Zack Michener

Brutal Chat

Brutalist web design has always been a favorite of mine. I love the clean lines, the lo-fi vibe, and the dark alternative proto-Internet that we all like to imagine used to exist. In some sense, it’s liberating to demand that the user bend to the idiosyncrasies of the design rather than cater to what users want or expect.

This specific project was greatly inspired by the chat mini-game thing in Super Hot. Basically, I stole the whole premise and turned it into a website. I loved the idea of real-time text, where you could see people make typos, and wouldn’t have to wait staring at a “John is typing…” status. The automatic pseudonyms were also a fun trick, which I imagined would give some illusion of privacy, when in reality you can learn to distinguish people pretty quickly based on their typing speed an accuracy.

It was also included on, which, if you were still doubting, proves it’s bona fide.