December 17, 2004
Random Quote of the Moment
"Come on, Hitler, I'll buy you a glass of lemonade."
--from the movie "Max", "the risible portrait of the young Hitler as a second-rate artist", quoted via David Edelstein in this oddly rambling Slate movie review thing.
Sick Sad World of the Moment
"The U.S. state of Missouri has warned authorities to be on the alert after a fetus was cut from the womb of a homicide victim in the town of Skidmore, the Nodaway County Sheriff's Department has said."
--CNN.com news article. Ugh. The article makes it sound like a kind of bizarre homebrew Caesarean Section/homicide. Also there was some local coverage including the sheriff's quote "Someone was wanting a baby awful bad."
Ponder of the Moment
What makes a website look professional? I realize that there is a certain corporate "look" that tends to express "this is a serious organization" and I can't quite put my finger on what it is.
For example, I'm working with a friend of Ksenia's who runs an interesting balloon artwork company (and btw...trying to find a way of explaining what that is, as opposed to little twisty balloon animals, is a tremendous challenge.) He's not crazy about his site, it's not bad but it looks a little amateurish, and not very corporate. In contrast, he had us click over to this site, comissioned by a woman he knows. Now that site isn't perfect, but I know what he means...it seems "professional". It's frustrating for me, because I know this professionalism when I see it, but have a hard time knowing exactly what "it" is. Some ideas:
- Use of space...often this means using a fixed-width table and really filling the space well.
- Use of frames and boxes...amateurish sites tend to just have text flowing everywhere. Lots of professional sites use sub-boxes to modularize the page, often with little rounded-corner or triangularized title bars.
- Use of sans-serif fonts -- a little detail, but I think many amateur sites just let the default "Times New Roman" remain, and that seperates the sheep from the goats.
Any thoughts or other ideas about gimmicks are appreciated. (heh, like judicious use of happy smiling corporate people clip art photos...) I have a sneaking suspicion that while great as opposed to good web design might be a better of training and highly polished aesthetic sense, the difference between good and bad is more one of a small bag of tricks...