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A List Apart Classics break the deadlock of grid design

A night of

November, I flew over my hometown Arizona Tucson, I was so impressed by the city grid layout, Tucson is the United States through the planning and the construction of the city, from the sky, all the things in this city are designers carefully layout (Figure 1), I’ve just come back from London. London is just on the contrary, the layout of the city of London (Figure 2) tortuous, looks more like a natural.


chart 1: Tucson

in Arizona


, figure 2: London

my idea of this article is for a long time, the two city overlooking the map reminds me of the Web design, today’s technology allows us to realize network free format design, or out of the grid completely, the choice to promote the designer of the Web is no doubt, but the real challenge is, how do we give up occlusion of the thought out of thinking outside the grid.

city feeling,

pushes urban planning into Web design, and the similarities between the two are interesting. The grid layout is ideal for creating predictable, easy to navigate web sites that can help designers plan and allow users to access easily (Figure 3).


diagram 3: Ryan Brill

from the positive point of view, of course, easy access to the city of Tucson, a sense of direction or a picture of the street is enough for residents to instruct others their position, just say, I can in the southwest corner of Campbell Avenue and Prince Road of the intersection. Public transport is due north or East West Road, it is easy to distinguish.

, on the other hand, the initial planning of Tucson designers took into account only limited expansion, and when the city went beyond planning, the problem emerged. The limitations of Tucson grid to prevent the appearance of different styles of community or neighborhood, many Tucson residents feel that the city lacks a vibrant downtown or many individual communities, the results, even if such areas appear, also easy to go, but they couldn’t find.

London is different. It’s a real fan. I know Londoners also have to rely on city guides for their trip. The city’s transportation system is full of challenges, and taxi drivers need to pass special tests to get their jobs. The city’s natural growth did not make it an easy place to travel.

in London, however, the wonderful urban areas and unique neighborhoods are full of cultural clusters