Becca Abbe: www.lucy-ives.com
Lucy Ives is a writer whose particularly unique website was designed by New York-based web designer Becca Abbe. Featuring a lo-fi aesthetic, the site is comprised of six horizontally-scrollable panels which display the different facets of Lucy’s work (news, books, prose, interviews, poems, information). Within these panels, individual articles, when clicked, expand to fill the whole page; the design in its entirety feels like a piece of software itself. “Lucy’s site comes from a series of discussions we had about research-based work and the amorphous nature of writing,” Becca tells us. Becca often references physical objects, or uses them as guiding models when designing websites and in this case, it was archaic reading machines and early graphical user interfaces.
“The index draws from the Renaissance-era concept of the bookwheel and the interior projects pages are based on a Victorian furniture piece called the Holloway Reading Stand,” Becca further explains. “Lucy’s own work relies heavily on Scrivener which is a writing software that also manages all the ephemeral data: research, citations, images, etc. that go into a written piece. Its split-screen design was a big influence on the final site.” When it comes to how viewers digest Lucy’s work, several options are available including the raw text, a link to an online publication, a downloadable PDF, or simply rendered as the file size in bytes.
For those who do a little digging, Becca’s embedded several Easter eggs within the design. Readers can enter “kindle mode” for a distraction-free view. Once fullscreen, a reading tool (AKA pixel line) tracks your cursor and helps keep your place in the text. An option to output the texts with print-only CSS styles is also available via the printer button. Even without these features, what Becca has succeeded in doing, is creating a site which is memorable, and that keeps users exploring. While she designed and built the site herself, she does give a special shoutout to her “genius father Eli Abbe for workshopping the horizontal scroll animation script on the index page with me. Without him, it would not stop at each end.”