Ed Driscoll

Arlene Visits an Art Museum

Found via Charlie Martin at the Tatler, Gerard Van der Leun has a great observation about the timelessness of Matt Drudge’s page design layout:

Taken all in all, it’s another testament to this supposedly ancient and “inelegant” webpage that many slicker and much less visited web sites and designers disparage. But when you put those morons aside, you can see clearly that it is easily one of the most brilliantly designed pages in that it, seemingly, has no design.

But of course it does. It’s pure WYSIWYG. Loads fast, has headlines that provoke and intrigue. The ads stay out of the way. And most of all it says, quite clearly and immediately, what for the moment is THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT thing on the page. No hunting. No scrolling. Just point click and go.

And yet it all somehow manages to get across what the page’s editor, Matt Drudge, has to say about the news of the day.

Meanwhile, Tina Brown is burning through huge chunks of Jane (D-CA) and Sid Harman’s money for this week’s redesign of Newsweek. And as Gerard writes, “Check the stack of headlines top left leading inevitably down to “Obama goes golfing…” Then check the picture and the gesture of the thumb over the main headline. Yet another moment in the news=views genius of Drudge. It’s frozen in time in the archives @ DrudgeReportArchives:”

Which in addition to the nostalgia of Drudge’s page design, is also reminiscent of a classic gag from the very first edition of “Weekend Update” on Saturday Night Live when Chevy Chase deadpanned, “Still to come: Earthquake Claims San Diego, Four Million Die in Turkey, and Arlene Visits an Art Museum.”

Or to put it another way, “When it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change.”