RE: annoying websites and just plain old... stuff

by Berk/Devlin <armadill(at)>

 Date:  Fri, 06 Jul 2001 14:07:23 -0700
 To:  hwg-techniques(at)
  todo: View Thread, Original
On Fri, 6 Jul 2001 06:24:40 -1000, Evelyn in Honolulu <boots(at)> wrote:
>...The Net is entertainment for most of us, and most of us
>wouldn't have it any other way.  Is it for information?  Yes.  But, what
>this gentleman doesn't realize is that we will go to a site looking for
>information and if all it contains is words with no color and no life, most
>of us move on to one with the information AND color.
>We can create beauty and functionality by mastering the
>HTML language and the "Techniques" that go along with it.  Functional
>beauty.  It would be pretty boring if all we had to look at were a gray
>screen with black text. ...

I agree that form and function must cooperate in making a site useable.  But, Evelyn, I disagree with you about the function of the Internet.  

I consider the Internet to be a library spacious enough to hold all books and that never closes.  Yeah, there are Art books there, but there is also lots and lots of trash, some of which looks very pretty.  

I, personally, mostly go to the Internet/library for information, and I personally am mostly interested in text.

The site I go back to most often on the Internet is Google.  It is not an unattractive site, it's somewhat colorful, but what I care about on Google is the text.  The reason I'm there is because what I want from the Internet is information and Google helps me find it very efficiently.  When I want entertainment, I watch TV or go to the movies.  (I did recently find a great little game of Tetris on the Internet, but I played it so much that I hurt my right shoulder.)

BTW: The page on my site that gets the most hits (and it's surprised me like you wouldn't believe) is a one-page musing about a Stephen Sondheim musical called Into the Woods.  I spent almost no time designing/writing the page.  I have never submitted that page to any search engine and the page certainly isn't all that graphically appealing.  But I "meet" lots of people who've read the page and were interested enough to send email.  No one who's read it has ever mentioned the design of the page.  But I do enjoy when they respond to the ideas I present.  

All of us here have different mixes of talents.  

I do not spend much time on trying to make my site "pretty" in the graphical sense, because I do not have much graphical talent.  I care about making my program code (C++, Java, PHP) "pretty" only in the sense that it runs fast, is easy to maintain and makes my sites easy to update and I do spend a great deal of time trying to make my sites easier for unsophisticated users to use.  

When I think of good design, it is with those things in mind.  Which is not to say that I don't appreciate others' lovely graphical design work.  It's just to say that that's not the kind of work I do.

I think that when we look at a Web site, it's important for us to judge that site on its own terms.  An eCommerce site that cost $4 million to implement is going to look and function differently than the site of an Internet hacker.  The question when we look at any particular site is, "Does this Web site accomplish what its designer intended?"  

If I can't evaluate sites on this basis, then I can only create one kind of site and that would severely limit the scope of my work.  So, for example, although I am not partial to the color pink, if some one offers me hard cash to create a site in all pink, I'm going to go for it.  In fact, I'm going to lay out an array of shades of pink from which they can choose.  As long as I create the best site that my client is willing to pay for, I will be comfortable having it in my portfolio.


~                            Emily Berk                                 ~
On the web at *** Armadillo Associates, Inc.      ~ 
~             Project management, developer relations and               ~
extremely-technical technical documentation that developers find useful.~

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