Friday, October 07, 2005

the art of web design

To keep harping on the Gopher thing, I found a good quote in an article celebrating Gopher:

"The user-friendly Gopher made the Internet a neat and orderly place, like a library. "

The full article can be had at http://www.startribune.com/stories/535/803280.html.

Today the size and look of the Internet seem far from neat and orderly, more like messy, it's a navigation jungle out there. One of my class assignments is to design a website and some work I did in another class will be helpful. I was required to design promotional flyers in accordance with the design principles laid out by Robin Williams, see:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0321193857/103-0623946-4093439?v=glance&n=283155&s=books&v=glance

and

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0321303377/103-0623946-4093439?v=glance&n=283155&s=books&v=glance

Williams asserts that while most people can recognize if design is good or bad, we can't necessarily pick it apart and say why that is so, why one is pleasing to the eye and the other a visual assault. Now when I design flyers for library programs, I have those principles in the back of my head and am able to see my work with new eyes.

There are websites that are neat and orderly and well-designed that also strive to elevate the format to another, artier level. Something that makes a statement. I was hoping we would get to critique a library website for this class because I see so few websites that are truly artful and wanted to showcase the stunner that the Waukegan Public Library has up at http://www.waukeganpl.org/. It is, I daresay, elegant. Good design usually is understated, almost demure. The site is the opposite of in-your-face and browsing it actually has a calming effect. Even the kids' page is playful without assaulting the senses.

36 Comments:

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