This article is presented to you in two distinct voices. One being of Dr Jordan Stone of Austin Texas. The other of Professor Martin Hughes live from London. WEFAIL

Over to you, Martin...

Martin: I suppose all websites have personality.

Jordan: No, no can I interject...most websites are shitty, lifeless and boring.

Martin: Can I finish?

Jordan: No, I mean yes. Please do.

Martin: As I was saying, I suppose all websites have personality, it’s whether you the user like their personality or not that counts.

Jordan: Oh, that’s good. Sorry I interrupted.

Martin: A WEFAIL site probably wears its personality a little higher on its sleeve and in that way users either love our work or really hate it, but rather one of the two than to have users left feeling nothing in particular.

Jordan: I’d liken WEFAIL’s approach to web design, to Steven Morrissey’s approach to music in the ever-popular musical group THE SMITHS. You see, before The Smiths, music had not been challenged since the 50s. Most people were still listening to Franky Avalon, Chuck Berry and The Drifters.

What The Smiths did was come along and question the laws of Rock and Roll… and in turn redefined music into today’s modern pop sounds.

Martin: and that’s what we did with Flash?

Jordan: Yes, yes I think we did. We ended the 50s.

Martin: For the longest time I used to love to surf web studio sites and read their bio info, I don’t know how it happened but somewhere along the line web designers decided that “Used-Car Sales” talk was appropriate for the front end of every site “We can deliver infinite imagination at an affordable price…right into your living room” or “Bringing you TOMORROW’S web design…TODAY” and juxtaposing those bold statements with a rather average website, I used to find it fantastic.

I once worked for such a studio, where on the front end of the site the studio manager would want baffling super hi-tec statements like “THIS SITE IS WAP ENABLED FOR YOUR PLEASURE” hahahaha, “BRINGING YOU TOMORROW’S WAP ENABLED SITES...TODAY”…utter nonsense! I think he once quoted Shakespeare on a 3D intro, how awfully sad.

With WEFAIL I think we felt that we would debase ourselves from the very start…WE FAIL…. Whatever it is we’re trying to sell, wherever we’re going, we WILL fail…but we’ll be content with that failure. “BRINGING YOU TOMORROW’S WEB DESIGN... PROBABLY TOMORROW, IF WE CAN, WE’RE NOT VERY GOOD AT THIS”.

Jordan: That’s exactly what I said, but I said it better.

Martin: Really? I think maybe you lost the reader in your homegrown wilderness of metaphors.

Jordan: Never underestimate the reader Martin, and anyway one SHOULD be lost from time to time. It’s only in losing ourselves that we find value in our thoughts, and in turn create new web design for today’s children to embrace. LOSE your inhibitions Martin and FIND your creativity!

Martin: ok I’ll try.

Jordan: There you go! Pills for the creative mind!

Martin: So we started out making what we wanted to see. That gets harder to do when taking on clients, because maybe they don’t want to see some hidden porn action or hear a freestyle robot voice rap off on the front end of their site...so we make little concessions in our design and meet in the middle (then while they’re sleeping put the robot rap off back in the site, we hate concessions!!).

We’re working on a site right now, and it’s no issue but we’re animating a character and this character at one point “throws” a fictitious animal at the user in a comic kind of way. The client got back to us after our first animation draft and said “the animal looks so scared just before it’s thrown, look at its poor eyes, we can’t have that”, haha it’s not real!!

We’ll have to take that little creature’s personality away I guess. Clients know best.

Jordan: The way we put ourselves into our work is the reason we don’t lay awake at night worrying “Oh, is somebody going to rip me!? Oh dear!” You can’t fake that. We’re doing it intuitively. If we love it and the client loves it, well it doesn’t really matter what anyone else thinks. Are we to have focus groups and find a target market? Can we over analyze every bit? Anyone can do that. Are you writing this down?


Jordan: Yes yes, that’s what it boils down to. If we were in a high school creative writing class… well first of all me and Martin would have had to have not dropped out of high school, but besides that, as I was saying, IF we were in a high school creative writing class I believe a high school creative writing teacher would call this “personality” we’re speaking of “voice” …

So that’s what I say, don’t be afraid to use your voice… even if you dropped out of high school and have an eighth grade education.

Martin: I dropped out of school to watch TV and rest.

Jordan: and now you’re making “websites” that run on the “internet”. You see? There’s nothing to be afraid of!

Martin: The fight for the future has just begun!

Jordan: No thanks.

About the authors:

This article was presented to you in two distinct voices. One being of Dr Jordan Stone of Austin Texas. The other of Professor Martin Hughes live from London. WEFAIL

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