Man, I really expect better than this from 37Signals. The Basecamp homepage just looks sort of like a squatter site right now. Top nav looks like a Google ad. And no apparent way to look up any of the info I went there to get.
So I just got done looking at the new plugin the guy that did Masonry is working on (see attached link). It’s crazy smart. It also got me thinking about how we architect and build sites in general. In general, do you know why responsive web design kinda sucks right now? It’s the fact that it’s basically context blind. Everyone does it by a grid with no respect for content. What’s missing is the bridge between responsive LAYOUT and responsive CONTEXT. Frameworks like 960GS, Foundation, etc are all great, but they only solve half the problem, and basically blind sites to the other half. Responsive context doesn’t necessarily mesh with the principal of a site that marries itself to a grid that is clever at linearizing itself, which is really all those frameworks are designed for. Don’t get me wrong, there are sites out there that are managing to do okay on the context front, but they are few and far between. They also generally have to work around the framework, rather than with it, to get the results they want. We need a way to do weighted prioritization of elements, so that as a page scales down, it truly responds with intelligent sorting. When I see elements flying around in the Packery preview, I can’t help but think that there is the possibility for something near to a solution there. A grid that can scale, while moving elements around, and do so in a way that allows a developer to say certain elements should flow to different parts of the grid based on what they are showing. Feel free to share your thoughts on the subject below.
I’m disappointed that it’s nearly 2012 and this is the best that Amazon can do presentationally with these “letters” from Jeff Bezos.