The Gentle Art of Web Pages
For the last millennium, adventurous souls have been accessing new and unfamiliar frontiers in search of adventure and a taste of the exotic. The last decade ushered in with it an appeal to the more intrepid members of this small group of people: The Internet. Access to this particular medium has hit an all-time high in the 1990's, and every tekkie has his own celebration of self occupying space on it. However, not all of the sites on the Internet are shameless celebrations of self. Some of these pages can be found to have their roots in the archaic designs of the past; some are the logical progression for a technological innovation such as the internet.
One of these progressions, cyberpunk, the 90's answer to the technological underdog, has made its presence known on the Internet; science fiction pages also abound. These sites have brought with them some of the most innovative and artistic features of hypertext mark-up language (HTML) ever conceived. One site in particular, the Sci-Fi Channel homepage, Sci-Fi Channel: The Dominion , has properties unlike any other seen on the Internet. Sci-Fi Channel: The Dominion is the shining example of a good web site because it contains the characteristics of a flawless page: the information is concise and well-organized, the graphics displayed are both aesthetically pleasing and practical, it contains features that are not seen anywhere else, and it is easy to use and understand.
The creators of the Sci-Fi channel felt it their professional obligation to carve out their own section of cyberspace; hence the existence of the page at "http://www.scifi.com/" . The first sight that one sees when he stumbles onto Sci-Fi Channel: The Dominion is a map image, containing links to seven sites. This information, which could have been spread out and overburdened with text, is presented in a small 507x263 clickable map. This type of interface allows the user to find and access his desired topic with out having to search a lengthy page to find it. The reader need only click on one of the many images, and he will be transported to a different location. The only downside to this type of graphical platform is the amount of time that it takes to load the image. Skeptics will contend that loading text (without a graphic) will take less time; however, this detracts from the overall aesthetic quality of the site, and removes from consideration the whole notion of graphical versions and the importance that they play in a creative web page.
The pictures used by Sci-Fi Channel: The Dominion, while visually unappealing to some, will certainly enchant the more jaded members of society. The eerie, almost ethereal, graphic is genius when placed in context with the theme of science-fiction: that which is unworldly and alien. Besides being a tantalizing object of art, it serves as an...