I have been working with Billy Marius on a blog to bring together SÃ¡mi and Pygmy cultures over the last couple of weeks. It has been an exciting journey, working with Billy, and I got to approach design from an angle I had previously never considered. I love playing with blog design (and for those of you who know my personal blog, you have seen that I tend to change my design like I change my socks) and I have to admit, I am spoiled. I am spoiled by big wide screens, fast processors and high speed connections. I am spoiled by instant and constant connectivity and having all the information I need a mouse click away. I am spoiled by collaboration made possible and efficient through skype and email. I am a spoiled Internet brat. So when it was time to design a content rich site for two very different groups of people, one that had superb access to Internet and one that needed a satellite phone to get online- I had to put away my tendencies to make things media rich and bandwidth heavy and think about how I could give the readers the best experience with the lightest download. As much of Billy’s material is media rather than text, we knew that there would have to be a compromise. These incredible images and films had to be made available…but not on the front page.
Instead we decided to make the entrance to this site a combination of a blog and two static columns from where people can enter into more media rich areas. The two static columns will give brief overviews of the SÃ¡mi and Pygmy areas, and the middle column will serve to be a meeting place for the two cultures (in the form of a blog). Billy has created an ambitious project that is coming together in a beautiful mixture of colour and music and words. I can’t wait to see how it evolves!
(the blog is not up and ready yet, but as soon as it is we will announce it here!!)