Return to the other works menu

CART 211 final website proposal

The website is live here

Proposal Essay

In creating an idea for my final website, I wanted to combine the aesthetic of 1990s net art with ideas of social collaboration and free usage, as well as applying and exploring the capabilities of JavaScript. As we have been studying net art and its many different forms, websites such as and have stood out to me as unique ways in which organized websites and creations are disseminated into confusing and barely legible creations. Another interesting and new concept to me in this course has been the free software movement and mass online collaboration projects. In all, many of the concepts that we have discussed so far in class have been unique and exciting to me, and I want to be able to combine them with the help of my new HTML, CSS, and JavaScript knowledge.

Conceptually the website will be very simple, yet as time progresses and more categories are explored, complexity is added. The starting place for the site will be a simple blank page with a welcome dialogue and an access point to move to the next page. This page will probably also include credits and a link to my Concordia notes pages in the footer. When the user moves on to the next page, they are presented with a single square, which is the category of ‘Life’. Upon clicking on the button it splits into four other categories, each containing very broad by separate aspects of life. Were the user to click on one of these, it splits again, adding four more categories, each representing aspects of the previously clicked button. The process continues on from here, adding more and categories and options as the aspects are expanded (here is an example of web page splitting and procedural disorganization: Starting from the fourth level down on this proverbial latter, the user is given an option to start adding categories. A small text field expands from the top left of the screen, and the user may input a certain category that they feel falls under the current category that they are exploring (here is an example of user collaboration on websites: It should also be worth mentioning that a diagram (or map if you will) of the user’s choices will be visible to the top right of the screen, so that the user is aware of the previous choices that they have made. This map can also be used to navigate backwards, so that the whole site doesn’t have to be reloaded if the user wants to view a category only one or two choices back. The final feature of the website is the way in which the categories and content will display as the user delves deeper and deeper into the categorical choices. As the squares split, the colour, square size, text size and colour, and even alignment begin to randomly change. Where once the categories were ordered and fit to the flexbox model, they begin to overlap, extend, become random colours, and if possible, move a bit around the screen. The background colour and the text for the overhead navigation system also changes, and makes it hard for the user to know which category they are in, or even where certain text areas begin and where others end (here is an example of extremely confusing, yet still legible text on a website: After about 14-18 clicks, the user finds themselves in a confusing and barely navigable site.

When consulting the websites that inspired me, I was careful to note their uses of colour, shape, organization, and levels of complexity. I hope that I will be able to achieve a state in which the user is thoroughly disoriented, but amused and still clicking nonetheless. I was also careful to make sure that the site that I would create wouldn’t serve an immediately obvious or monetary goal. It is upon user interpretation and customization that the site is to be built, with the sole goal of understanding bare human thought processes and the unconscious paths our brain takes us on.

Another important aspect of the website’s creation (that is, besides its artistic reasons and values) was its connection to free software and collaboration themes. As I stated above, users would be able to freely contribute and add as many subcategories as they see fit. A project such as this (the cataloguing of peoples’ connections and evaluations of various aspects of life) requires the participation and involvement of more than just a few people in a private group. To achieve a fully comprehensive and realized view of the brain’s mind map, a platform based on free use and collaboration is needed for best results.

Example site layouts

Here is a simple chart that outlines how the website's dissolution could be seen graphically

[A graphical example of how the website would work]

Here is the enter screen...

[The enter screen of the website]

...the categories page...

[The categories page of the website]

...after one selection...

[The categories page after one selection]

...after about three selections...

[The categories page after about three selections]

...after about five selections...

[The categories page after about five selections]

...or even after about eight or nine selections

[The categories page after about eight or nine selections]

Here is some early concept art of what a possible page might have looked like after many selections

[Some early concept art of the categories page]

Return to top