I have two adolescents in my life. One almost 18 (in another week!) and one 12 1/2. They, and every one of their friends, have MySpace pages (yes, I know kids are supposed to be 13 to use MySpace – so does DS – all his friends who are under 13 have pages too – the only thing I can say in his defense is at least he’s savvy enough to have blocked his page details from anyone not on his friends list).
OK. So, I spend some amount of time checking their pages, and browsing back and forth among friends pages, etc etc. Uniformly, they are all presented with the world’s WORST webpage design/layout. And all these kids are getting their templates from various sources specializing in making templates especially for MySpace. They mostly have lots of background pictures of celebrities or sports figures, full opacity; low- or no-contrast font colors, terrible font sizes, etc etc etc. And pretty much uniformly ugly as sin.
Why is this bad?
Well, I’m a web geek – not, by any means, an expert web geek, but a webspinner none the less (in spite of the fact this blog is built on a standard blogger-offered template. I’ll get around to fixing that someday, really, I will!) You want expert? See some of the links below!
I am very interested in good design, use of Web Standards (CSS), accessibility and usability issues. I have not seen even one MySpace page that conforms in any way, shape, or form, to decent web design. Most of the time, you can’t even read whatever the kid is trying to show his/her friends and others. So, what are these kids learning about good web design? NOTHING!!!!! and do they care?? NO!
Yes, I’m yelling. Sorry. But to me, it’s a major setback in conveying good, clean, usable web design to the next generation. I wish they did care. I wish the people who are throwing up these templates for kids to use cared. But apparently they don’t. They’re probably a lot of kids themselves. Sigh.
My head aches. Back to work, I guess…
Here are blogs and sites of some experts on good web design:
Molly E. Holzschlag
Derek Featherstone on accessibility and more
Jakob Nielsen on usability
Dan Cederholm who I recently had the pleasure of hearing speak at a local users group meeting. Very interesting, intelligent, and informative.
And other good reference sources:
And OH so many more… try googling “CSS”, or “Web Standards”