Spark

Video: Why Brutalism is the hottest trend in web design

That website is brutal, man.
Why the hottest trend in web design is Brutalism. 1:47
Listen23:51

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:

Justin Jackson, a self-declared f**king webmaster, calls for a return to old-school, stripped down website design. 9:56

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.

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:

To understand what's fueling the web brutalism trend, we get a short lesson in brutalist architecture. 6:40

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:

Txti is a website that lets anyone make a fast, free, web page. 7:14

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!

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.