Webstock 2008: Good Design Ain’t Easy

by February 15, 2008

Jason Santa Maria’s Good Design Ain’t Easy presentation at Webstock 2008 challenged Web designers to leverage graphic design traditions and skill sets to create Web experiences that communicate with more than just words.

  • We are trained to look for stories within images. Designers can help narrate stories using graphic resonance.
  • Information visualizations can tell dramatic stories as well.
  • When Wired magazine moves stories online, a lot of the graphic resonance caused by the layout and presentation of the stories is absent.
  • Why don’t we see landmark layout designs online? The Nature of the Medium may be to blame.
  • A printed page has clear constraints like length and width. Pages can extend infinitely on the Web. The large size of Web page gives you license to talk – in other words add lots of stuff.
  • The design of a printed page can’t change, no font, size, or color, adjustments possible.
  • Because of these variables we are missing the ability to exploit principles like the golden ratio or the rule of thirds.
  • It’s not possible to look at designs online through the lens of print. We can’t compare the two in the same way. A lot of our visual evaluations of Web content are based on print constraints.