Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Website Feng Shui

Can ancient philosophies, such as Indian vaastu shastra and Chinese feng shui, help with website design? Indian websites go with the flow (CNN June 26th, 2006)

Marshall Sponder is sceptical. Seth Godin is downright sarcastic, and suggests that burning chicken entrails helps too.

We can characterize any philosophy (ancient or modern) not just in terms of what its practitioners believe, but also what its practitioners pay attention to. According to the CNN article, website designers are using these ancient philosophies in order to pay attention to balance and harmony, purpose and clutter, use of colour, and so on.

Paying attention to these aspects of website design may not guarantee success, but it seems like a reasonable approach even for non-believers. There must be millions of poorly designed websites that could be significantly improved.

Many creative artists - and for that matter a number of great scientists - have believed in astrology, numerology and suchlike. From a modern sceptical perspective, it is tempting to believe that the numerology practised by Bach or Newton is incidental to their creative and intellectual achievements. Clearly we cannot explain Passions and Principia solely as the consequences of numerology. But it remains an important fact about Bach and Newton that each paid close attention to number ...

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