I’ve never consciously thought much about web design and its aesthetics. But I certainly have unconsciously. Going to a website, especially one designed around history, I immediately recognize good web design and bad web design. I often weighed this in how much creditability I gave to the information presented. Often this is an appropriate sorting mechanism. Amateur historians with political agendas or who see the “facts” only as they want to see them often have poorly designed and presented websites. But now I need to perhaps rethink this strategy.
Cohen and Rosenzweig write that many websites, especially dealing with the humanities, often are created by those who have good scholarship but lack technical ability or money/time to create an outstanding site. Having dipped my toe in the digital waters I can now understand how this happens. I use to think that anyone could put up a website and make it respectable looking. Researching what all goes in to creating a site and the myriad of things available to the web designer (and how confusing it can get) I know that the next time I am researching and come across a site that is somewhat amateur looking, I will delve deeper into its content before I dismiss it.