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Why I Love Web Without Words

Web Without Words (sorry for not typing it like you want to, creators, but it disrupts the type) is a great site. I love the idea, and as a designer, I love what it represents.

Just take a look at this wordless version of Yahoo’s website:

This is great, this is a way designers should look at webpages to know how their layout is working out. Yahoo is obviously pretty cluttered, no surprise there, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a bad design. What it does tells you is that there’s a risk of clutter, and that’s something.

Looking at the web without words is more or less suitable for different sites. For instance, I think it works better with CNN.com than with Yahoo above.

What You Can Learn From Web Without Words

The thing to take from Web Without Words is a different way to look at websites. You get a very honest picture of your sites layout, the actual wireframe of the site. Web Without Words creator Paul Armstrong explains his site like this:

web.without.words started simply as a way for me “practice what I preach” — to visually represent my core belief that hierarchy, grid systems and uniformity ultimately lead to a more natural user experience — to show the overall structure of any website, by striping away all the distractions of text and ads and images and showing a site for what the eye unconsciously perceives. I dissected CNN.com (primarily as a way to recuse myself from all the political grandstanding), cobbled together a website and showed a few friends

It is pretty spot on, but even if you just don’t buy the obsession of grid systems and things like that, it can still be a good idea to look at Web Without Words in general, and applying it to your design in particular.

Now if someone would please build me a service where I can just put in an URL and get it rendered in Web Without Words style.


  1. By Flug Los Angeles posted on October 22, 2008 at 4:25 am
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    I find it a good Idea the New Web without words.It offers the designers the Opportunity to better their work in order to transmitt the desired Information.
    I t will suit to websites of news channels,websites for illeterate persons…
    Interesting in any case.

  2. By Ethan posted on October 22, 2008 at 2:44 pm
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    “Now if someone would please build me a service where I can just put in an URL and get it rendered in Web Without Words style.”

    Shouldn’t be that hard to make a Firefox extension to do just that (for sites that are coded cleanly and modernly). Hard part may be color-coding. I actually like the idea, but wouldn’t personally have time for it. Hope it gets taken up.

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