Interesting redesign at msnbc.com

Pretty bold move for a mainstream new source, in my opinion. First off, the entire article is one one page, as opposed to the multi-paging most news sites use to pump up page views. Big bold headlines, large line height for easy reading, tons of white space. Also, innovative navigation in the right margin, with the little icons that indicate where on the page different features reside.

There is no page fold.

Damien du Toit

Hulu Is Actually Pretty Sweet

Hulu is a video website, similar to YouTube, but offering “premium content” such as full-length movies and primetime TV shows. It is a joint venture between FOX and NBC (funny they capitalize FOX, is it an acronym? Maybe “Fucking obnOXious”) so I was quick to dismiss it as a misguided attempt by the old guard to move into this new space. But I am pleasantly surprised as the whole package seems really well put together and offers something you can’t really get anywhere else: a free, viable alternative to regular TV.

Some Things They Got Right

When grabbing the embed code, clicking on the Copy To Clipboard button generates a little checkmark to let you know that you are good to go. Smart.

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Dim the Lights:

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Collections: like playlists for videos. This will be huge once you can create your own.

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Also, you can create your own clip by dragging the handles on the timeline. This is so clever… you can pick out your favorite scenes and share them. Here’s mine:

Amazing Flash Interface by WHITEvoid

When you immerse yourself if the world of HTML, CSS, PHP, etc., its easy to forget that there is another half of the universe that deals almost exclusively with Flash. Web standards and accessibility advocates argue that Flash sites are not good “web citizens”, due to the proprietary nature of the software used to create and view them, their inability to be indexed by search engines, and their dodgy, often non-existent support for assistive devices, such as screen readers.

In an article at A List Apart, Dan Mall wrote:

There’s a belief within the web standards community that Flash is part of a different world. While all approaches have limitations and drawbacks, Flash has been scorned to the point that many refuse to acknowledge its benefits. Ultimately, this has led to the creation of a virtual separation among web designers; those who use Flash use it exclusively (leading to a saturation of full-screen, “Skip Intro”-rich Flash sites on the web) and those who don’t ever give it a second thought.

I believe this to be true, and while I used to enjoy working with Flash, I have to admit that I’ve fallen into the latter category recently.

That is, until this evening, when I viewed the WHITEvoid website. The interface is really intuitive, responsive, and fun to use. Environments like this simply can’t be created with traditional web technologies.

You really should go have a look yourself. For those who care, the site is using Papervision3D, which is an open source 3D engine for Flash.