in Digital Web

The beauty of process

The most interesting thing about music to me, is the process behind it. Watching artists work their craft is one of my favorite pastimes. Everyone has a different way of expressing themselves and the process from which they undergo their work is one part superstition and one part moxie.

The process of building web sites, especially large institutional ones seems to have lost a lot of the elements of this creative process. So much of it focused on things like metrics and measurement, politics and backroom considerations, that I feel like we lose so much of our energy that could be poured into envisioning something more transcendent or creative within itself.

A lot of this probably owes to the fact that the web creative process is a function of varying degrees of artisans crafting their vision for someone else to use. It’s a translation, rather something that comes from within the institution. But even when it’s done that way, I wonder if the desire to mimic what’s already out there trumps the desire to be creative.

I recognize I’m comparing apples to oranges. But commercial viability of a web site only goes as far as the audience it’s trying to reach, I suppose. At least, that’s the conventional wisdom. Until something happens and lots of people need to visit a particular place and the five seconds of fame that the internet affords arrives in the flash of a spotlight.

I started off writing about the process. Because I feel like so much of what we do, is revealed within the process itself. You can look at the result of a project and see the fingerprints of the process all over it, if you know what it took to get there and how they arrived at the conclusions which led to the end result.

Going forward, I suspect we would all be wise to hone and perfect our processes, rather than worrying so much about the end result.