September 30, 2009

Yet another post about Lowe Brindfors, perhaps in their defence…

I have somewhat been enjoying the emerging debate about the coexistance of beautiful and working designs that’s been regurgitated in the SWEnglish bloggosphere since a post by Walter Naeslund a couple of half weeks back.

Walter is a highly skilled copy and put his finger on a very open and visible wound in the Swedish Ad-agency/webb-agency sphere. Naturally, lots of bloggers followed, and all though I agree with most of what’s been said in these posts I would still like to flip the coin.

What I have to say in their defence
I am hurting inside as the static page experience of the web is starting to make me boored. When I know that inventions such as Prezi and Sea Dragon give depth to the web when treating it like one big – enormous – gigantic – surface rather than a collection of individual pages and urls. Especially when looking at the emergence of connecting data. The format appropriate for SEO work becomes obsolete as we need a new form of web to handle it.

Lowe Brindfors gives me this feeling of a surface rather than a page. Ok… it looks like a print ad… but I still feel it is a surface with ideas on it. I like that part of the approach and to be fair one has to point out what you like as well as what you dislike.

For the future web
Ok, their website is inaccessible and it does not really work on the web we have now. But the tinking of surfaces are, a part of the modern architecture of the web. For that we have to give Lowe Brindfors credit.

Think of the web as a liquid rather than a frame. Think of the trainspotting sequence with Ewan McGregor diving into the toilet. Think of the web as an ocean… think of waves… [Ok… off topic.. but I’m trying to ride one… phew… I’m such a prostitute…]

The problem is only that the now-web has constraints with regards to our surfaces and data is not yet connected to other data. But when that technology is available, the problem with Lowe Brindfors design and execution is not that they didin’t think web, but it is that they didn’t think big enough.

So many people are stuck in thinking small… not only ad-agencies… Think big… and the rest will follow… now please spend the next 17 minutes watching this Ted-talk by Tim Brown. Cause if you really don’t like my flipping of coins… I shouldn’t have brought you here for nothing with..

[And for those of you who think my defence speach was lame… please give me hell below… and I might agree with you and bash myself tomorrow… I just don’t want this door to close as I think that besides all the bashing and name calling, we are moving forward… and why not think crazy thought when crazy thought can be thought… or… yes.. or no… hmm..]

//Jesper

8 Comments
  • Christan Rudolf, September 30, 2009 Reply

    To quote "Obi One Jesper"

    "The web is about people, content and links"

    Nothing is static as we all like to hope it is to be able to control it. But the web is like a fire, constantly moving, creating heat but never goes out of firewood and this fire is out of control. Even the readwoods will fall this time.

    The web is not about structure, like we would like to structure it with indexpages, chapters in a nice stringent way

    there is just people, content and links

  • Jesper Åström, October 1, 2009 Reply

    Indeed... I say nothing else than that the web is about people, content and links between them... but my Matrix-infested mind makes me wonder what the next web could be. Regardless if we are on a wave or if we are on a static page... it is still just people, content and links between them.. How this will look... is another question..

    Remember... the social web was not created by an invention... it was created by a crash... and thus.. it is not a structured or institutional effort... and hence, I agree with your assessment that structure less web is what we'll have to get comfortable with..

  • Björn Alberts, October 1, 2009 Reply

    Jesper, interesting thoughts. I like the idea of thinking big and that you said "they didn’t think big enough".

    Wouldn't it be lovely to find that client or case that truly let you and a couple of creative friends with mixed competencies to think really big. Creating a superior interactive and rich SE-optimised experience that linked resources and people together in one great "thing" adaptive to each users preferences.

    However, I guess they're hard to find and as always it isn't a purpose of its own to create this. Still there need to be a purpose and a positive ROI.

    What would be created? Was it just a vision or a dream?

    Would be interesting if followers of your blog could post some links to cases that are close to that kind of nirvana...

  • Jesper Åström, October 1, 2009 Reply

    I would NEVER give myself a carte blanche... Then it would become artwork and not anything that could be made business from. It would just be working so beautifully for everyone... However... a system that works for everyone will NEVER be created.. not because we can't do it... but because we lock ourselves and our minds into little boxes made of mirrors caught up in our own vanity, not recognizing that we need to meet the need for every specific user rather than that of groups or audiences...

    The technology to fully personalize the web experience is out there and quite cheap aswell... But to be given a waiver would make it a project that would last forever.. :D So... some boundaries such as budget... or purpose... would be good in any case..

  • Walter Naeslund, October 1, 2009 Reply

    When looking for an interesting angle on a topic, it's often useful to swim upstream. And you are, when defending the surface-approach.

    When visualizing data, it is useful to make a parable so that we can relate to something we are familiar with. The surface parable is just that. And of course it is useful as we can see with, for example, Prezi. But the visualization can't be allowed to replace the fluid functionality of the web. We still need to be able to link to and from data for instance. It would be cool though if I could link to a specific spot on a surface like that, and if that surface contained real functional data. If it would be useful or not... maybe. The risk with designs like that is that they're fun in the beginning but only annoying after a while.

    I love your thinking though and it makes me evolve my own thinking. And THIS really is on of the benefits of the web!

  • Jesper Åström, October 1, 2009 Reply

    Indeed it is, and to argue against any of the arguments that you bring up in your original post would be like arguing against one of the main principles I live by like a religion - namely accessibility.

    However, when I start to feel like I live by something like a religion, I know my critical alert systems gets paralyzed. It is thus my, and our duty to allways question our beliefs no matter how well we believe that they are a reflection of facts.

    And I must fall into the chant that THIS is really one of the benefits of the web. To be able to ask a question by questioning and get instant responses from anyone in the whole wrold.

    This blog has readers from US, Europe, India, China, Japan amongst many other countries... that is truely remarkable... insane... and quite humbling... Yet important!...

    I need food. Off to eat.

  • Björn Alberts, January 14, 2010 Reply

    Jesper, interesting thoughts. I like the idea of thinking big and that you said "they didn’t think big enough".

    Wouldn't it be lovely to find that client or case that truly let you and a couple of creative friends with mixed competencies to think really big. Creating a superior interactive and rich SE-optimised experience that linked resources and people together in one great "thing" adaptive to each users preferences.

    However, I guess they're hard to find and as always it isn't a purpose of its own to create this. Still there need to be a purpose and a positive ROI.

    What would be created? Was it just a vision or a dream?

    Would be interesting if followers of your blog could post some links to cases that are close to that kind of nirvana...


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