Why (Web) Design is the Language of This Generation

web design art“Few things are powerful enough to unite an entire culture. Governments, dictators, business leaders, and global influencers of all kinds have spent centuries trying to discover how to bring together organizations, communities, and nations; and time and time again, they’ve found one answer – Design.”

That’s how Phi Cooke begins an excellent article published on ChurchLeaders.com: Why Design is the Language of This Generation.

For centuries – since the invention of the printing press – western society has been a text-based culture.  Words and  content have been far more important than art and media.

But that is changing.

Over the last 3 decades we have become more and more a culture of images.  Advertising images are everywhere.  Inexpensive broadband internet connections and screens have made video accessible everywhere – from your TV, to your computer, to your smart phone.

Cooke writes:

It’s not hard to see, because the evidence is everywhere. Just check out the unique design features of new computers or the interior design of coffee shops. Cell phones, automobiles, software, movies – all are examples of a design driven culture. Better design isn’t just decoration, it’s “connection.” Designer Charles Eames said, “Design is a plan for action.”

What does this mean for websites?

Again quoting Phil Cooke:

Re-thinking the design elements of a project isn’t just a “cosmetic” issue – it’s a fundamental issue about something that connects with the audience or customer on a very deep and significant basis.

In other words, the design of a website is not superfluous or extraneous.  It can’t be an afterthought.  It’s not secondary to content.

Your website’s design is your art.

It speaks to those who see it even louder than the words.

It’s what makes that connection.

Or not.

Take a quick look at your website’s design.  What is it saying?

What do other people say it’s saying?

Boring?  Lifeless?  Cluttered?  Unattended to?

What do you want your website’s design to say to people?

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, elder of CypressMeadows.org, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

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