Independent Production – The importance of flow

The gallery I included in my website keeps the visitor to the site on the same page and doesn’t load a new page for them to view each image. This is something that I have noticed when browsing the web and when a new page is loaded for each image it really frustrates me. This is something that I have looked into and considered when searching and designing the right gallery for my pages.

“In the book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, published by Harper Perennial, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes the state of “optimal experience” as the times when people enter a state of concentration so focused it creates a state of effortless control. Athletes may enter into flow and report the feeling of unself-consciousness as well as rising to the peak of their abilities. Flow, however, can be broken by a sudden awareness of the surroundings or by some interruption that happens to come along.”
(Scott and Neil, 2009, pp. 103 – 103)

In the book Designing web interfaces the author explains flow and translates it for the art of web design.

“Unfortunately, users of our web applications rarely experience this level of happiness. In fact, the traditional web experience is punctuated with a page refresh each time the user chooses an action. It’s like watching a play where the curtain comes down between each line of dialogue. The page refresh creates an artificial break in the action—or a break in the user’s flow.”
(Scott and Neil, 2009, pp. 103 – 103)

It talks about the traditional web experiences of each action ending in a new page being loaded. Being a relatively new web designer this could of happened to my website very easily. Ensuring galleries, links and slideshows are appropriate in terms of reloading a page if needed and not if not needed has become important to me and choosing the correct gallery for my 2014/2015 season pages has made sure that a big chunk of my website doesn’t do this.

Scott, B. and Neil, T. (2009) Designing Web Interfaces: Principles and Patterns for Rich Interactions. United States: O’Reilly Media, Inc, USA


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