Not only is the design and programming on this site ancient, the whole concept is, too: Tuesday marks the Ideapad's seventh birthday. Been a bit quiet in the main column of late, but the linklog on the right is busy as usual.
The Economist launched a redesigned economist.com
this week. New pages are preset to 1024 width (nice for advertising, less so for the 29% of Americans still surfing at 800x600) with a colorful top- and left-nav scheme. The basic design is modern and stylish. Online exclusives, like city and country guides, have been made much more prominent.
Lots of nice touches surround the content. I particularly like the muted color offsets and the robust footer, and the integration of items like Backgrounders is much better. And, of course, I appreciate that the Economist.com logo (which I created, pat pat) is still in use.
I have quibbles, but they are few. The light font colors on the home page detract from the power of the headlines, and the white space surrounding the content seems a little arbitrary. Economist.com hasn't gotten around to updating its section indexes, either, which suggest the site was pushing to a deadline.
On a personal note, this redesign is a little bittersweet. Economist.com was overdue for an overhaul, but the new site marks the conclusion of my work in commercial web design. While I segued out of design several years ago, Economist.com lived on, and the fact that it was live for five years—my redesign launched this week in 2000—was my proudest design achievement. Now that it's changed, I am somewhat saddened at the realization that my old career is officially gone.
Congratulations and good luck to the Economist online staff. May the new site serve you as well as the old.
This past weekend I ventured to Lancaster, Pa., for the first time in nine years. Franklin & Marshall College was celebrating its annual Homecoming, and as a graduate of the Class of 1995, I joined numerous friends at our 10-year reunion.
(What follows is not a pristine op-ed so much as an opinionated summary of events at the request of several colleagues. Click Read More if you're interested in the rest.)read more