Tag Archives: commercialism

Design, content management and the software

Naucler Design wanted a website matching design preferences found in their clothes' designs.

Earlier this year I “finished” (kill your darlings…) a redesign for the latex designer Naucler Design. This post was initiated right after that, but I haven’t gotten the motivation to finish it yet (killing another darling). The result is a hasty manifest to usability.

Naucler Design had long hoped to get a new website, but their first alternative as web designer wasn’t really appropriate. No agitation towards the original designer, everyone has their purpose in this world, but when the fundamental idea seems to be “bling-bling”, my inner minimalist gets brain-aids. The designer’s example had commercialism written all over it (FOLLOW THE BLINKING RABBIT) which in turn causes information to drowned in a sea of unintuitive design.

The other day I talked with a friend about the usability guru Jakob Nielsen. He usually knows best regarding design, accessibility and such, which many Web 2.0 fans forget about. He is a constant reminder that websites should be adapted for people who are blind, disabled, epileptics and deaf as well as search engines. Also the site should work for ordinary sheeple (IE), fashion bloggers (OMG PONIES!!!) and CEOs (iPhone) – all without giving the webdesigner brain aids.

Myspace is a good example of a site which has tried hard to ignore all critera for good usability. Not even the bands who use the site could possibly think it’s easy to use or even usable.

But I digress, back to Naucler Design. Their first alternative was to use Joomla!, a free and GPL’d CMS (Content Management System) which can do just about anything. The problem is that the general feeling I get is “hack upon hack” and in the end you have the world’s most bloated CMS. The administration is confusing and horribly inefficient and the codebase is generally slow. It’s my strong opinion that a content manager should manage content and not much more – am I wrong?

Personally I prefer WordPress for just about everything but static pages. I share their philosophy, the developers write beautiful code and they try hard not to add bloat. The design – both appearance and administrative – is also easy, concise and appealing. By contrast, Joomla is kind of like a xenon filled Hindenburg driven by a coal power plant and has to be modified with a blowtorch and sledgehammer.


True, there are many plugins for Joomla! which allow you to avoid the heavy tools. But the fact of the matter is that just about every single plugin is even worse than the original codebase, as well as they often promote Flash and other bloaty, proprietary technology. The bling-bling is also there in the background no matter how much you peal off. That’s what Naucler Design appreciated did not exist with WordPress’ standard design and philosophy. This simplified my task immensely.

(With that said, Naucler Design uses osCommerce for their webshop. osCommerce is old and stable but has an incredibly patchy and ugly codebase, by far worse than Joomla! But there are really no alternatives in that department, neither free nor proprietary software. So let’s leave that aside for the sake of this post.)

So please, people who are about to create or remake a website. For a greater good – including web standards and such – please choose a solution where you choose rather than remove components. If you find yourself “adding too much” – despite a site engine like WordPress – you’re already doing it wrong. Remember that the information flow on today’s internet is huge and that people ignore most of what they see – especially advertisement. So make sure what you’re offering is clean, simple and informative.

Allhelgoween, RAU & UmeTV-pepp

Jag måste passa på att tipsa om att wadis bygger bra grejer. Typ tårtor. Goda tårtor! Som ser ut som ansikten! Värsta bra Allhelgoween-grejen, även om jag är allmänt negativ till dessa kommersiella jippon.

Varken halloween eller allhelgona är särskilt lockande för mig, mer än att man har en anledning att hitta på roliga saker med en ursäkt. Inspirationskälla om inte annat. Följande bild har dock givetvis inget med fake-utklädnad att göra. Snarare representerar det mitt inne-i-garderoben-politiska engagemang.

En anonym medlem i Revolutionär Alliansungdom med plakat. Foto: En annan anonym medlem i RAU

Mindre kopplat till utklädnad-kostym och mer till kavaj-kostym så var jag närvarande på högerbandet Kreti och Pletis spelning på Verket igår, lördag. Revolutionär Alliansungdom var också där och sjöng med i Dom som äger bland annat. And yes, I was with them.

Efter att ha kommit ut ur garderoben som revolutionär alliansungdom kan jag erkänna att även om jag inte nödvändigtvis känner lockelserna så stöder jag fullt ut alla kommersiella jippon i stil med Halloween och julfirande. Fast endast tack vare den kommersiella prägeln och den andliga närvaron.

Fast det är väl kanske ändå allt vad helgerna handlar om förvisso…

2009-11-03 uppträder Malin Frimodig på UmeTVs awesome talkshow

I vart fall. Nästa gäst på UmeTVs awesome talkshow är Malin Frimodig. Jag är fetpepp och har lyssnat igenom hennes musik ett par gånger nu. Det påminner en massa om typ Dresden Dolls och en del mixar från Kno (of Cunninlynguists) – trots att det inte är hiphop.

Helt galet vad jag gillar den lokala musiken i Umeå. Vi har vanligt folk i professionell klass som direkt utmanar “kända artister”. Det gäller att visa upp detta så gott det går. Stöd det lokala kulturlivet etc. Det är ju ekologiskt!

Känner ni för att lyssna på lite vettig musik som spelas i ett vardagsrum och sänds live så är det tisdag 3 november 19:00 som gäller. Kika in på UmeTVs webtv om ni inte har UmeTV i dumburken.

Och kom ihåg att privatisera välfärden.

Mikael Nordfeldth med anonym Göran Hägglund
Revolutionära alliansungdomen MMN-o med en anonym, kristdemokratisk partiledare. Foto: Frank Drotz