It was the first time I had seen digital layouts arrange themselves in a way that consciously prioritized design and user experience over the metalanguage of programming, thus elevating the user over the developer. In doing so, it yielded layouts of refreshing simplicity, because it respected the limitations of the display and didn’t try to shoehorn content into spaces that it wasn’t designed for.
A lot of ink has been spilled in this column about the lack of design sensitivity that has plagued the digital world since 1996 or so. By throwing print onto the dust heap of history, we have also thrown out the principles of visual communications design that grew with it. These principles are entirely portable, but because of their association with a dying medium, they have been deprioritized. The result has been that the lion’s share of websites look and read like crap. . . . Read Will Novosedlik’s “The Digital Sword of Damocles.”