This is the celebrated journal of Mr. Simon Collison A.K.A Colly

The end of CSS showcases

18th May 2006

It could be the end of an era. This week, Stylegala is for sale, and the Web Standards Awards site has now closed. I totally agree with this snippet from the WSA site’s closing statement:

Now we’ve arrived at a situation where beautiful sites with beautiful code are being produced by the hundreds; every month, every week, every day. It’s no longer a myth that you can produce a stunning site with Web Standards…

I couldn’t agree more. People have moaned that us Stylegala judges no longer post new entries in the gallery, but how can we? There are now thousands of CSS experts out there, all producing stunning designs, many of which are faultless under the hood. To choose one for the gallery is to ignore many others equally worthy of inclusion.

So, do we even need the CSS showcase galleries any more. Sites like Stylegala and CSS Beauty are still hugely popular and important, but perhaps only as purveyors of fresh and useful news. The galleries themselves are now little more than windows into a transitional era of web design. I think the time has come for showcase sites to diversify - and quickly - or die a death. They were important, inspirational, incessant, and we are all grateful for the role they played. That said, things move on.

Responses

# Arthur Case responded on 18th May 2006 with...

Maybe the end of CSS showcases, but I think good quality showcase galleries will always be a great resource.

# Matt wilcox responded on 18th May 2006 with...

I would say the decision to close is a good one. CSS showcase sites that aim for ‘the little guy’ have already accomplished what they were intended to do. What I would like to see is a showcase for ‘big companies’ that are designed and coded to the same high standard.

Sure, there are more large companies doing ‘the standards thing’, but it’s still comparatively slow moving. I’d love to see if the same methodology that worked for the little guy can work on major corporations and companies.

# Darren Hoyt responded on 18th May 2006 with...

Of its kind, StyleGala was definitely one of the best. Once it’s bought I hope the level of moderation remains high.

I subscribe to a raft of similar sites:

• CSS Import
• CSS Mania
• CSS Nightingale
• CSS smooth operator
• css thesis
• del.icio.us/tag/inspiration
• light on dark gallery
• screenspire.com
• Stylegala
• StyleReactor.net
• Unmatched Style
• W3 Compliant Sites
• Web Creme
• wow factor

Any missing?

# Dustin Diaz responded on 18th May 2006 with...

Daren,
Yes, you missed CSS Beauty ;) - which was mentioned in the post.

Simon, you’re right on here. It really has come to the point of “ok, I think we all get it now…”

I think what we’ll be doing at CSS Beauty is focusing more on news rather than the galleries themselves. Who knows what will come of it. JavaScript is now the newest hottest language now… and I think it’s safe to say that even though it’s been around - even in the standards world - it might stick around longer since it’s a bit harder and the learning curve is much steeper than CSS.

# Andy responded on 18th May 2006 with...

Certainly the necessity for CSS based galleries has diminished; however, design galleries will remain useful. I agree that there is a need to diversify and focus on a particular aspect such as larger companies, as Matt suggests, or by cataloguing particular designers works.

# Darren Hoyt responded on 18th May 2006 with...

Yes, you missed CSS Beauty ;) - which was mentioned in the post.

Omitted to avoid redundancy ;)

# Tinus responded on 18th May 2006 with...

CSS Beaty is more like a linkblog than a gallery nowadays.

# Olav responded on 18th May 2006 with...

Agreed, but the galleries have to stay. It’s a great source for inspiration! :)

# Simon responded on 18th May 2006 with...

CSS showcase sites still have an important role to play - what makes Stylegala great (in my opinion) is the open forum. It’s important, not only in helping people develop, understand and generally get to grips with web standards, but in creating a sense of community. It’s certainly great to see new and inspiring work, but I think a decline will see the sites with the largest communities actually growing because the smaller, less prolific, less useful sites will fade away. I think (and hope) Stylegala will be OK.

Si

# ftrc responded on 18th May 2006 with...

that is why i like sites like netdiver.net - they show sites, news and more.


designmeltdown.com is also an awesome site for webdesign. keeping track of styles and trends. it may be a new way of doing showcases.

# David B responded on 18th May 2006 with...

I disagree, CSS showcase sites are important as they have ever been.

Initially the showcases were a vehicle used to spread the message that designing to web standards can be visually as pleasing as anything done in the world of tables and spacer.gif. In this respect the showcases have been a rousing success.

However, once a “tables” designer has been converted to designing with web standards there is a quite a learning to overcome. In this vain, the showcases have become learning tool and are invaluable to someone new to the web standards game.

# Adam responded on 18th May 2006 with...

I guess don’t forget The Weekly Standards. Even though it hadn’t really been regularly updated for awhile now James at Forty Media officially closed its doors just a couple weeks ago.

The CSS Reboot is still going strong and only growing, but now it seems there won’t be any galleries to showcase the great designs that come out of it! :)

# Johan responded on 19th May 2006 with...

Fadtastic.net publishes articles related to trends, evolutions and modern standard-based webdesign.

The idea is designers try to communicate what is really ticking/felt in the upcoming ever evolvoing webdesign world

# Johan responded on 19th May 2006 with...

> Now we’ve arrived at a situation where beautiful sites with beautiful code are being produced by the hundreds; every month, every week, every day. It’s no longer a myth that you can produce a stunning site with Web Standards…

But CSS3 selectors are not supported widely yet. Some are not oficial yet and other are not implemented cross-browser. So I dont see the end of story yet ...

# Bill R responded on 22nd May 2006 with...

The galleries themselves are now little more than windows into a transitional era of web design.

Isn’t that a little bit like saying that the MOMA is nothing more than a window into the postmodern era?  If you think that’s true, then you have much to learn about art.

Everyone knows that the CSS world is constantly changing on a daily basis.  These sites, will always serve a useful service to the CSS community.  To generalize them as having outgrown their usefulness really just makes you look like a CSS elitist that is out of touch with mainstream web design.

# Colly responded on 22nd May 2006 with...

Bill R: “I have much to learn about art”?

As a successful artist prior to being a designer, and co-founder of an arts organisation (You Are Here Visual Arts) and two arts festivals, I naturally resent that statement, although I take your point. However, if you apply what I said to web design and not visual art, it’ll make more sense.

The galleries are not useless, but they now need to be put in context, reflecting a transitional era where awards were given for that rare thing - a beautiful CSS-based design. Brilliantly, there are now so many excellent standards-based designers that the giving of awards is difficult and often unfair. It’s a bit like awarding the Becks Futures prize to an impressionist painter.

To be honest, I can’t be arsed to explain myself any more, because you’ve played the “elitist” card, which I resent with every bone in my body. That’s a lazy swipe, and so 2005.

# Merid responded on 23rd May 2006 with...

css showcase sites are important as they have ever been. Initially the showcases were a vehicle used to spread the message that designing to web standards can be visually as pleasing as anything done in the world of tables and spacer.gif. In this respect the showcases have been a rousing success.

# Fabio responded on 25th May 2006 with...

You missed http://www.webdesignarchive.org”

Regards :)

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