Two steps forward, one step back

The Vatican web site has long frustrated me as evidenced by my parody post back in 2005. There are plenty of things that drive me crazy about it especially the navigation and the fact that instead of using CSS they use table formatting for documents.

So I was a bit surprised to see shortly after the interregnum started to see a commemorative site for Pope Benedict XVI setup that for the most part was quite nice. They setup what looks like a physical book where you flip pages to see photographs with descriptive information that gives an overview of Pope Benedict XVI papacy.

Now the fact that they did this using the metaphor of a book in this case works out pretty well. Not all cases of skeuomorphism in design are bad. Really skeuomorphism has been used considerably in Catholic art and architecture. I was quite surprised when I viewed this on my iPad that the flipping of pages was done via smooth full animation where the page curl followed your finger as in the iBooks app. The same effect can be used with a mouse or on a desktop browser you could just click on the edge to advance through the pages or via the keyboard. This commemorative “book” really is quite nice, although I haven’t made it through all the pages without tears threatening to well up.

This would be quite awesome except for one thing. There was something odd about the design that I couldn’t quite put my finger on and Father Roderick pointed out exactly was wrong. The font used is Comic Sans. I am sure one of the anathemas for the Council of Trent was regarding Comic Sans, if not there should have been one. See Fr. Roderick’s meme graphic.

Now if they removed the Comic Sans and made this as an actual ebook I would buy it in an instant.


Jeffrey Miller (789 Posts)

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