Felix Stalder on 8 Jan 2001 14:26:32 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> Disassociate Webdesign from Usability


I'm not sure I understand what your critique aims at. It almost seems that
you reduce webdesign to screendesign. However, I think that screendesign is
only one of several aspects of webdesign and probably not even the most
interesting one.  Take, say, slashdot. Great, innovative webdesign in terms
of information gathering and analysis, in terms of how it connects people
to one another, even though its visual interface is not particularly
innovative. The same can be said about Napster and many other really
innovative Internet services and sites.

Take, on the other hand, your average flash animation (or 3D environment).
Great visuals, but usually so uninteresting in its content and so reduced
in its possibilities that most users (including myself) will try to avoid
it as often as possible.

What all of that indicates is that graphic designer are not the
"avant-garde" of the web, but are rather far behind the technological
development. If the most innovative websites have the most dull interface,
what does that say? Not necessarily that they have been brain-washed by
unimaginative e-commerce consultants, but perhaps that graphic designers
have so far been unable to develop a new visual language as quickly as the
new applications that would need one have been introduced.

So, at the moment, we are confronted with the sad choice between innovative
sites with a dull interface and nice-looking sites with a conservative
information structure. For the time being, as you top ten list indicated,
most people prefer the former, google.com, our all favourite, being the
most extreme in this regard.

best. Felix

Les faits sont faits.

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