as fresh as the day it launched.

Database IDs Have No Place In URIs

I’ve been beta testing Jeff Atwood’s and Joel Spolsky’s latest venture, Stack Overflow. In case you haven’t heard, Stack Overflow is a new site where programmers can go to get their programming questions answered by other programmers.

Does Buying Apple Gear Turn You Into A Snob?

The question is, does buying Apple gear turn you into a snob? It’s a question that I’ve been thinking about lately. It’s led to me examining my own attitudes and thinking about how they’ve changed over the years.

1982

Time for a quick quiz. What do the following have in common?

Happy iPhone Day

After nearly six months of waiting, the day is finally here. All across the United States people are getting ready to put down at least five hundred Dollars in an Apple or AT&T store for the privilege of owning an Apple iPhone.

Great Flickr Feature

I just noticed something that Flickr got exactly right—you don’t have to give photos a title.

Joel On Power

Joel Spolsky is bang on the money when he writes about the confusing new Windows Vista Start menu controls for controlling your login session. The Power icon is particularly problematic.

Qjump Train Wreck UI

I booked some train tickets the other day using Qjump and was shocked by the colour choices in their user interface.

Get Your Vits

Carson Systems have just launched Vitamin, which is billed as “a resource for Web designers, developers and entrepreneurs”. I’ve just had a quick look around the site and it looks like it’s going to be essential reading if you’re at all interested in Web design or the whole Web 2.0 thing (whatever that is!)

A Bite Of Apple

I didn’t seriously consider anything else for a minute. Sure, I’d read comparative reviews and there are devices out there that offer more features for less money, but they’re just not the same. They don’t automatically switch on when you plug the headphones in, or gradually fade the backlight off. You can’t personalise them. They don’t come in packaging that has been as fastidiously designed as the device itself. They’re just not “Designed by Apple in California”.

If You're Going To Localize, Localize Properly

Many websites invite their users to visit a regional version of the main site, but unfortunately few seem to manage to get the localization right. I recently had to renew my Norton AntiVirus subscription and I was directed the European Symantec site, where I was confronted with a classic example of poor localization.

Design 102: Don't Punish The User

I wrote previously about how white space is just as important in good user interface design as the content itself. Whilst booking some concert tickets recently using the TicketMaster website, I came across another example of bad design.

Design 101: Use Whitespace

I signed up for a couple of Java technology newsletters recently, courtesy of Sun Microsystems' Java Developer Connection programme. Notice anything odd about the registration form that confronted me?

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