Desktop Imperium
May 14, 2000 10:10 PM   Subscribe

Desktop Imperium is a related site to see for folks who think vir2l is cool. Among other things, the interface stumbles closely enough to being usable that you can figure out what's being presented -- free wallpapers, in an abstract, Matrix meets Tron meets Jackson Pollack mode.
posted by aurelian (8 comments total)
...although my guess, looking at the other sites in this particular circle of friends/acquaintences, is that the usability is almost accidental... :)
posted by aurelian at 10:12 PM on May 14, 2000

i don't get the latest fad with all these shapes of kinds, seems like most of the sites are the same. 3d shape in photoshop mixed in with some text. I'd love to see something trully imaginative.
posted by tiaka at 8:58 AM on May 15, 2000

It seems sort of weird to call this stuff (desktop imperium, vir2l, et. al.) design when it's more an art form than anything else. I fail to see any visual message articulated or visual problem solved (seems like they're creating a visual problem). Looks kindof neat despite that.
posted by greyscale at 9:16 AM on May 15, 2000

you call it art because it doesn't "articulate a visual message" or "sove a visual problem"? shouldn't art should do those things?
posted by palegirl at 9:25 AM on May 15, 2000

The problem, I think, isn't that desktop imperium, vir2l, etc., don't articulate a visual message; it's that the visual message they articulate is "Wow, isn't this cool" instead of "Here's how you navigate this site." There's nothing wrong with that, but I wouldn't want most Web sites to look like vir2l. Unless the design is the content, Edward Tufte makes a better role model.

posted by Hegemonic at 9:42 AM on May 15, 2000

There has always been a separation between graphic design and art. Most of the web is concerned with graphic design, which generally has the goal of presenting information, whereas art has the goal of conveying ideas and emotions. Of course life isn't that black and white, but we should recognize that there is a difference between web design and web art. The latter may not be usable in any objective sense, but usability is the last priority.

There are very few reasons for a commercial website to abandon the graphic design/usability goals in favor of artistic goals. Something that looks pretty, or more important, fails to be transparently useful, may drive users away.
posted by dhartung at 10:23 AM on May 15, 2000

The goal of these sites are just eye-candy, plain and simple. It's like the special effects you see in movies, which don't help the plot at all, but are darn pretty to look at.

I don't think anyone would argue that for most people this isn't a good solution for the masses. But these people are the types to who like to experiment and do work for like minded people. It's a personal site to do mindless art after a long day of dealing with corporate BS. Can't blame them for that.
posted by vitaflo at 2:26 PM on May 15, 2000

I second that..These sites are eye candy for those who want eye candy...If they made for the masses I'm sure usability for the general public would have been more of a concern.
posted by neo452 at 3:21 PM on May 15, 2000

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