At a time when web pages seem to drown in their own graphical spit, I wanted to take a challenge: create interesting design with 2 bits gifs only (in other words, images with only two colors). The result is a light-weight, highly compatible 'core' page. A celebration of old-school web design.
My motivation was not compatibility as such. Since this is not a commercial web site, and user bases are none of my concern, I've had few scruples to ignore browser issues in the past. But I won't deny that I'm pleased with this side benefit. The new 'core' page should display correctly with browsers as ancient as Netscape 2.12 (haven't checked it, but javascript 1.1 is all what is required) and on 640x480 monitor resolution.
The colors change at random each time the page is loaded, and the user will not always get a readable page. He is compelled to click on a button that will propose a new set of colors. If he's lucky, the user will get good colors at once, but if he's not, he'll have to click the button several times before being able to read the page. Also, when he'll follow a link, and then goes back to the 'core' page, his colors are gone, and he has to repeat the process all over again.
I like the fact that you constantly have to readjust the colors. It's a bit like in life: things are never perfect. But this forced color readjustment is also fun, and soon the user finds himself playing with the colors for no particular reason.
Like in gambling or some cards games, you're playing with unpredictability for the sake of it. And as in gambling, the reward is biological. Not adrenaline rushes, but the hallucination induced by repeating color shifts. It's totally futile and compulsory.
But aren't futility and compulsion the major traits of networked entertainment? Let me put it this way: take all the clicks ever clicked on the web and then ask yourself how many of them were futile and compulsory. How many clicks gratuitous or driven by despair? How many clicks for a heartbreak, promises unkept or loneliness?
The web resemble a purgatory of some sort where prayers are ardent and make a ticking noise. Hypertext links accommodate our exorcising needs, as if by clicking them we were really purging our sins and asking for repentance. But who can tell heaven from hell if they share the same URL?


about | work | code | silly | cv
home | blog | contact | back