It Gets Better with Age

Tonight I watched Objectified on Netflix—ironically, while ironing—and spent some time contemplating the various man-made things we use on a regular basis. The documentary film by Gary Hustwit is a follow-up to his brilliant tour de force of typefaces called Helvetica, but this time focuses on industrial design and its iconic celebrities.

There was one moment that resonated with me, though. I think it was compelling in its hopefulness. IDEO co-founder David Kelley spoke of objects that get better with age rather than degrade with it, which is a design concept that is becoming more foreign to us nowadays. Using the example of his father’s leather suitcase, the leather breaking in over time, Kelley believes our propensity for flash-bang consumerism is pulling us away from passing objects down through the generations. And I think I may agree.

So how could we design objects that get better with time? What about user interfaces? Websites? How can we apply the principles of classic industrial design—that which was practiced by Dieter Rams, Charles and Ray Eames, etc.—to the intangible world of pixels and code?

Organizing Browser Bookmarks

I like to keep track of good websites and good people. When I find something worth keeping, I’ll add a bookmark so I don’t forget to check back often.

There are many ways to organize bookmarks; I’m sharing my own method openly so that I might get a glimpse into yours. Share with me on Twitter or Facebook.

Overarching Principles

These are my self-ascribed rules of the road when it comes to bookmarks.

  • Only use the bookmark bar.
  • Keep folder names to one word.
  • Default to HTTPS when possible.
  • Rename page titles to be quickly readable.
  • Within folders, alphabetize.
  • Don’t bury a bookmark in a folder if it’s accessed frequently.

Bookmark Folders

Folders are a good way for me to keep tabs on tons of websites without cluttering my bookmarks bar. I keep restructuring these, so you’re seeing a point-in-time compilation.

Brands
I either appreciate or closely follow (or both) each of these brands. They are interesting, important, forward-thinking, or influential.
Google
Google is a brand, a tech behemoth, a newsmaker, and a services company. I access a Google-made product nearly every hour of the day, which is why it deserves a folder for itself.
Great
These sites are useful and creative. If I’m looking for inspiration, I go here.
People
In this folder I compile the websites of “cewebrities” and friends. These may or may not be blogs, so they’re usually dually-present in Google Reader, too.
Retail
Some of these could be moved to the Brands folder, but in general, these sell stuff from lots of brands in one place.
Social
I should probably cut back on these. Regardless, I think they’re all interesting and each has its own particular culture.

Bookmark Taxonomy

Here’s how the bookmarks play out:

Brands

  • Apple — Iconic, sharp, clever, simple; I am bewildered by the quality of products that churn out of this Willy-Wonka-like tech company.
  • byrd & belle — Beautiful carrying cases for laptops and digital devices.
  • Camelbak — I drink more water when it’s in one of these.
  • Field Notes — Small and simple, easy to carry, great for lists.
  • Gregory — Lots of pockets and completely comfortable for backpacking.
  • Herman Miller — They make the best chairs you can buy, and they’re from Michigan.
  • Incase — Well-made and stylish bags for digital equipment.
  • J.Crew — Good clothing and a step up from my teen brands. I think this contributes to my “chipster” label.
  • LAYERxlayer — Handmade bags from New York that remind me a little of The Village by M. Night Shyamalan.
  • TOMS — Interesting and comfortable shoes with an ethical cause.
  • Trek Bicycle — Sturdy and well-respected bikes from a reputable and USA-based company.

Google

Great

People

Retail

Social

And here are the bookmarks that deserve to be unhindered by a folder:

So, what do you think? Am I a mess? Could I do this better? How do you organize your own bookmarks?