I’m Chanpory, and this is my site on how to live and work better as a designer.

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Grids are Good

Are you grappling with how to design websites using a grid-based layout? Check out Khoi Vinh and Mark Boulton’s excellent design tutorial, Grids are Good.

The presentation starts with a brief history of grids, then walks you through a step-by-step example of redesigning a large portal-type site using a grid.

The portal example is especially interesting because of its complexity. Here’s what Khoi says:

When I started casting about for an ideal candidate, there was an obvious winner in a high-profile portal Web site that’s familiar to millions of Web surfers ” rhymes with –”ha-hoo.– That site has an ideal mix of many different kinds of information design problems: robust navigation, multiple content types, consumer branding, a mix of editorial and marketing contents. You couldn’t really ask for a more well-rounded challenge.

I especially love that Khoi also carefully considers how ads fits into the site. In fantasy-land there’d be no ads, but in reality, we have to live with them. Instead of ignoring them until the very end of the design process, Khoi accounts for ads from beginning, creating a harmonious, balanced, and integrated look.

Download the complete presentation here:

For more of Khoi’s thoughts on grids:


  • Shaun Shull

    gravatarNov 1, 2007
    10:36 pm

    I’m not really digging the Yahoo! re-design example. It feels like information overload. I could be biased though since I hate the idea of purposely conforming to grids for design.

  • Ravi Vora

    gravatarNov 2, 2007
    5:50 am

    I agree 100% that grids are good. In fact, grids are great. I’m not sure it’s as well represented in the redesigns, but it usually makes things flow so much better.

  • Patrick Au-Yeung

    gravatarNov 9, 2007
    10:25 pm

    chanpory, great post. reminds me a bit of the exercise we did for one of our projects when we had to account for maximum ad spaces. hope you’re well.

  • Diesel

    gravatarNov 13, 2007
    5:59 pm

    We’re learning about grid systems in class right now. This post is golden!