Design Backlash

Consider this a dual author post. Vera posted this comic called “How A Web Design Goes Straight to Hell” on my facebook page. Hilarious and a must-read. Coincidentally, Smashing Magazine’s article posted yesterday was “How To Explain To Clients That They Are Wrong,” which, as Vera put it, “is all about rhetoric.” And, yes, it is. So, per request, I post these things for your enjoyment. (I certainly do enjoy them.)

PZ and Kinetic Typography

Have I mentioned how much I love Presentation Zen? This time, Garr goes over Kinetic Typography (also called motion typography from time to time) with examples to boot.

I can tell you with my own experimentation how difficult this form is to manage. It seems almost relentlessly tedious with the amount of detail you have to go through technically speaking and you have to apply your creativity to try and produce something visually interesting. (Which is why many videos featuring kinetic typography are under 2 minutes).

Just check out his post. It’s quite worth it. Here’s an example that he shows in his post–just to wet your appetite. . .

The Essential Part of Running a Website

Let’s say you’re playing around on the Harlot site. You’re enjoying yourself–reading some mad good works of writing, writing comments, adding content to the wiki, having discussions–and, oh no, there’s something you don’t like. The comments are not intuitive to what the reader needs. The design is hard on your eyes. The logo’s too big. Or a number of other issues.

Well, well. Do I have a post for you. Because this site is meant to be a space for you and your needs, we want to make the best space that we can for you. It’s kinda like your favorite coffee shop, but cooler. This is your opportunity to help tailor Harlot to you. So, hit me with the feedback. Good, bad, totally apathetic. You can email us at or leave a comment. Here if you like or under the Editors’ Letter.

Tell me what you think, what you want, what you like, what you think doesn’t work.

Now, realize that I may only be able to do so much for ya, and if you ask for a Thoroughbred, you might end up with a Tennessee Walker. Jus’ Sayin’. There is a limited amount of time and support.

To preempt some of the things that do come up, know that our first priority is to create a single login session for all of our systems. That means instead of signing in for all the separate entities: Blog, Wiki, and the home page, you will only need to sign in once for all three. Useful, eh? We think so. Of course, we have been working on it (or I should say that our amazing PHP Programmer, Jason, has been working on it), but you may just have to bear with us as we go through the technical woes.

I mean, we have a whole list of things we’d like to see, but I know that y’all will have concerns that we never even thought about. So, please, tell us what you want. Tell us how to make the site better for you.


Garr Reynolds over at Presentation Zen has a good breakdown of the visual elements of IKEA. I highly recommend that you read his post “Learning slide design from an IKEA billboard.” He provides an excellent analysis of what makes the posters persuasive and engaging. It really is a top notch post.

I, on the other hand, am totally thrilled by a person’s willingness to deconstruct a visual representation present within their own environment. I mean, once that deconstruction and analysis takes place, won’t that person be one step closer to understanding the way their particular environment manipulates them? And in understanding that manipulation, we’re a step closer in understanding the communication that is prevailing within that environment.