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Tumbledry 1.0

And here we are. A brand new design for a… well it was going to be “for a new year”, but that didn’t work out so well. Anyhow, I’ll be squashing software bugs and refining things over the next few days.

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For about the past twelve months, I’ve been convinced that I could design a better tumbledry than the one you see in front of you. With help from Mykala, Hoefler & Frere Jones, and Dive Into HTML5, that idea of improvement is becoming reality. I’m excited.


dooce just opened the community section of her website. Looks really cool! Her quote:


Is exactly what it feels like to get a website (no matter how small) live. Now then, back to studying.

IE Rendering

As a web developer who has struggled with Internet Explorer for, well, nigh on 8 years… this is hilarious:

“Internet Explorer’s CSS rendering: WYSIWTF.”

We now return you to your regularly scheduled tumbledry’age’ing’ster’ling’ly.

Web Design, Defined

Recently, there have been foolish comparisons of web design to other design fields. “Where are the canonical, genre defining designs?” was the main question posed. This question necessitated tacit and explicit comparisons of web design to fundamentally different fields, such as static graphic design. The folly of comparing apples to oranges and expecting logical results have been debunked thoroughly and well:


That Realign Thing

Note: To view the changes made to tumbledry, you may need to do a hard refresh. To summarize that link, it’s Ctrl+Shift+R in Firefox, Ctrl+F5 in Internet Explorer, and Command+Shift+R on Macs.

As I cryptically mentioned a couple of posts back, there was a realignment going on at tumbledry. Not a redesign, oh no. Those are rather a bit more costly. Anyhow, the seeds for this evolution in design were planted back in April. You see, I sometimes diddle in photoshop as a way of getting my creative side out (and as a homework break). So, I put together a horizontal grid with a vertical grid and started plunking tumbledry elements in. Thus, this is a realignment in both the vertical and the horizontal sense. Vertically, I have finally found my rhythm, with an 18px baseline. Notice how the horizontal pieces of text (it works best on the front page, I’ve been lazier elsewhere) line up nicely, even with the gaps between images, etc. (This trick is slightly broken on Internet Explorer. Curse you, Internet Explorer.) Oh, and you’ll find the line lengths are quite short. So, you only have to read about 10 words per line. This has been shown (by a few studies) to maximize comprehension. Here’s the idea: the human eye has an arc through which it moves (comfortably). This allows you, at a set distance, to comfortably scan a certain horizontal distance without moving your head. Having to move your head back and forth requires considerably more brain work, and slows down reading comprehension. Restricting the width of the line keeps your eye within its comfortable arc, minimizing head movement and maximizing comprehension. So I think/hope this evolution will serve us well.


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Good Designers Redesign, Great Designers Realign

And this one’s a doozy. Of course, the title’s a quote from the Illustrious Cameron Moll.

Paul Ford on Websites

The best thing to hope for is that in time and with much more effort the work will become transparent to its users, that it will be taken for granted. That’s life with websites.

An Orthodox Update

In the interest of explaining why in the Sam Hill there haven’t been any images for almost two weeks, I’d like to apologize and ask for your patience just a little bit longer. They (the photographs) are on their way - there is simply a bit more to do on ye’ olde version 15.x of tumbledry. I’m digging up time for it in between homeworking sessions, hence the delay. The entire redesign, though, is 90% functional, with only a few key components remaining. I’ll walk you all through the new features when they are released - the most visible changes will be in the community aspect. As tumbledryer’s, you’ll feel more engaged with the site and with one another. Unless you don’t. In that case, I will have failed. But I will have had fun doing it!