Friday, August 18, 2006

Visual literacy

Visual literacyAfter a month online, some things have become clear at Jurisdynamics. Within the community of law-related weblogs, Jurisdynamics hopes (among many other ambitions) to distinguish itself as the most visually striking forum for law-related discussion on the Internet. When that community includes Althouse, BlackProf, and Concurring Opinions, that goal is a tall order indeed. But it is also a worthy goal.

Having tangentially discussed the biometric analysis of Web browsing and the mathematics of color, I now wish to lay explicit claim to visual literacy as a goal for Jurisdynamics and its entire network of affiliated blogs.

Modern technology demands no less. The overwhelming majority of visitors to this website have a monitor resolution no worse than 1024x768 pixels; nearly nine-tenths enjoy 32-bit color depth. Humans have communicated through pictures since well before the advent of writing. A palette this deep is simply wasted if it conveys nothing more than the symbolically comprehensive but visually impoverished world of Unicode.

Jurisdynamics makes no pretense of being a professionally designed website. Its webmaster, after all, doesn't even have a body. And enterprises such as the On-Line Visual Literacy Project are proselytizing on behalf of visual literacy with far greater fervor and and with far more success.Annuit Coeptis But Jurisdynamics does pledge to harness the power of visual imagery in pursuit of its intellectual goals. In an age still defined by Moore's Law, the old ratio expressing the relative value of pictures and words needs to be upgraded by an order of magnitude or two. Jurisdynamics has every intention of being on the winning end of that transition.


Blogger Jim Chen said...

Posts such as So, Is This a Boy Camera or a Girl Camera?" and today's amazing Meet DC Comics' "Supergirl" make Feminist Law Professors one of the most visually striking pages among law professor blogs.

8/18/2006 10:04 AM  
Blogger Ann Bartow said...

Pointing out sexism presents a lot of colorful opportunities! :>)
The design attributes of the basic FLP site are pretty crummy though, and I'd like to do better. Did you design Jurisdynmics yourself? Any advice?

8/19/2006 9:20 AM  
Blogger Jim Chen said...

Hi Ann,

Yes, in my alter ego as Gil Grantmore, I designed Jurisdynamics and its affiliate sites. For the blog pages, I aggressively modified Douglas Bowman's "Minima Ochre" template, designed by Stopdesign for Blogger.Com. Minima Ochre then informed the Cascading Style Sheets component of my portal page for the Jurisdynamics Network.

I admire FLP for its mix of austere simplicity and functional practicality. A visitor can do whatever she or he pleases, with a minimal amount of fuss. My own sites have a lot of functionality, but I fear that I am approaching the limits of human tolerance for cross-links, popups, and both inline and top-level framesets!


8/19/2006 11:01 AM  

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