David Garcia on 13 Jan 2001 11:00:25 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> don't Disassociate Webdesign (as an aspect of appengineering) from Usability

This thread might benefit from Geert's mother tongue. In Dutch the English
word designer has two possible translations one is 'ontwerper' the maker or
planner and the other is 'vormgever' literally form-giver. Vormgever is, I
think, generally taken to mean the visualization or imaging side of design
and ontwerper might be taken to deal with the broader interpretations of
what design might imply that go way beyond the visual. One of the main
characteristics of 'interaction design' (which is how one might characterize
the best webdesign) is that it goes beyond issues of appearance or content
to include the design of 'behavior'. The behavior of the whole system
including the visitor. Visitors behave differently and have different needs
and the best web objects are able to 'behave' accordingly in different ways.
At best they should be a tools or toys, not only a spectacles. Visualising
this process in ways that make the behavioral aspect of design an accessable
reality represents, I think, the true potential of responsive animation
tools like flash.
I have been coordinating an EU project which links very diverse
organisations, with often conflicting cultures. i.e.  academics, artists,
designers (dread word), software developers, corporations..etc. This
diversity makes meaningful synthesis very hard to arrive at. With English
company Audiorom I have been developing a site in which the many papers
delivered at CIRCUS meetings in recent years are organized in a data base
which is visualized as an interface. The aim is to help those involved (and
visitors) to organize the documents in different clusters of thought.
<http://www.audiorom.com/clients/circus/> (any feedback welcome).
I think that the results show both 'design' and 'engineering' working
together to create an interesting tool for visualizing the clustering of of
thought processes. It is just a start. And this is a protype.. there is much
that has to be improved on the site which we will make more public later
this month. But I think that this approach could be useful maybe even for
visualizing nettime threads. And helping to refute the false dichotomy
between text and moving image.

David Garcia

>From: "geert lovink" <geert@xs4all.nl>
>To: "Nettime" <nettime-l@bbs.thing.net>
>Subject: Re: <nettime> don't Disassociate Webdesign (as an aspect of app
engineering) from Usability
>Date: Thu, Jan 11, 2001, 23:17

> With my original posting I did not want to dump on web design, nor did I
> want to glorify it. What I pointed at is a widespread attempt within the
> (new) media industries to limit the creative work of web designers within
> standardized templates. There is a total victory of the portal aesthetics
> (which in my view even extends to slashdot, the cnn for geeks). I think that
> the ascii text-only lovers should not take the side of the web barons.
> Instead, we should open new windows of dialogue and collaboration between
> code/text writers on the one and the flash-oriented web design community on
> the other hand. Flash is not anti text. It takes the web in a whole
> different direction altogether, from the still image to animation and
> eventually (interactive) film. To accuse people experimenting with the
> moving image of being regressive, both in terms of technology and (social)
> usability, only further widens the gap between the worlds of code and image.
> Film and animation over the last hundred years have been fantastic tools to
> tell stories. The fact that most flash animations are empty and meaningless
> is not an indication of its conceptual weakness. It rather reflects the
> deeply boring age we are stuck in, deeply devided disciplines and tribes,
> all producing their own perfect self-referential worlds.
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