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Web Design and Review

"Design is the careful orchestration of visual and content elements into a composite whole -- a singular gulp with an intended purpose: to deliver a message. "

Web Page Review Mission

As our reviewers attack the web we have a singular mission in mind: does the design work. This is a nebulous message and mission. Design can work on a number of levels -- almost as many as there are web pages. Yet all will have a result upon the viewer and reader without regard to the detail of the content. This is what we seek in our investigation of the web.
      With these reviews we are primarily concerned with the initial visual 'gulp', and with the first impression of what one sees upon arrival into a web page or web site. Are we compelled into the message. What do we see first? Next? Are we motivated to act upon the wishes of the message? What stands in our way of clarity... of understanding.

We are driven by some very simple messages:

Jan White has been called the "Father of Intelligent Design" and has lived by the philosophy
"The design must be transparent. Only the message should impress itself upon the viewer."

In these days of technology and overstimulation of visual information, White's words -- now several decades old -- ring truer than ever...

"Originality per se is not the purpose of the exercise. The true purpose is to make dull material interesting, thus to catch the reader's attention, hold it, and transmit a message.
      To do this successfully means that we must make the most of those special qualities that are inherent in the material, be they thoughts, facts, words, images, charts, tables, diagrams or whatnot.
      We must bring those qualities out and give them unmistakable visibility, so they can do their attention-attracting and story-telling."
In his most recent book, Color for Impact, White reminds us, as designers, that

"'First-glance value' is not just a catch phrase. It is the very kernel of functional communication, given today's frantic competition for attention... Content and form are one. Design is a lubricant for ideas."

Clement Mok, in his landmark book Designing Business, modernizes White's teachings, and puts them in clear purpose for web designers...

"People adopt ideas when social, personal and financial trends intersect -- a confluence that may seem random but that usually happens 'by design.' Design, in its broadest sense, is the enabler of the digital era -- it's a process that creates order out of chaos, that renders technology usable to business. Design means being good, not just looking good."

In this spirit we approach your web page.

There is no charge for your participation. However we do have professional levels of critique and makeover should you desire to move your site in a more professional direction.
      Our reviewers have been hand selected based on their insight, performances in their own websites, and their writings in various design related news groups. They have graciously volunteered to take the challenge of web page review. Some are professional designers, yet others are surfers and not involved at all in the production process.
      Most reviews will be conducted by a team of reviewers, selected to reflect appropriate expertise, and diversity of disciplines, rendering a range of opinion rather than just one.
      Those considering a review are urged to have your pages validated by one of the html checking sites like This will help remove technical problems and prevent them from hindering the review process. We are interested in visual message -- not technical prowess.
      All reviews will require a completed Review Submission Form,

Thank you for reading.

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