In the past I have had a strong distaste for Myspace (and still do), often offering free blog designs to my friends for promising to stay off Myspace / delete their current page. Yeah, I guess you could consider mine strong feelings.
So my friends might be surprised to hear that I actually had a tab containing (nay, restraining) Myspace today. I was taking a look at the recently published Nooma page on Myspace.
It’s a beautiful thing to see such clean design on a Myspace page. A solid color as a background (I know, so simple, yet so rare) and strong text layout was nice to see. All the normal beautiful Nooma tendencies were there: tight and modest type sizes as well as those little blocks and bubbles.
I also have a lot of respect for the guys at Flannel (a very cool site too) being able to work their way around the hideous code behind Myspace. Yuck. I tried working through it once, for a friend’s band here in Fort Wayne, but to no avail. Just looking at the 30+ pages of code made me sick.
But NoomaMyspace exemplifies strong design despitethe site’s location. An interesting use of images for links and post descriptions/teasers apparently (I’m guessing) made formatting for Myspace a bit easier. I can’t say I can agree with using images to represent text, though. On the one hand it can hurt search engine placement. But on the other, probably more important hand, it makes it impossible to select text. I may be an odd one out, but I love highlighting text. Sometimes I copy it, but oftentimes I just like to run my mouse over text and select things while I read. Sure, I’m a dork like that.
Of particular interest are the videos available at the bottom of the page. Nooma offers code to drop your choice of a selection from any Nooma video straight onto your website. It looks like they created their own video player for it too; it works well. To give their new work a little test run, here’s a great selection from the latest Nooma “You.” I was among the lucky group at the University of Michigan who were the first to see this one (I wrote about it). Just for fun, try and guess where Rob is: