clifton labrum archives

case study

Click-Action Buttons

Many in the world of web application design desire to make their web-based software look and feel more like a desktop application. I’m a fan of making the web experience as rich as possible, and I recently learned how to add something more to my designs: click-action buttons.

Yes, it’s true. I love buttons. To me, the button is quite possibly the most important element in an interface. They should be designed and implemented with a lot of thought since they are the invokers of action and the committers of data.

Here I’ll demonstrate how to make buttons that press in when clicked, and it’s all going to happen without any JavaScript or magic.

posted by clifton on Monday, Mar 09, 2009 · 11 comments

It looks like you can use XHTML and CSS to wrap and flow text just like you would do in InDesign. I don’t know how useful something like this would be, and I haven’t looked at the cleanliness of the code, but it’s nice to know this is programmatically possible (and in IE6, no less). Check it out.

posted by clifton on Wednesday, Dec 10, 2008 · 1 comment

This is quite possibly the coolest search box I have ever seen. Way to go, Design Disease. So often search boxes are the last thing on a designer’s mind, yet it’s so easy to remove all the default styles and plop a wild background image behind the search input. I dig this kind of detail.

Update: Smashing Magazine put up a massive search article that talks about customization and design considerations. Great stuff.

posted by clifton on Wednesday, Dec 03, 2008 · 3 comments

While Apple has a healthy amount of attention on profit, product features, and competition, they seemed to pause this week to make a clear statement about their company. Steve Jobs passed around a Macbook chassis in their media event and Jony Ive, SVP of Design, emphasized careful craftsmanship in their product showcase. Apple has communicated what drives their company. They, the CEO and his fellow business-minded executives, respect the balance of form and function and embrace beauty and innovation. They notice nuances and foster a culture of design excellence. Leaders that love design are the foundation of an experience-driven organization.

posted by clifton on Wednesday, Oct 15, 2008 · 6 comments

MacRabbit, the maker of CSSEdit, has introduced a new web development tool called Espresso. While I’m a Coda man, and many around the office here use TextMate, I’m glad to see another good option on the horizon. It certainly looks promising. (Via Pedro.)

posted by clifton on Friday, Sep 19, 2008 · 7 comments

I know it may seem a bit cliché to post an Apple product on a blog these days, but I am very impressed with the elegant and gorgeously thin profile of the new iPod touch. This is beautiful product design. Very well done.

posted by clifton on Tuesday, Sep 09, 2008 · 1 comment

Magnetosphere revisited (audio by Tosca) from flight404 on Vimeo.

One of the rumors going around is that this visualizer will be available in iTunes 8.0 tomorrow (Sep 9th). It’s like a cross between fireworks and flying through space. I like it. I also dig the downtempo song: Suzuki by Tosca.

posted by clifton on Monday, Sep 08, 2008 · 1 comment

For you OmniGraffle users, here is your iPhone stencil. (Thanks, Gruber).

posted by clifton on Thursday, Sep 04, 2008

Finally, there’s something we can show you that some of our designers worked on. A new and improved way to find a chapel:

posted by clifton on Friday, Aug 22, 2008 · 2 comments

When I first started reading this review of the Blackberry Bold, the home screen UI looked promising. But the further you scroll down and the deeper you dive into the OS, it starts feeling too much like File System Land.

It’s almost as if the designers only had time to make a good-looking home screen so that the phone would sell well (and meet the obligatory marketing requirement of looking iPhone-ish). The rest of the phone’s OS ungracefully degrades the further you explore.
(via Jared).

posted by clifton on Friday, Aug 15, 2008 · 1 comment

“Simple is hard. Easy is harder. Invisible is hardest.”
Jean-Louis Gassée referring to Apple’s recent MobileMe launch (source).

posted by clifton on Tuesday, Aug 12, 2008 · 0 comments

As it turns out, Cameron is just a big copy cat. :)

posted by clifton on Friday, Aug 08, 2008 · 8 comments

IE 6 is a last-generation browser. This means that IE 6 can’t provide the same web experience that modern browsers can. Continued support of IE 6 means that we can’t optimize our interfaces or provide an enhanced customer experience in our apps. Supporting IE 6 means slower progress, less progress, and, in some places, no progress. We want to make sure the experience is the best it can be for the vast majority of our customers, and continuing to support IE 6 holds us back.”
Good call, 37 Signals. Read the whole InfoQ article here.

posted by clifton on Tuesday, Jul 22, 2008 · 0 comments

Apple opened its first retail store in China today. I’m sure Tim and Christine, our two Chinese team members, would approve. :)
(Photo courtesy of 变脸.)

posted by clifton on Saturday, Jul 19, 2008

Apple just reached 3rd place in market share in the U.S. PC market (Gartner via AppleInsider). They are still dwarfed by HP and Dell, but their growth is getting attention. Note how this is PC market share, independent of their iPod and iPhone products.

posted by clifton on Thursday, Jul 17, 2008

A buddy of mine recently switched to Mac and had to learn the difference between hiding an application and quitting it.

posted by clifton on Wednesday, Jul 16, 2008

posted by clifton on Friday, Jun 20, 2008

Be sure to go get Firefox 3!
(good luck with that)

posted by clifton on Tuesday, Jun 17, 2008

Get your 3G iPhone countdown widget.

posted by clifton on Thursday, Jun 12, 2008

When a designer has too much free time.

posted by clifton on Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008