The Art of Sustaining a Still Popular Website in an age of Social Media:

Display and Design at Defenestrationism.net

 

Welcome,
welcome–
we’d like to welcome you.
Welcome,
you’re welcome.
We’d like to welcome you
to
Part 2.)
of
The Art of Sustaining a Still Popular Website in an Age of Social Media


What differentiates design from display?

Design is commonly referred to as a theme, containing widgets, menus, and customizable appearances, or alternatively, uniquely programmed coding. The entirety of the site is its design. Display references the microcosmic layouts. How the content appears on each page, on each screen, that is its display.

As one must be fly towards the sight-impaired, allow me some textual descriptions of Defenestrationism.net ‘s design and display.

Surrounded left and right with empty black, the body of Defenestrationism.net is an ancient scroll– oxidized and crinkled, yellowed with age. Links are all a deep, bloody burgundy color. To site-left, our lengthy, comprehensive navigation panel. And in the upper left, smaller text reads “Welcome to defenestrationism reality.”

As for display, well: many lines appear at differing indentations, some lines cut shorter than others, as a Herbert poem visually appears. Paragraphs are often quite short– no more than two, three sentences, sometimes– though this length does vary for effect of impact. This is much like the well-crafted essays of Mark Twain.

Ultimately, though, exciting displays of text such as ours on Defenestrationism.net are no more than an unexpected bonus. Even on high budget sites, which pay programers to code a unique design, there is very little variability in how textual content is displayed on the page. Images are the most manipulable part of most website displays– images can be wrapped with text, submerged under text, aligned to different sides, the center, or in-between, and generally bounced about. Videos, naturally, have an internal display based on their own content. But text comes in blocks.

A Herbert poem titled the Alter appears on Poetryfoundation.org– the home of Poetry Magazine, the oldest, most prestigious poetry journal in America. There, it has no indentations. The lines– visually indented since the early 17th century to resemble a physical alter– no longer do on Poetryfoundation.org . Though the organization does offer a “we strive to preserve the text formatting” disclaimer, this still is a misrepresentation in display.

Current fashion is for sleek, streamlined sites. A home page will offer a few articles on it and an expandable menu, usually with less than half-a-dozen options. However, no matter how beautiful or glossy, these minimalist designs can be better optimized to retain visitors and result in multiple hits with each visit.

On many of today’s sites there is only a single option to click– some glowing red button demanding attention. All other possibilities are under-emphasized. An anecdote: when Amazon.com insists on buyers joining AmazonPrime, the pop-up window opts-in with an enormous, fat button, while opting-out must be done through a thin thread of text.

More options, as self-explanatory as possible, displayed as obviously as can be, this is how design on Defenestrationism.net is optimized for retention and numerous hits.


More will be revealed, so
do not fail
to return next week, as
The Art of Sustaining a Still Popular Website 
continues with:
Part 3.) Content and Consistency
nowhere else but
Defenestrationism.net .







read part 1. of The Art of Maintaining a Still Popular Website in an Age of Social Media
On to Part 3.



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