Modularity of the world

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Background used in the image above.
For the past two months I had the opportunity to design several responsive sites. Responsive design requires from a designer particular way of thinking. We do not have clearly defined boundaries by the most popular screen resolution. Currently, the content is poured out in all directions possible. One of the ways to somehow embrace it all is the assumption that everything we put on the site should be to some extent modular. We split the content into smaller bitesize pieces so no matter what size plate we have it will be easy for us to stuff it all on it :-).

Therefore the more I design the more i think about modularity. A modularity of the world appears to me more clearly, not only in the design. The module is nothing but a pattern that can be repeated. To see the pattern you need to see it at least twice. Today I want to write about pattern that i saw while i was on facebook.

But before turning to the substantive punchline here is brief story that happened inbetween :-)

Television

This article will be a bit harder couse im writing about some things related to my country which is Poland, i will try too keep it clear and interesting for you so bear with me:-)

Who remembers the days when television had anly two programs, and there was always something interesting to watch. In poland it was: On Monday, the theater, on Friday, Cleopatra, Spartacus or other fabular movie, on Saturday afternoon western. Then came cable tv, 250 channels to say the least, and after two months of delight, I turn on the TV, and there's nothing ... there is nothing to watch. I eat dinner while watching the ads.

I dump tv to go out with press

Once I was banished from the couch and adulthood threw me into the labor market. My need for familiarity with the world was filled by subconsciously typing onet.pl (popular polish news site) into the browser window. There was a time when onet.pl was opinionmaking site. Articles were solid and believe it or not but you could always learn something new. Then the conversion hopla happen and now each heading must include at least one terrifying word or whole sentence at best, this is the first 4 headings that can be seen on onet.pl at the time I write this article

  • German goverment took little baby from Poles
  • Immoral conduct of Radwanska (polish athlete)
  • They want autonomy of Silesia, thousands of people on the streets
  • This shows that we are on the verge of fascism

When I read the titles on the onet.pl I have the impression that the Mayans were right, however, they didn't specify exactly how long that our world will end. And what I am experiencing now is a persistent world apocalypse. However these dramatic titles have nothing in common with article's content. And once you click on the one that has the hallmarks of something more valuable it turns out that this is video on vod. I eat dinner while watching the ads.

Me, myself and my facebook

Facebook is a television equivalent for me, I lose the time on it as effectively as the couch potatoes watching TV. When I registered on Facebook I did it only to play farmville. Soon, however, my farmer adventure from entertainment has become a duty. I couldn't drink a coffee in peace knowing that somewhere out there in the fields my tomatoes are rotting. I decided to end this unhealthy relationship and I abandoned farmville in favor of mafia wars. History likes to repeat itself so there came a moment when my life as a robber was finished. This behavior is repeated a few times, i will mercifully spare naming game titles .

In the end it turned out that my friends list contains more and more are the people I know directly or indirectly, and fewer and fewer people who were there just to give me a gift chicken or some other piece of fence. Not long after I added people that I personally don't know but I'm interested in whats up with them. And than i added a few dozen pages, brands, blogs, people (delete as appropriate) that I like or subscribe.

And all that mass turns into a constant stream of messages on my once untroubled with conscious thought wall. There was a time when i could find lot's of valuable information on my wall, links to interesting articles, photos that interested me. Today I go on facebook and there's hundreds of updated statuses and nothing ... nothing interesting. I eat breakfast while watching the ads.

The greater the mass, the lower the value.

No, I dont mean that whatever I do in life, I eat meals watching commercials :-) The pattern which appeared to me from my own experience is extremely simple:

The greater the mass, the lower the value.

How does this apply to websites? let's try:

  • Instead of fourteen subpages use four
  • Instead rotator with twelve slides use one nice picture
  • Rather than list all the news you have ever written use two last ones
  • Instead showing every single project you have made in the portfolio show your three best
  • Instead of five phone numbers in contact show one that someone actually pick up..

I think you know what I mean:-)

Maybe it is worth to put quality over the quantity. Make sure that once someone lands on our website, stays there longer. Not overwhelmed with meaningless content, whose sole job is to fill the empty space to the brim.