Obfuscating Content

October 24th, 2010

It is said that when you land on a website you have less than two seconds to grab the user's attention and give them a clear idea as to what your site is about, or they cmd+w.

On the other hand, novels, poems, and a lot of written prose gets to hide true meanings through many layers of imagery, allegory and allusion. Woolf does this really well and it made me think, why can't sites do the same?

A practical example is with my new game, Breeze. I wanted to drop the player straight into the game with just the Introduction text, I think providing instructions shouldn't be necessary. A game has the potential to make the player learn just as much as a book can teach the reader.

I suppose that sites do have 'layers' insomuch that they will be outwardly nice and glossy saying 'look how much this can benefit you' whilst their real meaning is 'give us money'. I think it's a real shame that the web industry's main concern seems to be on profit when there's so much potential.

For example, site's that don't have an immediate goal, ones purely for leisure. Or a site that actually made you work for content, perhaps like a game mechanic. Just anything that doesn't lay it out on a plate like we currently do.

With technologies like CSS3, broadband and streaming video there's been a web revolution in converting the text-heavy web to an image laden, prettier experience. I've got nothing wrong with that, nor with making things simple for the user. I think we've come on leaps and bounds in that department (one such way being this). But I think that we need to find a balance between treating people patronisingly and the text-heavy content of the early web. I'm sure it's out there. Thoughts?

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