Shane BarnhillFriday,29 March 2013

The Snap:

On Thursday, a redesigned look for The Snap Download went live. It’s quite a departure from the previous site design, which utilized a “traditional” two-column blog format and included post summaries organized in a single “body” column in reverse chronological order. The new design is more of a grid-based layout, and it utilizes responsive design to display anywhere from one column (for mobile phone screens) to three columns (for old school laptop/desktop web browsers), based on the device being used to view the site.

The Download:

Although the new look is live, it’s not yet perfect. You may see some funky things on the site right now, from article summaries that have each word capitalized (gag), to “[…]” text following article summaries (random). And don’t get me started on the display of the full articles themselves — some of the formatting has been stripped from the site’s style sheet, and the line spacing is an eyesore.

So no, the new design is not yet perfect, which may cause you to ask: “then why the hell is it live?”

Put simply, I’m a fan of not letting “perfect” get in the way of “pretty damn good.” While perfection is always the end goal — you never want to be just “good enough” — I’m a believer in the model of launching a product when it is “very good” and then releasing a series of updates that draw an asymptotic curve toward the line of perfection. In other words, “we’ll do it live!” (see video below).

This probably isn’t a good approach for high-risk situations like Space Shuttle launches, but it seems to work just fine as the method that companies like Google and Apple use when launching their products and services. And for low-risk events like blog redesigns, I believe it’s a sign of informed, intelligent risk-taking (if I do say so myself).

So here we are. A new design that carries forward the brash, irreverent characteristics that have been part of TSD since Day One. I hope you find that the new design makes it easier to skim through multiple article summaries at once, as you browse for topics that speak to you. Either way, I would value your commentary on the changes, and I hope that you take advantage of the comment box below to tell me that you either love the new look, or think it’s a bag of shit.

Either way, it’s just the start of a series of successive iterations toward an impossible goal.

Hat Tips:

Sweans Technologies (a damn good partner), Wikipedia, Image Credit: Flickr

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