Sunday May 29, 2016

Video: Why Brutalism is the hottest trend in web design

Web Brutalism 1:47

Listen 23:51

This story first aired in May 2016.

It's easy to get frustrated by bloated websites that are slow to load with their big photos that move and take over the screen, JavaScript pop-ups, giant ads, and autoplay videos.

All this has some people longing for a return to old-school websites. And we've been seeing an emerging trend toward stripped down website design.

Justin Jackson is a product designer from Vernon, BC. He wrote an article recently called I'm a f*cking webmaster.

Justin's written a couple of articles calling for a return to stripped down website design. It's reflected in the look of the essays themselves: white background, black text, blue hyperlinks and nothing else.

Justin's given a lot of thought to the importance of WORDS pure and simple. And to also think back to the 90s era of "webmaster". Listen to his story in this interview with host Nora Young:

Whether it's nostalgia, or a yearning for the simple power of the word, Justin is far from alone in his stripped down aesthetic.

There's a name for it: Web Brutalism. A play on the mid-20th century Brutalist movement in architecture.

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To understand what's fuelling the Web Brutalism trend,we can look at the Brutalism movement in architecture. (D Wallis/Flickr)

To understand a bit more about what's fuelling the Web Brutalism trend, we look to the architecture movement it borrows it's name from.

Listen to Nora's interview with University of Toronto associate professor Mary Lou Lobsinger:

A new project called Txti is more Minimalist than Brutalist, but no less intriguing and on trend. It was built by Barry T Smith, a user experience designer in Louisville Kentucky.

Txti allows anyone to make a fast, free, web page. It's a design that supports its intended purpose, and is about more than just being fashionable. It's about making the web accessible.

Listen to Nora's interview with Barry T Smith:


What do you think?

Do you find yourself staring at your phone in a towering rage waiting for pages to load, or struggling to focus on the words, or navigate the site? How do you feel of the new Web Brutalism? Leave a comment below!