It’s no secret to many people that Jeffrey Zeldman is one of the fathers of the web and was in fact my first inspiration once I got into web design. The busiest man in NY, has recently “launched” two major websites, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture. Now to be completely honest, when I saw the Searchlight site, I was dismayed. Was this the same designer whose writing I have followed for years? Every other site he has done is unmistakably Zeldman, not so much in a particular aesthetic but in the attention to detail and functionality, both of which I think the Fox site lack. However the AIfIA site is absolutely gorgeous. Check it out for a wonderful example of cutting edge CSS design and a sublimely superb user experience.
UPDATE: Well thanks to some helpful comments I have noticed the serious mistake I made with confusing Zeldman’s endorsement of the site with his actually being behind it. My apologies to those who this mistake slighted and I hope they take this as an honest mistake which, in a way, is also a strong compliment. Time to give credit where it is due. Christina, author of a book I have heard about in different circles but haven’t gotten to yet, points out that Erin Malone is the designer behind the new AIfIA. In a roundabout way, one of the things I realized when writing this correction is I know very little about this “Information Architecture” thing everyone is talking about. Even my evaluation was relatively superficial because even while I looked at the underlying code behind the site, I didn’t really attempt to quantify what made the site so pleasant and usable, which I wrote of to the “Zeldman touch.” I see my ignorance on the subject (of IA) as an opportunity for growth, and to that end the AIfIA site has been a great resource so far, I guess a testament to its purpose. Also a little googling led me to, amoung other things, an interesting tutorial at Webmonkey. More on this as I learn. I’m also very inclined to check out the two books written by the two kind enough to point out my earlier mistake.