After reading the introduction and chapter’s 1-3 of Windows and Mirrors, I found many interesting facts about the digital world that I did not know until reading this book. In the introduction I found it interesting to distinguish the views of structuralists on the Internet versus the views of designers. It became clear to me that structuralists viewed the Internet as a source to contain information and simple content, while designers used the Internet to make the web an experience for users by using animation and images. In the argument I do agree that by using design it gives users a better and unique experience. As stated by David Siegel, “Design drives the user’s experience… Who cares how great your content is if people aren’t attracted to it or don’t find it pleasurable to read?” This, in my opinion, is quite true. When one first visits a website they become glued to that particular site based on the design of the page. People are first drawn to images before they pay attention to the actual content of the website. Websites are for visual use and is quite essential to the communicative experience, especially in our world today. Everything that is placed in websites are images, animations, videos, audios, etc. Websites today aren’t just made from simple words and content, everything is made from digital art, which is what I consider the beauty of the World Wide Web.
The artwork that was presented at SIGGRAPH 2000 Art Gallery depicted art through the eyes of digital technology. I have found myself to be curious in the possibilities of digital design. Digital art has grown to become a phenomenon in the digital design community, with its unique technology and applications. The author makes a good point in stating that, “Every digital artifact needs at times to be visible to its users; it needs to be both a window and a mirror.” Take Text Rain for example, it is a unique program that allows users to play with letters that do not exist. It is quite capturing how Digital Artists can create a program that in a sense mixes the world of imagination with reality. Without its users or viewers, Text Rain would not exist and would not be able to work. Programs that are now being created by digital artists are somewhat impeccable and out of this world. Digital design has taken over our generation that we now can take an imaginary world and make it into reality. Take 3D movies for example, we were never able to sit in a movie theater and feel that we were a part of the movie. The 3D program has allowed us to do exactly that.
I also found the history of the computer to be interesting because I never knew that it began during the times of World War II and was used in effort to win the war. To now know the history of the computer and what is has grown to become is phenomenal in a sense that no one would have known that it started off as a source for calculation to solve problems in science and engineering. Who knew the evolution of the computer could change the world and become such an essential medium in our society today. In which we can blame the Internet. When the Internet was first introduced it was only used on the computer, now with all the new technology being introduced in our society, the Internet can be used on our phones and other portable devices.