is a blog about design, technology and culture written by Khoi Vinh, and has been more or less continuously published since December 2000 in New York City. Khoi is currently Vice President of User Experience at Wildcard and co-founder of Kidpost. Previously, Khoi was co-founder and CEO of Mixel (acquired by Etsy, Inc.), Design Director of The New York Times Online, and co-founder of the design studio Behavior, LLC. He is the author of “Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design,” and was named one of Fast Company’s “fifty most influential designers in America.” Khoi lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn with his wife and three children. You can reach him through one of the services below.+
My latest assignment at Behavior is developing a portfolio site for a commercial photographer, so I spent a lot of time today looking at various photographers’ Web sites for research. There’s no shortage of these to be found online, which means there is a fairly well-established orthodoxy of ‘best practices’ — slick Flash animation, non-scrolling presentation areas (often in daughter windows, minimal true interactivity, the same three or four major sections — but it also means that many of them are more or less indistinguishable from one another.
A few of the sites that stood out: BruceRogovin.com, which obscures the photographer’s own images with navigation in an admirably single-minded manner. CarolAcord.com, which cleverly resolves the problem of non-standardized aspect ratios among its portfolio images. ChrisHallPhoto.com, which integrates its thumbnail navigation into the layout somewhat cleverly. My favorite was probably GeorgSchlosser.com, which makes somewhat perfunctory use of Flash, but makes up for it with a beautifully understated aesthetic.+