.net magazine: Fine reading for web developers 1
~ 18 July 2006 ~
I’m a bit later to the party than others, but a complimentary copy of .net magazine arrived at my door last week. The magazine is not about Microsoft .NET, but rather a wide variety of web-related topics. 2
First things first: I was floored by the amount of quality web designer/developer-related content the magazine has to offer. This was my first exposure to the magazine, as it’s published in the UK, and it was definitely welcome exposure. Check out some of the article titles from August’s issue:
- The real Web 2.0
- Create urls with mod_rewrite
- Install a local test server
- Is a two-tier web the only way to provide a robust network?
- How we built ask.com
The old argument “I can get all this on the web” doesn’t hold water for me much more these days. I love the feel of printed pages; the ability to scribble notes and highlight; the freedom to rip out pages and tape them to the wall. Case in point: I read most of this issue during a flight to Seattle last week.
Second, .net recently underwent a redesign of the mag itself. Bold colors, solid typography, and beautiful illustrations enhance the already compelling content. It feels the way I’d expect a web design magazine to feel. Needless to say, the overall package — content and presentation — makes for an engaging read.
But above all, perhaps the biggest surprise came as I stumbled on pages 34-38 (“How to redesign a website”) only to find my name in print. I had completely forgotten that Jason Walsh interviewed me a few weeks ago regarding website redesigns. (Hence, the complementary copy.) Included are several quotes from our conversation.
How about where the magazine falls short? Only a few complaints. First would be US distribution. It’s rather pricey to subscribe here in the US from what I understand. Bummer. Second is ad quality — some of the ads are really poorly designed. Not surprisingly, the overall quality of a magazine tends to drop a notch when its ads are poorly designed, as if there exists some kind of symbiotic relationship between content and advertisement. A minor complaint nonetheless.
That Text Box Look
One of the aesthetic techniques used prevalently in the recent .net redesign is that of wrapping text blocks with colored backgrounds. Kind of like this. Perhaps the most notable usage is in the recent CNN International on-screen redesign:
While the technique is certainly nothing new, I’ve seen it used with greater frequency in the last several months, and I won’t be surprised to see it go from underused to overabused over the next year or so. That said, in an industry replete with Web 2.0-ish design aesthetic, this comes as a welcome departure from current trends and fads.
So, hats off to the team at .net. You guys have my address should future complimentary issues need a loving home.
- Observant readers may note this is the first time I’ve NOT used an initial cap image in an article headline. Please observe a moment of silence.
- Clarification kindly inserted after it was clear I confused several of you about the nature of the magazine.
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