The Design Philosophy. a modern, lo-fi digital garden manifesto.
ƒdisk consciously rejects the conventional trends and practices of mainstream web, and instead focuses on providing an honest experience that encourages exploration. It achieves it by adhering to a set of hierarchical guidelines, where each rule supersedes the ones below it:
modern integrity #
Form follows function. The website should use the available technology to best aid the user in experiencing its contents, regardless of hardware or ability. Each page should be straightforward, free of excessive ornamentation, distractions or any other things that take away user's agency. This includes any code that that doesn't directly aid the user and exists only to benefit its creator (or a third party).
In short: keep it simple, accessible and ethical.
lo-fi sensibility #
Embrace the familiar, make the most of it. The website should be comfortable for you, the creator. Don't shoot for perfection, instead make it so you want to come back and expand it. Build it using what you know & write about the things that make you happy. Experiment. Lean into this "handmade" quality, accept its imperfections and highlight idiosyncrasies. The end result will be so much better, if you enjoy the process.
In short: relax and make it yours.
digital garden #
The digital garden movement focuses on a more mindful and personal approach to organizing and presenting information on the web. There are amazing articles (with the earliest example dating to the 90s), that analyze and explore this idea in much more detail, but here's my quick summary:
Gardens grow things. You are the one cultivating the garden, but in the end nature will take whatever course it wants and you'll adapt. Just like real gardens, a digital garden is a constant work in progress; it's a different way of thinking about creating. Instead of focusing on a finished "product" you embrace the process. Create a page for anything you want to preserve, write what's on your mind. Don't worry about finishing it there and there - it's not a draft, it's a new seedling, worthy of its place in the sun. Expand it when you have more to add, let it spark new ideas and new pages. Give it time and space to grow.
Gardens are physical spaces that are both familiar and wild. You can stick to the path and get where you want to be, or you can go exploring and even get lost inside. A good garden will provide a sense of discovery. A digital garden should mimic such topology. You need just enough structure to allow for easy navigation, everything beyond that should be designed with exploration in mind. Use in-text hyperlinks as paths. Connect ideas and topics. Let pages branch out to new pages and even loop back on themselves. Give options to step off the beaten path, but don't force it.
In short: let things happen organically.