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Apple.com to be redesigned...

post #1 of 44
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http://www.macminute.com/2003/08/27/apple

Quote:
Apple.com to be redesigned by Zeldman, Bowman

Apple has contracted Jeffrey Zeldman of Happy Cog Studios and Douglas Bowman of Stopdesign to collaborate on a redesign of the company's site...

GASP!
post #2 of 44
Apple gets in in the top 10 or whatever for website greatness and they decide to change it!
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post #3 of 44
Refreshing the site is a good idea. Also, current design is a few years old. Change is good.
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post #4 of 44
Ooooh, I can't wait! This is neat! It'll be interesting to see what comes of it. And yes, change is good. It's time for something different.



Now, about that whole marketing thing...

Perhaps they can revisit THAT as well and give someone else a shot at creating a campaign(s) that does the company justice.

\

Cause this current crap just ain't gettin' it, fellas.

post #5 of 44
i think the current design has been in use since the first public display of the aqua interface, which would put it during public beta. i guess fall/winter '99?

by the way, it really was a great design, and based predominantly on the previous design submitted by chiat/day. i mean, do you remember the hideous red sidebar mess that was pre-'97 apple.com?

but it is time to start giving the site some new life.
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post #6 of 44
Maybe they are redoing the tabs to make them look more like the new Panther tabs.
post #7 of 44
Awesome. The man looks like a freak in a toque, but he knows his stuff.
post #8 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by rok
i think the current design has been in use since the first public display of the aqua interface, which would put it during public beta. i guess fall/winter '99?

Looks like it. Apple.com went from this to this around the turn of the century.

Quote:
by the way, it really was a great design, and based predominantly on the previous design submitted by chiat/day. i mean, do you remember the hideous red sidebar mess that was pre-'97 apple.com?

Ugh. I know zip-point-squat about web design, but looking back at this "capture" from archive.org, the site looks down-right clunky at best.
post #9 of 44
Note that the second guy mentioned has updated his site to mention that they'll be working with Apple's in-house webdesign team and that they're more-or-less providing that team with an understanding of designing a site using STANDARDS. This "standards-compliant" website design will no doubt make its way into one of Steve's keynote speeches as he touts Open Source and Standards.
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post #10 of 44
Really I see no need to change the website at all. I mean if they wanna change some graphics or make the site more standards compliant, great. I think the layout of the site itself is perfect. Think about how much information is on that site and its all really easy to find. Ever try and find something on Microsoft's site?
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post #11 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by CubeDude
Maybe they are redoing the tabs to make them look more like the new Panther tabs.

It's all about teh tabs. Once Panther is out, and depending on what they're doing with Safari, they're going to be an anachronism as-is. The organization can remain the same, but the looks might change.

But it's always kind of bugged me that Apple feels compelled to keep the same number of tabs, squeezing out Switch when the Music tab appeared, and before that, they had the more useless iTools with their own tabs in some cases.

I still think the user's support page, especially the "personalized" one, plus all that signing in crap could be handled better too. It might be nice to leverage emerging more flexible web standards to make a more personalized user experience of the home page.
post #12 of 44
That red sidebar design was actually partly implement by Studio Archetype, a design house I held a lot of respect for.
post #13 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by LoCash
That red sidebar design was actually partly implement by Studio Archetype, a design house I held a lot of respect for.

The sidebar isn't the problem so much as the mess on the right. Tabs and sidebars are roughly equivalent functionally, just a question of what seems more space efficient and what you put in them.
post #14 of 44
Hmm...

My feelings on this are very similar to how I felt with El capitan saying good-bye.

I saw el-capitan(and all it's later g4 derivatives) to be the. perfect. case.

it had everything. easy on the eyes, handles, easy-open hatch, clean interior...etc.

then when the g5 case was introduced my first reaction was "well...it's no El Capitan, but it's not bad"

upon seeing the interior I fell in love, the interior of the g5 is a work of engineering art, it is absolutely stunning.

so... I feel similarly to an apple web-page change as I did to the case change.

I'm sure whatever apple comes out with will be just as intuitive, easy on the eyes, attractive, user-friendly..etc. as the current page(which should have been ranked #1 in all high-tech webpage shoot-offs )

I'm sure that Apple's new webpage will be more "sharp" and "powerful" looking, as that seems to be the latest trend seeping into apple's design.(alubooks, g5, brushed metal...etc.)

it will likely have the same general layout though, with one big headline picture, subsequent smaller headline pictures, tabs, and hot news.

so I'm sure whatever it ends up being it will still be very easy to use, and adapt to.

\
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post #15 of 44
A redesign doesn't necessarily mean a change of aesthetic. If it's Zeldman in control, it probably means a switch to Web Standards/tableless CSS.

They could just recreate the site as is without the tables and tweak it a bit. But this is seismic if they do - it basically means a giant leap for the Standards lobby and also a huge move towards browser compliance. Actually, btrowsers mostly are all compliant anyway with exception of one company's product and this will be bad news for them because where Apple leads everyone else follows when the ground has been safely broken and the risks minimised.

It's great to see Apple seem committed to innovation at all levels of the company not just in product design.
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post #16 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by segovius
A redesign doesn't necessarily mean a change of aesthetic. If it's Zeldman in control, it probably means a switch to Web Standards/tableless CSS.

They could just recreate the site as is without the tables and tweak it a bit. But this is seismic if they do - it basically means a giant leap for the Standards lobby and also a huge move towards browser compliance. Actually, btrowsers mostly are all compliant anyway with exception of one company's product and this will be bad news for them because where Apple leads everyone else follows when the ground has been safely broken and the risks minimised.

It's great to see Apple seem committed to innovation at all levels of the company not just in product design.

Well, I think in the context of what I've read so far, we can expect a change in aesthetics that will employ more modern development methods. The problem you mention that Microsoft will have because IE is a far cry from W3C compliant... I wouldn't be surprised if they started to take some initiative to change that a bit. The problem is that, and will be for a few years, we still have a large install base of older browsers that are most definitely not standards compliant. The problem is that we usually design for the lowest common denominator. I think we're on the verge of being able to get away with losing tables in favor of CSS. I wouldn't do it for 60% of my clients, but I could see Apple doing it.
post #17 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by LoCash
Well, I think in the context of what I've read so far, we can expect a change in aesthetics that will employ more modern development methods. The problem you mention that Microsoft will have because IE is a far cry from W3C compliant... I wouldn't be surprised if they started to take some initiative to change that a bit. The problem is that, and will be for a few years, we still have a large install base of older browsers that are most definitely not standards compliant. The problem is that we usually design for the lowest common denominator. I think we're on the verge of being able to get away with losing tables in favor of CSS. I wouldn't do it for 60% of my clients, but I could see Apple doing it.

Well, I wouldn't do it either in the main but re Microsoft - I understand that after IE6 then all browser upgrades will be intrinsically linked to upgrades of the Win OS. Who's gonna want to be tied into that and forced to part with cash if they're happy with their OS (ha) and onnly need a new browser ?

I can see people going to Firebird and whatever else comes along just as a protest. Then they'll see how badly IE 5/6 PC sucks.

But really some people need a kick up the @ss to upgrade their browsers - I mean they're free for ***'s sake. But I guess people who surf the Apple site are not exactly using NN4 so maybe Apple can push the envelope a bit.
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post #18 of 44
It's not really upgrading the browser with the operating system.

It's building the rendering engine into the OS (like Apple has just done), and having explorer.exe (the Windows Finder.app) use that engine to display web pages.

It is one legitimate way to do it, except for the fact that 90% of users stick with the defaults. And that's bad in a monopoly.

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post #19 of 44
I think it's clear from Bowman's statement that they weren't actually hired to redesign the site, but to "coach" Apple's web team on creating a standards-compliant site. A standards-compliant website makes Apple more accessable to everyone, reduces development time, and enables the display of content on multiple platforms/device. If you haven't picked up a copy of Zeldman's book yet, Designing with Web Standards, I suggest you do. I've been designing & developing sites for 8 years now, and this book has broken me of some bad habits I picked up during the Browser Wars. The time has come to cast Netscape 4.7 aside and build to standards, not to the quirks of 5 year old browser code.
post #20 of 44
Maybe Apple will finally use (Gasp!) Flash on their site! Imagine that happening!
post #21 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by Placebo
Maybe Apple will finally use (Gasp!) Flash on their site! Imagine that happening!

Zeldman might have something to say about that....
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post #22 of 44
Like Klingon's in a china shop..totally rampant..
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post #23 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by Placebo
Maybe Apple will finally use (Gasp!) Flash on their site! Imagine that happening!

why? especially when they have QT with Flash support built in already
post #24 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by applenut
why? especially when they have QT with Flash support built in already

But Flash sites have such nice feels, small file sizes, and offer an overall better experience than an HTML site. QT is not the same thing.
post #25 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by Placebo
But Flash sites have such nice feels, small file sizes, and offer an overall better experience than an HTML site. QT is not the same thing.

But they're not as standards compliant generally - athough Macromedia are moving in that direction. Don't know what the new 2004 version has in that line though.
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post #26 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by segovius
But they're not as standards compliant generally - athough Macromedia are moving in that direction. Don't know what the new 2004 version has in that line though.

I think Flash has a whole accessability inspector of some kind. I'm almost positive.
post #27 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by LoCash
Well, I think in the context of what I've read so far, we can expect a change in aesthetics that will employ more modern development methods. The problem you mention that Microsoft will have because IE is a far cry from W3C compliant... I wouldn't be surprised if they started to take some initiative to change that a bit. The problem is that, and will be for a few years, we still have a large install base of older browsers that are most definitely not standards compliant. The problem is that we usually design for the lowest common denominator. I think we're on the verge of being able to get away with losing tables in favor of CSS. I wouldn't do it for 60% of my clients, but I could see Apple doing it.

Death to tables! Long live compliance!

I am an amateur web designer and have tried to get behind the web standards movement as much as possible. My primary sitehttp://www.FrodosNotebook.comuses not a single table. It scales beautifully from 640x480 up to 1152x768, or wherever else you want to take it. It's not perfect of course; I am still learning. I tend to take A List Apart's stance on designing for antiquated browsers: tough luck, upgrade. And actually the site doesn't look too bad in Netscape 4.7 (which, ironically, probably means I'm doing something wrong ).

Anyway, Apple designing there site using web standards will be a great thing for the movement. Long live Apple!

(Okay, I'm done now)
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post #28 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by SledgeHammer
Death to tables! Long live compliance!

I am an amateur web designer and have tried to get behind the web standards movement as much as possible. My primary sitehttp://www.FrodosNotebook.comuses not a single table. It scales beautifully from 640x480 up to 1152x768, or wherever else you want to take it. It's not perfect of course; I am still learning. I tend to take A List Apart's stance on designing for antiquated browsers: tough luck, upgrade. Ands actually the site doesn't look too bad in Netscape 4.7 (which, ironically, probably means I'm doing something wrong ).

Anyway, Apple designing there site using web standards will be a great thing for the movement. Long live Apple!

(Okay, I'm done now)

Egad...one tjhing that you can change on that site is how the background doesn't scroll with the text...when I scroll it makes me nauseus. Otherwise, great site.

(How bout putting a semi-opaque white square where the text scrolls over, for readability?)
post #29 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by Placebo
I think Flash has a whole accessability inspector of some kind. I'm almost positive.

I am pretty sure you are right. But, while I think Flash definitely has its place (witness Homestarrunner.com), I think it would be better for Apple to avoid it. It just doesn't seem necessary.
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post #30 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by Placebo
Egad...one tjhing that you can change on that site is how the background doesn't scroll with the text...when I scroll it makes me nauseus. Otherwise, great site.

(How bout putting a semi-opaque white square where the text scrolls over, for readability?)

I've always been a fan of the static background myself, but a semi-opaque background for the text is a good idea, and pretty easy to do. Thanks for the input. Anyway...back to topic...
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post #31 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by Placebo
Egad...one tjhing that you can change on that site is how the background doesn't scroll with the text...when I scroll it makes me nauseus. Otherwise, great site.

(How bout putting a semi-opaque white square where the text scrolls over, for readability?)

or fading the background pic to a watermark (almost) might look cool...the text is a tad difficult to read against the dark areas.
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post #32 of 44
I always like using opacity in websites; it allows readablity but still gives hat white space some feel.
post #33 of 44
Friggin anti-table activists.
Long live tables! (because they actually work reliably)

Standards are great. Everyone should have their own...
Lest we let multiple organizations dictate new, poorly-specified standards every year.

So far, Apple seems to have made the right tradeoffs between browser-comptibility and eye-candy. Flash and other high-level toolkits are 'neat'. Yet, if the same effect can be acheived with simpler, more reliable technologies, apple should choose that route. Rarely am I turned off from a product because a web site is too simple. However, it seems routine that I simply close the window of an overly complex site, which, in it's attempt to look impressive, fails to work reliably.

Sure, the <center> tag maybe depricated, but at times, it is the only reliable solution... screw the standards.
post #34 of 44
Yeah, what's all this table bashing I hear!?

Tables aren't an unrealiable layout format when done correctly. I used a successful tables/css combo on my site, and it works perfectly to this point. Check it out if you'd like at rageous.us. (I won't link it so as to avoid any spam accusations)

Note: The navigation can difficult to find at first, but I use the site for experimentation and to display work not in my portfolio or shown to prospective client.
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post #35 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by rageous
Yeah, what's all this table bashing I hear!?

Tables aren't an unrealiable layout format when done correctly. I used a successful tables/css combo on my site, and it works perfectly to this point. Check it out if you'd like at www.rageous.us. (I won't link it so as to avoid any spam accusations)

Note: The navigation can difficult to find at first, but I use the site for experimentation and to display work not in my portfolio or shown to prospective client.

You linked it.

It looks cool, but where the hell do I click?
post #36 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by CubeDude
You linked it.

It looks cool, but where the hell do I click?

Mouse over the "scales". It's a rollover thing. ( I hate sites that don't show text until you mouse over a certain hotspot)
post #37 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by Placebo
Mouse over the "scales". It's a rollover thing. ( I hate sites that don't show text until you mouse over a certain hotspot)

Like I said, it is completely experimental and I'd never consider doing something like this in anything other than that.

But you hate the entire site because of that?
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post #38 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by rageous
Like I said, it is completely experimental and I'd never consider doing something like this in anything other than that.

But you hate the entire site because of that?

Your Raphaels are quite excellent uh, but they can't compare to your beautiful tables (trying to stay on topic).
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post #39 of 44
Quote:
Originally posted by MacsRGood4U
Refreshing the site is a good idea. Also, current design is a few years old. Change is good.

You worked on the 'new coke' campaign, right?



Change is NOT inherently 'good'.
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post #40 of 44
TABELZ 4 LYFE!

\\m/
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