Not exactly “breaking news” but AIGA, the nation’s largest organization devoted to the profession of design, recently relaunched and redesigned their website and it’s a radical departure for a somewhat staid institution. Adopting the ever more popular website style I refer to as “Chinese Buffet”, the AIGA site no longer has a traditional flow or “above the fold” content layout, but a scalable column system of multiple content boxes and “ads” that shift position depending on the size of your browser. It’s a layout and design that could look disastrous, cluttered and unfocused in the wrong hands, but AIGA wisely and subtly creates hierarchy and order amidst the chaos, especially in the nice touches of blog-style tags and categories, and greying out certain columns of information that only become more apparent when scrolled over, leading your wandering eyes in a more curated way.
It’s not a perfect design, but it’s a great evolutionary step for a web presence devoted to the multitudes of graphic arts and creativity. I personally hate when you maximize your browser window to take full advantage of the reshuffling tiles, only to scroll down to find certain columns are exceedingly and inexplicably longer than others. But it’s a minor quibble that could easily be fixed by allowing all the tiles to reshuffle freely.
This buffet style of web design, where you pick and choose what content to access and what to avoid is not for everyone, but for AIGA, an organization devoted to the visual craft of design and it’s myriad forms and developments, it’s a great opportunity to showcase lots of talent, events, and social activity that can keep you educated and entertained long after a more traditional layout would have.
Visit the new AIGA website here.