here's what i think
i like it when you get to a website and nobody bothered to format the margins or anything, like when it's mostly just plain text with some links. a lot of the time it means the page was written by someone who isn't very online but they are really invested in making the information they have public. like someone who doesn't want a facebook or doesn't know how to become an editor on wikipedia but just really wants to share what they know about like, a type of bird or an old poet's biography or something.1
most websites are now very slippery and polished and tactile. you scroll around endlessly and they respond by opening and closing drawers, resizing images, adjusting transparencies, sometimes redirecting you to another page altogether.2 to people who are very online this kind of design can seem elegant and intuitive but to those who aren't i think it can be cryptic and frustrating. it's also pretty slow on older machines.
websites that are mostly just text feel like a nice break from the hyperinteractive slipstream of behavioral feedback loops (likes, subscriptions, shares) and co-integration between and across platforms/brands/products (embed youtube videos on your tumblr, link your twitter to your instagram, etc). kind of like walking on a busy street and ducking into a dusty library or pizza joint. this place is kind of ugly but it's quiet and it expects very little of you.
i like how it looks when instead of using a color picker to get a specific hue you just tell the computer yellow or red. i also like aliased fonts and deteriorating .jpgs. all that stuff makes me feel like i'm using the ancient dells from my middle school computer lab.3 it also feels like a nice reference to the process of making the thing. kind of like how you can see the brushstrokes in paintings or how a potter handled their teacup while it was still wet.
i have no idea what im doing but when im making computer things i have a more fun time when i work with tools that feel more "low to the ground" like i would rather type code than use visual editors just because it seems fun to be a tiny bit more "in touch" with the way the computer is actually handling my thing. i usually draw with a brush width of 1 pixel and i like the idea that there's no algorithm between me and the image file deciding how to smooth out the curves or deal with the velocity of my hand or anything. when i'm drawing on the computer i like the idea of not "pretending" i'm using a nice brush pen or something.
anyways thanks for reading what i think 1/28/18
1. a lot of the pages on UPenn's poetry website are like this.
same with the websites for titas vilkaitis and stephen gillmurphy which i like a lot.
2. the website that @fart made is a really good parody of that kind of thing. ^back
3. by now those dells have probably been replaced by 4-year-old refurbished ipads ^back