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  1. #1
    Drupaler bronze trophy greg.harvey's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Parallels between web design and magic?

    An interesting article about web design from the BBC:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3190884.stm


  2. #2
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    Thank you
    -ChaCha

  3. #3
    SitePoint Guru kish's Avatar
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    lol thats quite a funny, if pretty pointless article.
    I'd expect something a bit more in depth from the bbc...

    cheers for sharing the link with us though though greg... its always interesting to see web design reported by the big news players
    Fast Fwd Multimedia
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  4. #4
    because you gotta have beer! firegryphon3207's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greg.harvey
    An interesting article about web design from the BBC:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3190884.stm

    An interesting perspective. I never thought about it much.
    Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
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  5. #5
    SitePoint Zealot talash's Avatar
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    Frankly, I am not impressed.

    Abhishek
    My Blog - Business strategy, Usability, India and Ideas
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  6. #6
    because you gotta have beer! firegryphon3207's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by talash
    Frankly, I am not impressed.

    Abhishek
    Is there anything specific that you find so unimpressive?
    Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
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  7. #7
    SitePoint Zealot talash's Avatar
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    Yeah. I will surely like to explain. I was not very impressed because of several reasons.

    With due respect to Mr. Bruce "Tog" Tognazzini and his collegues at NN Group, whom i respect a lot as usability experts, i differ from their article in my opinion on simmilarity between magic and webdesign.

    Magic is a subject of showmanship, illusion and art. Whereas web design is more of a blend of arts, commercial understanding and technology.

    I mean to say that we do not try to create an illusion, but try to provide relevant information and make it easy to understand for an "end user" when we design a website by hiding the technological complexity behind it. We try to achieve a goal of generating business or communicating to a given audience. On the other hand magic is more about creating an illusion and making a person *think* as how it happened. We never try to do that when we design a website. Do we?

    Not only my opinion differs in case of the basic objective of design, but also in case of the interface.

    A magician is available himself as an interface to the customers, whereas a webdesigner is not available. Only his work is available to do the talking and to ensure that his work actually "proves itself right" infront of teh audience.

    I might be wrong, and i would like to discuss if anyone is interested.

    Abhishek
    My Blog - Business strategy, Usability, India and Ideas
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  8. #8
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    The article failed to mention one similarity between magic and web design. Both the magician and the web designer leave the customer mystified as to how the trick/website was done.

  9. #9
    Drupaler bronze trophy greg.harvey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starrwriter
    The article failed to mention one similarity between magic and web design. Both the magician and the web designer leave the customer mystified as to how the trick/website was done.
    Like it!

  10. #10
    because you gotta have beer! firegryphon3207's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by talash
    We never try to do that when we design a website. Do we?

    Abhishek
    ahh, there's the burn. We never try to make it seem like it is magical. But my experience has been that many people treat as such. They view it as an almost magical process. I hadn't thought about it much before, but this article did make me think a little. It's often how the less-technolgoy inclined seem to view it. Why they are soo impressed and sometimes have unrealistic expectations. Not the most logical viewpoint perhaps, but I only thought about it a little.
    Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
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  11. #11
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Ahh but the web designer is weaving an illusion. They are weaving the illusion of space.

    You are talking about a medium with no space, where linear travel means nothing and time is distorted (oh come on and tell me you haven't sat down at the computer to look up a couple things and realize hours later how much time you wasted).

    To use clichéd terms, the Information Superhighway has a billion exits all leading to each other. Your job as a web designer is to create space in the tangled web that is out there and entice customers/users to it in order to achieve a profit. You need to sell tangible goods through intangible means in the case of Commerce, you need to convince the visitor that you are an authority on your subject in a Content venue. You need to do this in a consistent and logical fashion in a medium which has no logical layout as a whole.

    The illusion is being a company in the customer's livingroom while you are located half a world away. The illusion is manning the sales floor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week even though it is a one man operation. The illusion is being there for the customer when they need you. It is up to the web designer to make these illusions so the company behind the site can make them reality with their actions.
    Wayne Luke
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  12. #12
    SitePoint Zealot str8acer's Avatar
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    Just wanted to show my prescence.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Guru kish's Avatar
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    i agree with talash. its a load of old tripe.
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  14. #14
    SitePoint Addict rabbitdog's Avatar
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    That article is ridiculous, but the general thesis does have some merit.

    I think anything that's creative has a little bit of magic in it. Afterall, you're fabricating something out of nothing (or chaos depending on your view).
    Mr Vector
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  15. #15
    SitePoint Guru kish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabbitdog
    I think anything that's creative has a little bit of magic in it. Afterall, you're fabricating something out of nothing (or chaos depending on your view).
    Any skilled worker fabricates something out of nothing (or out of chaos).
    A carpenter could make you a chair or even a house out of a tree - is that magic? Lets not get too excited here - there's no magic involved in web design.... talent-yes; skill-yes; knowledge-yes; magic-no
    Fast Fwd Multimedia
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  16. #16
    SitePoint Addict rabbitdog's Avatar
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    Well - I was referring in particular to the creative process.

    There is a difference between a skilled assembly line worker who fabricates something per spec and someone who is creating something entirely new and original. Be that a carpenter who designs a new style of chair or a designer who is finding an original organization and styling of content on a webpage.

    There's an X factor there. You can call it magic, or you can call it synapses firing in the brain of some folks a little differently, but you have to acknowledge that its there.
    Mr Vector
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  17. #17
    SitePoint Guru kish's Avatar
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    hmm, i see your point, however i think that the difference between, for example, David Blaine pusihing a cigarette through a coin and a webby creating a fresh and exciting online site, is too great to even come close to calling the latter magic. Amazing, perhaps, but magic i think not.
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  18. #18
    Drupaler bronze trophy greg.harvey's Avatar
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    So you believe in magic?? Because it seems to me that the basis of your argument is that magic is somehow 'special'....

  19. #19
    SitePoint Guru kish's Avatar
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    no. magic is trickery in comparison to a skilled worker producing something.
    We can't compare pulling a rabbit out of a hat with creating a unique and vibrant website.
    To me, the things are so far apart as to make it ridiculous to even put them in the same sentence.

    How do u view it Greg?
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  20. #20
    Drupaler bronze trophy greg.harvey's Avatar
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    Personally, I think I'd agree that the example of an illusionist is perhaps difficult to hold up, but the principle (as outlined by Wayne) is certainly sound. I don't know what a better analogy would be, so for the purposes of explaining the principle and not getting lost in semantics, I think it does the job.

    Could you think of a better profession to compare it with, or perhaps you can't compare working in the world wide web with any other tangible profession...? It is a truly bizarre thing that we do, if you think about it...

  21. #21
    SitePoint Guru kish's Avatar
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    i think its not too disimilar to most graphic design, advertising and marketing jobs.....
    if you asked before, i'd never have come up with magician, Lol
    Fast Fwd Multimedia
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  22. #22
    Drupaler bronze trophy greg.harvey's Avatar
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    I guess what we physically do is much closer to that. It's the medium that makes it very very different though. For example, the Internet has completely changed the face of news coverage...

  23. #23
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    Unhappy magic

    New here but i think that i have ilumination now and must share inspite of my English.Ilumination is key word when we talk about creativity and thats the point where the magic journey starts.

  24. #24
    SitePoint Wizard Crowe's Avatar
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    I guess it's fitting that I own the domain webdevwizards.net then
    Chrispian H. Burks
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  25. #25
    Fine Tuned silver trophy KC's Avatar
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    Would you rather be called a webmaster or a webwizard?

    The article makes some very good points and alot of which I can relate to in dealing with past clients who would hit the "submit" key over an over on a webpage (good example), and not have a clue as to what was happening behind the scenes. Not net savvy individuals by no means. So when a client says "Do your magic," this logic makes sense to me.
    Former Design Your Site Team Leader


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