Jeff Croft has a nice riff on some of the responses he got when he tweeted about what Steven Witten has done with his site, acko.net. It’s an insanely cool piece of CSS and 3D work and Steven did an informative writeup
It’s fascinating to see some of the anti-Flash attitudes manifest themselves in the new world of a very rich HTML5. And I think it goes to show that a lot of the animosity towards Flash was rooted in a very strict interpretation of what is “good” when it comes to UX and UI. I don’t even think that’s entirely wrong, but I do think that some of it misses the point. As Jeff noted, you have to have experiments like this that show off the technology. This kind of thing inspires people to think beyond the gimmick and potentially implement some of these ideas in a more usable and meaningful way. It also does a disservice to the fact that things like this make the web a more beautiful place. This isn’t “design” in the traditional sense. But it’s still art, and art should be celebrated. Most of the things I’ve seen on Twitter were pretty positive about the site and appreciated it, but the opposite reaction from a lot of the web standardistas was, as Jeff said, disappointing.
My plea for the potential creators of things like this is to not heed the mindset that because you’re using open standards you need to adhere to the unwritten rules of UX/UI design and what’s “good”. The open web is at the beginning of what is going to be an amazingly creative period. With technologies like CSS3 and Canvas, the open web has the building blocks in place to harness a lot of creative energy. That is going to take many forms and some of it won’t seem as useful as other bits. But it’s all part of a process, one that we saw with Flash, that ultimately leads to better ideas, better implementations, and a better web.Tweet