Our good friend Khoi Vinh (a regular in this parts) served as a clear, soothing voice to what we guess are many print designers in the audience who are still scared shirtless about the web.
We won’t go into much detail because Vinh is very good about posting his presentations on his blog, but here’s the simple argument he gave that should make all designers boohooing about the internet think twice.
If narrative is the guiding principle of print, then interactive media is not narrative, it’s about behavior. And designing for behavior transfers some control away from the designers, and–as designers often think–gives control to the users.
However, when you produce a printed piece, the design is indeed “baked in,” and it lives in a static state. But when you put content on the web, you actually don’t lose control, you gain the multiplicity of states. Therefore, your role as a designer isn’t reduced, you actually have more jobs to do–and you have to do it better and in more ways.
Good narrative gives rise to good conversations. So use the very best of your design skills and traditional design values online, and as new web tools evolve, they will actually be tools that support designers (thanks to advocates like Vinh), so you’ll gain even more control.
So take a deep breath and proceed.