<-- Class Website

Response to Writing the Web's Grain

I really appreciated this reading because it put into words a discomfort I’ve felt with websites recently. I browse Awwwards frequently, and see a lot of websites similar to the Apple Mac example Chimero provided. There is a point (crossed frequently) where too much technology corrupts the platform in terms of usability and accessibility. I think that many people see novelty in web design as a sign of success– myself included, sometimes. When I first started exploring web design, I discounted a lot of websites using established web design patterns, because saw it as a lack of creativity and a sign of laziness. I’m sure it’s a method of laziness for some designers that churn out templated websites to make quick money. However, after this reading I have a new appreciation for designers who respect the medium they work in without breaking it, even if that means sacrificing novelty. Incorporating the latest technology, expanding until collapse on repeat, seems tiring and at a certain point, pointless.

I think that in trying to become a better, more well-rounded web designer, my priorities have shifted from good design to trying to learn all the technologies available, even if I don’t necessarily need them. This reading was a reminder to be more mindful about when to stretch the limits of technology, versus when to bring technology back to its roots and constrain its edges again. Moving forward, I also want to rethink my workflow, to design first for the individual elements, and not the whole. This past summer when I was designing app screens, I tried to envision the whole screen before making the elements within it– most of the time I was unhappy with the result. Like Chimero said, a screen is an “edgeless surface of unknown proportions”, an infinite canvas. It doesn’t make sense to try and predict the structure of the whole, when what really defines a successful interface are its individual elements and how they are pieced together– “creating assemblages of elements, then associating them with the appropriate space”.