Over the last 15 or so years I have cycled through many websites, from early ones built in Dreamweaver (mostly to host cheatcodes for my ActionReplay on Gameboy) through very animated, interactive sites in Flash followed by my own PHP CMS (all to host the burgeoning corpus of 3d graphics, photomanipulation, and photography I was churning out), and eventually back to static sites. I have also tried blogging several times, with Wordpress initially, then Ghost, and a little with Medium.
The design is purposefully spartan. Web design often seems to favour form over function. This is not just a contemporary issue, in the early 2000s, heavy use of blinking, attention grabbing effects, and marquee text were legendary. It is also not simply an amateur problem, plenty of professional designers are producing (sometimes) aesthetically beautiful websites, but these are hard to use, or hard to read, or sometimes so filled with white space as to resemble a piste at the start of the season. The design will evolve, but I decided to start with a tabula rasa (well, at least with the browsers’ default stylesheets).
I am not a web designer. I do have a fairly strong aesthetic sense,
but coming up with great designs is not my main skill. At the moment
I am trying to strip everything back, except what is necessary. I
spend a lot of my time in a terminal, and a lot of modern web-based
software has drifted very far from a responsive (in terms of speed),
powerful interface. Most web software is slow, and feels unnatural
to use. For me, the epitome of usability is something like
despite the steep learning curve.
vim allows me to be extremely
productive if I am willing to invest the time into understanding
how it works, but I can also use its basic functionality by just
sitting in insert mode as if I were using
nano. I do not want
the web to be just like the terminal, which has also failed to
evolve properly as an interface, but web designers could learn some
lessons from it. Brandur has written a good
article on this subject.
I want the web to be fast. I want web software to have a native-like interface. I want the web to go back to its decentralised roots. I want the web to shed the over-burdened designs that have made it so hard to get information out of many websites. This is just a small corner of a very large information ocean, but it is my corner, and I will make it as I want it to be.