Friday, 17 October 2008

transience site : design and decisions

Since my last post about the website design where I'd come up to a wall between the idea in my head and the reality of what is possible on a small budget and a reasonable load up time, the 'what are you going to do then' has been going around my head.

And Stephen, my photoshop friend and very practical collaborator, has spent at least two evenings trying to explain pixel ratios to me.

There are two paradoxes in my mind:
- firstly, that I'm trying to locate on my 'map' things that are passing through the landscape - ughhh?
- secondly, that I decided to make a website because of the flexibility, its ability to be changed and re-made at any time, but of course, with a Flash file, once it's up, it's there and I can't alter it. So while this blog is endlessly being returned to for editing and tweaking, the Transience website will be pretty much untouchable.

It's always interesting how in any process, especially an artistic one, you have to let go of the grip of desired form somehow - is that the right word? - and let the conversation between materials and practicality take place, which often tends to lead to what the best thing is to do anyway.

Obvious decisions had to be recognised:
- use a smaller scale map as source for marking from
- simplify content and materials
- only use materials that attract me, and none that I think I 'should' use
- write neatly
- sort out, once and for all, the right pixel ratio (this seems to do Kate's head in as much as mine) and go with that.

So I made the map in a day, having thought about it for at least ten. I visited many possible additions to the map but in the end just added a date, and the prevailing wind direction. I was thinking of all sorts of extras, such as links out to migratory routes, but I fear it is
already far too cluttered and in a few months time I will be wanting to alter it all.

The last thing to fall into place are the titles, or rollovers which are the links to the media files. Stephen helped me with these decisions, all the photoshop and the scanning, by uploading a kind of 'what do you want it to kind of look like?' at our biggerhouse site - there's a link here. I was worrying about what the aesthetic of dymo tape says, but through Stephen's 'just do it' kind of reasoning, I realised these labels were crossing a very productive border between the hand made and the printed.

I've learnt a lot about layers.

No comments: