February 20th, 2010

About the New Thinking for a Living

By Frank Chimero

After a spirited, inspiring pow-wow in the desert last year, Duane, Shane, Bob, Ian and I decided we needed to drastically rethink Thinking for a Living. In short, we noticed people were really enjoying the long-form content on the site. The essays were the content we most wanted to produce and consume, and some how, over the course of the first years of Thinking for a Living, we had found an audience for it.

With that in mind, we looked at the website and realized that it needed to be reconsidered as a place for reading and thinking. We think we’ve made that. I’d like to walk you through some of the finer points of the restructuring, including how to interact with the site. There is no right way to use the site (in fact, you could probably largely ignore this article), but we do have a few tips that will make reading the site lucid, easy, and really enjoyable. Ahoy.



Clicking on the arrows is cool, but there’s a better way. You can use your left and right keys on your keyboard. This is the way I love using the site. The website gets out of the way, and I can focus on the content at hand. Also, once you reach the end of an article, hit your right arrow key again to load up the next article in the issue.

For the QWERTY-loyal, you can also jump from section to section using your keyboard.

F takes you to Features.
C goes to Curated.
D directs to Digest.
S opens the Shelf.
N brings up Network.
X opens the submenu.

Oh, and T will bring you back to the home page.


Features & Issues

We’re calling our long-form content features. And we’re grouping features into issues. Issues will sometimes be themed, other times will not. It’s our attempt at trying to group content into more meaningful wholes, and give the reader a sense of completion. It’s a format that I’m sure we’ll play with and continue to develop. Clicking on Features in the main navigation will drop you into first article of the newest issue. Or going left or right on the homepage will take you from issue to issue.



Curated is a collection of selected work from around the web. We consider it the best of the best, and we’ll provide a bit of supplemental information and commentary about the work. From posters to toasters, it’s the design we consider to be of note. All killer, no filler.



Digest is a sorted compilation of the portfolios of our industry’s finest creatives. It’s powered by Delicious, so expect frequent updates.



Shelf is our collection of recommended reading. From monographs, to books on theory, to peripheral concerns, we’ve tried to create a resource that is not necessarily complete, but a solid place for suggestions. It’s my first stop after receiving an Amazon gift card. Maybe it can be yours too.



Contributors, supporters and brothers- and sisters-in-arms.


Subnavigation Links

The subnavigation link in the upper right of each section will bring up a submenu that will let you filter what you see: jump from issue to issue, only show Curated content about product design, or show all the monographs in the Shelf. You get the idea.


iPod, iPad, iPhone

Yes, the site looks and works great on multi-touch devices. Reading doesn’t just happen in front of a computer any longer. We’re ready.


Horizontal > Vertical

We took our website and turned it sideways. Why? Well, the site is for reading on screen, and I don’t know about you, but our screens are wider than they are tall. Putting text in columns makes it easier to read by providing a proper line length too. My eyes feel relieved already.



That about covers it. We hope you enjoy the new site. Remember, you can tap your right arrow once more to jump to the next article. See you in the gutters.