#406: Siteweb

I’ve always had a bee in my bonnet about the 2-D, boring nature of website display. Having to view a site one page at a time is just so last-century. Web architecture used to be something I got paid to do, and so I’m aware that most sites are woefully inadequate in terms of the thinking underlying their structure.

As a technique for animating website maps, today’s invention is to use software like Prefuse.

Andrew_Beierle_mosaic1011.jpg

With this, I’d create an entire website in a single page (I can’t seem to find any examples in which this has been tried, but I can’t believe that none exist). Each old-style page would be represented as a scaled down version of itself, with visible links to others (similarly scaled). Searching for a given keyword would bring to the front those pages in which it occurred. Similarly, clicking on a small page would bring that scaled version to the front and centre position, whilst deemphasising all the others. Clicking again would fill the screen with the chosen page in the usual way.

This would also have the effect of forcing designers to consider the readibility of their pages (because they would need to be identifiable at a smaller scale). It would also highlight websites with too complicated an internal structure.

The ultimate tool would be one that could convert existing sites to this form of display automatically.

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