Twenty years ago today, Wired launched a seminal redesign of its website that helped catapult forward web technology and what our industry understood as possible for commercial websites.
A few years back, I added the redesign date to my calendar to help mark the passing of time. Each year, just as baseball’s Postseason ignites in early October, I get a reminder that takes me back to the early days of the web, even before the dot-com craze. It was a different era, marked by experimentation, exploration, and curiosity. continued
Since its inception, our generation has struggled to pin down an answer to the question, “What is Twitter?” I’ve seen attempts at describing Twitter as microblogging, a messaging platform, a broadcasting tool, a social network, an information network, an interest graph, and real-time communication. Twitter, itself, has used phrases such as, “the world in your pocket,” and more recently, “a global town square.” continued
First, the whole point of this post. We’re expanding the Twitter Design Studio. Whether you’ve ever thought about working at Twitter or not, think about it now. We have a few open spots that we’re looking to fill in the next couple months. One of the desks in this photo of our studio could be yours. If we run out of space, we’ll make room for you.
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.
I wrote a post for the Twitter blog today on our new bird:
Starting today you’ll begin to notice a simplified Twitter bird. From now on, this bird will be the universally recognizable symbol of Twitter.
Whether soaring high above the earth to take in a broad view, or flocking with other birds to achieve a common purpose, a bird in flight is the ultimate representation of freedom, hope and limitless possibility.
“And, although I’m confident that I will always think my daughter is The Greatest Thing in the Universe, I’m also all too aware that this feeling will not always be reciprocated in quite that same way or with quite that same enthusiasm that we both enjoy right now.
She won’t always run to my bed in footie jammies.
I’ll only get that particularly noisy and personalized wake-up call for a little while. And, I only get a shot at it once a day. At almost exactly 6:00 AM Pacific Time.
Then one day? I won’t get it any more. It will be gone.”
Those of you who saw my talks at either Future of Web Design in NYC, or at Webstock in Wellington may remember a segment where I urged delivering value as quickly as possible. In that segment, I compared the act of taking and sharing a photo with Hipstamatic, and the same in Instagram. I posited that one of the biggest reasons for Instagram’s runaway success is how quickly you can snap a photo, apply a filter, and share it with the world. It delivers value in three short steps, and it’s fun.
Here is Instagram’s founder and CEO, Kevin Systrom, validating this deliver-value-quickly notion as a key to Instagram’s success:
“Products can introduce more complexity over time, but as far as launching and introducing a new product in to the market, it’s a marketing problem,” Systrom tells Fast Company. “You have to explain everything you do, and people have to understand it, within seconds.”
“In the mobile context, you need to explain what you do in 30 seconds or less because people move on to the next shiny object. There are so many apps and people are vying for your attention on the go. It’s the one context in which you’ve got lots and lots of other stuff going on. You’re not sitting in front of a computer; you’re at a bus stop or in a meeting.”