The Twitter redesign is just one bit of news this past week about new website or app designs that focus on how to better present dynamically generated content in fresh and indigent ways.
I heard on This Week In Media that MySpace's redesign, set for launch in October, draws inspiration from Flipboard. If you're not an iPad user, check out the video below on how Flipboard works. It has revolutionized the concept of serendipity in packing packaging personalized content in new ways. Facebook, Twitter and some of my favorite RSS feeds were already sticky but Flipboard makes them moreso by pulling in images that you or others linked to, but did not directly publish.
iPad apps like FLUD and Pulse draw similar inspiration in allowing one to add their own mix of RSS feeds, and have the apps surface the content in attractive ways, and often more intuitively than their original source. So what once were heavy text feeds now come to life with rich images and integrated social-media connections.
And this morning I read that the new Internet Explorer 9 and Mozilla Firefox browsers will will push the concept of "hardware acceleration" to draw the most out of our computers in rethinking interfaces and deliver web pages in more visual ways. A Wall Street Journal story (video below) cites as an example being able to browse Amazon books by cover, then scan a pages from the saw window. The presentation reminded me of the Blogshelf iPad app, which treats blogs like a bookshelf.
And that's the inspiration these tools share: the ability to scan content in visual rather than textual ways. Text has been king for years because computer processing power, or lack thereof, dictated small file sizes that could be loaded quickly (remember dial-up, when even simple pages loaded slowly?). These days, your standard smartphone has tons more power than the computers common not too long ago.
The end result is a chance to rethink design, and give your readers or customers new doors through which to enter your world.