Week 3 – Reading Blog

Week 3 – Reading Blog

Chapter 6 – Web Design

So right in the intro to the chapter I had my first confirmation that Web Design/Development is a great career choice for me.  Here is the excerpt:

Web sites are an integral part of many businesses and so, in order to understand what to design, you have to know how to be able to talk to executives in a way that inspires confidence – which means having an understanding of business goals and processes.

My first degree was an Associates of Business with a CIS focus, and as much as I dislike big business, I’ve been working for corporations since graduation. Nice to know that I already have some of the non-technical/design related skill set.

Digital Craft – Interview with Tsia Carson and Doug Lloyd (FLAT)

The differentiation between one-off projects (a book or exhibition) versus systems (an identity package or community driven site) that Doug made and the different approaches to designing the two types of projects was very enlightening.  I guess the problem with viewing work this way is that I have had assignments to produce a supposedly one-off report for a client which they liked so much that they wanted me to develop it into a weekly report and gathered data automatically.  The moral of the story being that you should always consider a project as open ended.  But the idea of investing less planning time into a dynamic system certainly has worked for Google.  They tend to put out new applications before the paint dries, which helps them maintain the image of a fresh young company that isn’t tied down to a specific type of design or production model.

I also liked what Doug had to say about projects that morphogenically interact with their audience.  People expect more then a flat aesthetic that just presents what the artist/designer has to say.  The age of interactive media has given rise to cybernetic art, where the piece or presentation is involved in a feedback loop with the audience.  We take it for granted now that we will be able to implement some change and impose some part of our own creative energy onto the systems that we work and play with.  We post our lives on social networking sites, create our own skins for programs and build our own tools and pluggins for applications.  The designer is no longer a lone explorer mapping creative territory.  The designer must be a guide and a facilitator to his audience, sometimes within a landscape that he is creating as he goes.

Tsia gave me my next indication that I’m taking the right path, when she stated that what the field needs are neither technological gurus or artistic purists, but people who can shape and work with technology in a creative fashion.  I certainly don’t want to be pigeon-holed in one or the other category.  The biggest reason why I decided to go into web development is that I could express both passions, creative and technical, at the same time.

The idea of melding creativity and practicality also was expressed by Eric Rodenbeck in the Defining Feel(ing) interview.  He said Introducing aesthetics to information presentation sounds like putting lipstick on a pig. It’s something that needs to be present from the outset.

Loving the Limits – Interview with Geoff Allman

This guy had my ear from the moment that he started talking about fractals and and atmospheric animations.  The wonderful thing about using the Web as an artistic medium is the ephemeral and dynamic nature of anything that appears online.  If you don’t build flexibility into a system then it’s basically doomed from the start.

He also started talking about randomly repeating simple shapes to create complex patterns, which I started doing back when I first learned how to play with graphics on a CoCo3 (which was one of the first home computers put out by RadioShack).

And on the same theme Geoff talked about the point where design and programming come together.  That computers and code are not cold inhuman tools that we fight with, but a fluid and delicate medium in which digital designers create works that are not bound to any of the old conventions about what art or technology is supposed to be.

The final indication that I’m a frighteningly good fit for this field came in the interview with Khoi Vinh when he stated that designers who can write are rare and very valuable. I have been writing prose and poetry since grade school, and my written communication skills are frankly stellar.

Yay for me!

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *