Blogging since 1998. By David Wertheimer

Month: December 2002 (Page 2 of 3)

Disappointing interface trends

An increasing number of design and IA sites are designing pages without any visual heft. The current move toward minimalist page design is prudent in the world of RSS and PDA feeds but makes for a rather lifeless browsing experience.

Gray text instead of black is the biggest offense. My eyes are feeling the strain of too many #666666 references on sites like IA/ and Xblog. On an LCD screen, the text is more difficult to read, not more pleasing to the eye. Note that Boxes and Arrows, an early adopter of the so-light-it’s-going-to-drift-away color scheme, has wisely pulled its body text designation back to black. The rest would be wise to follow suit.

Similarly, visual minimalism in page layout is pleasant enough, but please, give your pages some weight. The current weblog trend is gray text, pale non-underlined links, two spartan columns, and not much else. Yawn. A very fine line exists between basic and boring. C’mon, insert a third color or fill that open space a bit. Go ahead. I dare you.

What innovation can there be if leading-edge Web thinkers are publishing pages that look like glorified .txt files?

New York moment

The buses on Madison Avenue at 5 o’clock on Friday afternoon were all running Limited service, which meant none of them were stopping at 61st Street, where I was waiting for one.

When a taxicab stopped in front of me, I decided to take it. I was not the only one: a man approached from behind me to take the cab for himself and a friend. In my best New Yorker mode, I shot him a look, and said, “Excuse me, but I was here first.”

“We’re just going up Madison,” he said, and inspiration struck: “Share a cab?” I said. The three climbed in and rode to 79th Street, where I got out. The meter read $3.50; my traveling companion said, “A dollar from you is fine.”

Instead, I gave a $5 bill to the driver, instructing him to use the difference on the remaining fare. “Have a good trip uptown,” I said to the man in the back seat.

“Thanks,” he said, then added with a grin: “Next time, it’s on me.”


A furnident is the indentation left in a carpet by heavy furniture that has settled into place.

Somehow not everyone knows this word, but everyone should. Even mighty Google turns up just one search result for furnident. Let this be number two. furnident

Pop swap

If you’re like me, you a) love media, b) love getting stuff cheap, and c) have stuff that you can’t bring yourself to throw away because it is potentially worth something to someone else.

Time was, you’d go to, but the site’s been overrun by two-bit commercial entities that undercut your sale prices, and you started to feel a bit dirty buying stuff from unknown retail outfits in Idaho, so you stopped going there. Plus the deals weren’t that good, and you didn’t get much money back from your sales.

Good news! Now you can go to Trodo and get new stuff for free. All you have to do is share some of your stuff in return. All users pay their own shipping costs, and it’s a give-one-get-one model. It’s peer-to-peer filesharing for physical media.

Trodo is the brainchild of my top-notch colleagues Adrian Holovaty and John S. Rhodes. Go forth and share.

Miss me?

I’m in sunny rainy Florida. I’ll be back in the daily routine Wednesday. More news as events warrant.

Update from last week: the Times ran those conflicting editorial columns after all. They weren’t very exciting, although the national news about their withholding certainly was.

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