[thelist] Are Web designers a dying breed?

Paul Bradforth pbi at dircon.co.uk
Fri Jul 21 06:15:23 CDT 2000

On 20/7/00 at 9:11 am, Roger Newbrook wrote:

> > "My take is: DESIGN IS DEAD!"
>   think we'll have to disagree on this one!

You bet: Design is everything, and in a website, it's in the 'look and
feel' AND the code. And before you say: 'I didn't mean THAT sort of
design', think about it: what design means is the placing of items in an
order that, over the years, we've come to find pleasing/useful/good for
us. So I know where to find the headlight switch in my car at night, in
the dark, and I can pick it out from the other similar switches next to
it because it's a different shape. Not only that though; it gets
better...the switch is a two-pull affair: pull once for sidelights, pull
more for headlights. The 'click' detent on each pull is just enough to
stop me putting headlights on accidentally when I only want sidelights.
On the face of it, that's just good engineering. But you could say good

On this and every other list I belong to, there's this continual thing
going about design versus code, WYSIWYG code versus hand code, all that
stuff. The coders tend to think that design is something you stick on at
the end to make 'the real work' look pretty for the public. The
designers are concerned with making something with a terrific 'wow'
factor, and expect the coders to just work in the spaces they leave. But
we're all designers: show any hand coder some Dreamweaver or GoLive
outuput and he'll want to strip out redundant stuff, clean it all up,
make it sparkle; that's design too. Designers who are concerned with the
'look and feel' know that it's not so easy to read a line of text with
more than about 70 characters in it, that black text on a white
background is easier to read in large chunks, that all uppercase hurts
the eyes, etc. And the people who do the code know how to nest their
tags, keep the code lean, and avoid redundant snippets. We're all
designers. I guess what I'm rambling about here is: design can't be dead
because, one way or another, it's ALL design, and the design of
efficient code isn't all that different to the design of good looking
graphical elements, and I don't think it's a good idea to split them up
into different 'designs', as I think the person who said 'Design is
Dead' is doing. I guess he would say that he was talking about *graphic*
design, not content/useability/efficiency design, but I don't like to
see this distinction between the 'artists' and the 'coders'. I think
we're ALL artists :-)

best wishes,



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