The average American typically spends 23 hours a week online. That is almost a full day devoted to exploring a digital environment. As humans, we’re attracted to the simplicity that the Web brings to our life. The Web is open to everyone, meaning mass amounts of information reach people relatively easily. Behind the surface of a user-appealing website comes a design medium unlike any other: Web design.
“Web design is fluid, things are always changing. It’s exciting to see content move across mediums,” explained Corey Kolb, a digital native, which is a person who was born during or after the general introduction of digital technology. On his website, Kolb says, “We understand the value of digital technology and seek to involve it in our everyday life.”
Web design is the creation of digital environments that facilitate and encourage human activity, reflect or adapt to individual voices and content, and change gracefully over time, while always retaining their identity. Great Web designs impose a personality on whatever content is applied to them.
Kolb describes himself on Twitter, as a “visual communicator/problem solver.” Web designers must decide what to emphasize and de-emphasize using design elements of contrast and emphasis, to be able to communicate the value of a statement. Problems are solved with Web design. It’s putting the pieces together visually in a way for audiences to connect with the message.
“I frequently find myself dealing with user interface, how it looks and the user experience, how it feels,” said Kolb.
Lately, the Web design has been making a huge move toward motion. “I keep seeing people using subtle movements and short video moves,” said Kolb. “It adds a whole other component, time-based media, that you aren’t seeing in print.”
What is your definition of design?
“I guess it goes back to the textbook definition. It’s visual communication. You take an idea and you give that language further meaning. It’s almost like a voice for the written work.” – Corey Kolb
Today is the technology area, which is developing a fear in some print artists’ minds that most forms of design will be completely Web in the future. Kolb is also a print artist and brought an interesting outlook to the table.
“The Web has yet to get a really soothing touch sort of area. Until you’re able to excite all the senses, the Web won’t be able to completely dominate,” Kolb explained.
Too much Internet journalism follows the money, and too little covers art and ideas. People who are smart about print can be less bright about the Web.
“Where are the masterpieces of Web design?” artists might ask. The Google Maps might be as representative of our age as the Mona Lisa was of Leonardo’s. Both are brilliant in their own way.
The trouble with Web design is, although it employs elements of graphic design and illustration, it does not map to them. If you were to compare Web to other media, typography would be a better choice. Web design is an environment for someone else’s expression.
“Typography is a young element and it is growing into its own,” explained Kolb. “Oftentimes Web is treated like the under appreciated child.”
Ultimately, a Web designer’s goal is to create pages that are distinctive, natural, brand-appropriate, subtly memorable and quietly, but unmistakably, engaging.
Kolb’s idea of his perfect project is, “Something cultural, helping out an artist create a site, a site being an art project, doing things to help out the community. This is a powerful tool. Use it for something more than consumer goods.”