general comments on web design philosophy (return of the blog)

(While working on a new about/contact page for this blog, I found myself needing to make some general comments on my web design/development philosophy. The relevant portions follow.)

The Yoga Instructor Registry (The YIR), a membership site built up from a simple WordPress installation, is my most recent web design and development project.

My other past and ongoing projects include professional, private, and e-commerce web sites mainly based on open source frameworks, especially OSCommerce and WordPress. My design philosophy is to keep things simple, not to aim for anything too slick and flashy, since slick and flashy gets old and even dysfunctional, and since some design trends seem more about designers showing off for clients than about a sensible relationship between means and aesthetic and intellectual ends. I like a human, or organic, or physical sense for a site, sometimes tending to skeuomorphism – erring on the side of familiar and user-friendly, especially with older and non-technologically inclined internet users in mind.

For literary projects, I think a good design is a design that you can stop thinking about, and that presents the content in a way that will not suffer loss of intelligibility and meaning if transferred to paper or some other site-independent format. On the other hand, web-specific functions especially in a desk or laptop rather than small-mobile (i.e., 5″ screen) context – with buttons to push and links to click – deserve to have dimensionality if they refer the user to a different kind of relationship than that of a reader.

Still, though I look forward to an eventual countertrend to flat-mobile-things, I do see a lot of blogs and other sites that could stand updating and customizing: There’s retro or conservative design, and then there’s ugly because no one had the frameworks, the code, and the bandwidth to get un-ugly. A small counter-trend or counter-wave, or return to the personal weblog as mode of self-expression in its own right, probably won’t and shouldn’t be a return to anybody’s blog ca. 2005.

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Writing since ancient times, blogging, e-commercing, and site installing-designing-maintaining since 2001; WordPress theme and plugin configuring and developing since 2004 or so; a lifelong freelancer, not associated nor to be associated with any company, publication, party, university, church, or other institution.

2 comments on “general comments on web design philosophy (return of the blog)

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  1. I agree with you that while designing website it’s important to make website more simple and easy to understand .The words should be easily understood by the readers so as to get targeted traffic.Get some designing ideas from Loungelizard professionals . .

  2. I must say that every designer should be careful about the quality in terms of section alignments and good call to action buttons so that user easily get what one wants while designing any website.

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TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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