Thursday, February 21, 2008

What Would an XX-Designed Internet Look Like?

Our relationship to the Internet is entirely made up of our relationship to browsers and Web sites. And you know what? They suck.

They're boring, one-dimensional, and unoriginal. Who decided that all Web sites should have a top nav bar and be rectangular in layout? Who decided they should abdicate any sense of design and be white and clean and uncluttered? No one did, and that's the point. It just happened, because the creators of the Internet were thinking about other things. Because the creators of the Internet are a very distinct subspecies of humanity:

Boys.

[...]

Because boys and geeks and engineers—and, by the way, I've spent my life among all three and love all three—don't naturally select for emotionality (they'd rather play video games) or exploration of inner life (they'd rather watch porn) or being in deep relationship with other people (they'd rather build Web sites till all hours), the Internet is singularly devoid of these colorations of humanity.

(From Marshall Herskovitz's Slate article on launching quarterlife.)

1 comment:

M said...

Becca, I feel you, I do. But I can say a good deal of research has been put into how people physically view and comprehend the screen/Web page. There is a good deal of qualitative and quantitative studies with eye tracking "heat maps" displaying how the viewer's eyes travel the page. I'd be happy to share some with you.

On the other hand, there is a glut of bad design--vanilla, corporate, uniform, with too much "safe" blue on the top nav and "fun" tabs.