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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Amen, amen, and amen

Douglas Crockford hits it on the head talking about “introduction” web pages:

What a Flash intro says to me is "I hate my job. What I really want to do is make films. But they won't let me do that because I don't have talent. So watch this Flash intro."

Web sites end up getting polluted with crap like Flash and JavaScript for various reasons, but perhaps the single most common underlying issue is that “designers” have no content to give you, so they substitute an “experience” for something useful. Yeesh. I don’t spend (way too much) time on the Internet to have an “experience,” I just want to get some information or look at pictures or something. It’s kind of like the now-defunct Damon’s, a restaurant chain that sported multiple big-screen TVs tuned to various games. They billed themselves as “A Dining Event!” I tend to think of a “dining event” as something like that time when The Boy found a dried-up roach in his cereal — I don’t want a “dining event,” I just want something to eat (preferably insect-free). Same with the web: I don’t want Flash and Java$#!+ substituting for content. If I wanted to waste time with mindless garbage, there’s a TV in the living room.

Think of a web site’s “design” in the same way you would think about packaging a product — what you’re really interested in is what’s inside. Apple is widely acknowledged these days (at least in high-tech) as the masters of package design — and guess what? The decorations are muted, even minimal. Even Microsoft (internally) acknowledges that they’re way behind Apple here (and everywhere else IMO).

Macromedia describes Flash as “the solution for producing and delivering high-impact web sites.” High-impact on my bandwidth, CPU, etc. I’ll show you “high-impact,” as soon as I find that sledgehammer.

Thanks to Doc Searls for providing both the inspiration and supporting links for the above rant.

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