Tuesday, April 26, 2005

EA Sports NCAA Football 2006

This is what "I can't wait until July 15" looks like.



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Sunday, April 3, 2005

Font Savant Vindication

Here's solid backup for my late 2004 fontspotting claim on U2's new album cover.

You may all collectively exhale.

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Friday, April 1, 2005

Watch ESPN.com grow up before your eyes

ESPN is taking a little self reflection seriously with a tour through ten years of ESPN.com. (Remember when it was named "ESPNET SportsZone?" Talk about flab for lack of a branding exercise.)

The notable thing for me with this piece is that ESPN.com's timeline corresponds almost precisely with my own as a web application designer and developer. I can see in their own design's evolution some of my own work's successes and failures (marble-textured table cells, anyone?) and the irresistable march toward broadband-centric content choices like ESPN Motion, Flash naughty bits here and there, and a home page blitting like Times Square with image tiles, fan polls, DHTML tab-lets, and probably some surplus thrust reversers near the bottom. There's something about the utter simplicity of that 1996 3-column table layout that's appealing in an RSS news reader sort of way: just prioritize the headlines for me, I'll dig down from here. Maybe it's the no-nonsense usability of an unadorned blue hyperlink. Maybe it's the fact that the 2005 edition is 85K and slaps me across the face with 3-6 JavaScript errors when I navigate between years in the retrospective (Firefox). Either way, I find myself in that "less-is-more" mindset pretty quickly.

Still, I keep coming back, month after month, year after year. I don't have anyone else's sports site bookmarked. (When was the last time you bookmarked something, anyway?) The content's the thing, as it should be, and their writers are still among the best in the business. Still, I almost wonder if a single GIF imagemap of the front page would be a faster load than the existing HTML?


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