web designer as cartographer (or in my case vice versa)

admin » 08 April 2010 » In personal »

I really love this idea of mapping the digital landscape that I read about in an article on A List Apart.

Websites are such abstract constructs, that unless you have a “key” or “legend” you wouldn’t know how it should be used.  But, this legend has yet to be set.  We are still learning how to best represent our abstract, digital concepts in a user-centered design framework.  As the web matures, patterns begin to rise and designers (or information architects) find better solutions to map the web in a more comprehensive manner. In essence, websites are maps to a “real” (digital) landscape.  It’s a great perspective to think about web design as creating a tool, a map, for others to use in order to gain access to the information they want.

The article also discusses mapping memory by using the resources of the user to help define and construct the collective memory, as depicted by each particular site.  This is obviously the shift the web has taken, as more people want to contribute to media (social, blog, etc).  I think it’s interesting to think of these sites as a collective memory….even if that memory is severely short term.  Maybe it’s time someone began documenting this memory.

*Check out WebArchive.org to see what your favorite website looked like 10 years ago!

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