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site reviews
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prior listings

Please note: Our format changed as of 10/18/07 – see the front page and full archives for more recent listings. Thanks.


 
  • milov.nl 6/25/02 
    Description: the personal website of Milo Vermeulen
    Comments: Today's pick comes from Wateringen, Holland – it's the personal site of 23-year-old Milo, a recent graduate in Interaction Design who works coding HTML, JavaScript, PHP, and MySQL, and knows oodles about DHTML as well.  The weblog is the site's starting point – plenty of interesting links and, better yet, it's rich in photographic content.  Looks like Milo likes taking photos every day.  Coding, huh?  Check out the way his comments feature works – expandable/collapsible right on the page – that is cool.  I also like the way it parenthetically shows the names of people who have commented next to the toggle link.  There's a number of other sections beyond the weblog – "graphics" and "photos" are both rich in visual content, but be prepared to use your browser's navigation buttons in these sections as well as in the "i.am/bald" section, which contains a lot of cool coding experiments and what Milo calls "(d)html artworks."  The "forum" has some good user-submitted content (like more photos, baby!) and Milo's "links" page is a big one.  Overall, the site is well-designed, visually appealing and rich in content – cheers Milo...
     
  • eyewideshut 6/23/02 
    Description: visual archives of German designer/photographer Markus Schaefer (Flash)
    Comments: Of the 5 "visual" sections, there's 2 that I really, I mean really like and if I had to pick one over the other, I couldn't.  One is called "Closer" and the other, "Out."  They are starkly different – one's photos are all grayscale (at least they appear to be b&w to me) and the other's shots are delightfully mixed greens plus earth tones.  Markus is an extraordinary photographer.  And the site's design is a sweet combination of minimal design and Flash.  Enjoy!  
     
  • play / create 6/20/02 
    Description: a collection of Shockwave interactive art
    Comments: At first, the "clock" looks like a simple thing, showing the time with a small, slow-moving animation in the background.  Then, I figured out that you can get that 3D box goin' with a little mouse magic – before I know it, the thing is spinning real fast, leaving faint, fading trails of its movement behind – very cool!  I'm not sure you could pull this one off in Flash – today's pick uses Shockwave and there's 8 pieces of interactive art.  I particularly liked "new flowers" – not to be confused with "(foreplay) flowers" which is just as good! – the intensity of the colors and the 3D movement are astounding – very organic.  The piece I liked the most, though, is called "(foreplay) pop" – drag the mouse to one of the corners of the window and keep dragging and holding it in various spots and watch what it does – cool soundtrack, too.  The name of the site is right on the money...
     
  • Private and Public 6/18/02 
    Description: Portraits of pedestrians at Marble Arch, London (Flash)
    Comments: Today's pick is a unique project from photographer Simon Høegsberg – most of the pictures were "taken from the same spot" and they span a period of 1 full year.  Four seasons of portraits, all "snapshots of pedestrians who happened to walk into the frame of the camera."  Jesper Elg, who wrote the "Notes" talks about the project in terms of "intimacy vs. surveillance" – a most interesting read – "...people carry their feeling visibly and how often you tend not to notice it, especially in crowded surroundings and in the transit of everyday life."  Presented via Flash, the content is excellent and as far as design goes, excellent as well.  Rune Høegsberg (Simon's brother, perhaps?) is the site's designer.  Simon discovered his interest in photography in 1995 and left his home in Denmark in 1998 to study photography in London – he graduated this year.  I love people photos and Simon's work is most satisfying – the portraits seem so real...
     
  • For The Masses 6/16/02 
    Description: design to survive - promoting the finest in New Zealand online culture to a global audience
    Comments: Something I really like about the web is the chance to learn more about places around the world, sometimes through the eyes of photographers, and other times, through alternative portals which focus on sites in specific geographical areas.  Whether those portals are design-related or not, I appreciate the service they provide to web surfers interested in learning more about places they might never actually visit in their lifetimes.  Some recent picks that demonstrate geographical focus include NYC Bloggers (6/10/02), cool.online (3/27/02), and Design Radar (2/25/02).  Like these sites, today's pick is a window to a specific locale.  14 designers and developers, all Kiwis (they're from New Zealand, that is), have banded to together to promote the "online culture" of New Zealand.  The site design is as good as it gets, IMHO, and the graphics are superb.  I love the art in the "Panels" section and the screenshots in the "Links" section.  "Profiles" (with similar tasty graphics) has some interesting interviews of Kiwi designers.  Great site!
     
  • 665 6/15/02 
    Description: a list of six hundred and sixty-five different and (quite possibly) interesting things (mature content)
    Comments: JSP warns that his site "is anything but a family site" and that it's not for you "if you're easily offended — hell, if you're offended by any thing at all, ever..."  He also states that "disclaimers suck."  That's JSP as in J.S. Power, as in Jeffrey S. Power, not to be confused with that big concern, J.D. Power, which I only mention because I figured out why JSP's named seemed familiar to me.  Anyway – today's pick is actually a list that's being built – a list of "(quite possibly) interesting things.  It has a predefined number of things on the list and is almost 2/3 of the way towards reaching its completion.  It's unclear what will become of the site when the list stops – JSP does say "the format won't change until the last number is hit."  The content is hard to describe, but I will say I found some intelligently funny stuff among the items on the list.  Jeffrey earned his "one out of ten" rating, but not for his good looks as it turns out, and it's not hard to understand why that personal ad he placed got no responses.  Some of the photo series are a gas, too (see 399 thru 403).  Maybe the best way I can describe it all is "thoughtfully strange."  "Sounds like a goofy pick, Joe" you say?  I'll just let JSP respond to that one – "Yes, it's a fairly stupid idea. But then, so are a lot of ideas..."
     
  • Virtual Plastic 6/11/02 
    Description: ..surgery for Windows. Collected tweaks and links to change the look.
    Comments: Let's switch gears today to the realm of resources on the web.  Got Windows?  Chances are you do.  Like the way everything looks?  Chances are you don't.  It might be the "Start" button that you find annoying or maybe you've always wished you could "skin" the windows.  Perhaps being able to add a folder of shortcuts (an embedded "submenu") to the systray would be useful to you.  Enter today's pick, a repository of sorts for information and tools related to changing the look of Windows – there's also tons of useful information if you just want to get a grip on some "basics" of using Windows.  My impression is that most of the software tools are designed for more advanced users and you might hear that little voice within saying "don't try this at home" now and then.  I've noticed in some of the posts that they make it a point to specify if the software tool is friendly to beginners or not.  I like the look and feel of today's pick – nice navigation (love the expanding menu) and the search engine works well.  The site has been online for over 3 years and is updated frequently – the "Site Info" menu on the sidebar is a good place to start...
     
  • nyc bloggers 6/10/02 
    Description: there are a million blogs in the city; here's where to find them
    Comments: "New York City probably has more bloggers per square mile than anywhere else in the world."  Makes sense to me 'cause I'm guessin' New York City probably has more people per square mile than anywhere else in the world.  I might be wrong about that, but we can safely conclude that New York City is one big mass of humanity.  So – a directory of bloggers in the Big Apple would be cool in itself, but Mike and Liz came up with something much more unique than a directory – "...shouldn't there be a better way to find other New York City blogs?"  The site actually maps almost 800 NYC blogs (and growing!), using the subway system as the grid – There's 2 blogs on Broadway, 12 off the Kew Gardens exit, 15 on 7th Avenue, and so on.  Since I encountered this site a few weeks back, I've been thinking how cool a concept it really is.  Just imagine the possibilities!  There's a rather elaborate backend in place, thanks to the work of Matt Johnson – and the frontend is impressive, too – nice design and excellent navigability.  Check out the "9/11 Posts" section while you're there.  It's nice to add such a neat alternative portal to the collection...
     
  • Fubbs 6/8/02 
    Description: the world of Fubbs (Flash)
    Comments: The guy in the bigger flying machine seems to be at an advantage – his propeller gets in the way of those other guys in the little backpack models – but if they get past the propeller, they manage to grab it with their lines and pull the bigger flying thingy further up into the clouds.  Before they were planes.  Let's call today's pick retro plus as it emulates the style of the 1800s with it's graphics and art (that's right, I said art!).  A click on the classic pointing hand will close the curtain and bring you back to the main stage where the rotating image machine offers more iconic choices.  I pick the puppet show next, not knowing that's what it is until I get there.  When and if Jacob dies and I become the new uber usabilility tzar, I'll vote for this type of navigation, especially at $10k a pop... ;~).  The puppet show is totally entertaining – I can't stop playing with it, making the puppet dance to the music on the gramophone.  More curtain calls – more amusement from what appears to be one of those traveling shows I've seen in some old western – only this one uses Flash...  [stereot < pixelsurgeon]
     
  • sadee 6/7/02 
    Description: independent projects - design and process (Flash)
    Comments: There's a neat little list of women designers (with links to their sites) that I recently discovered – if you're a woman designer, you may wanna swing by there and see if you're listed.  Anyway, I've been checking out some of the listed sites I wasn't already familiar with and today's pick is one that really impressed me.  Milena Sadee's Flash interface uses what looks like little contact sheets, overlapped and horizontally scrollable along the bottom of the work area – very smooth – the icon sized thumbs are clear and inviting.  In addition to a section of Flash experiments, there's also sections of images from Mexico and Belize that I really liked – image #05 in the Belize section is really artsy and #08 in the Mexico section left me feeling a little sorry for the poor bull.  Another section called "halou" has some interesting multiframe series – check out #05.  I like the way Milena's fit the site perfectly for 1024x768 – this is an excellent design with great visual content...
     
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