The Grain of the Browser: What Designers Should Know about the Craft of Web Design

By Ian Bellomy.

Published by The International Journal of Visual Design

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: November 18, 2016 $US5.00

Despite the significant demand for graphic designers with web design skills, introducing and developing related technical skills in a design curriculum is problematic. The growing consensus is that such technological topics are best approached through practiced crafting, however, integrating these topics in a studio course may be stymied by two overgeneralized views: that web technology is constantly changing and that web design is distinguished from graphic design by virtue of interactivity. If these views are accepted, a learning objective like "develop working knowledge" may seem too transient or divergent for a graphic design studio. But while web technologies include a collection of passing technologies, they also include a set of stable and material-like constraints. Furthermore, these technologies are rooted in a concern for layout, a core graphic design topic. As such, the topic is appropriate for focused investigation in a graphic design studio. This article proposes an outline for a working knowledge of web design based on a brief overview of historical and existential contingencies and an argument about the minimal relevance of interactivity to the topic. It concludes with an outline of a studio project for developing this knowledge and examples.

Keywords: Web Design, Interaction, Technology

The International Journal of Visual Design, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp.1-15. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: November 18, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 769.026KB)).

Ian Bellomy

Assistant Professor, School of Design, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA