jan 17

The Favicon Is Still Yellow

Kottke.org redesigned. No more yellow -- bold! UPDATE: not sure why, but the comments on this post took off, and Jason showed up to say he's now written about a post about it.


the interface reminds me of a wii game. that is all.

posted by ryan at 7:34 PM on January 17, 2009

I love Kottke and I really want to love the new design, but bring back the old one. Quickly.

posted by Benjamin at 8:15 PM on January 17, 2009

The thing that always bugged me about Jason's site was that when I made my browser window small the left edge of the text would butt up to the window's edge -- there was no margin.

Having said that, this looks like a mistake. It seems to ditch everything that was interesting about the site's design.

posted by alesh at 8:19 PM on January 17, 2009

A particular problem is that the "remaindered" links now have their titles showing. Bleh.

posted by alesh at 8:26 PM on January 17, 2009

I absolutely hate it. Seriously.

posted by flatluigi at 8:57 PM on January 17, 2009

Adblocking the border for now makes the site look decent again, but I hope he goes back to what he had.

posted by flatluigi at 8:58 PM on January 17, 2009

I like it. If I remember, people hated the yellow-green when it launched too. (Here's his entry on older redesigns.)

Also: his old site had the same "Liberal Arts 2.0" text, though it was in the sidebar instead of the header.

posted by Andy Baio at 9:00 PM on January 17, 2009

Thanks Andy. Struck it out.

posted by Rex at 9:15 PM on January 17, 2009

The blue frame makes me think more of NES than Wii. I'll take it.

posted by AC at 11:43 PM on January 17, 2009

Wow, that's hideous. Is this some kind of really early April Fools' joke? I mean, I guess it might be okay without the vile border around the edges... Does it looks better on a Mac? The text comes out pretty bad (ie very soft and a little too large) on Firefox on WinXP... Might check it in Safari...

posted by Hugh at 12:25 AM on January 18, 2009

Nope, it looks like ass on the mac too. Add a few fingers on each side, and we could have a goatse.

posted by donkeymon at 1:58 AM on January 18, 2009

I totally dig it. Different, bold, fresh. And it makes me feel like I'm looking into someone's brain. Which, in this case, I sort of am.

And the front-loading of "liberal arts 2.0" is important. I think Jason is way ahead of the pack in terms of articulating what it is we're all, er, talking about these days. Sure, the line was there before -- but now it's the *first line of text on the page*. Bravo.

posted by Robin at 4:22 AM on January 18, 2009

I'm not sure I hate it but I'm pretty sure I don't like it. Just kinda seems "eh" to me but I'd like to see Jason give some kinda explanation of his thinking behind the redesign before I make a final judgment.

Also, alesh is spot on, don't like at all that remaindered posts have titles now.

posted by Jake at 12:08 PM on January 18, 2009

I like the design, the font, and the idea of the border, but I think the turquoise wasn't the best choice, particularly with the red and black. If he'd kept the border in yellow -- for some reason, I think of Kottke.org as a "yellow" site -- I think it would maintain more continuity, so it would look less jarring.

posted by Tim at 12:42 PM on January 18, 2009

I like how it's set in Myriad. Is that even part of the standard Mac install?

posted by josh at 12:51 PM on January 18, 2009

I'd heard the font was Whitney, by Hoefler & Frere-Jones.

posted by Tim at 4:36 PM on January 18, 2009

My few thoughts:

+ Isn't it kinda interesting that he hasn't announced this redesign that everyone is talking about.

+ What I like about this most: it takes the typically opposing ideas of "simple" and "different" and tries to find something nuanced in between. This is a VERY difficult balance for designers, who are told to be unique and differentiating, but also told to address simplicity and accessibility. This design sorta feels like taking that tension to the extreme.

+ I feel like he's got something up his sleeve here still. I don't know what, but maybe the turquoise is going to change color throughout the year... or maybe not that, but... something?

+ From an IA perspective, I think the left and right columns are clashing in some way. But I'm still considering...

+ The font selection (in declination) is: Whitney, MyriadPro, Helvetica, Arial. Interesting!

+ I love that people want to talk about this.

posted by Rex at 4:39 PM on January 18, 2009

I'm pretty sure this is Kottke's way of saying "yeah, I can make my site look craptacular and you'll still read it." The dude just has way too much web capital for this ugly ugly design to make any difference to anyone but those of us who are totally not jealous of him and happy for him in every way. Yeah.

posted by Nav at 5:58 PM on January 18, 2009

New URL to go with the redesign: http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/77162/~kottke

posted by mpb at 7:45 PM on January 18, 2009

Yeah, I guess I need to get a copy of Whitney, because I'm seeing the site in Myriad, and it looks downright hard to read.

I've adblocked the border per flatluigi's suggestion, and the site is now downright readable. I dig Jason's desire to get with the 2008 spirit -- bolder design, bigger fonts, etc.

Some of the non-CSS changes are still perplexing, though: Why the titles on the remaindered links? And why does every little post need the author's name appended? It's almost Jason's MT configuration files got wiped out and he decided to have a little fun with it.

Sure people want to talk about it. Like I've "said":https://twitter.com/alesh/statuses/873525251, we wouldn't criticize a site if we didn't love it and feel profoundly connected to it, right?

Still, I agree that Jason probably has something slick up his sleeve, and it'll all make sense soon.

posted by alesh at 11:34 PM on January 18, 2009

that colored border kinda makes me squint, there's something about that color against the white that doesn't quite work for me, but i'm sure i'll stop noticing it in 2 days like the last 6 versions.

anyway, i don't read kottke for the design of the site, (same with the morning news) i read it because of the links.

posted by kittyholmes at 2:58 AM on January 19, 2009

I prefer the site's previous design although maybe that will change with time.

To me, the blue border(s) make it more difficult to read the content. You know how some people see shaded squares as either a plateau or a hole in the ground? I'm a hole in the ground guy so to me it's as if the content is further away (i.e. my browser window feels smaller on the site and I don't like that one bit). The blue is an interesting choice, but regardless of color, I don't like the borders.

I also prefer the display of the stories themselves in the site's previous version. Since it feels as if the content area to me is smaller, I also do not like the larger font size and added fluff (titles, posted by, etc...).

posted by Jon at 10:58 AM on January 19, 2009

Two days later, and Jason hasn't said a word about it. Odd.

I still don't like it, but I agree with kitty -- it's about the content. If we avoided sites with aesthetically challenged designs, we wouldn't be here, after all :-P

posted by alesh at 2:32 PM on January 19, 2009

Not a fan. The color scheme is completely incongruous, the border feels cheesy, dated, and invasive, and the typography feels far too big and clunky, especially with how many different levels of bold there are. It's a mess.

posted by Atencio at 5:00 PM on January 19, 2009

Thanks for the link, Rex. From now on I'm outsourcing all my comment discussions to Fimoculous. Disqus, schmisqus.

I'm surprised (and flattered, I guess) that people want to talk about this. With everyone using newsreaders and "customizing" their blogs with default Wordpress, MT, and Tumblr templates, the days of artisan blog design would appear to have passed by, quaint and unworthy of further comment. Like Rex, I love that that's not the case, at least in a small corner of the web.

Because of links from Fimoc and DF and a few other places, the design got out there more quickly than I expected on the weekend. And then I got busy and disconnected from the internet for a couple of days and didn't get around to writing up the redesign until just now. Thanks to everyone for their comments and criticism. I was expecting that many wouldn't like it, if only because the site hasn't changed significantly in almost nine years. Like Andy said, people absolutely hated the yellow/green when that was introduced...I'm hopeful folks will come around on the blue zoom as well.

posted by jkottke at 8:56 PM on January 19, 2009

I just had a seizure.

posted by taulpaul at 11:22 PM on January 19, 2009

It makes a nice screenshot, but totally fails for navigating, with content hidden under the border, particularly when you search. Also the favicon hasn't been updated - a bridge too far?

posted by James at 4:44 AM on January 20, 2009

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