Around the Office: custom grids, proper CSS3 use, what Google knows, more

A post on Web design blog Six Revisions this week confirmed our notion that CSS3 sites are only as good as the experiences they create. Author Delwin Campbell explains that CSS3 hasn’t ushered in anything new in terms of fundamental design and visual presentation principles. And while cosmetic CSS3 properties work on the aesthetic level, they shouldn’t get in the way of the user experience. It’s tempting to go overboard with new CSS3 options, but “Because I can” is not a good reason for design decisions.Grids are an important part of both online and offline layout. Eva created a custom webpage grid system this week using the Grid System Generator. Choosing from a variety of base templates, you can plug in custom page widths, margins, and column numbers to quickly create a CSS and XHTML-compliant base for rapid prototyping, development and production. What you do with your grid is up to you.

Want to start running, but need some motivation? Wayne thinks running away from Zombies could be the motivation you’re seeking. Zombies Run is a new interactive iPhone game that lets you experience the terror of approaching Zombies safely through your headphones. Keeping pace means remaining alive. And while you’re not actually in harm, the game will help prepare you for the inevitable zombie uprising.

An article in the London Review of Books on why we should care that Google knows a lot about us resonated with Daveed who knows enough to be critical of how personal information is collected and used. Once considering the implications, Google’s seemingly innocuous mission “to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”, starts to lose its charming veneer.

While it seems to us that Google has done reasonably well not to betray the public’s trust even while photographing all the world’s streets or scanning all the world’s books, an ethical conundrum arises because Google is, in fact, in competition with other companies for the world’s information. The problem is that information shouldn’t be the property of only one company. On one hand, what company could compete with Google’s head start on information? And on the other hand, what other company would have the imagination to pursue these projects?

Finally, on a sad note, Steve Jobs died this week after a seven-year battle with pancreatic cancer. We’ve written about Jobs on Around the Office from time to time, largely due to the distinct vision he brought to technology. It goes without saying that he will be missed. As a true memorial, we hope that others are inspired by Jobs to bring creativity, insistence on perfection, and elegance to what they do.