Web: Structuralists v Designers

June 11, 2008

“This was the great, almost religious difference between the Structuralists and the designers. The Structuralists were separatists, believing that form and content could and should be separated. For them, a Web site is a pipe through which content flows to the user. They opposed elaborate visual design, which they thought impeded the flow of information. The Designers, on the other hand, were unitarians, who believed that form and content could not be separated: that a Web page communicates its message through the careful interplay of words and images. For the Designers, a Web page is an experience, and they wanted complete control over it, just as they had enjoyed (more or less) complete control in print. So the Designers kept pressing for more html tags that would give them that control.”

From: Bolter, Jay David and Gromala, Diane (2003), Windows and Mirrors: Interaction Design, Digital Art, and the Myth of Transparency, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, p.4

From: Bolter, Jay David and Gromala, Diane (2003), Windows and Mirrors: Interaction Design, Digital Art, and the Myth of Transparency, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press

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One Response to “Web: Structuralists v Designers”


  1. Is there a defined difference though? I think it only seemed that way because the extremists were more vocal.


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