Translating Physical Places to Digital

Anne Lenz

When developing the structure of a website the design tends to follow the personality of the author, and should be reflective of the content in order to create an immersive experience for the user. Since a digital ecology is a translation of a physical place to a digital place, the user might want to feel like they are going somewhere when visiting the website.

Content: Community Gardens Which makes the better homepage?

Content: Community Gardens
Which makes the better homepage?

According to Cecile Crutzen and Erna Kotkamp, in the last century a shift took place from the processing of information to ready-made interactions offered to humans.  This method of handling information is like creating a portal for the user to interact with via clicks and scrolls without moving their person. For the digital ecology the user does not have to (hopefully the are inspired to) visit the place which the author has presented on their website – rather you can visit it for them, translate it into code, and therefore the computer can go visit the place for the human user.

This code has also adapted human reasoning capabilities:

Within the ontology of Object Orientation the behavior of humans can only be represented as frozen in routine acting. With abstraction tools in OO such as classification, separation, and inheritance, the process of real world analysis is colonized. (202)

Yet, this behavior is dictated through a system, which functions using with the same formula at each action. Semantic and pragmatic ambiguities that could arise from the way the user would want to use the website, for example, would not be accounted for because it would lead to unpredictable behavior if the code is left too open-ended rather than accounting for specific scenarios (i.e. scrolling and clicking).

So, to manipulate or personalize the function of an interactive digital environment we would need to manipulate the code to meet our desires. But since the author/s is/are autonomous in web programming, they are the ones responsible for navigating the user’s experience through the digital ecology. This means that the design should have a balance between personal aesthetic and content relevance to create a pleasant environment for the user.



Crutzen, Cecile and Erna Kotkamp. “Object Orientation” Software Studies: A Lexicon, Ed. Matthew Fuller. The MIT Press: Cambridge and London, 2008. PDF.

~ by Anne on October 30, 2013.

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