Design Focus

Friday Focus 11/19/10: Shelf Love

Last week I mentioned a site that uses a shelf as a nice metaphor for holding content, so let’s look at several more in this week’s Friday Focus.

Designs of the Week


Big, bright, and shiny. This is a flawless design basically. My favorite part is the Twitter icon also getting the same tag treatment.

Sweet Design

Love the contrast between the old style glass jars and the new media stickers and trinkets inside them. I think the only missing part here is better typography.


The book titles and shelf height could be bigger. I like the addition of the electrical outlet to the side even if it doesn’t really add much to the design. The browsing and sorting animations look great.

All My Mac Apps

I would really love it if sites using the shelf metaphor take it all the way and support drag-and-drop, and other AJAX interactions.


The colors and details here are great, but I have to wonder if a kids-oriented site should use a lighter color palette. What’s stopping shelf designs from being pastel-colored instead of literally brown because of the wood? Is it the lighting?


It’s nice to see shelves on a more popular site such as Shelfari (the name begs that I guess). It’s probably the most well-done too: no skimping on features and the look blends well with the rest of the interface elements (tabs, buttons).

Social Media Weekly

HTMLExploring Markup for Breadcrumbs
“So where are we at on this? I’d say that there is no super-ultimate best-possible-way to handle breadcrumb markup yet.”

DesignThe Three Threats to Creativity
“Creativity depends on the right people working in the right environment. Too often these days, the people come ill-equipped, and their work environments stink.”

AccessibilityAccessibility myths in 2010
” Early this year, Ian Pouncey posted a few other Web accessibility myths. Here is a quick roundup of the myths from these two articles.”

HTML5HTML5 Outliner

  1. By Diddybears posted on November 22, 2010 at 8:58 am
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    Thanks for featuring my site. It’s not aimed at children whatsoever. Diddybears are not toys – they are collector pieces / artist bears, the vast majority of which are bought by adults.

    Thanks anyway.

  2. By Diddybears posted on November 22, 2010 at 9:34 am
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    In fact, having read the rest of this post you seem to criticise all but one site you’ve selected. Better you had called the post “Shelf hate” !

  3. By Matt Davies - Attitude Design posted on November 24, 2010 at 9:24 am
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    Great post – Apple iBooks has been most influential in this area with their “bookshelf” interface. Very friendly interactive and intuitive. Thanks for the post – v inspiring…

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