February 01, 2006

Help us design the new SITES domain!

SITES has a new domain! Our new space will be more interactive, based on the Drupal Content Management System, and anyone who's interested will be able to sign up and post materials! Right now we've set up an image gallery, and are soliciting any interested parties to sign up and upload images into our gallery, which our staff members will then incorporate into the new site design. If you have any comments or suggestions for our new space, please comment here or sign up in the Drupal system.

January 24, 2006

Ungridlike Web Design

Via Bradley Dilger a piece from A List Apart called Thinking Outside the Grid speaks to the need to educate ourselves about CSS and think about some of the canon issues related to Web design. Myself, I've found it hard to make the leap to CSS precisely because I learned Web design pre-tables with self-contained <HTML> </HTML> thinking. There seems to be a strong association of grids with usability, but where does this come from and how rhetorically flexible an approach can come from it?

January 19, 2006

Computing Metaphors

I just posted a quick reflection on an exercise we did in class today in which we explore alternatives to the desktop/office metaphor for computing. I have to say that the simple process of stopping the familiar and focusing on just how it is we understand the computer-based composing environment was a big help to our Web building. Before we talked about H: drives, we thought about conceptual spaces--if the computer were a kitchen, what might a server be? A warehouse? A restaurant? A restaurant with an attached warehouse? [update -- see for a related example.]