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Embryonic Web Designers’ Manifesto

Embryonic Web Designers’ Manifesto

  1. The web is for communication and collaboration ahead of selling, promotion,organisation, structuring, data gathering and truth.
  2. Keep it extensible. Design a system not a page. The web site administrator
    is the user.
  3. A web site has blurry boundaries, and must interface with the professional and amateur worlds created by others. Design for that interface.
  4. The laboratory is the web. Experiment, prototype, test, invite feedback. Tell the user when s/he is a tester.
  5. The web is a window into a range of digital possibilities, both on the screen and beyond.
  6. Be heterogeneous in completeness and mode of presentation. Be redundant in method.
  7. Give me what I want and appeal to my best interest. My memory, time and energy are precious to me. Remember this if you want me to store another login, fill another box, and make another click. Make it worth my while, and let me know why before I do it.
  8. Make every gesture count. If it’s a line then what does it separate, point to or underline? If it’s a frame then what does it exclude? If it moves then why not pin it down? If it’s in bold then why shout? If it’s in italics, what’s the hurry?
  9. Make a site usable for those who use it. Make it robust for those who abuse it. Make it the best for those who choose it.
  10. What’s the usability of a raindrop, the marketability of a birdsong, the practicality of Bohemian Rhapsody? If it’s art then don’t make me a user.
  11. The keyboard is the firewall. If I have to hit keys to get in then I’d rather riff somewhere else.
  12. The web is hybrid. May your journey planner take you to a poem, your shop sell storms, your library lend fish, and your music site play the stock market.
  13. Keep it legal, but adventure at the edge. Keep it moral, but transgress.
  14. Underlines, popups, tags, banners, rollovers: these are the nouns, verbs, adjectives and punctuation marks of the web. They have only been around for 12 years, which is child’s talk in the history of language. Exploit, distort, exceed or regress the grammar of webatology.
  15. If in doubt tabularise, regularise, systematise. If mathematics is the language of nature then let the algorithm do the talking.
  16. Plug-URL-ize, but don’t plagiarise. Link it, don’t nick it. If you can’t make it, or fake it then leave it out.
  17. Sound is not extraneous. Web ambience is not a free good. Amplify but don’t over-samplify.
  18. Be cool, not cute. Ban the bunny, the smiley, the flower, magic, the bumble bee, babies, jingles, animals and all big-eyed, large headed, stumpy-bodied road-kill, especially kangaroos.
  19. Only depict daggers, guns, knives, flame throwers, blood and nuclear weapons with extreme caution.
  20. The database as an art object: capture the beauty of a ledger, the wonder of a filing cabinet, the comfort of a stamp collection, and the old memories in a chest of drawers.
  21. Drop, deposit, linger, message, collect, change, chance and encourage: these are the verbs of the web. They have displaced: log on, fill in, complete, verify, access and pay.
  22. Give till it hertz. How does your web site contribute to the gift society of the World Wide Web?
  23. etc

Discussion

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  1. Pingback: Manifestos and madness « Reflections on Digital Media & Culture - October 13, 2012

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