Please note: Our format changed as of 10/18/07 – see the front page and full archives for more recent listings. Thanks.
desktopimage 10/26/00 Description:
dedicated to the free distribution of desktop images (Flash)
Though I'll usually take a pass on featuring a site that's sized for viewing at 1024x768 or higher resolution, it looks like today's pick actually laid it out so that if you're set at 800x600, the key part of the interface just fits within your view. It's the unique Flash interface I really like about this one. The three dimensional look and feel coming from the angled perspective is realistic... done quite well. As far as content goes, the site is rich in free desktop images submitted by artists from all over the world. They make it a point to tell you that there's no gimmicks or commercial motives behind it all — artists submit their images to provide content and get some free exposure in return. I like the simple, straightforward attitude behind it and those big desktop images are fun to look at, whether you download 'em or not.
NIKDAUM.COM 10/21/00 Description:
Site features the weird art and ego of Nik Daum.
Personal site supreme! Nik Daum, "one of the most recognizable faces in the world" and quite the artist, lets it all hang out and does it well. I'm not sure where to point you first, 'cause it's all good. I'd say the "bio" is as good a place to start as any, and if you're not quite in the mood for what he's telling you about himself, just reload the page and a whole new side of this character will present itself. I think Nik's probably as random as that bio thing is. And the splash page which is really a nice navigator, shows a random piece of his "weird art" and, to tell you the truth, that was the first thing I clicked, being the sucker for visuals that I am. Cool stuff — the main page for the art section is unique — mouseover one of the titles on the long list for a preview and it's all nicely categorized for you. I think I like this a lot better than a page full of thumnails. Then, there's "N-the book" which is even more about the art and ego of this interesting person — "Through the changes in his life his nature is revealed. But for each piece of knowledge gained, more seems thoroughly concealed." Well said — go spend some time with Nik — you WILL enjoy it. (Oh, yeah — this is about sites, right? Then, insert "cool design" and "perfect navigation" wherever you want in the above.)
Adrenalab 10/20/00 Description:
a freelance design project
Today's pick seems to be a blueprint that follows the producer's development as a designer. Luca launched the site in August, 1999 as "a way to live my design experience" and describes it as "a simple project with many dreams and a lot of energy." It seems to be an experimental place to try out new layouts and ideas, and the upcoming November issue plans to turn this from a one-man-show into a collaboration of several other designers along with Luca. I really like the 3d look of the interface — the design is clean and crisp and the colors are earthy and quite visually appealing. The graphics are superb throughout, and though it is very much a work in progress, the portfolio of sites and covers is enough to carry it at the moment. That blueprint sort of look (at least that's the impression I get) throughout the site gives me the impression that it will become rich in content before not too long. Laura, one of the other designers, already has a section up and if all those choices on the menu eventually become active links, we may be in for quite a show. There's a lot to explore here and even more to look forward to — I'm inspired by the design and if you read a little in Luca's "unit," you might be inspired, too — it's his love for design that's driving this puppy.
dack.com 10/14/00 Description:
the 2¢ of Dack Ragus, a guy living in Minneapolis, MN (USA) who likes to golf, cocktail, and watch movies ... in that order
For over a month now, I've been sitting on several questions that someone sent me. They wanted to interview me and I thought "what the heck" and said "I'm game." They wanted to know how I decide what's "cool" and if awards "work" and since then, I've come to the realization that calling this an award site is probably one the dumbest things I've ever done in my life. I don't know what's "cool" any better than you, my friend, and if awards are supposed to "work" in some way, maybe someone can fill me in. So, those questions are sitting way back there behind the back burner, if you know what I'm saying...
I guess today's pick will show you that it's not always about design around here. Frankly, I don't care for the pukey yellow background and bland layout, but when the content amuses me a little, there's days (like today) that I might just decide "you're cool." Anybody who could actually conceive a list of things that suck with 1,100 entries on it obviously is in this web thing for the long haul. His copyright says 1978-2000 on it and I'm inclined to think that maybe it's true — maybe he started that long list of things that suck 22 years ago, long before the web — yeah, right! The weblog's kinda interesting and there's also sections on golf, movies and stocks — a real hodgepodge of content from someone with more to say than most will wanna hear. I guess the moral of the story is that on those days when I just can't put my finger on a site that's "cool" in terms of those stuffy criteria I normally use, you can at least count on my pointing to something that might be, at least, amusing and fun to visit — then again, maybe not — that's for you to decide...
MoserArt 10/7/00 Description:
Critics call Moser a major artist compared to Goya, Francis Bacon and the Renaissance masters.
Today's pick is a beautiful site full of art from a contemporary artist who some consider to be a master — I was particularly impressed with the commentary about the individual works and found this site quite engaging... go enjoy!
I'm sure to get at least 2 or 3 e-mails today from irate users whining about how unfair it is that I won't feature their commercial sites — yet here I picked another site that displays the works of an artist who obviously makes his living selling his art and that makes me a hypocrite, etc., etc., etc.
Today's pick (which was not submitted) is an opportunity to clarify what I consider to be commercial or non-commercial around here because it's an excellent example of an important distinction I make when reviewing a site — like it or don't like it, I'm taking the time to explain in the hopes that those complainers I hear from day in a day out will find something better to do today — CoolSTOP is not a commercial website promotion vehicle. Here it is, pure and simple — on the "information" page of today's pick, a simple "mailto" link "to request information on price and availability of original Moser works" is the only phrase anywhere on the site that has anything to do with the fact that the artist sells his art. The pages displaying his masterful works do not have prices or "buy" links and no pages have sales pitches. If you're one of those many designers who keep submitting sites full of claims about how wonderful your services are and how you can help businesses take full advantage of the new media, etc., stop and compare what your site is like compared to what I describe above. I have nothing against commercial sites and wish you the best, but I don't feature selling sites at CoolSTOP. If you still don't get it, I guess I'll be hearing from you shortly...