On Web Design

There was quite a bit to do about web design at this years SXSWi. There were a lot of people with beautiful web sites at SXSWi.

What’s more interesting is some of the post posts since: Jeffrey Veen’s State-of-the-art interactivity?, Zeldman’s Userism, and most notably Fried’s Web design going in the wrong direction?.

What’s more interesting are the designs/UI’s of some of the most popular sites out there. Particularly in my mind, and for the sake of this commentary, myspace.com. Myspace is one of the most popular social software/networking tools. Problem is, I feel ill when I go there. Literally. I don’t know where to start: the gigantic screen real estate given to banner ads, circa 1998? The complete lack of respect for how an eye tracks a page? The design that breaks at any font size save the original? The help links that look like ads? The complete lack of any visual or IA planning, direction, or hierarchy? Finding something on myspace feels like finding something in an unorganized, crammed-so-full-you-have-to-sneak-the-door-shut closet.

Yet it’s wildly popular. And what never ceases to amaze is what people will do to their myspace pages. This isn’t new. Back in the day, geocities, mp3.com, etc. had the same problems. Even now, the default my.yahoo.com design is a nightmare, but what you can do with it is really bizzare.