Just stumbled on a couple of not very fresh posts about the role of anti-marketing design, as Scoble calls it. His conclusion: The “ugliest designs” seem to make the best profit on the net. Or the other way round: some sites are simply too pretty. Of course there are a lot of so called Elite Designers shouting “but i can make both”. Haha.
Most commenters tell the “design is form & function” and “design makes communication better” stuff. If you are designer it seems to be very painful to agree that Scoble is (mostly) right: there are a lot of overdesigned websites.
Whats the nature of the web? A powershift. The web makes easy access to information to everyone. I can look up stock quotes, price tags for consumer goods, crosscheck what my doctor says or my advocate. Things i could not do before. The web shifts a part of the power from companies and institutions to the individual. That’s great and therefore we all love the internet.
Design has its root in the opposite direction. Design is visible authority. Design is expensive, not everyone can afford it. Authorities always used design to make their power visible. Any designer must be reminded that the toolset we are using has its origin in expressing power within a society.
Assuming that you cannot not communicate, a well designed website always communicates that there must be a kind of authority behind the originator of the service. And that’s what annoys people, they do not want to have any authority in the web. Design – as it is mostly practised in website design – seems to contradict the original meaning of the web.
So design does not make sense at all in the web? I don’t think so. Design must simply respect the web’s nature: gathering information, connecting with other people. There are a lot of examples (flickr is the best in the web2.0 context) that show this can be achieved without producing ugliness. Designing web is more about thinking about functions and how to use them best.
Designers must stand back from their vanity and rethink their tools.
I did not to intend to offend anyone, no matter what religion or profession. I deleted the sentence and apologize about the misunderstanding.