Culture, Community, and Design
Candy for the eyes... occasionally I come across a website that inspires me. The connection between the users and the identity of the website can be astonishing.
Every day I am amazed at what has become possible with relative ease, thanks to massive amounts of community contributions. Every day it becomes easier to work within a Joomla! website because of another person's problem solving and willingness to share. Having a common platform allows people from everywhere in the world to participate. The really good designs I have seen, usually are created by people who are very passionate about their culture. Culture is the main catalyst in which the community’s own personality is shaped. This phenomenon can be seen on any level or field in society and consequently can be experienced in web development groups.
The website development process and its finished product are a direct representation of the creators and their cultural influences, browsing through the Internet has become a cultural expo on a global scale. Culture is ultimately the deciding factor in how a website is developed and what it’s finished product represents. The balancing of form and function with Joomla! websites is highly manageable. The community experience is the magical aspect of any website, the tools for Joomla! websites are infinitely configurable and allow everyone to create website elements in various ways.
Culture is what the community does when it is seeking relaxation and personal bonding time with friends and family. Culture is food, art, music, storytelling, poetry, its anything and everything people do to survive besides the actual act of hunting and gathering, everything else is essentially culture. In the 21st century, when you are building websites, you need to look at it from the inside out.
If your client is a Mexican restaurant you need to go to there, you need to eat the hand made tortillas, drink the tequila, and savor the salsa. Once you know what the mood of the restaurant is, you can build the website in such a way that you can convey the feeling. You can speak from personal experience, you can tell what it tasted like, what it smelled like, you can bring the whole experience to the web browser on any number of devices. Culture is what you do with your family, your friends, it is what you do together. What is interesting to you, is what you are outside of what you do just to survive. When you are developing a website think of it as a window into the actual environment which the website is portraying. This magazine is an excellent example of what a community can dream of and produce. I traveled a lot this summer to immerse myself in the culture of webmasters from far away places. Stay tuned for my next journal entry.
Mike is a volunteer moderator for the Joomla! Site Showcase.