The Mezunian

Die Positivität ist das Opium des Volkes, aber der Spott ist das Opium der Verrückten

Mother 4’s Great Web Design

The Earthbound/Mother series is 1 o’ those cult classics that nobody cared ’bout when it came out ’cept a few, those few became fanatics with a fervor rivaling political groups, till it spread so far that now the internet’s full o’ people praising it, including the creators o’ South Park.

I would say that I mentioned my inclusion in this group in my review o’ Earthbound Zero, ’cept I’ve just realized that I failed to publish that article ’cause I’m apparently mo’ lazy ’bout publishing content than actually writing it (still working on that immensely-groundbreaking article analyzing Donkey Kong Country levels, by the way). You could’ve also looked through the sidebar, which includes some Earthbound website, I guess—as well as many websites I haven’t been to in years, since my interests are as fleeting as the seasons.

Anyway, some fans are working on an unauthorized 4th game, & if you’ve seen their previews on their site, you were probably as excited as I was: look @ that amazing web design!

The Strengths o’ Mother 4’s Web Design

I. The Font’s Readable

Though it could be bigger, it’s much bigger than most websites, which for some reason take microscopic text that’s impossible to read without pressing your face right into the monitor as the apex o’ quality design.

They’re wrong. Letting Grampa Mezun read your text without squinting & raising his monocle is.

Also, Mother 4’s site uses Roboto & I like Roboto. That’s 1 o’ those things you can’t truly ’splain. I mean just look @ that font! How can you not love Roboto?

II. The Color Scheme’s Simple

The site mainly just uses white, dark gray, & red—hardly the most original colors. However, they’re used in a way that still heighten contrast. Usually by trading them back & forth as backgrounds & text colors for different sections.

It also makes rare use o’ subtle texture, such as the faded earth @ the top & the crosshatches for the music section. This is better than a big, colorful background that distracts attention.

Granted, a lot o’ websites go the other way & have just gray & white, which is why the red is necessary, like strawberries dabbled on a vanilla cake.

III. Objects are spaced out well.

A web design fad developing recently that I actually like is the turn toward bigger sites—bigger in that the text is bigger & the content takes up mo’ space, rather than trying to cram a bunch o’ tiny elements into 1 screen. By spacing out content, web designers make it easier for users to parse content & less likely to have to hunt it down, since it’s set down piece by piece.

The only downside is that it creates a greater need for scrolling; but as plenty o’ research has shown, this is hardly a problem—much simpler to scroll straight downward through content than trying to wander all round a screen packed together in many directions.

Ironically, ’nother pattern that’s emerged does the opposite: putting a ton o’ social media & links that stay with the screen as one scrolls. This site only has the slim navigation & small return-to-top button stay on-screen, both o’ which are actually useful.

Other websites put that crap all over the screen, which can oft get in the way o’ the text when one resizes their tiny text ’cause apparently they never thought that one might do that, even though said functionality is in every browser.

IV. Other

The way the top links change based on your position on the page—the links actually go to anchors on the same page, not different pages—& the smoth way it glides up & down are neat.

Actually, that 1st point reminds me o’ something else:

V. Doesn’t cut content into a million pages.

In the 90s ’twas common to see websites all mashed together in 1 huge page. I think those crazy ideology websites like Jesus is Savior & Rense are the most infamous, as well as whatever this site’s s’posed to be.

This has unfortunately led the web in the other direction: splitting content into as many pages as possible. I’m always bewildered when I read a newspaper article & see it split into pages. Why? Do they think I’ll only want to read half o’ it?

The problem is, while putting all content into 1 page is a processing—& thus time—burden ’cause it forces 1 to get all content @ once, splitting it too much can, too, since it forces 1 to load a whole ’nother page & wait ’gain.

I joked to myself when comparing David Wonn’s amazing glitch website that you should definitely read, which hasn’t been updated since 2006, & a newer glitch wiki—whose design can’t be blamed on its creator, since it just uses a Wikidot default. Though the former packs half o’ an entire system’s glitches into single pages, they still load mo’ quickly than going through each individual page for each individual glitch in the wiki.

Consequently, the former’s mo’ enjoyable to read, even if it looks like a book written in neon signs. It may be due to my relatively slow internet, but the wiki’s like reading a book & having to wait minutes before each page. Wouldn’t that be annoying to read?

’Course, Wonn had full control over his site’s design, whereas I doubt the wiki’s creator had any. Furthermo’, I suspect the reason for splitting content so much may have to do with economics—mo’ ad views—than design. But this still confuses me, as there should be a way to have both. After all, couldn’t you make the ad stay on-screen no matter how long an article is? Couldn’t you automatically make the ad change without changing the page? & wouldn’t the ad still steal as much attention as on page load?


The 1 flaw I’d say is the way the blog is a totally different website, lacking the navigation o’ the original, thus making one go back in one’s browser history to go back. Perhaps there was something ’bout Tumblr’s… social whatever? I don’t know. Something ’bout Tumblr that they wanted & couldn’t get from a blog included directly into their website.

O yeah, & I guess the graphics & the music are neat & I remember some gameplay mechanic someone said they were adding that I can’t find info for anymo’ that I thought sounded interesting.

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Posted in Video Games, Web Design