The powerful, accessible and boring web
You’ve probably already read a few articles and seen comments on how web design all looks the same, on how the web has turned boring and predictable. This has happened before. Many times. It’s the pendulum of design, it might be at it’s climax, it might not. One thing is for sure, it’ll keep swinging. Thanks to the scene as a whole making incremental improvements, and our collective knowledge growing — until we reach a breakthrough.
Some of these sentiments are on point, using vanilla Boostrap or unmodified themes isn’t great, but they do make publishing on the web more efficient for professionals and more accessible to newcomers.
However, I want to compliment our boring new web. The new, “new”.
Our current web does a few things really well; it’s high performance, there’s almost no learning curve, and it works more or less anywhere.
The web has probably never been this easy to use. That’s great.
All this wasn’t just pushed by a certain aesthetic, but rather real challenges. With load times, fragmented ecosystems and broad audiences there’s a lot to keep in mind.
Despite all this. I’ll agree that to some extent, it’s boring. But why?
I doubt it has as much to do with a certain visual language of the web itself, as the actual content we’re surfacing and the experiences we’re building.
In other words, I believe that spending even more of our time and effort on animation, media and communication is key. Interactivity, copywriting, illustrations, photography and video are all great tools in the fight against conformity.
At the point someone has chosen to invest their time, we‘re in a great position to brake patterns. That can have a profound effect.
The web as a medium, like magazines and books, are about sharing information in a highly legible way. But we can still make impactful experiences, and I’d argue that not doing so is missing a huge opportunity to leave a strong impression.