Writing Machines is the course website for English 170L at Pomona College in Claremont, California.
Web Design in Final Projects
One of the most interesting experiences in this class has been watching people create final projects after listening to commentary all semester. I wasn't sure what I was expecting, but I was fascinated to see people encounter web design after making design commentary all semester long.
For all the criticism that we provided on interface design and the frustrations we had with the various site designs, I was surprised that I didn't see more attention paid to form. Or perhaps I'm simply not seeing innovation where there is some. I absolutely loved the projects, but I was stunned to see how many people imposed arbitrary restrictions on how people viewed their projects, whether it was in using pixel dimensions in their web design or making comments about what resolution users should use to view the projects.
I was also very interested in how graphically oriented people were during this project. One of the strongest movements in modern web design is minimalism, and most of our projects are anything but. In addition, very few projects were coded with respect to web standards or anything resembling accessibility, which made me wonder about how much we as artists really cared about the accessibility of our projects in anything beyond the next few days (specifically, until KF sees them). Is this why artists don't push more for formats that will allow them to exist on in perpetuity? Are we working under deadlines and simply unable to take the time? If so, who will care about this if not us?