So, my personal homework right now is to finish my website and make business cards, so that if I ever come across another person wanting to buy my designs, I have a card to give them with a website to guide them to, where they can not only see a portfolio of my work, but also shop for selected designs as well.
So, that little tangent (a tangent from what, you ask?) is what leads me into what I meant to write this post about. Web Design.
I've spent the past few days drawing out ideas on paper, and on Illustrator to get a sense of what I want my site to look like. I've also been looking at other websites to get inspiration and to see how they function from a designers perspective... What do the links do when they are highlighted or clicked on? How is the page organized? What typefaces do they use? Why?
All these little details go unnoticed, for the most part, as a passive web user. But as a web designer (if I can even call myself that... with zero knowledge of web design under my belt), everything becomes a little more complex. As I try to come up with the design solutions of each aspect of my own website, I begin to see all the nit-picky design details that other designers have found as solutions for whatever design hurdles they faced in designing said website. I suppose I always knew, or assumed that I knew, that web design was complicated, but I, like most other non-web-designers, took most of web design for granted. I suppose a small part of me sort of just assumed that websites were spontaneously created by the infinite and powerful forces of the interweb without the need for humans to create them. But, I am wrong. Humans are constantly creating and building new websites for other humans to access through their internet-accessing portals (computers) and without these portals, there would be no way to see, feel, hear, touch, taste, or in any way experience a "website".
The internet is still a crazy and freaky concept to me. I am sitting in a puddle of internet right now, and so are you. I stepped in some internet when I got out of bed, and some internet got into my cereal this morning, and I ate it anyway. I even ran over a giant piece of internet while driving on the freeway!! How cruel...
Doctors have yet to discover what long-term exposure to this invisible, tasteless, odorless substance we call "internet" might do to our health, but symptoms are already beginning to show... starting with this false illusion of existence. Hallucinations! Or, as others call it - virtual reality. In deciding to create a website, I am deciding to create a web presence for myself (as if my activity on facebook, blogger, emails, etc, wasn't enough to confirm my existence) so that other people who have created web presences, or virtual realities, or hallucinations (whatever you want to call them) might be able to access me... the web-me, at least (which now a days, is the "me" that counts) and confirm that I am real, that I do things, that I sell things, and then we can all pick out the bugs from each others fur and teach our young to "fish" for fire ants for nutrition.
This gas, this substance that we bathe in, inhale, consume, this so-called "internet" - this is what web designers do. We are all, in essence, web designers - creating our avatars (facebook pages, blogs, websites) to confirm to each other that we are friends, or enemies, or that we are worthy of being hired, or worthy of being fired, or that we are in any way important or insignificant. We no longer need to rely on personal interactions to show each other what we are - the internet can do it all for us!
Designing the internet. Designing the invisible and untouchable spaces that somehow have become so solid and so real in our confirmation of us as humans, as real, as worthy. This must be the new frontier in design - if at one time, design was creating objects to sit in, to drink out of, to live in, now we are creating objects, ideas, realities for us to exist in. I now begin the process of designing my website... designing an invisible and untouchable thing that is so solid, so real, in my existence as a designer, or student, or professional. I am a website. I am real. I am worthy. I am human. Hear me roar.
Here is a list of other websites aka people who aim to prove their existence as well. Done beautifully, aesthetically minded, and with clarity and ease at the forefront of the design. I salute these web designs: