NYTimes.com Design Director Khoi Vinh Signs Off

NYTKhoiVinh.jpgKhoi Vinh, Web design director for The New York Times, announced on his blog, Subtraction.com, that he is leaving NYTimes.com after four-and-a-half years, with his next move uncertain.

Vinh wrote:

It wasn’t an easy decision. I’ve been at The New York Times for four-and-a-half years now, four-and-a-half years that will doubtless figure prominently in my life for years to come. There were some rough patches, as there are with any job, but on the whole it’s been the best job I’ve ever had. I got to work on some of the most rewarding projects anywhere, alongside a diverse population of some of the smartest people I’ve ever met, and I had the thrilling privilege of playing a bit part in the world’s best journalism.

However, I never set out to work in journalism. I’m a designer at heart, and what I’m compositionally best-suited for is the challenge of designing user experiences, hopefully superb user experiences. Of course, at this moment in history, when technology is realigning the world in such tumultuous ways, it’s true that there’s a profound overlap between design and the news — it’s true that in many ways the delivery of the news is the same as its user experience. For these past several years, I found that overlap to be a tremendously satisfying arena within which to work, but journalism in and of itself has only been a part of my motivation.

For now, I’m going to remain a bit tight-lipped about what exactly I’m going to do next, partly because I’m just not exactly sure yet, and partly because I’m resolving to stay open to new opportunities and new ideas. In the short run, I’ll be doing lots of stuff on a smaller scale: personal projects that I’ve been tinkering with, a few public-speaking appearances, a bit of writing (including finishing a book I started earlier this year), some short-term work for companies with whom I’m friendly, and more. What I won’t be doing, however, is starting another design studio. While I might do some freelance project work here and there, the heavy lifting required to build a practice of continuously running client work is likely to conflict with whatever plans I cook up in the long run.