Andy Clarke — Inspired design
I’m not going to talk about CSS today, I’m hardly going to mention standards
Art is design without compromise — Jeffrey Veen
- Limitations of what we do: Environmental – inflexibility of 2D screen; Materials – limitations of CSS et all; Medium – poor support in older browsers; Ourselves – unlearning what we have learned from past experience
The web is only ten yours old, we really don’t know what we’re doing for the most part
- Standards advocates are still a very small proportion of the entire industry – it’s time to let go of what we’ve done in the past and focus on what we can do in the future.
- Classic CSS resources like bluerobot.com and noodle incident used absolute positioning; while we have moved away from that method now, Andy believes it will make a return due to the increasing ability to use 24 and 32 bit PNGs, amongst other options.
Absolute positioning is the new DOM scripting
It’s not about the technologies, it’s about what we can do with them
How can we use design to get across that deeper message?
I don’t think we’ve even started to know what to do with the technologies that we use […] we need to continue to be playful, we need to continue experimenting
- Designing for the web is starting to lean further away from graphic design and closer to physical design; we can’t let the graphic design side of web design stagnate just because we’ve realised the importance of interaction design.
- We’re trying to build web based products that people love and want to use. Aesthetics play a huge role in getting people to love your site.
Why do I use ma.gnolia over del.icio.us? They provide essentially the same service […] It’s because it does more for me aesthetically.
The web isn’t a power drill — Andy.
It’s a series of tubes! — John Allsopp
There is a wider world out there and we need to remember that it’s not just about our small community
- Utilitarian sites (eg: amazon.com) are not a pleasure to use, we go there because we want to achieve something.
I go in, I get what I want and I get out!
- Andy feels strongly that we need to work harder to bring in more external influences (away from the web); I certainly agree – re-sampling from the shallow pond just makes the problem worse.
Drop shadows Rounded corners Reflections, anyone?
- Sample of scrap-booking shown —
I like to get the clients involved in the design before we’ve even picked up a copy of Photoshop. Used to get the client to clearly explain the mood the want their site to achieve
- Take influence from the modern art world – found objects in the real world are a great source of inspiration.
I hear all the time that the web isn’t print, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from the print world
- To design an eCommerce site, why not check out cooking magazines or other print media relating to the products your site will sell.
Is Amazon really the height of what an eCommerce site can be? I don’t think so.
Where ever I go, I collect sidebars (magazine sidebars)
- The Grid – print has hundreds of years in experience in utilizing whitespace, controlling proportions and other core design skills. Web design needs to re-embrace those fundamental skills and make them our own. While the terminology between print design and CSS design is different, the building blocks are essentially the same.
It’s not the technology that’s limiting me anymore, it’s my own inspiration (context: IE7 and native support for transparent PNGs across major browsers)
- Look to other cultures as well as other mediums for inspiration. Andy shows examples of Arabic, Japanese and Russian newspapers; each with their own use of the grid and each different from what we would in most western newspapers.