Quartz (qz.com) is a news and current affairs site that is an off-shoot of The Atlantic. They have had some of the most interesting visual design on the web in the past couple years. They are definitely pushing what it means to publish and present digital content today. The newest redesign pushes things even further. I love their simple approach. A lot of the interactions and options are so obvious they make you feel dumb that you haven't thought of them first.
Ethan Marcotte (the person who developed Responsive Web Design) and Karen McGrane have a new podcast about companies that use RWD. Each week will feature a conversation with a different company about their approach. Should be some insightful discussions.
The New Yorker revealed a redesign to their site today which, on first look, seems to be a very nice update. I have referenced their site in the my web design courses for years. They were an early adopter of good typography (because their type is so distinctive) but were slow to adopt most of the other niceties of the modern web. Good to see them finally adopt a fully responsive, clean layout. In their editorial note about the redesign, they painted an interesting portrait of the web design process:
What an odd way to refer to UX! It kind of scares me that maybe they don't really get it. Regardless, its good to see design talked about so publicly and I'm pleased that the big print titans are finally getting up to speed on the web (see LA Times and New York Times). I love The New Yorker. They are a reliable voice on current affairs and refreshingly well-written and -edited amongst today's garbage-blog landscape. Don't get me wrong, I read Huffpost every day with the best of them but I would be sad to see publications like The New Yorker fall away because they can't keep up on the web. This site is a big step towards staying relevant. Their parting comment makes me think they are invested in digital. I hope they really believe this:
Small notes on the design:
- If an article was published in a magazine edition, they surface that edition on the page and provide a link to the its table of contents. Very nice feature.
- The link to the print subscription in the upper-left is really odd: it puts too much emphasis on getting the print edition, still uses an image instead of text, and is generally an eyesore.
- They handle the body copy type very well; the columns mimic the iOS apps and are very nice to read.
- They are moving to the NYT paywall model. I hope this doesn't sink them. I like being able to pay for only what I read, but imagine that most people won't pay for anything. I'm curious to see if this model catches on more widely. Between these paywalls and a loss of net neutrality, using the web could get much more expensive in years to come.
It's great that there are finally new options for web design software. None of these will ever take off if they don't give them to students for free. We don't have time to go down a rabbit hole by testing all these apps. I hope there's a clear winner in the bunch. From Brian Wood: