WhatfettleA Matter of Taste

A Matter of Taste

I've started encountering Web pages where the OpenID and Microsoft Information Card/CardSpace, logos sit side by side. Actually, that's a blatant lie. I think I saw one once, but can't find it again. Anyway, I thought it would be an interesting experiment to show folks both logos and see what they thought and by “folks” I didn't mean Web 2.0 junkies, rather real people, the kind Gavin Bell does a great job of reminding us about, and who typically don't have a polarised view of Microsoft.

Now this evidence is obviously unscientific and highly anecdotal, but of the three sets of people I tested, nobody recognised either, and I didn't tell them what they were for, all preferred Randy Reddig's OpenID logo and uniformly everyone decided the Infocard “shiny splodge” was the obvious result of a corporate following their conventional Usual Design Process.

Another interesting aspect came from comparing the URIs for downloading the icons. OpenID went with the rather predictable openid.net/logos, but the best I could find for the Information Card is the gloriously enterprisey www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=ce99e033-39a8-4bc5-9014-60ed0b560d0e&displaylang=en, obviously an artifact of tooling which doesn't care so much about people's esthetics, memories, sides of busses, or even shower heads, but locking publishers in and hiding them from silly inconsequential details such as The Web. You can fully expect that URI to morph into a different value soon, killing your bookmarks and this blog post. It looks decidedly uncool.

Please, by all means, dismiss this post as me being a flippant kitten, but it's all a matter of taste, and taste matters.