Mirror, mirror on the wall . . .

To decide who is the fairest of them all, the mirror has to distinguish between the person looking at the mirror and the reflection in the mirror.  They are not the same.  The reflection is an inverted image of the person standing before the mirror.

(Actually the shift is not from the left to the right as it appears, but front to back.  Click here for a detailed explanation.) 

Think of the word ecnalubma on the front of an emergency vehicle in order to see the word ambulance in your rearview mirror.

In this image, the girl is wiping the mirror with her right hand but the reflection in the mirror is using the left hand.


Although the human face is symmetrical, one side similar to the other, they are different.  The you you see in the mirror is not how other people see you, because there is always a difference between the two sides of the face.  

Symmetry is necessary for balance and beauty.  We immediately perceive when the symmetry is out of balance.  A crooked picture calls our attention.  

A slight variation of symmetry in the human face adds to its interest and beauty.  The lip curl, difference in eye color, one cheek fleshier, eyebrows, crooked smile? If both sides were exactly the same, the face would be bland, and if way out of balance it would be grotesque.

Are we aware of this when designing a site?

The simple expedient of  introducing a slight imperfection to any element of the site that is intended to be symmetrical such as background color or designs will call attention to the site.  Presenting a human face and its flip on a site will convert the casual glance into a gaze.





If Jesus designed a website

Vincent Van Gogh, “The Sower”

If Jesus designed a website he would probably use parables.

Consider this example of how to test a market;

“A farmer went out to sow his seed.  As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up.  Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture.  Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants.  Still other seed fell on good soil.  It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.”

-Luke 8:5

There is never a perfect moment for launching a site, but once launched we measure:

  • The audience we didn’t reach – the seed that withered and died.

  • The audience that had a negative reaction – the seed trampled on.

  • The audience that multiplied a hundred-fold – the seed on good ground.

It helps the client understand that the marketing of a site is not a  perfect process and needs to be constantly  adapted to the shifting conditions.





Shakespeare on websites.


More matter with less art.

Hamlet, 2.2.95


Words, words, words, no matter from the heart.

Troilus and Cressida, 4.3.108


Many men construe things after their fashion,

Clean from the purpose of the things themselves.

Julius Caesar, 1.3.34


An honest tale speeds best being plainly told.

Richard III, 4.4.358


Striving to better, oft we mar what’s well.

King Lear, 1.4.346


For things are often spoke and seldom meant.

Henry IV, Pat 2, 3.1.268


It is not enough to speak, but speak true.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 3.1.120


Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our own.

Hamlet, 3.2.213


The lunatic, the lover and the poet

Are of imagination all compact.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 5.1.4


Like a man to double business bound,

I stand in pause where I shall first begin,

And both neglect.

Hamlet, 3.3.41