If there is one aspect of the web that classic graphic designers still don't "get" it is this: The web is not print. If there is one aspect of the web that many multimedia designers don't "get" it is this : the web is not TV. What the web "is" is that it is it's own medium. It is not, as Bolter and Grushin so, succinctly put it: "Just like television only better or just like print...only better".
There is a lot of creative and engaging work out there. We just aren't aware of it because it is overwhelmed by the sheer volume of "brochureware" with its roots in print and 'Allnewsallthetime" info sites.
Great work is out there, according to Curt Cloninger, "not in spite of its media characteristics but because of them".
Part of the issue is the web, unlike print, is technology-driven and the technology is not transparent. Content is downloaded at the user's preferred speed. Screen sizes differ. Computer operating systems differ. Fonts differ. Plug ins may or may not be required. Imagine opening a book using that sort of technology stew. Just moving from the cover to the Table of Contents takes one minute for the page to turn depending on your street address. The size of the page you are reading expands and contracts depending on whether you have 20/20 vision, wear glasses or contact lenses. The type in the book changes from reader-to-reader depending upon ability to read. Pictures and illustrations may appear in the book if it can find them or display them in a manner you can understand.
These are tremendous obstacles to overcome and the best web designers are those who recognize them and use the media's shortcomings to their advantage. Designers are changing web design because they are able to embrace the obstacles , not curse them. Their work is astounding because they push the technology to its limits, seeing the edge as being elastic not fixed in place like a brick wall.
The result is both exciting and marketable. This lecture will use Curt Cloninger's 10 Design Styles as your jumping off point. They can be found in an extremely important books, "Fresh Styles for Web Designers: eyecandy from the underground". To understand the "underground" you have to understand what is happening "above ground".