Jeffrey Zeldman Presents The Daily Report

7 January 2004 9 am est

Nice day for mittens.

Wish we’d designed that: Redlabor of love

Dave Rau’s Redlabor (“Web Print Motion & Art for Sale”) is one of those rare gems you like so much you wish you’d designed it yourself.

The crisply distressed look and feel is witty, historically allusive in a winking way, and entirely appropriate to the subject matter. It has beauty and impact yet it clearly guides the visitor through the experience. (We say “yet” because, too often, visually rich interfaces interefere with usability instead of promoting it.)

Behind the surface, the site is constructed of minimal, valid XHTML Strict. (On some inner pages, validation just misses due to JavaScript issues.) An elegantly compact style sheet drives the visual experience; its labels are structural and logical — they describe parts by what they do, not by how they look.

Inner pages display the artworks for sale, allowing visitors to click through multiple views without being forced to load new pages. This is done through JavaScript layer swapping, a la K10k. The net effect is a quicker, less disruptive experience that focuses on the art. Sweet.

Highlights from recent Daily Reports