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September 24, 2010 / Gina D.

Imagine that: A perfect fit

“Perfection is not found on a perfect page, but rather in a perfect system. … It is not enough to know visual design. The concept of behavior requires more of you. Much more.” — From SND Denver Web Design Boot Camp presentation by NPR‘s David Wright and NYT‘s Tyson Evans.

I always thought I might really like web design. Now I *know* it.

Granted, Thursday’s Web Boot Camp, taught by NPR’s Dave Wright and NYT’s Tyson Evans, wasn’t my first exposure to the wonders of HTML. In fact, all the way back in 1996, I built a website for the Nebraska Arbor Day Foundation. I had to — the site design/functionality was a large chunk of our final grade for Typography 101, the first journalism class I ever took at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln J-School. The project was graded on appearance, yes, but moreso on functionality and innovation.

But things were pretty basic back then.

Thursday’s day-long session was just the nudge I needed to jump back into the web full-force, their training filling in some of the gaps that were keeping me from taking some first big steps.

Well… maybe not jumping in FULL FORCE. It’s not like I get paid to do that stuff — yet. However, the little side-project you’re reading right now is primed for application of the things I learned Thursday. So, I’ll be picking up a copy of their recommended reading — CSS: The Definite Guide — on my way home from the airport and putting all that fresh knowledge and energy into the things you see here.

Speaking of things you’ve seen here, I was pleased to see a couple of the sites I had been watching showed up on our instructors’ watch lists(s) as well, specifically “the Bold Italic,” an experimental Gannett site that has been doing some really interesting art direction for their featured articles, starting with the home page “banner” treatment and unfolding the theme in the story’s main page.

Speaking of unfolding, that’s an excellent way to describe what’s happening on MSNBC.com. Their more recent innovation has been to locate all elements for a story/package in a single page that offers tabs you click as you make your way down the page. Seems an ingenious way of storing all the information in one place without bogging down the page’s load time. The reader decides if/when to load the next section by clicking on a tab that brings up the next section of content. Pretty slick.

There were lots of other notable mentions about the blogroll we were given (available on this online “one sheet” of sorts) but no time to get into that now — off to the next session!

Don’t forget to check back at my previous post as I’m working to “enliven” the links, and maybe add a morsel or two of detail as they come to me.

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