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Use the Power of the Brave New Web

November 10, 2015
by Adam Churchill

The most dangerous phrase in a language is we've always done it that way.
— Grace Hopper

For over 20 years, websites have followed the same general pattern. Headers, footers, sidebars, all laid out in an orderly rectangle. When screen sizes grew from 640–800 pixels, designers filled the extra space with sidebar content.

This content was, according to Jen Simmons, “the original way to find things.” But over the past two decades, the sidebar has become something to be ignored. Does that mean that designers stopped including them in their designs? Nope. Because we’re stuck in a rut.

We don’t have to be, says Jen. We have the power to float text, wrap it around images, or pour it into text “boxes” that aren’t boxes at all. They can be ovals, circles, diamonds, and more. The power to do this exists today. If we’re not using it, we’re missing out.

Adapted from “Innovation and the Power of the Web,” a Virtual Seminar by Jen Simmons