Please note: Our format changed as of 10/18/07 – see the front page and full archives for more recent listings. Thanks.
the-inbetween 7/29/00 Description:
"i am not my website, but my website reflects parts of me"
Though I wish he would add that nifty back link to all of his pages, I gotta say I really like Mike's site. His weblog, which appears to be less than a month old, has some interesting links for those who get tired of seeing the same old same old, combined with some personal ramblings that bring you a little closer to understanding what's in the mind of this 20 year old "amateur." Though he describes it as "the dull spewings of my dull life" when talking about how his site keeps him sane, I wonder if he realizes how it might appear to others -- what he subjectively sees as dull could be rather interesting to the outsider looking in... at least, I find it interesting. That's part of the magic of personal websites. People sharing parts of their reality with total strangers is something that flies on the web rather well. The popularity of blogs seems to show that more and more people are willing to let it all hang out, for what it's worth regardless of what people might think. "I need connection." That's what Mike says in describing "the me." I love it! The page that I like the best on this site is simply called "the gray" -- it's one of the best minimalist page layouts I've come across. A simple, small scrollable frame with fine line borders (that appear the same in both browsers, I might add) holds some really cool content -- from a piece on depression to the words of a Rollins song and all kinds of personal and emotional stuff in between, "the gray" sheds light on where the name of the site came from... for me, anyway. This is an honest and well-designed personal webspace, and I think Mike has gone beyond the realm of "amateur." Check it.
putsch 7/28/00 Description:
a developing playground of organic thoughts in a digital age//:. (Flash)
"Breaking the grided structure of design" with a 1280-wide embedded Flash interface, I have a vision of usability experts lining up to take their shots at today's pick. How will the user figure it all out? Will those tiny little squares look like navigation to all those short-attention-spanned bozos who have nothing better to do than surf the web? "This is all so different", they'll say, as they urge us all to look alike, think alike, design alike. Forget about all that -- some of us don't mind having to be challenged a little and, believe it or not, we know how to think and pay attention for more than a few seconds... we cringe at things that all look and work the same. Today's winning site is tastefully colorful from the start and offers some cool desktops and several visual presentations that combine sight, sound and motion in unique ways... This stuff is what I like and if I have to think atypically and even be challenged a little to get to it, then so be it! Enjoy this one...
kerosene 7/27/00 Description:
new independent magazine of visual photographic art (Flash)
For all I know, this site may have just launched in the last few days. The counter on the splash page said "3" when I entered the site. One of the fun things about doin' the coolstop thing is finding cool sites that nobody knows about yet and pointing them out to you early on. The concept and mission of this online/offline mag are commendable -- it calls itself an "independent visual showcase" and describes itself as a "visual mix of urban photography and cultural imagery spliced from samples from the collective consciousness of the 21st century." This non-profit group intends to publish a print version 5 times a year and it looks like the brand new site is here to attract contributors while giving us a little sample of the type of art it will feature. Hat's off to a guy who calls himself R!CO -- he designed the site and there's several things I really like about it. He demonstrates how Flash doesn't always have to take a long time to load -- he seems to be using it more as an effective interface instead of for showing off all the bells, whistles and effects of Flash and making the user wait (and wait) - it's refreshing to see a Flash site that's not about Flash, if that makes sense. Anyway, the layout and navigation is excellent and though the amount of visual content is somewhat limited at the moment, it is really good. This is great photography, especially the colors and effects - definitely fine art presented in a well-designed package... check it out, silly!
bindii digital designs 7/19/00 Description:
online portfolio of Paul O'Neill
Paul O'Neill calls this version "a whole new beginning" and I call it a great website. I really appreciate the fact that Paul's design portfolio is free of the typical sales pitches that cross the line between "creative" and "commercial", because I'd hate to miss this chance to recognize such an innovative site. At the outset, you notice that Paul is only using one half of the window space for content (vertically) and if you're like me, you wonder how he intends to pull that off. I found myself hoping that a vertical scrollbar wasn't part of the plan and was I pleasantly surprised His "slider" idea is unique and fun to use - and the "thumbnails" are done quite well, thank you. I was really impressed by the many covers Paul has designed and submitted to other design sites, and the collection of big "banners" that includes many submitted by other designers... there's a sense of community spirit here that you'll pick up on immediately. It's obvious that Paul's still working on several sections, but this site is good to go and easily grabs today's Best of the Cool -- what a sweet design!
JacekZaluskiPhotographer 7/12/00 Description:
gallery of photographer and multimedia artist
New photography sites are showing up on the web almost every day and many have great content but fall a little short on site design (in my humble, but consistent opinion). But this has been one of my better weeks in finding well-designed photo showcases. Today's Best of the Cool pick features the photography of Jacek Zaluski, a photographer in England, who is also a multimedia artist. I like the way the thumbnails are presented - they auto-scroll horizontally in the top frame as the user views the full size versions in the middle frame, providing an ongoing selection to choose from. One minor improvement would be to cut down the size of the bottom frame which would probably get rid of the vertical scrollbar in the middle frame for many of the full-size photos. As far as content goes, I like photography that captures the facial expressions of real people and there's three sections here that do it well - "bikers", "fashion" and "portraits." There's also a "landscape" section and overall, the content and design is superb...nice work, Jacek.
lab404 7/8/00 Description:
An ambient immersive library of dreams, better experienced than explained.
With a name that implies you may have found something different than expected and a scattered (I mean, really scattered) mix of input and output, Curt's site is....uhhhhh...errrrr....unique. A few other one word impressions... random... unbridled... visual... energetic... fun! The design is all over the place. You are thrown into a million different directions, but the simple word "wake" keeps you anchored... you can always get back to Curt's body-parts-navigator and it's bright purple glare -- and what's that graphic, anyway, Curt? This guy is definitely a creative engine getting ready to burst and you might like what you see or you might think it's dreadful... but in the end, Curt is putting it out there and it's up to you how to take it. Honest and scattered and barely structured... sometimes that's what engages the user... Oh - and do reload the splash page a few times!