At the Ref Desk (7/11/20): After 6 hrs of chat-reference, I got out of the house and hiked north on Broadway all the way from Diversey to Howard. Nice evening. (Took the bus home.) [more...]

Grids Are Good

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 7/9/07 (10:37pm)

I've wanted to link to this for quite a while now. It's a PowerPoint presentation by Khoi Vinh called "Grids Are Good". Khoi Vihn is the lead designer at the New York Times and he gave this presentation along with Mark Boulton at SWSW.

The importance of the topic, namely that grids are essential to how we lay out information can hardly be overemphasized.

Look at the image below from Vihn's presentation. Note how easily the page fits into a grid.
Yeeaaah! Personnels Mock-up

Next, look at the home page of Cornell Library. (It's what got me started on this.) Note how the boxes in the center columns don't line up.

On Cornell's page, this isn't a big deal but it's easy enough to find examples that are far worse.

Whatever the degree, it's clear they hadn't seen Vihn's presentation. If they had, they would have known that visual order is an aide to cognition and that it conveys meaning. The less of it we have, the less clear our design.

You can download the presentation here... A podcast from SWSW is available here...