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Living Can Kill You

Canada.com goes standard

Yet another Canadian news site unveiled a standards-based redesign, this time canada.com. Unlike the Toronto Star redesign (which was likely hampered by a crusty CMS), canada.com’s mark-up is much cleaner and elegant. Not exactly semantic, but not too crufty either.

Unfortunately, the design itself — despite some innovations — feels very “pop” and almost like a fluffier version of MSN. As well, the site continues its failure to leverage the power of its domain with a generic purple, orange, and red palette.

What is interesting, though, is where the site is putting its emphasis: both personalization and community. This is new stickiness, and this is Web 2.0 really means.

Three years ago, when Wired News redesigned, the entire standards community rejoiced, embracing the site as a beacon of hope (even if some thought it would never really take off). Now, such redesigns are becoming common place; the time for buzz is gone. But that really is a positive sign, because it means an all-CSS layout is understood to be the right way to do things.

As I said at the terrific TorCamp/Barcamp Toronto this past Saturday: the Web standards fight is over, now let’s push for the best practices.