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daylife flow

Barack Obama - News, photos, topics, and quotes

This is a post that I could spend months writing, but to keep things manageable I’ll try to be brief. Daylife (whom I work for) launched a major release last night at that I’m pretty hyped about. Up until last week I have barely mentioned Daylife b/c I’ve been working on the Select project for some time. Until there’s something in the wild there isn’t much point saying anything. It should be noted that I’m writing this post from my POV (Design Director) and am speaking soley for myself. The process of getting this release up and running was very much in the spirit of Agile (ie: everyone contributed a lot to make the site work) and not like the typical Waterfall silo way of working. Every person that has spent a ton of time working on it will have their own stories of stuff they learned.

Above I’ve tried to diagram a top level view of all the stuff that you can do w/ an online news article and to give some insight into all the things Daylife can do on a page. By far my fav. dynamically driven page is the quotes tab from a topic page. There are so many ways to get information that you might not have found otherwise that I luv. The quotes are the quick soundbytes. You can scroll really fast w/ some impressive words and find a full article online from a publisher. Then there’s a couple modules that again make it super easy to go through a lot of visual stuff. I can bounce through a lot of photos, read up to the second mentions of the topic via twitter and watch videos. And if I like it I can embed those module to another site. My previous blog post was illustrating that idea where I took couple modules, customized the content and then repost it all into one blog post.

There’s a couple sides to Select. The thing that you won’t see unless you’re a publisher using Select is the fact that you can take the entire Daylife system and customize it to your own site via a wizard. The interaction’s that we did for that were pretty cool. At some point I’d like to really explain that stuff, but again I’ll keep this whole post short for now. This release is the start of a lot of new things that will be rolled out in due course. At this point the site follows a lot of the 13 points that I blogged about from Noisy Decent Graphics. If I could distill some of the design principles that we tried to stick to, it would be 1. open up the content, 2. be clear that you know where you’re going when you click on something, 3. be able to embed content as much a possible, 4. let the content speak for itself (less web visual graphics that isn’t part of the story), and 5. want to come back and use again.

I’d really encourage you to check and let me know what kind of experience you had – both good and bad. The site is in a constant state of evolution. Right now we’re looking for feedback as the next release takes shape.

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  • JoyceB

    Hey Michael, thanks for posting your design rationale. I find point 4 of the principles interesting, because one of the reasons I find Daylife so compelling is that is *does feel* very visually driven. (Maybe “driven” is the key word here.)

  • games

    This article I so true, keep on writing like this, enjoyment to read 🙂 312