Hackernoon logoWhat Is The Straight-ahead Triangle And How It Can Be Used In Web Design by@kahlilux

What Is The Straight-ahead Triangle And How It Can Be Used In Web Design

Straight-ahead Triangle (S-aT) is a purist design model rooted in the straight-ahead principle. It is a jazz-based concept that shuns retrospective constructs in favor of blind innovation. It emphasizes functional desire and need over excess, which makes for a simple, yet visually appealing, aesthetic that is highly navigable. The International Merleau-Ponty Circle provides a “Colophon” detailing its website design agenda. A website (and its content) can be situated in a plethora of ways, but a ‘situation’ ultimately requires user presence.
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"A decent website... should deepen one’s experience of time while obviating any event happening outside the screen. The transition from real world to online has to be seamless..." -International Merleau-Ponty Circle

The Straight-ahead Triangle (S-aT) is a progressive design process that internalizes creative innovation - an artistic alternative to status quo aesthetics and existential redundancy. S-aT is a purist design model rooted in the straight-ahead principle - a jazz-based concept that shuns retrospective constructs in favor of blind innovation.

As S-aT is a relatively new concept, straight-ahead web design has been practiced for quite some time - embodying non-circularity and non-tangentiality. Straight-ahead web design is practical. It emphasizes functional desire and need over excess, which makes for a simple, yet visually appealing, aesthetic that is highly navigable. 

Rooted in improvisation, the straight-ahead principle is particularly prominent in web design animation. When applied, it produces a dynamic, fluid motion via the steps( ) timing function, which defines and displays multiple frames in a progressive sequence. The designer sets the starting and ending points, while the computer determines the intermediate values between them. As a matter of fact, this “straight-ahead” technique is part of the fourth of Disney’s twelve principles of animation.

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Structurally, S-aT is a triangle composed of three points: Concept, Method, and Project.

  1. Concept – the web designer’s core idea and functional intent. The concept should be unique to each project, yet open to revision by subsequent designers. The designer should understand that their design is part of a creative continuum, thus ensuring its logical progression and ontological perpetuity.
  2. Method – the web designer’s journey to executing the finalized concept. The method is a series of steps taken toward this end. Steps vary depending on the designer’s skills, tools, and level of mastery, which dictates the sequence of steps.
  3. Project – the web designer’s complete manifestation of the concept. The project is the culmination of conceptual maturation and methodical success. This is the pure realization of the designer’s vision within a creative structure void of redundancy and unoriginality.

A great example of S-aT application is the website for the International Merleau-Ponty Circle - a French-based society of academic philosophy. What’s unique about this site is that it actually provides a “Colophon” detailing its website design agenda. The Circle believes that:

"The task of the designer is to provide the materials that the guest requires to situate herself; the work of the designer is situation."

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never perceived website design as a situation as much as an experience, but this interpretation logically posits that a website should be relative to its user more so than its domain. The user has experiences, whereas a website is merely an instrument of experience - it is not aware.

A website (and its content) can be situated in a plethora of ways, but a “situation” ultimately requires user presence. This understanding decenters our psyche away from web presence and back to user presence, for the machine is not the epicenter of our digital existence...humanity is.

REFERENCE

Using Disney’s 12 Principles of Animation in Your Next Web Design Project

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