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Style Over Substance

The other night I had a rare night out with the wife without our 4 year old. My wife choose to see the movie LEGION. She choose this because of the posters of a cool looking angel, played by Paul Bettany (whom she has a slight to severe crush on). I will admit that the posters are cool, with great angles, composition and color. I was also struck by the fact that the film’s plot seemed to be similar to a movie from my teen years, The Prophecy (starring Christopher Walken). But never-the-less it was what we were seeing.

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By Dan Licht (@thedvl)

The other night I had a rare night out with the wife without our 4 year old. My wife choose to see the movie LEGION. She choose this because of the posters of a cool looking angel, played by Paul Bettany (whom she has a slight to severe crush on). I will admit that the posters are cool, with great angles, composition and color. I was also struck by the fact that the film’s plot seemed to be similar to a movie from my teen years, The Prophecy (starring Christopher Walken). But never-the-less it was what we were seeing.

The movie was… ok. Nothing amazing, but it did look cool. Style over substance.

This is an issue all creatives deal with. We have all seen those sites that look oh so amazing but at the end of the experience we are left wanting more. Same thing with this movie. This movie is like one of those great designer’s sites we see up on the FWA, lots of glitz and flashy animations and interactions. But at a content level or usability level it just isn’t there. You can see the talent that lies there but never fully comes to the surface. Of course, many of these are meant to be personal expressions but many are corporate or promotional. We are really getting to an age where you need to back up your style with that substance. A site that comes to mind (one that’s pretty old) is the Road Runner site that Fantasy Interactive did way back in 2003. This was one of the first fully Flash, fully dynamic portals out there. It was very inspirational at the time, and boy did it deliver on the substance as well.

So, I ask you kind internet design denizens of the interwebs… what have you seen lately that looks great but is filling too?

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