aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Typography & ugly websites
95% of the information on the web is written language. It is only logical to say that a web designer should get good training in the main discipline of shaping written information, in other words: Typography.
Ugliness has never looked better. I have spent the last few days examining a surprising trend in web design that has made ugly websites look absolutely irresistible. No, its not the bolded, 18 point Times New Roman font shouting at me as I access the page that has me excited, nor is it the harsh colors that have actually managed to make my eyes hurt and distort my vision. In fact, its not even that logo which is so pixelated from being processed, resized, saved, and edited so many times that it appears to be blurred to protect the identity of the company who owns the website that has me singing the praises of ugly websites. What is it?
That’s right - ugly websites are surprisingly effective in making money. As a person who puts business before technology, a profitable website is a website is an unbelievably attractive website to me.
I don’t know how true that is but I do know that he goes on to say this; and this I believe will always be true:
Many of the websites that I referenced above have one underlying trait that can be attributed to their success: they are extremely easy to use.
Google is probably the best example of how functionality over form can lead to success. When Google initially launched, every other major search engine was in the process of transforming themselves into a portal that would offer users all the information they could possibly want, and probably more than they really would want. Google, on the other hand, made their website ridiculously simple. There is one purpose to Google - to search the web. Nothing else was there to distract you from this one goal. It certainly did not hurt that Google was able to serve up relevant results, but the simplicity of the system was key to winning over users. [...]
[F]unctionality is more important than the design of your website. This does not mean, however, that a beautiful website cannot be easy to use. What this does mean is that you should never sacrifice the usability of your website for a fancy design effect or a more visually appealing website.
RIAA, 70Ã‚Â¢ v $750, and a judge
A US COURT is forcing the Recording Industry of America to explain why it charges people it catches pirating $750 a single rather than the 70 cents they flog them to retailers for.
In the case UMG v. Lindor, Judge Trager has allowed Ms Lindor, who the RIAA claim is a pirate, to challenge the $750 a track it wants in damages.
The RIAA fought to prevent the amendment to Ms Lindor’s case, claiming it was not up to her to decide damages. They said that her complaint about the level of damages was without merit and if the amendment went ahead it would prejudice them.
Of course it would. If the RIAA was forced to claim back the real market value of the music that was nicked by pirates it probably would not be worth the effort. It also looks better on a press release if they can claim that a pirate stole $7,000 worth of music when they actually only stole $7.
Details at Recording Industry vs The People.
Spitzer & marriage in NY
Clinton blew it with gays in the military at least in part by moving too fast. I have no idea if that has any relevance to Eliot Spitzer and gay marriage in NY:
Gay rights groups across the state will push Gov.-elect Eliot Spitzer to propose legalizing same-sex marriages, citing his win this week as a “tremendous victory in the battle for gay rights.”
“The question with New York has never been if we’ll have equality, it’s always been a matter of when,” said Alan Van Capelle, executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, a statewide gay rights advocacy group. “With the election of Eliot Spitzer, the question now is how soon.”
Spitzer, the current state attorney general, voiced support for same-sex marriage throughout his campaign. At a Pride Agenda dinner in October, he pledged to write marriage-equality legislation and present it to the Legislature. According to Van Capelle, gay rights groups believe Spitzer will act early in his administration.
“Eliot (Spitzer) has said that on Day 1, everything changes, and among the changes Albany will be experiencing is marriage equality,” Van Capelle said. “Our job is to make sure that he delivers on his promises.”
“A mother’s complaint that her son’s rubbing ‘Magic Eraser’ on himself caused a rash and that more warnings are needed on the package” is given the Metafilter treatment:
“Also, don’t let your kids drink Round Up. Or put Tide in their eyes.”
“It seems to me that if a product is known for scouring markings off of nearly any surface, some degree of it not being like Oil of Olay moisture rich foaming face wash should be assumed.”
“I just checked my box of SOS steel wool soap pads and they don’t have any warning either! Won’t somebody think of the children?”
“The kid didn’t rub his face with the eraser, Mom did. She cleaned his face with sandpaper that didn’t look like sandpaper to her, and his face got all red, and she freaked out that he was “burned”, because she still doesn’t believe the erasers are sandpaper. Not a chemical burn. A friction burn. Caused by Mom.”
“Things I have learned today on Metafilter: 1. Do not rub your kid’s face with a cleaning pad that can take permanent marker off a hard surface with only a couple of mild scrubs.”