Mark Bult Design: San Francisco, CA, Established 1988

Web design and development for small and large business, e-commerce, b2b, b2c, SAAS, and community websites. User experience design and usability testing.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Ben Brown, the internet rockstar, is now a basic cable rockstar

IFC (the Independent Film Channel) did a pretty cool little doc on SXSW this year, by giving cameras to three attendees to document their own experiences going to the conference and all the associated parties and events. Mini DV cameras were given to: a band, a guy making a movie about LARPing, and the internet rockstar Ben Brown.

Ben's a good guy, wicked smart and the co-founder of So far I've only helped them out a little here and there with some advice, since I'm pretty wrapped up in the Webshots redesign, but I hope to work with them more in a few months.

Here's the full IFC documentary if you want to watch; it's pretty good.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006 wins a Webby

I'm proud to announce that received the People's Voice award today in the "IT Hardware/Software" Webby category.

As a user-centered designer, what makes me most proud is the fact that the Webbys are judged on: content, structure and navigation, visual design, functionality, interactivity, and overall experience — most of which I had a lot of influence over during last year's redesign of the site.

It's too bad that a lot of the look and feel I created for the redesign has been supplanted by CNET's recent unification of all the CNET brands (,,, et al), which has effectively muddied an otherwise good design. Hopefully they'll get things looking better in coming months, as the process continues.

Next year, my aim is to see Webshots win! (After I redesign it, that is.)

Monday, May 01, 2006

Congress is selling out the Internet action alert!

Do you buy books online, use Google, or download to an iPod? Everything we do online will be hurt if Congress passes a radical law next week that gives giant corporations more control over what we do and see on the Internet.

Internet providers like AT&T are lobbying Congress hard to gut Network Neutrality -- the Internet's First Amendment and the key to Internet freedom. Net Neutrality prevents AT&T from choosing which websites open most easily for you based on which site pays AT&T more. doesn't have to outbid Amazon for the right to work properly on your computer.

If Net Neutrality is gutted, many sites -- including Google, eBay, and iTunes -- must either pay protection money to companies like AT&T or risk having their websites process slowly. That why these high-tech pioneers, plus diverse groups ranging from MoveOn to Gun Owners of America, are opposing Congress' effort to gut Internet freedom.

You can do your part today -- can you sign this petition telling your member of Congress to preserve Internet freedom:

Sign the petition.

I signed this petition, along with 250,000 others so far. This petiton will be delivered to Congress before the House of Representatives votes next week. When you sign, you'll be kept informed of the next steps we can take to keep the heat on Congress., which monitors various causes that circulate on the Internet, explained:

Simply put, network neutrality means that no web site's traffic has precedence over any other's...Whether a user searches for recipes using Google, reads an article on, or looks at a friend's MySpace profile, all of that data is treated equally and delivered from the originating web site to the user's web browser with the same priority. In recent months, however, some of the telephone and cable companies that control the telecommunications networks over which Internet data flows have floated the idea of creating the electronic equivalent of a paid carpool lane.

If companies like AT&T have their way, Web sites ranging from Google to eBay to iTunes either pay protection money to get into the "fast lane" or risk opening slowly on your computer. We can't let the Internet -- this incredible medium which has been such a revolutionary force for democratic participation, economic innovation, and free speech--become captive to large corporations.

Politicians don't think we are paying attention to this issue. Together, we do care about preserving the free and open Internet.

Please sign this petition letting your member of Congress know you support preserving Internet freedom.

Future generations will thank you.