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24 ways to impress your friends

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Chris VandenHeuvel

So many problems with this. A lot have already been discussed but I’m going to discuss them again.

First, why is it assumed to be a good thing to fuse the web designer/developer roles? Visual creativity and coding ability are two different skill sets—I don’t see how you can deny it. Hats off to the lucky people who already possess both, but why force it on people who are only skilled at one? In my experience it is far easier to find people who are good at one or the other. It’s not hard to find good web developers, and it’s far easier to give a good designer a handful of web design guidelines, than it is to expect one person to be good at making an attractive layout AND coding it to standards using cutting-edge technique.

I’ll give you that this article’s technique may be more efficient for a designer/developer. But the bigger underlying problem is that this kind of thinking will keep web design as a whole stuck in a rut that it’s been in ever since the Web 2.0 wave started.

As others have mentioned, designing for the browser limits you. If you don’t believe me, go to the Zen Garden and tell me how many of the layouts you see there could have been created without an initial Photoshop mockup. The answer is, only the ones that stick to the same boring box-based paradigm that this article encourages.

We’re all stuck interpreting the web as web professionals and forgetting that web site creation is primarily a marketing discipline. Most web sites aren’t made for other web professionals—they’re made for the product-buying public. That public isn’t wowed by nifty CSS3 techniques, because they don’t know or care what they are. The public responds to something that is visually interesting (like, say … Hollister) just like they do in any other visual marketing medium.

So if you’re interested in sticking to one paradigm and limiting your creative range to what you can code on the fly … sure, this technique makes sense. I’m not saying you can’t make a visually interesting design this way. Just that there’s nothing you can’t do in Photoshop—not so with this technique.

(Disclaimer: I’m not a designer at all—just a coder that gets to work with them.)