Frank Chimero is a designer and illustrator.
Thinking for a Living
Interactive • 2010
Thinking for a Living is a publisher and curator of thought-provoking design content. In 2010, Duane King, Ian Coyle, Shane Bzdok, and I redesigned the site, rethinking presentation and architecture.
We tried to create a site that reflected the upcoming paradigm shift in interactivity. The first iPad was released a few months before the launch, and we sensed the opportunity to rethink content layout. A tablet’s gestures are bi-directional, so we flipped the site on its side to improve legibility.
The site can be unobtrusively navigated using the keyboard on the desktop as well.
Our goal was to make a calm environment suitable for reading and contemplation. The interactions are minimal and natural enough to not interrupt reading.
Responsive design practices didn't exist at the time, so we created a grid system around devices. Four columns is optimal on an iPhone, sixteen fits an iPad, and the desktop as many as possible.
In recent years, an anticipatory thought from the launch’s blogpost has become even more evident: “Reading doesn’t just happen in front of a computer any more.”