It’s the sixth annual May 1st Reboot today, in which designers all over the Web launch visual makeovers of their Web sites. You can go and see the sites that have launched under the rubric of the original campaign at May1Reboot.com, and you can see the campaign’s less Flash-intensive, more standards-friendly offshoot at CSSReboot.com. Together, both efforts can boast of literally hundreds of participants; a heck of a lot of designers have been busy nights and weekends over the past several weeks.
But the only one you really need to go see is the brand new JeffCroft.com, which is a major home run of a redesign if I ever saw one. It’s perhaps the deftest and most cohesive user experience yet fashioned from all of the various de rigeur weblog features, circa 2006: there’s a blogroll, a list of shout-outs, an integrated Flickr feed, comments on everything, a “tumblelog” that orders everything Croft touches, apparently, into a single, chronological view — not to mention a good ol’ fashioned weblog of stuff he writes, too.
It’s a kit of parts that could have easily produced chaos, but Croft unifies everything with a particular élan that has the feeling of a breakthrough. The interface is thoroughly unified and orderly, yet pleasing inventive at all levels — there’s a bold and striking effect to the whole presentation that can be taken in instantly, but it’s a nuanced performance, too (I’m not sure if anything Croft has done before has balanced gestalt and minutiae so successfully; if it has, I want to see it soon). This is the kind of design that thrills me; completely self-motivated and yet unfailingly conscientious in its attention to detail. And it makes me think that things around here are starting to look a little long in the tooth.