Tuesday, February 7, 2017

the aesthetic of the old and "worse is better"

At work we got to talking about craigslist as a site that has kept the same basic design for a long time. (And as such, is a frequent sample project for student designers who would propose revamps of it.)

It got me thinking about a blog entry that has stuck with me (now only available by the Wayback Machine) In it a designer (who comes across as rather pompous, to be frank) talks about an interview at what was probably "X10", the folks who graced the web with the innovation"pop-under" ad (now mercifully not much of a problem) in the 90s, with a bunch of scummy "put networked cameras all over the house! or your attractive neighbors - wink wink " ads.

The designer writes:
[The interviewer] said, verbatim, “You’ve probably seen our website, and as you can see, it looks pretty shitty. That’s pretty much how it’s going to stay.”

His explanation was that they were a direct marketing company who just wanted to push products [...] out the door. His description of the target customer was, “Men from around age 30-40 with a little extra money who like buying gadgets and aren’t too concerned if it doesn’t work too well.”
You don't want to sacrifice decent design and especially solid UX, but remember: you aren't necessarily your audience.

Anyway,  in thinking about how webdesign has changed over the years, I was trying to remember the URL for http://fabianburghardt.de/webolution/ with a neat time slider for trends over the decades, but I also found a brief history of web design for designers outlining some of the biggest trends.

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