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"Blurred Lines: Art vs. Design" [Creator's Block Ep. 95]

"Blurred Lines: Art vs. Design" [Creator's Block Ep. 95] Blog Feature

Marcella Jalbert

UX Designer, Host of ‘Creator’s Block’ Podcast, Designer for 50+ Sites on HubSpot

December 4th, 2018 min read

The conversation of creativity versus function is not a new one in the design world, but today as I was browsing Medium, I stumbled across an article on the subject that really ruffled my feathers (to put it lightly).

Boris Müller, a Professor of Interaction Design at FH Potsdam, published a BOLD article that poses the question “Why Do All Websites Look the Same?” and even suggests that “The internet suffers from a lack of imagination."

WOW… fatalist outlook much?


Müller postures that the internet has become a desolate wasteland of boring design (okay maybe he didn’t say it quite so dramatically) based in part largely on CMS and blogging platforms.

As a counter argument, he highlights some examples of his students’ work that he thinks demonstrates truly “creative” design.

I have a big issue with this.

The designs he highlights completely disregard function and audience and seem to solely be driven by designing for the sake of design, which, to me, is not web design.

In our industry, we MUST be aware of audience and a site SHOULD serve a purpose.

Without purpose, a page is not functional design, but simply an art piece.

Join Justine and I as I huff and puff over what makes web design truly good and how far SHOULD we push creativity versus function.

Listen to the Episode

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 What We Talked About

  • Art vs. Design
  • Creativity vs. Function
  • “I suspect designers’ creative and intellectual laziness is to blame, too”
  • What is the purpose?
  • How templated work opens up more opportunity for creativity in other ways
  • The paperback-age of the web

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