The Debate on What Makes a Web Design Great

November 27, 2007 Comments Off on The Debate on What Makes a Web Design Great

Armin Vit (before he was so soundly trounced by Marian Bantjes in [Layer Tennis]( started a worthwhile and far-reaching debate on what makes a web design great:

Speak Up › Landmark Web Sites, Where Art Thou?

Design solutions that, in their consistent use as exemplary cases of execution, concept and process, don’t even need to be shown anymore and that, for better or worse, (almost) everyone acknowledges as being seminal works that reflect the goals that graphic design strives for: A visual solution that not only enables, but also transcends, the message to become memorable in the eyes and minds of viewers. Whether these projects are indeed as amazing, relevant and enviable as we have built them up to be is cause for a separate discussion but it’s safe to say that, as far as designs recognized around the profession, there are a certain few that invariably make the list, usually without question. Myself, I could list projects in every category from logos, to annual reports, to magazine covers, to packaging, to typefaces, to opening titles that could be considered landmark projects… But when it comes to web sites, I can’t think of a single www that could be comparable — in gravitas, praise, or memorability — as any of the few projects I just mentioned. Could this be?

To which some really thoughtful responses have been posted:

* Do Canonical Web Designs Exist? – Bokardo
* Subtraction: Something’s Missing in Web Design
* A List Apart: Articles: Understanding Web Design

By injecting the idea of an historical perspective into a field noted for its lack of history, Armin gives web design the very things he questions—gravitas, praise and memorability.


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