Posted in Wired

Wired.com: Ten years later

Ten years ago today, we pulled back the curtains on a redesign of Wired.com. The actual design and the code that rendered it are long gone. But they were significant in their time.

The redesign of Wired News in 2002 marked the first time a large, well-known, daily-content publisher had dropped tables for layout, and embraced the separation of markup and style in a rather new (at the time) approach to web design. Several prominent blogs, and niche content sites (zeldman.com, meyerweb.com, alistapart.com) had broken ground, and were already using and evangelizing a greater adoption of Web Standards.

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Welcome, Wired. We call this land "Internet"

Interesting take on the future of Wired (mag vs. website).

Wired is great print, but if the magazine can’t make money and is shuttered, taking the website down with it, I’m going to be livid. Not that making money online is easy—it’s not, especially without sacrificing your ethics and your voice—but if any mainstream outlet should be able to make the transition, it should be Wired.

I fear that may be impossible, not just for Wired but for all these old brands, because they can’t accept that the work at which they have excelled for years will be just as important when it’s online—and online only.

Reading though the comments provides an even more interesting story and a broader perspective. Comments by several former and current Wiredlings, including a few responses by Chris Anderson who passes blame to corporate (Conde Nast) decision-making.

DWM interview

There’s a spattering of activity here all of a sudden. Yes, I’ve been busy. And yes, you’ll see even more from me soon. Big things have been in the works for a long time.

Digital Web Magazine just posted another interview for their latest issue, this time, the questions from Craig Saila were directed at me. Read all about why I wrote off CSS as a failed pipedream for so long, what I think about the Wired News design more than a year after our launch, and my sentiments about the end of Webmonkey.

The Macromedia interview

Last August, I praised Macromedia for its release of Dreamweaver MX 2004 with its broad advances in support for CSS and accessibility. When I want to use a visual editor to crank out a quick HTML comp, sometimes I’ll use Dreamweaver. But for those of you who know me and my working style, you may know I usually prefer to hand-code over using visual editors. That’s just me, and my insane desire to type one character at a time. While I didn’t spend as much time in Dreamweaver during the Wired News redesign, you can bet that its powerful text-editing companion HomeSite saw hours and hours of use once I had a design finalized. (Since it only exists for Windows, HomeSite is the one and only thing I miss now that I’ve switched back to Mac.)

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For posterity's sake

Seven years ago, yesterday, I packed up everything I owned, left many friends behind in San Diego, and moved to San Francisco, (where I knew absolutely no one) to start my job at HotWired on August 12, 1996. The Creative Director hired me as a junior designer, since I knew very little about design for the Web, despite the fact that I had more print design experience than almost every other designer there at the time. continued

On office space

No, haven’t yet seen the movie, but considering the constant prodding of friends to do so, I’m likely to see it some day. What I will note, however, is that having (and enjoying) office space in downtown San Francisco seems an ironic luxury, specifically for me. When employed at a normal “job” — where it was expected that I be present in the office at least half the week — I found myself wanting to work from the comfort of home more often than not. continued

Upgrade messages

Via Clagnut a few days ago, Richard Rutter summarized some interesting observations and conclusions on the “Upgrade now!” message often seen in the unstyled version of CSS-based designs. Contrary to the current snafu with browser detection scripts over at HotBot, Wired News relies on support of specific CSS methods to hide or display any messages regarding browser capability. View Wired News in a browser such as Netscape 4.x and — as of December 18, 2002 — you’ll see this message at the top of the front door: continued

HotBot redesign launched

Ah, I can finally talk about it. It’s so far off everyone’s radar that hardly anyone has noticed yet. Let’s change that.

Another project I had a hand in design directing and pushing to XHTML/CSS (smack in the middle of the Wired News redesign) finally surfaces. Following Wired’s lead, HotBot redesigns and in the process, completely morphs as a new product. [Mostly] table-less CSS-based design that was cranked out in a one-week visit to Boston back in June. The backend took significantly longer, thus the delay. The CSS changed slightly from what I originally authored, creating a few rendering and alignment bugs in various browsers. But you get the basic idea. Aside from very minor visual changes, the design we came up with is still in tact, and represents the harnessed power and attitude HotBot has been known for. continued

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