Design: App.net Directory

This is the first in our occasional series about App.net design, where @mintz will explain the thinking behind a specific design direction. First up: the Directory.

App.net Directory

You may have noticed that various pages on App.net—including this blog—have adopted a new design. The design made its first appearance on the App.net Directory and will soon find its way on all of App.net’s top-level pages and Alpha.

When it came to the App.net Directory, the last thing I wanted to do was to detract from developers’ hard work with extraneous design elements. At the same time, I wanted the design to be distinctive, sophisticated and polished.

In order to do this, I settled on light colors and a minimal approach that would highlight the content. Because prominent textures and other graphical flourishes might do a disservice to the content, I avoided them.

Thanks to the large app banners, however, the design isn’t minimal to the point of being stark. The design gains its rich visual quality from the banners. In this way, the design both serves and benefits from the content.

On other pages, the design performs a similar function. The boldest element is the content. On Alpha, we’d like to put the focus on communication.

As Alpha and other pages adopt the new design, I will discuss the rationale behind various decisions. Stay tuned.

Ask @mintz your design questions and suggest topics for future posts.