Heiroglypic Menus…

16 May

Was reading a fascinating series or articles on minimalist design – and the concepts of simple, efficient design and along the side of one page was a similarly fascinating article on the Egyptian Book of the Dead’s glyphs.

Completely unrelated … unless your minds twisted.  Mine is. 

Suddenly had a flash of a concepts.  The first of which is – if as one article stated “hieroglyphs are one of the most simplified means of communication”, which was quickly qualified by the words “if you understand them.”, and lead to my saying “Huh?  That made no sense…”… followed by a few minutes later of … “Oh – I get what they’re saying.’”. 

The first statement is correct … it’s easy to understand the language – if you understand the language.  Which is a bit daft isn’t it?  All language, all interfaces, are easy to understand if you understand the language. 

We know that an icon with a globe and an arrow on a web browser means – “Web go this direction”, which could be forward, back, up – down.  We understand the concept that a in an internet application a globe = web.  So a “f” in a facebook type font in a square becomes “facebook connected action” – and so on. 

This got gears spinning – let’s face it Egyptian hieroglyphs are cool.  They look cool.  So I wanted to do a web page where it was a giant hieroglyphic representation of a site.  Really cool idea – right?  Except… how do you say “Resume” or “Bio” or “About me” in glyphs and have people understand clearly?  No matter how cool or how well you design the glyph – there’s no rosetta for people to use.

You could do it – but it will be confusing… there’s a reason why it took us a couple thousand years to interpret the glyphs in the first place.  We can’t just – have them reassemble into meaningful characters like they do in the movies…  right? 

Oh… yeah… we can.

So… that’s my next web project.  Smile  I’ll need to work out some designs but… should be fun.

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Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Uncategorized


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