Replies: 2 Comments
On Wednesday, September 29th, Jocelyn said
I think that its not the way the information is presented, but the actual information itself that needs to change.
On Monday, October 4th, Travis said
I stumbled back upon your site after receiving your wedding invitation (congrats to both, by the way) and since I'm currently seeking gainful employment in the design-related field in San Francisco and unconsolably bored, I thought I'd pipe in with some information.
I'm not sure I can exactly provide an answer or advice for your specific issue, since it seems you are looking for new solutions that satisfy your own perspectives on design.
However, I think there are a couple of websites that may provide some inspiration when investigating new ways to access information.
The first website is www.links.net. It's a weblog from some some guy who has blogging since, apparently, the dawn of time. The actual design is spartan while at the time congested. The most interesting aspect of the website, though, is it truelly has a near-infinite ways of accessing information. The peppers his posts with links that often reference older features or posts by himself which themselves have links to other sections of the websites. there are apparently over five independent Movable Type feeds embedding in the frameset, all updated from different sources (laptop, WAP phone, PDA, etc). The magic of the interface is, in my opinion, the nearly organic structure that evolves with the circuitous links, fullfilling the "web" premise of the www.
Another source of inspiration might be the upcoming file system features of Apple's next OS revision, "Tiger" as well as MS's next effort, "Longhorn". If you are not familiar with some of the premises, check out winsupersite.com, thinksecret.com, appleinsider.com or any number of official sources from the respective company. The part I find most interesting is pervasive use of metadata to describe your actual files. For example, I might have Weezer in iTunes (well, I wouldn't but you would ;-) ) which contains a great deal of info about the content of those files. But I also might have videos, lyrics, photos, etc. which tradionally would be stored in their respective folders in my Home folder. It would be nice, however to bring up all content regarding Weezer in a single interface. Moreover, it would nice to then bring up all content tagged as Nerdrock or Pop-punk or whatever, but only produced after 1998. In the future, along with our flying cars and perfect abs, we might be able to view content holistically instead of in rigidly defined categories and filetype, but in a consistent interface that adapts to our immediate desire for specific information.
This type of thinking could make a very interesting website, specifically a portfolio. Traditionally, we dived the categories ahead of time (Print, Web, Brandingin, etc.) and then the views drills down to find what they want. What if each bit of content had metadata associated with it such as Happy, Elegant, Edgy, etc. So instead of just viewing your work by medium, a person could see how you interpreted different emotive design goals accross mediums. I'm not sure exactly how you would do this from a technical perspective, but basic blogging back-ends seem to give you the ability to categorize the information somewhat so I'll bet it's possible.
Wow, this is long and maybe kind of boring. Maybe it will lead in directions that help you in your search. I've recently started reinvestigating the web and want to become profience in these kinds of technologies because it seems that content management is starting to enter a new age of development and I think it's pretty cool.
Also, if you haven't used Quicksilver for your Mac, I highly recomend it. It's inspirational unto itself as they (and the company that made Launchbar, which was arguably the first of it's type) have remade the way a lot of Mac users interact with their computers. To be honest, I hardly ever use the Finder because Quicksilver gives you a quick, elegant way to get at your files that make drilling through folders seem antiquated and awkward. Give it a shot and play around, check out some of the plugins...it's pretty neat.