I feel we are forsaking individuality and art for analytics and data-centric needs.
I’ve worked in teams where I was the artist and other teams where I was the developer. I know and have seen and experienced both sides. As of 2017, the internet looks like it was built by database administrators and server-side programmers.
When I think of brands, I can no longer imagine them. Without cable television commercials (who has cable anymore?) where is the brand marketing? Store shelves? Product placement in film and TV? The internet?
Now that we have over-saturated the World Wide Web and companies are counting on being found among their peers, we are stuck with structured data in order for search engines to read, process and place websites. Arguably needed, since… well, how else are we to navigate the internet? We need search engines to let us find what’s out there.
This is completely aside from my issues with responsive design and writing code for “all screens”. I think that, in an instance of genius, Apple accidentally put developers on a path of structured data that has muscled its way into the presentation aspect of visual communication. Structured data is definitely needed for the back-end, but for the front end… we’re not machines. We don’t have right angles. We are wiggly and stretchy and warm and fuzzy and prone to change within an instant. While we try to duplicate ourselves, we are never exactly the same.
At Bar Mode, we have become experts at designing and developing with SEO and Analytics in mind. We have always kept the needed steps of making sure all data delivered to an end-user is both consumable and well-structured for all screens and machines.
HTML. HyperText Markup Language. It’s the code that formats the information into something consumable by humans. It’s layout. CSS was made to extend the ability to layout your information for internet browsers.
Etymology and origin
The term markup is derived from the traditional publishing practice of “marking up” a manuscript, which involves adding handwritten annotations in the form of conventional symbolic printer‘s instructions in the margins and text of a paper manuscript or printed. It is computer jargon used in coding proof. For centuries, this task was done primarily by skilled typographers known as “markup men” or “copy markers” who marked up text to indicate what typeface, style, and size should be applied to each part, and then passed the manuscript to others for typesetting by hand. Markup was also commonly applied by editors, proofreaders, publishers, and graphic designers, and indeed by document authors.
Somewhere, along the way… we converted everything to better serve the machine rather than the human. Tricks were used with HTML5 and CSS to help the data fit onto all screens. Client side code then made it possible to use the same page code across all screens. Suddenly, that client-side language became more important to data driven programmers than originally intended and it splintered into all types of different libraries. Data Driven programmers quickly realized that you can only scale a square to fit in a square, so square layouts were needed. Now, everything under the sun is square ▀ . Wix, Squarespace, WordPress, Joomla… ▀ .
I think a change is on the way.
And that is EXCITING to us!
It’s time to bring back visual impact. A return to bigger ideas and pushing boundaries (boundaries we never asked for). SO WHAT if people can’t consume it on their phones? I think people spend too much “life time” staring at those small screens anyway. Go home, check it out on a PC or your TV. Save your eyesight.
It’s time to forsake code and put the internet back on track.