Er. Not that kind of alt-text. The kind you put on images to assist people who use screen-readers.
I confess I’ve been historically bad at alt-text, though I’m trying to do better and this article helped a lot.
I live in a city with quite a lot of Brutalist architecture and I passionately hate it.1 So is it, like, hypocritical or whatever that I actually really kinda like the Brutalist trend in webdesign? Or is that just a sign that I’m old and nostalgic for the heyday of Geocities aesthetic?
Probably the latter, let’s be real.
For the record, my Tumblr layout is Brutalist-inspired (monospaced fonts!). But, like. More pastel. Pastel Brutalist. Pastelist!
(These are, incidentally, designed to be viewed in Chrome. Looking at them in something else, e.g. whatever Internet Explorer is called nowadays, is interesting in the sense that it shows some of the “seams”. It’s incredible work either way.)
Whatever happened to web design?
Reading this made me feel Old. Or at least… out-of-date? Something like that. Because I was totally around for and remember the
display:float thing… but
That’s what I get for both moving off my own homebrew CMS system (circa 2008), and away from doing my own template layouts (circa 2014), I guess.
Data lies to us. It makes us believe we know what a person is going through when they use our products. The truth is that it has no insight into physical mental or physical ability, emotional state, environmental conditions, socioeconomic status, or any other human factor outside of their ability to click on the right coloured box in the right order. Even if our machines can assume demographic traits, they will never be able to identify with each person’s unique combination of those traits. We can’t trust the data. And those who do will always be stuck chasing a robotic approach to human connection.
Travis Gertz on data-driven design.
This is an article from a while ago which asks the critical question, “Why the hell do all websites look the same nowadays?”1 He also touches on publishing platforms, monoculture, the crapification of content, and a bunch of other favourite bugbears from the Web 1.0 crowd.
Oh, and the essay looks great as well. So, yanno. There’s that!
One of the things I am always interested in when I see these sorts of things, though, is how Industry Dudes almost never mention the one area where weird-ass out-of-the-box webdesign does still–and has always still–thrived, and that’s on whatever social media platform is currently predominantly occupied by teenage girls. Don’t get me wrong; Tumblr’s obsession with pop-up Misha heads2 and 8px fonts might not be the objectively greatest design choices, but at least they’re varied. And I think one of the great sadfaces about Tumblr–as opposed to its predecessors like Dreamwidth/LiveJournal and personal blogs–is how aggressively it homogenizes the Dashboard experience and hides away peoples’ themes. Even when they’re crap; I’ve love crappy-but-earnest teenage webdesign since I made my first webpage featuring flaming rotating skull gifs back in the 90s.
But, hey. Maybe that’s just me.