[thelist] What's the outlook

Jorah Lavin madstone at madstone.net
Thu Aug 14 04:04:08 CDT 2003

At 21:43 08/13/03, Diane Soini wrote:
>I really like the client-side work, but it appears that the need for that 
>is fading. So many companies can just generate code with content 
>management tools, so why bother having a web designer on staff?

Someone has to design the user interface and the way that the content is 
navigated. Have you considered studying Information Architecture? Or UI 
design? IA isn't going to go away... it can be seen as a form of library 
science, I think. No matter if the content is being served to a web site, a 
palm-top computer, a cell phone, or to desktop applications, understanding 
how to categorize, label, store, retrieve, and manipulate the data will 
still be needed. I don't know about your company, but mine is moving more 
and more toward "web enabling" everything in the enterprise.  (think XML, 
XSLT, etc.)

True, the CMS stops me from needing to build each page by hand, but that 
frees me up to spend more time with my internal clients, understanding 
their needs, so that I can talk sensibly to the programmers, and with luck 
that means that the next thing we build might actually be used, not 
ignored! I've also been spending a lot of time training content providers 
to put their own content into the CMS-driven site.

>Why even bother with web standards, either, for that matter?

Because when the time comes to stop thinking about making pretty pages, and 
to start thinking about serving "mission critical data" ** to 
employees,  wherever they are, however they are accessing the network, then 
properly prepared information (think clean XHTML) will be close to being 
ready to pump out to them, while old, hack-ridden web pages will probably 
be thrown out.

When the corporate people started rolling CMS out, I was angry. Now I'm 
looking to see how I can get the information in the last few non-CMS pages 
that I run completely out of the pages and into databases, where I can 
manage it properly. I'm basically trying to put myself "out of a job," (the 
job I was hired for - - building web pages by hand - - and which is going 
away) and into the right place to be of maximum use for the company.

I think that there is going to be a real convergence ** of publishing 
technologies. You won't necessarily see a web publishing team, a desktop 
publishing team, and so on. Information will be gathered, documents will be 
created and edited, and the information will be published in whatever way 
is most convienient or effecient for reaching a given audience... web, 
printed, archived in knowledge bases, whatever.

This is the frontier of publishing, not the dead end of it!

Just my humble view from the trenches, and I'd better get to work.


**I hate this corporate-speak I'm falling into. (sigh) 

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