Beautiful Version 2 Entries | March 8, 2004

I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting such a high level of quality entries when Paul (whitespace) Scrivens announced his monthly Version 2 competition. However, on looking at the list of submission for the February contest, I have to say I was impressed.

The standards is extremely high and below is a list of my favourites.

Posted at March 8, 2004 5:42 PM

Comments

ray said on March 8, 2004 5:48 PM

Good thing I didn’t finish my own V2 submission. Bright Corner blows it out of the water. Slick redesign!

dez said on March 8, 2004 6:29 PM

Impressive designs. BTW the URL for Minz Meyer’s entry does not appear to be correct, It should be
http://www.researchkitchen.de/gutenberg/index.htm

Scrivs said on March 8, 2004 7:10 PM

Heh, too bad you guys can’t see the voting going on right now. Interesting to see the range to say the least.

Andy Budd said on March 8, 2004 7:19 PM

How does one vote?

Andy Mac said on March 8, 2004 7:35 PM

You can vote here Andy: http://9rules.com/version2/feb/

del said on March 8, 2004 7:37 PM

Bright Corner is amazing. PG needs this redesign too. I’ve been complaining about it for years, especially such a high profile OSS project. Finally.

Scott Hutchinson said on March 8, 2004 8:50 PM

Minz Meyer for me, Bright Corner is very good but my initial reaction was that it was a little to busy and overpowering.

Ben de Groot said on March 9, 2004 1:24 AM

I agree with Scott that Bright Corner is too busy, it just looks too cluttered. My personal favourites are Minz Meyer, Ben Scofield (Culann) and Aleksandar Vacia. I myself just didn’t have enough time to take part.

Amit Karmakar said on March 9, 2004 4:26 AM

Some lovely designs here folks. But the one that caught my attention was from Parallelvision
Will share my thoughts with you. They are merely my opinion. Nothing has to be right or wrong so please do not take this personally.

Culan is good but a bit like palmone site. And the heading seem to take up too much attention. Those ‘>>’ are nearly done to death.

ResearchKitchen: nice colours. But there is a lot of real estate wastage. ‘contents’ doesnt form any rationale… I think… but overall pretty.

Square Factor: Very nicely done. Font could be neater… I think.

Parallelvision : Awesome. slight work required. Left alignment of the body text. White space of navigation of top right nav seems a tad much.

BrightCorner: Great design again but a bit cluttered and too many bold faces and strong colours.

My $0.02 anyway.

Don said on March 9, 2004 7:14 AM

Squarefactor has layout problems in my browser (Firefox 0.8), otherwise it would be my favourite.
Has anybody else noticed this?

Mike P. said on March 9, 2004 8:18 AM

Here too in firebird.

Cool picks Andy. We only had minz in common, and that wasn’t my first pick - it is nice and well thought out, but for me the content is too hidden.

T’will be interesting to see the results.

wink said on March 9, 2004 8:44 AM

I looked at the submissions from three points of view: Information, Layout, and Aesthetics. Informationally, when I looked at the original PG site, I realized that there was simply too much stuff on there. Asking myself what needs to stay, and what you can chuck from the front page left me with this list:

Need:
1) Logo
2) Search
3) Navigation
4) Mission Statement blurb

Nice to have if there is room:
1) News/Announcements
2) New Additions
3) Get Involved

Pretty much everything else can go into subpages. If a submission had more than these elements, I generally dismissed it as being too busy or dense.

From a layout point of view, I mostly decided based on how much weight the various elements were given. The primary measurement of weight that I used in this case was if it was above or below the fold on a 760×420px window (the current cascade size of my browsing window…and a size that is approximate to a maximized browser window on a 800×600 display).

Obviosly the Logo needed to be entirely above the fold. Of the remaining elements, I felt that the search needed to be completely above the fold, the mission statement and navigation needed to at least start above the fold (if not be entirely above the fold), and ideally the News and New Additions would start above the fold.

I put such a strong weight on the search because once you actually know what PG does, that’s the thing you are going to use most (except for the New Additions if you are a frequent visitor). If that is the case, then you shouldn’t need to scroll to get to it.

(Sidenote: I was going to enter this contest. Really, I was. But I totally ran out of time. But my design was going to be an ultra-minimallistic design that ripped off Google: Logo, Search, and a little bit of navigation. Because that’s what the site is there for, right?)

Finally I looked at aesthetics: balance, color, graphics and typography. Basically, I asked myself if the site had a feel that matched the great name of Gutenburg.

Only one was a homerun on all counts for me: Travis Cripps. The site did not overwhelm me with unnecessary info, the layout gave the appropriate prominece to search, and the balance and typography felt perfect.

A very close runner-up was Minz Meyer. In this case, the aesthetics were so appealing that I was willing to overlook the fact that almost nothing is above the fold. This could have been corrected by moving the search to the empty upper-left corner and starting the contents/latest news 50px higher (I think that still would have retained enough whitespace to be pleasing). Making those changes would probably have caused me to rank it first. The submission kept the layout uncluttered and simple—such a contrast from the original.

My third choice was Geert De Deckere. Again, simple with no unnecessary junk. Appropriate weight to the appropriate elements. Unfortunately, something undefinable was off about the typography and balance. Maybe the headers are too big or something. I think this one could have been nearly perfect if it had used graphics instead of text for the headers, navigation and logo (FIR of course for accessiblilty reasons).

So my vote goes to Travis Cripps.

Just my $0.02. Actually, given how much I wrote (far more than I intended [can you tell I’m procrastinating on some other project??]), more like my $3.75.

chris andrews said on March 9, 2004 9:17 PM

i really dig the parellel vision site, though it seems very reminiscent of the reh3.com design to my eyes. the minz design is also excellent, though i don’t like the idea of the sites primary function (the search engine) being hidden of screen on most resolutions. Culann and Bright Corner are both brilliant, simple and elegant designs.

Ben Scofield said on March 10, 2004 12:41 PM

Thanks for including me (Culann), Andy - those are pretty much my favorite submissions, too.

Amit: I’m not familiar with palmone - and I don’t think my entry looks much like palmone.com at all. Should I be looking at a different site?