Sam Brown

How to improve with 1 line of CSS

Dear 37signals — You can have this one for free. — Love Sam :)

  1. a:hover {opacity: 0.75;}

The boys at 37signals have clearly forgotten they are designing for an interactive medium and have instead redesigned with a great looking site that’s about as flat and static as you can get.

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Elliot Jay Stocks 27 April 2009, 04:48 #1

Amen. I really have no idea why they would omit a hover state.

devolute 27 April 2009, 04:49 #2

Steady now. I’m sure this is a WiP; we’re all waiting for some made javascript slidey touchy feely thing to go off, right?

Dave Ellis 27 April 2009, 04:56 #3

I have to say, I hate it when hovers aren’t on a site – it may as well be a big jpeg.

Ethan 27 April 2009, 05:17 #5

For the Basecampers in the house, this one gets my vote:

pre { overflow: auto; }

Spencer Lavery 28 April 2009, 00:33 #8

Crikey, that really does seem like a huge oversight for a company focused on usability.

Nebbercracker 28 April 2009, 02:42 #9

Hahahaha = “you can have this one for free”. I love it!

Matt 28 April 2009, 03:55 #10

There seem to be a few designers who are considered to be industry leading, yet totally neglect basic usability principles.

Take Andy Clarke’s website promoting web design workshops – – a shocking example of usability design with links extremely hard to find. His website functions better if you just remove the page styling all together.

Ian 28 April 2009, 04:40 #11

Well said. Without it, that site looks like a bad pilot episode of “Flashback 2000: When JPEGs Ruled the Web.”

Thibaut Allender 28 April 2009, 05:25 #12

Well, you could apply this “patch” to any website ;-)

G 28 April 2009, 06:33 #13

Dear Sam Brown — You can have this one for free. — Love G :)

1. body {font-family:Verdana,sans-serif;}

The dude at this website have clearly forgotten he are designing for an interactive medium and need to know that “lucida grande” & “lucida sans” looks like shit on Firefox on Windows XP.


Derek 28 April 2009, 08:51 #14

Looks good on a Mac :p

Dan 29 April 2009, 02:29 #15

Amen, indeed!

Sites that don’t feature hover states on links are one of my pet hates. Just yesterday I critiqued a site on with this same problem. I used a tone a lot more blunt and negative than yours and the criticism was still well recieved. Ryan Carson needs to stop being such a baby.

Pete 29 April 2009, 02:31 #16

God bless the hover!

@G: If it’s good enough for FaceBook, Wordpress et al – I reckon the PC world will learn to survive, perhaps even support the Lucida revolution. And Derek’s right – it looks sweet on Mac ;)

Mr Chambers 29 April 2009, 23:14 #17

I stumbled across this on, read the post about negativity and wanted to come on here and buck the trend. but… well… after visiting 37signals I have to agree with Sam. Damn.

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Sam Brown co-founded Iterate, and was previously VP of Design at Foursquare. Based in NYC.