Hello Kitty woodmation

Another megastar of the millisecond, this one with design and content (on design: how recursive):Eye Candy from the Underground.

(How’s that for a hard-to-read sentence? And we call ourselves writers.)

The page is a bit odd. Curt Cloninger complains about stagnant, unoriginal corporate Web design, then lists ten alternative design tropes, including something that inexplicably conjoins Hello Kitty and <quote>woodmation</quote>. What, he wants people to exchange one set of clichés for another?

But you’re sick of our griping.

UPDATE from Curt: “The eye candy page is a proof-of-concept outline for a talk I hope to give at the builder.com conference this December. So it’s a pre-outline of a proposed talk about Web design suddenly blogged by many and critically reviewed by some on the merits of its own critical acumen. Wait, did I just review your review?”

What impresses us nearly to stupefaction is Curt’s ability, borne by the form of expression, to sum up entire design archetypes in phrases separated by commas. The constraint here is Nielsen-style Web-writing. Curt’s is a tremendously impressive skill.

Graphic design is invisible to most people. To many Web-surfers, it is partially visible because of the dichotomy between content and presentation, and because we sit there watching pages build themselves as GIFs download and tables struggle to be rendered. (Not a reference to the NUblog, shurely?!) But it’s hard to sum up in words.

If designers could sum up design in words, they wouldn’t need to design. Curt manages to do both. We’ve achieved it a few times in our design writing. It works well in lectures in design conferences. There seems to be a pattern in effect. When you think the readers are already on your wavelength, you manage to communicate design tropes so clearly anyone can get them.

We bring all our powers of expression fully to bear and summarize Curt’s page thusly: Wow.

Posted on 2000-07-04