Everything You Know About Web Design Is Wrong – Print in Disguise

Has web design transcended into it’s full potential? If you ask Dan Willis of Sapient, he’ll say it’s just print in disguise. He believes that while web design certainly has just begun to blossom into the medium that interactivity the world wide web has to offer, it’s not quite there yet.

Even as Web 3.0 edges its way, web design is still ruled by “print-style” design, pushing web centric content (such as up-to-minute story updates or geo-targeted results). He argues that there is more growth into “Transcendent Web” on the horizon, and cites five different primary elements that will push web design to new heights.

  1. Ambient Awareness
    Micro-blogging such as Twitter allows users to become aware of a bigger picture of who someone is via small 140 character updates, allowing a fuller personalize perspective into that person’s life, culture and perhaps society in general.
  2. User Created Context
    Users now create their own experience online, selecting the ways to they want receive their information (RSS feeds vs. reading on the blog), the more you try to control how the user moves about the web, the more they rebel and go else where for their information.
  3. Random Voyeurism
    Humans like to experience what it’s like to be someone else, to share an honest moment that provides insight into others, the web offers new ways to experience this through personal blogs, micro-blogging, photo and video sharing.
  4. Self-aware (but ultimately uncontrollable) Content
    Content on the web now knows what kind of content it is through the use of xml, tagging and keywords, but ultimately this content can be used by anyone for anything in or out of context. Once you put content out there, it can be mashedup and reused completely.
  5. Experiential Content
    With video, images, real-time micro-blogging, and other content available, many web interactions could be exploded into entire experiences as if the users were almost “there”.

To learn more check out the SXSW Highlights Video or download the 15-page paper by Dan Willis.

1 Comment to “Everything You Know About Web Design Is Wrong – Print in Disguise”

  • I think it’s interesting how the status-quo that brought us the print oriented world of web design is slowly being replaced by the new status quo who brought us the somewhat-less-print-oriented world of web 2.0

    Luckily with the free marketplace of ideas that is the Internet, a new era of web x.x is always around the corner, ensuring that the old upper crust is likewise always on their way out.

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This little blog happens to be the personal ramblings of one April Holle - I'm female, outspoken, webbie, a community evangelist, and Principal of Made Better Studio. Check out the about section for more info.

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