Article: Darwin and the Art of Web Design

An excerpt from, by Martin May

Once upon a time there was a man called Darwin. This man came up with an idea that has come to be known as ‘the survival of the fittest’.

Photo: Son of Groucho

This is probably one of the most misused terms in history, but the concept is based on his theory of natural selection, and it is natural selection that I believe can be applied to web design to create better and more usable websites and web applications.

Natural selection is the idea that something (in Darwin’s case, some population of animals or plants) will change, as environmental conditions change.

Change in this context means they are somehow better adapted to that new environment, which then means that they can reproduce more and so propagate their traits (or features and elements in the case of web design). This then ultimately results in that changed version of the species becoming successful.

I believe this fundamental concept of adaptation to changing environments making more successful, better-adapted species can also be applied to web design.

This is not an article about how to design your website and which design elements to use, it is more about an approach to web design, based as much on science as art.

Continue reading this article on SitePoint.

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