To admire, study, and critique

Two noteworthy XHTML/CSS redesigns have recently launched:

Macromedia – The good and bad wrapped into one. Good: Clean, airy, pleasing color combinations, fun imagery, classic Macromedia typography, aesthetic, and balance. Heavy use of Flash, but no excessive animation. Bad: The scary thing about this redesign is the source code of their home page (or should I say how little source code there is for their home page) and how reliant they are on one big umbrella .swf file. Try hitting this homepage with your PDA? Or how about Opera? And c’mon Macromedia. Why must you feel the need to reinvent common user interface controls like pull-downs? Yours look nice, but certainly don’t function the same as our good ol’ tried and trusted <select>.

AllTheWeb – These guys have been around the standards block before, so they know what they’re doing with XHTML and CSS. But this time they strip a bunch out and simplify everything. Sprinkle in a few vibrant colors and they’ve got a fun, sleek-looking search engine. Seemingly a move to follow in Google’s giant footsteps, and more successful than HotBot‘s recent attempt. They continue the trend of skinning options with new custom colors and themes. Yet another XHTML project to be plagued and invalidated by the naked ampersand.