AdamSchwabe.com: a wonderfully clean, minimalist site. Not just in the look; note that a lot of common blog functionality is missing: Category listings or tag cloud? Browsable archives? Blogroll? It has none of these things, and doesn’t especially need them. What it does have is a beautiful and effective navigation scheme that uses colour to let you know exactly where you are, and a layout that lets the eye flow naturally to the content. Hey, that’s what you get when the author’s a user interface designer. AdamSchwabe.com teaches me that less is indeed more.
Plus, it’s what introduced me to colourlovers.com, so bonus points there.
Avalonstar:distortion is the total opposite in many ways. It’s dark. It’s busy. But you know what? it works. The author puts in tons of fun little extra bits, from “Welcome to Avalonstar” in Japanese to the closing “</and this would be the end>” tag at the very bottom. The site is fun to read. If you can pull it off, more can definitely be more.
Mind you, a design is nothing without content, and the two above sites has it in spades. And that’s something else for me to work on (not that I haven’t already).
Elements: Architecture in detail. Not a website, but a book. The other day I was in The Book Warehouse on Davie, and this caught my eye right from the top shelf. Aside from the lovely shots of contemporary architecture, the book’s message is that the devil is in the details. For the whole to work, all the components have to be working first.
Oh, and that day I also bought Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, Terry Pratchett’s Nation, A Hat Full of Sky and Wintersmith. They didn’t have The Wee Free Men, though. Bummer.