Matthew T Grant


Tall Guy. Glasses.

Web Design as Orchestration

The last post I published for Aquent’s Talent Blog was on the topic of aleatoric design. It was a response to the much maligned Skittles website reconception. The main point I wanted to make was this:

Of course, Skittles, with the aid of, are following in the footsteps of Modernista!, who took their own website in this direction last year. Still, the fact that a consumer brand has emulated a trendy design shop has got everybody talking, including the ever articulate (and strikingly handsome) David Armano, who rightly predicts, I believe, that we’ll see more of this, not less and goes on to link the Skittle move to the emergence of “sponsored conversations.”

But what is this “this” that we’re going to be seeing more of? I think it’s something we could call “aleatoric” design which takes advantage of the fact that web pages, in the end, exist as a set of instructions to be executed by a browser, not a fixed arrangement of text and image (as in the print world). Since these instructions can be linked to dynamic sites themselves (Twitter, YouTube, Wikipedia, etc.), design now becomes the quasi-symphonic arrangement of fluid elements that resist control or even predictability.

Interactive design is more and more “orchestral” and less and less “graphic.” Accordingly, I think we should think of web “sites” as “stages” where content “occurs” or is “performed.”

Don’t you agree?

Category: Design

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