It's November, and what could be trendier than NaNoWriMo!? I have a young friend who is all about some National Novel Writing Month. She has excited and encouraged me to join in the fun. I said, "No."
It's not that I don't like NaNoWriMo; I do! I love the passion and the deadline. However, I am just not into the month long goals or 30 Day Challenges. They aren't bad; Matt Cutts is a big fan of the 30 Day Challenge, and he is crazy awesome. But, I think he said it best: "I can say, 'Hey, I wrote a novel.' Is it any good? No, I wrote it in 30 days, but I did it." Even though I'm not a fan of trying to cram a huge undertaking into a single month, I am a huge fan of the concepts involved, and I think there are even things to learn from them that will improve your website performance.
Art. Art today is very public, and therefore anyone can be a critic. You don't have to be trained in the arts or have any appreciation (understanding) of art at all. You don't have to know what the artist is hoping to communicate or even try to figure it out. You can just say, "I don't like it." And, that's ok as far as it goes. Art is often meant to be subjective and appeal to fairly narrow styles. The problem comes when one takes his own subjective tastes and makes that the objective criterion by which all art is judged. More times than not the singular factor chosen is representation. "If it looks like the thing it represents then it's good art." Or the converse, as I once heard a man say, "If a child looks at it and says, 'What is it?' it's obviously not any good." The problem here is that a lot of great art communicates things that have no physical, visual form. Does this make the art bad? I hope not. As I hope to demonstrate, that's a lot of what a graphic designer does!
Can you remember what the internet looked like 5 years ago? What about one year ago? No? Me neither. That's why Daniel and I decided to embark on a little investigating using WaybackMachine.org. Wow, how things have changed. Chick-fil-A has undergone quite the face-lift! Along the way, there were a few things we noticed all of the older sites had in common.. and we also noticed things the new ones had in common. Here's a sampling from a few common industries: