We don’t think of web browser mainstays scroll bars or broken image icons very often. They’ve become so omnipresent in our day-to-day lives that they’re basically invisible. That is, until someone changes the way they work.
Andrey Yazev is a freelance developer who likes to change the way things work. Whereas some artists work in pastels and others in video, Yazev works in user experience. And his site, the389, is like an interface playground, a collection of amusing manipulations of these tools we use every day. “It’s like if you see sunflowers often enough, sometime [you] will draw them,” Yazev explains to Co.Design.
Indeed, his projects aren’t merely a geek mocking BSoDs. They’re inventive and interactive. Check boxes become rain, a URL refreshes in a loop to create animated text, 2-D elements transform into 3-D, popups fill your screen in an artful arrangement (don’t worry, they close with a single click!), and scroll bars become–I honestly don’t know what to call them–movement visualizers, maybe.
The work can be tough to describe because, while Yazev will start an idea by manipulating a common UI element, he always riffs on it in some unpredictable way. You never know where any given page he’s coded will take you, making his entire collection of work, developed over the past two years, into one big practical joke that you get to be in on.
But is there a deeper commentary going on here? Is Yazev actually taking a shot at UX design? “I don’t think there are any messages in my work,” he maintains. “I think my work is only about what you see. I don’t take it that seriously to have some message in it.”
High art or not, Yazev’s designs are seriously clever, and pretty fun to boot.