I was thinking a bit…

I was thinking a bit about journal/web page design, just because I'll soon get to fiddle with the DesiLit blog design, and I've been doing my morning journal scan (which often takes about an hour, which feels like a pretty significant chunk of my day, but I can't seem to give it up, oh well...) and therefore looking at a lot of other designs. I was trying to figure out for any given web page, what's the main thing the author seems to care about getting across, right away. For some of them it seems to be an aesthetic -- a sense of beauty, in whatever style appeals to them. Some are old-world faded beauty, some are bright shiny techno beauty, some are casual child-like beauty, etc. and so on.

If I went with that sort of aesthetic for my website, I'd probably go for saturated colors of some kind -- deep blues and violets perhaps, like the irises I love. Deep night, over the ocean, beneath a sea of stars. Or maybe rich reds and golds, with a sari fabric pattern as a border. I like the old world aesthetics too, the faded glories, but I think the jewel-tones would win.

But I didn't do any of that with my website, and it wasn't for lack of options along those lines. Some of the other websites I've looked at seem most focused on catching attention somehow -- with something bright and sparkly shouting 'lookatme lookatme!" And that definitely doesn't appeal to me either. It's exhausting.

I think in the end, I instinctively prioritized clarity. Transparency, if you will. I couldn't give up color entirely (as some people do, with black text on white background), but I only allowed myself a minimum of color. Everything else on my journal and website is designed to optimize clarity, to make it as easy as possible to read the text and focus on that. That was the goal, at any rate, whether you think I achieved it or not. Which makes me wonder -- I designed these pages a decade ago. I hadn't studied pedagogical theories about transparency at that point, hadn't formed any conscious philosophies along those lines. Has my entire life been a movement towards greater transparency, clarity of communication? Is that just innate to who I am?

Odd thoughts for morning. I'd best go get some tea and get to work.

2 thoughts on “I was thinking a bit…”

  1. I wonder how much difference it makes how differently people perceive the colors on a monitor. I always keep Mozilla set so that it shows text as yellow and backgrounds as black. After reading this entry, I looked at your page colors as you set them up. If I read it in the white-on-light-blue that you use for very long, it would give me a headache, or at the very least make my eyes tired. I don’t know whether it is the crt flicker or just the brightness. I don’t mind at all reading black print on light or white paper, but on a crt monitor it is different. I do not know whether a non-crt monitor would make a difference or not.

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