A colleague pointed me to MAAP's new website at www. medical-architecture.
com. The directors are ex Medical Architecture and Research Unit people and the practice has been going since 1991. My mate described it as 'simple and well done'. And indeed it is. The home page has the MAAP logo, a big changing image of the practice's pet works and a contents list down the left hand side: News, Company, Services, Sectors, Contact. Click on any of these and the headings below shift down to make room for the chapter sections.
Get back to the home page by clicking on the logo. Navigation is very simple and immediately graspable. The big, changing pictures are simply there - no incompetent loading clocks or bars, no hanging around, finger poised on the Back button. I don't know who designed the site but getting things quite as simple and fast means he/she is worth their weight in virtual gold. One criticism is the quality of staff mugshots. OK, it is really nice that all 19 of the practice are featured as thumbnails. But they have either been shot on a low-resolution digital camera or half the staff really are bandits.
An intriguing touch is a map of how to visit the practice's office. There are no roads, only street names. I used to have an office nearby so I know the area rather too well to be able to say that anybody could work it out. Mind you, how often do people, bike messengers apart, need to visit their architect's office?
You will probably have heard about the official release last week of FireFox, the lightweight, fast, much more secure alternative browser to Internet Explorer.
A number of readers and this column have been very happily using preversion 1 marques. And so have millions of others out there. The dear old Evil Empire is, apparently, apprehensively watching a small but steady 1 per cent decrease in its market share every two months. Watch out for Linux-might-befree-but-is-really-very-expensive-style attacks on Firefox and its developer , the non-profit Mozilla Foundation.
sutherland. lyall@btinternet. com