Design, uninterrupted #92

October 28th, 2010

Today’s post highlights the design of by Dustin Heerkens. A stark monochromatic palette sets a spartan tone to the site dominated by typography and large desaturated images of interior design. Note the interesting switch between four column grid of header / footer and three column grid of the main content (and the top-right intro text blurb). This works quite well for the large text sections, but creates a certain visual imbalance between large images in the main section and small round icons in the header; this imbalance can perhaps be addressed by moving the icons to be above the navigation menu entries instead to the left of them.

Opting for smaller font sizes creates a number of problems. Rather large text sections in the main content require more effort to read, partially due to 11px Arial with thin stems that are rendered quite unevenly on LCD screens. Zooming in the content to address the legibility issues makes all columns wider (instead of preserving fixed pixel sizes), breaking the horizontal containment within the browser window. In addition, the styling does not provide any visual indication of what is a hyperlink – the links are indistinguishable from the regular content. My overall feeling is that the strong focus on the spartan palette and typography has unnecessarily sacrificed the usability and navigation ease.