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Web design going in the wrong direction?

17 Mar 2004 by Jason Fried

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed SxSW. Learned a lot, met a lot, drank a lot. It was a good time. But, the more I reflect on it, the more I worry about what’s going on in the web/interface design field.

There’s way too much talk about CSS and XHTML and Standards and Accessibility and not enough talk about people. CSS and Standards Compliant Code are just tools — you have to know what to build with these tools. Great, I’m glad your UI doesn’t use tables. So what? Who cares if it still doesn’t let people achieve their goals. Web standards are great, but people’s own standards include getting things done (and that’s still too hard to do online).

UI designers are making the same old fundamental “forgetting about the human being on the other side” mistakes — except this time their code looks better. Humans — not code validators — use interfaces.

There needs to be more talk about people and goals and scenarios and tasks and clear communication and clear function. More talk about what it’s like to be a human clicking and pointing and struggling to make sense of all this “stuff” that web sites think we need to know and interfaces think we need to do. Jeff Veen did a nice job covering some of these concepts in his talk about mental models and user experience, and I’d like to think I introduced new and different ways to approach common UI quandaries with my presentation, but I left the conference looking for more. And not necessarily more presentations, but more conversation in the hallways. All I could hear was CSS CSS CSS.

Shouldn’t sites be getting smaller not bigger? How come everyone keeps wanting to add new sections and new pages when the ones they already have aren’t being read or looked at? It’s not that you don’t have enough content or features, it’s that what you do have isn’t making sense to the humans it’s intended for. Sure, your CMS tool can help you manage up to 1,000,000 pages, and your search engine can scour them in less than 1 second, and you can pick from 100 templates and add a new section to your site in seconds, but how does all of this affect Bob or Susan down the street who are trying to look something up before the pasta water boils over?

Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places. Maybe people are talking about it and I can’t hear them. Or maybe I’m right. Or wrong. Or rambling about questions that can’t be answered. I don’t know. I just get a sense that this industry is getting too technical and focusing on the wrong things. I just wanted to write this down. I’ll do more writing about it shortly, but I thought it might be a good time to start a conversation. Spread this far and wide and post your comments here.

229 comments so far (Post a Comment)

17 Mar 2004 | Michel Christensen said...

hear hear!

17 Mar 2004 | ant said...

You're very right sir. We're going through a pretty technical period right now. You hear "CSS" everywhere, it's sexy and exciting, but hearing that makes me feel like web designers as a whole are caring more about users than ever before. Next they'll be worried about accessibility, usability and then pick up on "human being on the other side"-centered design.

17 Mar 2004 | Sean Devine said...

I feel similarly. While I do focus on seperating content from presentation, use web standards, and write code that validates, I am more interested in creating a user experience that meet the needs of my audience. Unfortunately, the majority of the chatter in the web design world is about standards and CSS, not usability.

Here's my hypothesis as to why: Standards compliance and content/presentation seperation can be judged objectively. It is reasonably easy to "master" these arts. Web designers take comfort in having these clear ideals to strive for.

On the other hand, usability is (somewhat) subjective, and is a much more difficult to do well. It's hard to know if you've done a good job, and your "score" comes from people, not validators. It's much less comforting and easy, but is much more rewarding and human.

For better or worse, I think that this is the steady state. People will continue to seek objective ways to judge the quality of their work. These yardsticks are usually code-focused, not people-focused.

17 Mar 2004 | mindful_learner said...

Hi Jason,

Just the same nonsense is overtaking the e-learning community at this time: standards, SCORM, AICC, re-usable content objects, meta-tagging data, etc, etc

No real new talk on learning and people and design approaches and philosophy.

The same with the UI world it seems....I don't think I've heard any new perspective on UI design since Cooper's ideas on software as servants instead of tools and his Inmates work....I don't necessarily agree with all of his stuff but he gave me a fresh way of thinking about interface design. Not many others have managed this. I had high hopes for Norman's emotional design work, but this turned out to be disappointing on many leves.

I've tried to develop some ideas at my weblog:'m particularly interested in bringing programming/computing power back into the hands of people, proactive/intelligent computing, network based interfaces and informal computing, to name a few :0)

Take care,

17 Mar 2004 | Colin said...

I agree with Ant. We are in the beginning of a cycle that will eventually lead to better usability and user-focused design. XHTML/CSS design lays the path for design-once production, which allows firms to spend the extra time focusing on the user as a way to differentiate their product, rather than making "gee-whiz" 100% Flash sites.

We cannot lose sight of the fact that standards compliance is still important...just not as important as usability.

17 Mar 2004 | Rimantas said...

I agree with what ant said. And I still think web design is going in the right direction, only it took way too long to get some respect for code quality. "Everything is ok as long as it shows up in Internet Explorer" - wasn't that the motto of many web design shops? They did not care about user not about code then. They start to care about code now. And they will start to care about users soon. Maybe this overtechnicallity that we see now is just a some kind of compensation for the terrible coding practice that we can see all over the web?
First we learn to write our code in the right way. Next (or better still - simultaneously) we learn to use that code in the right way.

17 Mar 2004 | clappstar said...

Adherence to standards saves time, money and effort that can be put into configuring the applications to meet the needs of people. If all these people you hear screaming XHTML and CSS and standards successfully change the momentum of web development, we are all going to benefit.

Standards compliance does not preclude one or slow one down or divert one from making applications that work for the end user. I'd argue that they speed up the timeline of development and, when carefully followed, cut way back on testing and bug resolution.

There are many other issues/causes in the web/software development arena that have been much more pathological to the noble quest we are all on than the Standards crusade.

17 Mar 2004 | Martin Mes said...

My theory: The standards movement has the right guru. Zeldman has done tremendously great things to bring standards-based development to front and has the right attitude. He's honest and rebellious, low-key and full of arguments... he's the guy from the block which gives the movement something sexy... (oh yes, we forget he's written about design and usability).
On the UI-side we're still recovering from Jakob... in definite need of a new hero.

17 Mar 2004 | Mark Fusco said...

I agree 150%. In fact, I just finished up a conversation with a designer in Vancouver who has a visually pretty site and a nice friendly-to-use interface with some nice usability features that look like their straight out of your book. The site was basically header / content / footer - but was built with with 3 nested tables and javascript navigation image rollovers.

I pointed out to her that her same layout could be easily achieved and smoother in CSS - even pointed her to the Layoutomatic (or whatever it's called), and suggested the miles of code making up her javascript could be just as easily be called out as a seprate file.

Doing this brings everything in balance - she keeps the nice human-centered design she's already got and gets rid (or puts in it's proper place) the structural content which was burying her message under 41 lines of code.

17 Mar 2004 | Steve Agalloco said...

I completely agree. I've always thought that the people that got the web were the ones that understood that it was all about connecting and enabling people. It's dissapointing to hear that there was so much talk of syntax and semantics.

Somehow we've all become focused on standards and box model hacks. :)

17 Mar 2004 | Mike P. said...

There was a good little converstaion over at Airbag about this a few days ago. I posted something roughly similar on our blog as well.

Be it standards, usability or just plain good copywriting, what I gets me these days is that there are a lot of people who are having websites built but falling way short of what can be done on the net and done with their websites...

17 Mar 2004 | Zac said...

I also completely agree, although I see this stage as an unavoidable (and temporary) necessary evil.

It's difficult to argue that CSS isn't important to the future of the web, but in its current state it's still difficult for most web designers to implement. Once the technological barriers have been broken and CSS-usage (and its surrounding issues) is no longer a novel badge of honor, the focus will (hopefully) shift primarily to the user experience.

I've experienced this issue myself -- when I first started learning CSS, validation was everything. I'd sacrifice usability for a site that validated (stupid, but common). As I've become more familiar with CSS-based design, validation and standards-compliance have become less of an issue...not because I've forgotten about them, but because they've become almost second-nature. Which gives me more time to focus on the user experience.

I think some sort of balance will eventually settle out of all of this, but it's going to take some time.

17 Mar 2004 | JF said...

Let me just say now that I think standards compliant code is good stuff. No doubt — we strive for it in the work we do. And Zeldman and company deserve all the credit in the world for pushing people to write cleaner, more compatible, more lasting code.

But, in the end, all this standards compliant code is producing the same old UI. The same old problems (lack of focus), the same old confusion (what happens next?), the same old structures (too many sections that don't map to people's goals), the same old wordy pages (paragraphs and paragraphs of poorly written copy), the same old product pages with the same old small pictures and wordy descriptions and tables and tables of product specifications that only make sense to the databases they were spit from.

17 Mar 2004 | RS said...

Here's my theory:

CSS is a tool. It's always easier to talk tools because tools have borders. You know where a tool starts and when it ends, what it can do, when to use it, and all the rest. When we talk about tools, we ask questions like "How does it work? How do I make it do what I want?".

But usability is about people. It's about how a person will react to something, what that person will do. It's about intentionality and psychology and it involves a million unknowns because we don't know how to draw the borders on these things. Usability is about people, and talking about people is much harder than talking about tools.

18 Mar 2004 | CSS said...

Oh yeah, you're a tool!

18 Mar 2004 | Bryan said...

but hearing that makes me feel like web designers as a whole are caring more about users than ever before.

I wish I could agree, but I think they care more about their code impressing the WC3 validation engine than how their customers interact with the end product. Sites are wearing their "Validation Badges" with pride like people used to wear the old "Top 5% Point Award" back in the mid 90s. People who wear these badges are missing the point. They are designing for their peers, not for their customers.

18 Mar 2004 | all of the above said...

it is all about the people. invite them. encourage them. direct them. but don't forget that great graphic design is just as important to the equation as contingency design and standards compliant code.

ever so tired of all the arguments that it's "just" the content, or the code, or being standards compliant, or great design. it's everything. get it? that's why we have creative directors, content producers, and programmers. can't we all just get along? hehe.

18 Mar 2004 | Hilarie said...

I agree with Sean Divine's thoughts.

If your code validates, you can say, "I did it right. See, I told you...I am a good web designer." It's instant validation, so to speak (...type).

Not so easy to test your usability skills. Validation that you did the job right, takes a bit longer.

18 Mar 2004 | David Demaree said...

I agree totally that human-centric design has fallen by the wayside. I've only recently redone my site's templates using DIVs rather than tables, and the biggest advantage? With CSS I have my default template memorized. I can tap out a new page in less than ten lines, and with my stylesheet it looks as snazzy as pages I used to slave over in Dreamweaver two years ago. I am skeptical of all the semantic web hoo-hah; I write pages in XHTML for mobile phones, but there are still such differences in the way pages need to be written for mobile devices (as compared to PCs) that I do end up having to write a completely different site -- semantic markup and CSS does not help me there.

18 Mar 2004 | Greg said...

The method should never be more important than the message.

18 Mar 2004 | Nollind Whachell said...

Keep your ideas flowing Jason. Your not looking in the wrong places. You are just in a "different" place than others. There are people who believe in what you do. You just have to keep looking for them. Remember change doesn't happen overnight.

"Every time we see a massive shift, the people that survive are always the people that are not tool-makers. They're the ideas people, and tools always help facilitate their ideas." - Evan Solomon

Just keep your ideas flowing.

18 Mar 2004 | Arne G said...

I think of XHTML and CSS as more of a substrate than as tools (wood rather than hammer and chisel). The only thing they have to do with Usability is that they make it easier to build web UI (easy to revise and refractor – and for me that’s key to getting it right).

I’m just about the laziest person your likely to meet, and it’s my deep empathy for others like myself that motivates me to (try to) develop easier ways of doing things. While I do think the easier-to-objectify argument has merit for many, any XHTML and CSS evangelism I might do is mainly because they constitute very usable material for my work (I love anything that makes my life easier… I am very lazy after all).

Wait a while and everyone will be focused on something else (for a time).

18 Mar 2004 | Don Schenck said...

We are trailing the auto industry, but by looking there we can see our future.

The auto industry now fusses over thing like the feel of a knob, the sound it makes when it clicks, the sound of the horn, the shifter being by your knee, heel-toe, etc etc.

Behind the scenes, they have standards. Maybe just corporate standards, but they do work pretty much to the same script.

During the past 15+ years, automobiles have improved by leaps and bounds.

The future of UI is bright, and it is improving. Not as fast as it should, perhaps, but this snowball is rolling and will only get larger.

In the meantime, Jason and others, be glad you're on the *right* side of this issue; it means more for you! :-)

18 Mar 2004 | Martin Lambert said...

I think we often forget just how ridiculously young our industry is. The web has only been here for a little over a decade, and GUIs for a decade before that. The technology has evolved very quickly (in "Internet time"), and as others have mentioned, it is a very concrete thing that we can easily validate and do 'right'.

By and large, people do not move at that same speed. It's not at all surprising to me that the people side of the equation is lagging behind the technology. We really don't know yet what's 'right' and 'wrong'. I expect we never will - it's more a matter of what's 'better' and 'worse'. But I don't think we're moving in the wrong direction; I think it's just going to take more time than we're accustomed to.

The car analogy is a good one. In fact, in terms of usability I'd bet that we are already far ahead of where the automobile industry was at this point in its history.

Keep bringing the topic up, keep the focus on the users, and we'll get there in due time.

18 Mar 2004 | Todd Dominey said...

This thread also applies to the Flash world. There are lots of 'rich internet application' obsessed developers building tools for tools sake, without enriching content or fulfilling users' needs.

It's for reasons like this, and the whole CSS/XHTML "badge of honor" sleigh ride that I become increasingly bored with all the technicaly bantering and instead hunger for a gut-punch of raw, graphical emotion on the web. As a group, web designers would greatly benefit from spending time in the offline world of graphical communication, whether through groups like AIGA or simply reading mags like Comm Arts / Print, to remember what is truly important in their chosen medium.

18 Mar 2004 | Brenda said...

Balance is the key here. Interface usability and appropriateness are just as important as structural integrity and accessibility. When evaluating the "quality" of a web site, they are inseparable. Together -- TOGETHER -- they are what make a site "usable."

I personally won't make a public show of concern as Jason has because I know that any designer or developer who gives deference to one of these areas over another, or dismisses one in favor of another, is not going to be in business very long. Placing importance on accessibility is not just a "good idea", it's competitive advantage, and the interactive industry will naturally push those who ignore accessibility to the bottom of the food chain.

18 Mar 2004 | Bryan said...

Of course, Brenda, but what I think Jason is saying is that the conversation about what makes something usable has been hijacked by those who think accessibility or CSS or web standards EQUALS usability. These are code level things, not human things. A big product shot that shows a product in detail is good usability (and makes for a good experience) - I don't care if the image tag behind it complies is XHTML 1.0 Transitional.

18 Mar 2004 | Benjy said...

Not sure that there's much to add here that hasn't been said, but I agree 100% that the user experience is more important than the method by which that is achived.

In an ideal world, all browsers would be standards compliant and everything built from code that validates would render exactly the same in any browser on any platform. But that's not the case and it's ultimately more important that the site visiter see what they want/need to see and find what they want/need to find.

I was floored recently when a site I saw linked off of CSS Vault wouldn't render because I was using IE. Um...last time I looked at browser stats, most people are, too. To simply say you are or are not worthy to see the design of my site because of what computer you happen to be using is pretty narrow-minded. I am at work on what they give me to work on. I cannot help that it's a PC with IE. What if some potential freelance client comes to his site and see that? What if a friend of his who's not a designer wants to see it? To put a site on the web and then exclude the vast majority that you deem unworthy from you site seems elitist and unacceptable user experience.

18 Mar 2004 | sergio said...

You make a valid point, but I think that in a way, the Standards/CSS movement is helping towards the goal of user experience improvement more than anything before it (albeit in a slightly indirect way).

Lately, I've seen numerous redesigns take place. The separation of content and layout allows for a lot of people to rething the way their users are using their site. Dunstan recently experimented with his comment form extensively to explore and improve the way people comment on his site. Scrivs has been doing that kind of stuff ever since he started Whitespace.

What's my point? This kind of real time redesign with user feedback was nothing short of a nightmare before CSS and Standards compliant/Semantically oriented XHTML came along. Site designers are experimenting all the time with these new tools that they acquired. Most importantly: they're seeing results. I think that's the bottom line.

18 Mar 2004 | Austin Govella said...

I merely skimmed the voluminous comments above, so I hope I'm not reiterating someone else.

The IA/UX/ID community does nothing but talk about users, personas, scenarios, goals, and processes.

Nowadays I skim the technical side of the game to make sure I keep up with innovations, but all of my energy focuses on design.

The following organizations operate prescient and valuable mailing lists:

AIGA's experience design email group:


Interaction Designers:

18 Mar 2004 | Drew said...

To me it kinda just seems like everyone else is finally getting it.

All of us über web nerds are already fay beyond the "is CSS/HTML4 worth it" argument. It's no longer an issue. It's proven effective and powerful and now it's very common. It's obvious.

People are just jumping on the evangelism band wagon late, as it were. (I don't mean that in a derogatory way) They finally listened, realized how easy and powerful and Good it was and want to tell everyone. (although they were probably the last people that didn't know)

Another thing is - you can prove you have "good" code.
There's a validator that will tell you you do.
There is no validator for user experience.
There are many, many ways to build a good user experience - and it's something that's very hard to imagine and test.

18 Mar 2004 | Jonny Roader said...

Nail on head, JF.

Maybe, like Mark Hurst, you could take on some of the methodology obsessed IA crew too? Good sense like this is all too rare in a field which sometimes seems to strive to provide proof of the emperor's new clothes.

18 Mar 2004 | Anon said...

Greg Storey of Airbag fame touched on this last week. I encourage reading it as a follow-up.

18 Mar 2004 | coda said...

"The method should never be more important than the message."

Yet there isn't a message without a method... ;)

18 Mar 2004 | A Q said...

This issue is a serious concern for me. I would think that a person should be able to easily create anything they see in their mind on the page in any way they visualize it, in any way they wish. The movement of these standards are almost entirely against this ideal because they promote restrictive limitations rather than expanding possibilities. But for what ideal? The ideal of accessibility? The ideal of the sterilization of html? Both of these impose severe limitations on creators and average users, without much purpose.

If I sound like I'm being heartless to the blind, then I must admit that I am. If Dali or Michaelangelo may never have painted their great works if they had to paint in regards to strict standards of accessibility. They would have been forced to limit themselves to sculpting, creating a product that the blind could feel.

But what if the best and purest representation of the idea was in a flat two dimensional painting? The xhtml and css standards attempt to force us into this scenario where we are forced to sculpt rather than paint, even when painting would be the truest expression of the idea.

This is just a serious limitation and distraction, and hinders the freedom of individuals to express their ideas in their purest envisioned forms. If we force ourselves to conform to accessibility as the highest ideal, then we enslave ourselves to the limitations of the disability of a minority, we all cover our eyes rather than use them as the gift they are. I don't see a good reason for this. I will not buy a book from the bookstore that constantly distracts a person with brail... even though accessibly it would benefit that minority.

It is not up to society to form the world to the limitation of a disability, it is the job of society to develop tools that these individuals can use on their own to overcome their limitations.

The inventor of the segway also invented a wheelchair that could climb stairs. with perfect balance. We have aural browsers for the blind.

It is important that people with disabilities have the best tools possible to effect their limitations. We should not work backwards and limit ourselves

And finally, all I can say for the sterilization of html is that it's the dumbest thing I've ever heard, and only seems to excite coders, not the average creator or user who just wants to be able to easily create anything they can imagine. We should be actively expanding possibilities on the computer screen to the nth degree... not limiting them in favor of sterilization and accessibility. A viewer deserves the possibility to experience things to their full capacity.

Dali and Michaelangelo deserved their brush and canvas... so do we.

18 Mar 2004 | Jonny Roader said...

Well I take your broad point AQ, but no-one is forcing creative designers to use HTML or any other tool in a certain way. Feel free to emulate Dali yourself, but also grant others the freedom to do things in ways that are proven to please the people that want them - the people using the site.

18 Mar 2004 | coda said...

A Q: suggesting Web Standards "promote restrictive limitations" is something I'd expect from an ignorant pixel-perfect designer five years ago. No disrespect indended, but please tell me you're not that person, today.

Web standards are not limiting, they'll never force designers into 100%-width boxed layouts with dotted borders filled with relatively-sized sans-serif type. That this has become the trend when adopting a standard-compliant approach to design, I'd attribute to the steep learning curve when making the switch from old school HTML table layouts to advanced XHTML/CSS. If you're finding whatever technologies you're using (HTML 3.2?) and whatever techniques you're using (tables in tables in tables, and deprecated font tags) suitable to your needs then honestly I don't understand what you're complaining about. Maybe you're scared of learning something new.

I often find that opinions in discussions of this nature are based on generalizations about the type of site being evaluated (none in this case) and it's target audience (again, none). You clearly have specific sites in mind and have formed your opinion around them instead of taking the whole picture into consideration.

"The inventor of the segway also invented a wheelchair that could climb stairs. with perfect balance. We have aural browsers for the blind."

Yes it's great they have these tools, but what use are they if what you're developing or designing is so creatively experimental that there's no chance in hell of them ever having access to it?

If you want to be a Michaelangelo on the web, then do so. Just don't complain when your "work of art" can only be accessed by 50% of web users with either an outdated screen resolution/browser/operating system/platform, or an aural/visual disability.

18 Mar 2004 | Ben Scofield said...

AQ - I took a class on Beethoven when I was an undergrad, and many of the students (including me) couldn't understand why he chose to work within the arbitrary constraints of existing musical forms. When one decides to compose a sonata, a symphony, or a concerto there's a definite formula that must be followed; you see the same thing in poetry, where the decision to create a particular type of work severely restricts the form the work may take.

I bring this up to point out that the masters (Beethoven, Shakespeare, etc.) were able to produce works of genius while working within severe constraints, and when asked (though I don't have the quotes handy, unfortunately) said that the constraints helped the creative process. Total freedom may not be the creative panacea that it is sometimes thought to be.

18 Mar 2004 | A Q said...

What?!? You managed to throw out some poor commentary, but certainly missed the point. The argument isn't against standards, it is against the direction of the standards. The current direction of the standards promotes limitations almost exactly along the lines of analogy I created. If you can't see that, then that is your problem, no disrespect.

All of my analogies were not in regards to specific sites, but actually on the limitations of transfering ideas into xhmtl and css, where limitations enforced by sterilization of code do not make transference natural or easy.

"whatever techniques you're using (tables in tables in tables, and deprecated font tags) suitable to your needs then honestly I don't understand what you're complaining about. Maybe you're scared of learning something new."

Maybe you're easily offended by the innacuracies of your personal interpretations, yet can't seem to try to analyze your interpretations beyond your own personal view, so you're left with no form of communication besides ignorant posturing. You have to get off your "complainer" rant, this is a discussion, I'm not complaining - I'm discussing, and calling it complaining makes you sound like an idiot.

Again, we are talking about the direction of the standards, their limitations, and what they can lead to. We are not discussing whether or not standards are a necessity.

"Yes it's great they have these tools, but what use are they if what you're developing or designing is so creatively experimental that there's no chance in hell of them ever having access to it?"

Then the rest of us should limit the capacity of our own experience just because these people will never be able to see it? That opposes freedom in every possible way.

18 Mar 2004 | Mark Hurst said...

Totally right on... as long as SXSW stays on the level of "plumbing", practitioners will still wonder why they're not taken seriously enough in the organizations where they work.

If it's human experience you want, come to Gel :)

18 Mar 2004 | A Q said...

Hello Ben..

I understand the intention of this point, but I have this consideration...

Consider all of the different languages we have in this world of ours, and that from each of these languages there are different ways to express concepts, but not only that, there are concepts which one language can express that another can't... even to the point where it is not even a consideration of an individual native speaker of this other language. Different forms of culture derive from these differences in language and considerations capable with these languages... the more freedom, the wider the capacity for different creation and culture.

We can say that Beetoven did superb work without a sitar and a wider range of color than 12 notes in continuous octaves, but imagine what he could have done with it! Imagine what he could have done without tonal limitations. Was his work really "superior" to the point that we hold it as the highest personal achievement which proves the usefulness of limitations... I think that would be too subjective to say.

What I'm saying is that the direction of the standards should not be in the direction of one language, as that has limits of consideration and expression that can leave many other possibilities untouched... such as a sitar in a symphony, the freedom and spice of life is in the development of many languages and experiencing all of them for a riicher worldview and experience.

18 Mar 2004 | JF said...

If it's human experience you want, come to Gel

Petition Mark to let me speak at Gel! ;)

18 Mar 2004 | said...

Speaking of Method... what happened? Looks nice, a little slow though.

18 Mar 2004 | coda said...

AQ, my apologies then - I got the strong impression that you feel standards should not be a necessity and force or limit your creative process.

Web standards only serve to guide us in doing things in a way that user agents have been designed to interpret, they've never dictated how we serve our content or who our audience will be. That's for us to determine.

18 Mar 2004 | Ian McFarlan said...

Often developers and designers get 'caught up' in the tools that they use to communicate the message - forgeting that the message they are communicating is much more imporant than the tools used to create that message.

Web standards, CSS, etc. are important but one must obsessed with them to no end. Good article.

18 Mar 2004 | Greg said...

Mark, let Jason speak at Gel.

19 Mar 2004 | Matthew Oliphant said...

My company splits designers and developers. We designers only code for prototyping for usability. For me, being one of the few that is tied somehow to the outside world, I am trying to get people in my group to start using CSS so we can be more in control of the visual design.

During unit testing we will sometimes get a screen that looks nothing like the screen shots in the UI spec. Since I started using CSS, I've not had the problem and it save the developers time.

But I will say that it is the last thing I do before I finish design. It is just a very convenient tool that makes maintenance a breeze. I don't look at it as plumbing, but then again I am taken seriously where I work.

And it aint just because I am pretty. :P

19 Mar 2004 | Garrett Dimon said...

Just because CSS and XHTML is a hot topic, I look at it as more of an additional step towards improved usability.

I don't know about everybody else, but using XHTML lets me build sites faster, enabling me to spend the saved time on additional usability enhancements.

19 Mar 2004 | ek said...

"I don't know about everybody else, but using XHTML lets me build sites faster, enabling me to spend the saved time on additional usability enhancements."

Not me, the time I save with XHTML goes straight into drinkin' and fornicatin'!

Usability? Pah! We need better usability like we need more call centers in India.

It's all about standards is what I say, it is — and the more the better! To quote JFK 2K4 quoting GB 43: "!"

19 Mar 2004 | Al Abut said...

"Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places. Maybe people are talking about it and I can’t hear them. Or maybe... etc."

With all due respect, I'm sorry JF, you may have a good read on where the industry is at the moment but you're wrong about why you feel that way. The problem isn't where you're looking, who you're hanging out with or even the web design community itself: it's you. And 37signals. You're just too ahead of the curve.

No, seriously. I first heard about you guys when I read Curt's book a few years ago and I'd never heard a design firm talk about usability until that moment, embracing the word and concept rather than vilifying it. It was like a godsend, since none of my San Diego-area web designer buddies shared my views back then and I'd garnered the reputation as the affable usability nazi. Finally there was someone else! For all the new kids and reminiscing elders, that was huge, way before usability was considered cool, when Jakob's dictates and the love/hate reactions to them were all that most knew about it, when any talk of usability would ruin a friendly conversation and divide the room. Now usability is mainstream and good web designers have actually heard of user task analysis, usability tests, interaction diagrams, etc... imagine that. I couldn't at the time.

It's the same with CSS and semantic markup. If you're a practicing full-time web designer, I know it's hard to imagine that XHTML/CSS/etc could be new to anyone, but it is to a lot of people. And they're excited about it. And they're finding out there's so much more to learn. And they're pushing the boundaries of what can be done. And that's insanely great. Yes, it may be old hat to you - the 37s site has been using CSS since way back in the day, ever since it was just a replacement for font tags, and I took a huge amount of inspiration from that as well. I've listed you guys as an example of purveyors of clean and usable designs for a long time now, going back to when the Manifesto site was the main company site.

So be patient. You're doing good work.

19 Mar 2004 | Alex said...

Isn't this the same as the DesignPortals and the circle-jerk of links to other DesignPortals or DesignerPages? Didn't everyone at one point link to K10K or DesignIsKinky?

If things work right, people will not talk about the program. They talk about their wonderful vacation and mention the online reservation system as an afterthought (or maybe not at all).

If you're talking about it, it must be broken. Why not talk about things that work so well you don't notice... like a light switch?

19 Mar 2004 | AK said...

From a personal point of view, I hope everyone continues to talk about CSS, XHTML and what not. It means they will spend more time worring about technology that may not be around in five years while I worry about solving problems that occur because of users need to get things done.

Let them state they're the experts with some technology. Let me say I'm the expert as solving problems. When things need to get done, I'll solve the problem and hire everyone else to implement it.

Remember the good old days of 56k modems? Now we have broadband and we still have the same problem. Pages still take a time to download. Bigger pipe does not mean more data... it means more people!

19 Mar 2004 | beerzie boy said...


19 Mar 2004 | Paperhead said...

all of the above said...

ever so tired of all the arguments that it's "just" the content, or the code, or being standards compliant, or great design. it's everything. get it?

Far and away the smartest thing that's been said in this thread.

Good design, usability, accessibility, clean-efficient coding, separating style and content, using CSS, etc., etc. They're all part of the bigger picture. I truly wish there were more people promoting a holistic approach rather than squabbling over hierarchies.

19 Mar 2004 | nP said...

This pretty small group of people you're talking about need to accept that the pace of change is slower for the world at large than for the 'uber-geek' community of cutting-edge-web-designers.

All of this loud yelling about a technical solution being the cure to all our woes is becoming pretty tiresome as it's 'preaching to the converted'. You get into this situation and the comments become about-the-debate rather than about the point you were trying to make in the first place. As far as I can see, this seems to be the root of your frustration.

I'd put forward that if the focus of this group of people (the A-list *wince*) became 'user-centred-thinking' you'd tire of it pretty quickly, or draw similar conclusions to the ones already out there. It's just another chapter of the book you already know (Veen's Art and Science, Mcgoverns Content Critical, Krug's Don't make me, Cooper's Inmates, etc, etc, etc)

Now if the people doing all of this evangelising were preaching the benefits of listening to their designer/coder/developer/etc. to the upper tier managers, business owners and strategists we might get somewhere. You know, learning to communicate with the 'non-techie', the one with all of the capital and control.

Indeed, if all that energy were redirected we might see these disciplines and related expertise will becoming more generally respected.

For those lucky few that enjoy this kind of environment already, well, good for them. For a lot of us though, we're still trying to get people to our boss to recruit skilled staff that don't just have 1 week's Frontpage training and 'have an internet at home'.

I like what Al Abut said, but I think he's wrong about it not being the people you're talking to etc.
I used to work for a large media company that had 400 staff dedicated to 'New Media' production and we'ed go out and have 3 hour long rants at each other about standards, design methodology and so forth.
Right now I'm working for a local government authority in a team of 3. My rant focus has become about changing business culture, because that's the major blockage in achieving 'the ideal goal'.

Total change of perspective.

We've proven how clever we are to ourselves, lets try communicating the benefits of this new-found knowledge to the rest of the world. Yes, the people that have 'an internet at home'. And lets do it in terms they can understand.

If you can convince me that standards, user centered design, etc, etc can solve a lot of my problems then...
no. big. deal.
I know that already.

If you can convince that 50 year old executive over there that it's important to invest now because the eventual R.O.I. will be much higher...
now that's impressive.

19 Mar 2004 | jixor said...

You don't have to have one or the other you may have both. Oh no wait the definition is not that clear is it? In reality many things come together to form a solid design. A strong focus on usability doesn't mean a focus on usability to the exclusion of all else, etc.

19 Mar 2004 | Anthony said...

I agree with clappstar.

19 Mar 2004 | brian butler said...

Wow, bravo! I need to read the article more slowly than I just did, but I congrat you on your direction of thought. Simple, communicative.
Thank you.

20 Mar 2004 | Derek K. Miller said...

While designers are together they often talk shop about techniques and technologies, but one of the major benefits of standards-based design for the Web is that it encourages people to separate the design of material from its content, and thus make the content more accessible to a wider variety of people and devices. It's also easier to make attractive designs that work when you can separate elements of the page into modules that can be improved, rather than being stuck with systems that are so interdependent that it's impossible to fix things without starting, in essence, from scratch.

A simple example: when I rebuilt much of my personal website to use more Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and less tables-based web design a few months ago, I also re-did the colour scheme and some of the navigation. Some people didn't like the changes, and some of their comments were good ones. So I tweaked the design, and now it's better. Before I moved to CSS for some of my layout, those tweaks would have been much more difficult, and I wouldn't have done them, so my site would be harder to use (and less useful) today.

21 Mar 2004 | Michal MIgurski said...

I like the first comment, from "Ant", and I think Jason sets up a bit of a straw man. Of course the standards geeks on WD-L are going to crow about their table-less sites and their use of meta-tags, but that's the correct forum for such discussions. I had my own phase of religious XHTML+CSS adherence in 2001-2002, so I can see how having a new technological toy to play with encourages fervent exploration of its possibilities.

Maybe Jason's frustration is like mine, stemming from the simple fact that this stuff was new 3+ years ago, and watching noobs see the light for the first time gets boring pretty quickly after a few dozen rounds. I don't think it means that people aren't thinking about the "user" by any stretch, just that community conversations tends to revolve around certain hot topics -- if the topic is not interesting, skip it and move on to one that is, or start your own.

22 Mar 2004 | eric said...

Its also a fork in the road for some 'designers'... some are more technically adept and anal to fuss with CSS.

I'm all for what's possible with CSS/XHTML/XML, but some designers can't see the 'forest' for the directory trees.

That customer-vision, my friend, will keep you employed. And, that kind of 'magic' is harder to offshore as well. You can get some code monkeys to validate their script all day for $2, but if they don't "get it", you're getting what you pay for.


22 Mar 2004 | Tom Sherman said...

We'll know we've arrived at human-centered design when Zeldman and his ilk stop having a shitfit every time a new site rolls out that doesn't validate. God Almighty am I sick of reading posts about validating. Booooring.

22 Mar 2004 | mark said...

this echos my views on numerous newsgroups (alt.html / alt.html.critique) and any site submitted gets slated for i.e. not being 100% wide (scalable) design amongst a plethora of other techie, inflexible, non-constructive comments.


22 Mar 2004 | Aaron Clinger said...

I agree, though I am guilty of forgetting sometimes. The medium is not the message, the message is the message.

22 Mar 2004 | Kevin Airgid said...

Couldn't agree more. Technology is just a tool, and at the end of the day it must serve it's users well. Plain ASCII text can be used, if it fits the bill.

37signals keep up the good work!


22 Mar 2004 | Bobster said...

Validation is the new Flash intro - everybody's gotta have it.

Some of the best sites in the world don't validate. Some sites that validate suck mightily. T'will be ever thus. Get over it. Write some new books.

22 Mar 2004 | Jessica said...

What about marketing and branding initiatives? What ever happened to *design*?? Don't get me wrong, CSS is wonderful in that it separates code from presentation, however, it has been my experience that *designers* are the ones pushing standards compliance and accessability, not *developers* and I feel that this is inheritly wrong. I should be concentrating on creating a great design that helps to communicate a message and sell a brand, rather than make sure that the company's pages are built to allow accessability to a larger audience.

Should a print designer be expected to know how to prep a printing press?? No? Then why should I be expected to write code?

I'm not a code geek, I shouldn't have to be; I'm a designer. My job is conceptualization, communication, and selling a message. . .

23 Mar 2004 | Eric said...

Jessica said... Should a print designer be expected to know how to prep a printing press?? No? Then why should I be expected to write code?

The analogy isn't quite right here; as a print designer, you may not need to know how to set up a printing press, but you'd damn well better understand about bleeds, and PMS colors, and RGB-to-CMYK conversion, and your image dpi... otherwise you're going to come up with unworkable designs that won't print properly. Don't you agree?

I'm not a code geek, I shouldn't have to be; I'm a designer. My job is conceptualization, communication, and selling a message. . .

To quote Bruce Mau (a designer's designer if there ever was one), quoting John Cage:

The myth of a split between “creatives” and “suits” is what Leonard Cohen calls a 'charming artifact of the past.'

The same might be said of designers and coders. Clearly they serve different roles -- but if you're a designer who doesn't understand code at all and doesn't want to, then you have no business designing for the web. And if you're a coder who doesn't realize that your code needs to support and enhace a design, then you have no business coding something that people are going to use. It's that simple.

23 Mar 2004 | rf said...

A post made to alt.html when this page was cited there for consideration.


Ah, a page that advocates usability for the end user, the viewer.

Well, said page has font size specified in pixels (10, 11 or 12 of them) so
is not, in IE, resizable. It is also too small for me to read. I can not, in
the default setup, change it to suit me.

How usable for me is that?

When I use my accessibility options to ignore the authors font size the page
totally breaks. I have to scroll way way down past all the adverts to find
the content.

How usable for me is that?

When I swap to another browser, Mozilla, I can change the font size to suit
me but then I find the text is in a little box about 600 pixels wide and I
get three or four words per line. When I make my canvas wider in attempt to
fit more conent on my screen I find that the box does not flow, it remains
the same width, hard coded at some 600 odd pixels.

How usable for me is that?

Given that the author of that page has intentionally discriminated against
me because of the system I use or my bad eyesight do you think I would pay
any attention at all to the content of that page?

No. I will just move on to then next thing to look at, hopefully something
that is easily usable for me.



23 Mar 2004 | Chris said...

OH glory be! I'm not alone!
I too was at sxsw and was pissed. It seems like everyone was so stuck on the lil stuff that they were missing the point.

btw - I was the loudmouth that asked the questions like "This panel is called HiFi CSS - and i consider what you are proffessing to be just v2 of all the same bs coding hacks we've been painfully using for the last 5 yrs. How about we talk about some real stuff" Criminy! Frustration City

23 Mar 2004 | Alec Kinnear said...

web developers are not UI designers. they are the people who put the content into code.

a web designer can be a UI expert. but that is an entirely additional and different job description.

the pretension of web designers to artistic purpose is often tedious. when we are on the web - as users - are we seeking great web experiences?

no. we are in search of information, music, images or moving pictures (i.e. movie trailers).

so it makes perfect sense that when the community of web developers gather, they spend their time talking about what they can and should know: code.

if when the designers and human UI experts gather they talk code, that will be a tragedy.

want to be both web developer and human UI expert? attend both conferences.

in the meantime, code evangelism has a long way to go.

i recently ran across a simple site with a user friendly interface (a brochure about an independent english language theatre company in moscow) with photographs and attractive layout.

if you visit in IE on windows.

in any other browser or OS, it is a plain text mess without photographs or layout.

go code evangelists. the sun is still high for your work.

23 Mar 2004 | curt said...

Mark Hurst kind of alluded to this in his post above, but SXSW is an infamously blogger-heavy shindig, and blogger culture is necessarily text-centric, so they are inordinately into movable type-like tools, RSS feeds, and standards / CSS. But SXSW is probably not an accurate cross-section of all web designers (although it may be an accurate cross-section of all web designers reading this thread). At Flash Forward everybody is talking about action scripting. At BD4D, everybody is talking about motion graphics. Hopefully, at HOW Design, everybody willl be talking about... design.

23 Mar 2004 | Eloy said...

The tool is the message.

23 Mar 2004 | Don Schenck said...

Thanks for the link to HOW Design ... I won't be attending, but the picture of the surfers on their web site is inspiring to me ... mmmmmm ... just a few more months ...

23 Mar 2004 | beto said...

Jason's remarks are true as a rock. CSS is indeed "part of the solution", but is too far from being "the" solution. In fact it really amounts to a small part of it, while the overall issue of improving user's web experience and satisfaction is still largely overlooked.

I am currently reading Jason's "Defensive Design" book. For anyone who's wondering what's Jason talking about here, this book will give you the answer.

Alec said: web developers are not UI designers. Well, some of us, forced by circumstances to multitask, have had to become both - and in turn learn a lot of things in the process. In my opinion this is the best thing that can happen to a web designer or developer. If we keep nurturing the "Designers are from Mars / Developers are from Venus" approach, we will keep having the same mixed and convuluted results product of two parts that don't understand each other.

23 Mar 2004 | Schmelding said...

<snif> My name is Schmelding, and, and, I use CSS.</snif>

Lately, I've been getting strung-out on XHTML. I admit it -- my addiction makes me selfish -- self-centered. I use to be like everyone else; using ordered and unordered lists to display information, but now I have to admit that using lists to display navigational tabs gets me off. Sure, maybe someone with an accessible browser finds it easier to navigate, but I'm not even thinking about them. I just want to appear cool to my 133t friends. When something doesn't validate I'm usually the first one to visit, and I'll spend hours to get my fix.

Oh the agony. Ag-o-ny. I'm afraid if I don't get help soon I might starting turning to programming for Cocoa apps.

24 Mar 2004 | Mike said...

God damn, this was an excellent freakin' post!

24 Mar 2004 | Paul Waite said...

I'm sorry, what's wrong with Jakob? I've found's Alertbox to be the single most useful source of usability information out there. But I haven't yet spent much time with Zeldman.

24 Mar 2004 | asdf said...

24 Mar 2004 | preshaa said...

These things come and go in cycles.

BUT, designers learning to code, understanding it and being proud of getting it right is a positive step for the web and more importantly for the web design industry.

24 Mar 2004 | Jessica said...

Eric said. . .
"The same might be said of designers and coders. Clearly they serve different roles -- but if you're a designer who doesn't understand code at all and doesn't want to, then you have no business designing for the web. And if you're a coder who doesn't realize that your code needs to support and enhace a design, then you have no business coding something that people are going to use. It's that simple."

Ah, but please note that I said that I shouldn't have to *write* code, not that I shouldn't have to *understand* it. . . There's a big difference here.

I have built fully accessable, full CSS, table-less websites for some pretty high profile clients. To assume that I know nothing about standards compliance and accessability, or to assume that I know nothing about writing code is unfair, at best. Just because I do not feel that I should HAVE to write code, does not mean that I CAN'T write code and my original position stands.

It has been my experience that *designers*, not *developers* have been pushing standards compliance and this is wrong. Designers have enough to worry about with branding and marketing initiatives and corporate identity and *design* standards; we should have to worry about *code* standards as well. It is my opinion that *code* standards are the developers' problems.

24 Mar 2004 | Phillip R. Cargo said...

"and I’d like to think I introduced new and different ways to approach common UI quandaries with my presentation, but I left the conference looking for more. "

Thanks for the "my presentation" link but it means little to nothing to me, is there more to it that we may see?

24 Mar 2004 | chuck said...

the standards do not remain constant. look all the versions of HTML, XHTML, and CSS. what will the standards be next year or 5 years from now?

it may be a postive evolution but they, nevertheless, do change. this IMHO both increases and decreases their usefulness.

the direction of evolving standards do not bother me. what bothers me is the 'latest' standards are only 'good' for a limited time before the next 'new and improved' standards come along.

25 Mar 2004 | Dave said...

Jessica + Alec Kinnear: Strongly Agree
beto: Somewhat Agree

It seems like a lot of the people whining about the over-exposure of standards are designers, and the issue that inspired this thread in the first place is that SXSW had too much focus on them. Isn't that a bit like hip-hop fans complaining that the SXSW music festival has too much country music?

SXSW covers the entire rich pageant of the web, does it not, and what's hot right now is the development side. If you only want to talk about design, and you can't find a forum to do it, you're not looking hard enough. It's a big world, and there's a place for everyone in it - find another conference.

Having said that, yes, standards/validation/CSS/XHTML is a developer's concern. Not a designer's, not a user experience engineer's, not a copywriter's, not a marketing director's, and so on. beto, we all had to wear every hat on the rack in times past, but that was out of necessity, not because it's a good idea. Members of a development team should definitely know something about their professional neighbors, but only the parts that are applicable to their own job. Also, as Jessica said, they shouldn't be asked to create another piece of the puzzle in a production environment.

In an interview once, Dennis Bergkamp (a footballer, who plays for Arsenal in England) spoke about learning the game at Ajax, a club in Holland. He mentioned that up until the age of 12, players were made to play in every position. The purpose of this cross-training isn't so that, say, an attacker can play a defensive position if needed, but so that the attacker will know what a defensive player is thinking during a game. Incidentally, the Ajax of Bergkamp's era was one of the great teams of Europe.

I think the same philosophy applies here: designers, say, should know peripherally what's going on with the development side of things, but only enough to see the boundaries of the possible. That way, for example, they won't deliver designs that can't be produced.

Others have said enough about the current cycle leading to an eventual focus on UI and usability, which it will, once there's a "right answer" for coding a website. UI Engineers, Content Producers and Designers will give their work products to the Developers, and the Developers will make a site out of them using XHTML or the current standard at the time - doesn't matter, it's the developer's responsibility. Validators will score the resulting site, and once it passes with a 100% grade (the "right" answer), that particular job is done. God willing, that will be the end of debates like this one, and the focus will shift to user experience, which I think we all agree is more important.

One last thing in response to Chuck's comment just above: If adapting to a new standard meant starting over from scratch every time, I'd have a problem with it too. However, jumping from XHTML to the next standard should be A) a short leap, not an arduous journey; and B) a standardized process, ie. easily accomplished, possibly by tools that do it for you. That's certainly more possible if the code is written to... well, any standard.

My 7 or 8 cents.

-- Dave

25 Mar 2004 | mark said...

jueging by the recent discussions on and other blogs this discussion has had a massive impact with all the xhtml/css gurus being very defensive - which again reinforces the position of the discussion here!


26 Mar 2004 | Michael Paul said...

How refreshing. Web development is already a bit esoteric, but how much more so if attention is not paid to the user. Everything done with a website should be done with the regular users in mind first, then everything else follows.

Its like filling a jar with sand before dropping the pebbles in; nothing fits. Put in the pebbles first, the larger issues, and the sand fills in the cracks.

I'm totally feeling this post.

26 Mar 2004 | Andy Budd said...

Everything moves in cycles, including web design. CSS may be the subject du Jour, but that will change pretty soon. Once developers have settled into coding to web standards, the subject will become irrelevant. After all, when was the last time you heard a discussion about what gauge the railways should be?

DHTML was a huge buzz word in the late 90's but quickly vanished. Now Javascript is back, and defiantly looks like the new black. In 2001, everybody was talking about usability while 2002 was the year of Flash and rich internet applications.

don't worry about all the CSS talk. It doesn't mean that developers are ignoring user centred design, ROI etc. It simply means that people are in the process of moving to a new way of coding, so there is bound to be quite a lot of background chatter in the process.

27 Mar 2004 | Boyd Pearson said...

"Shouldn’t sites be getting smaller not bigger? How come everyone keeps wanting to add new sections and new pages when the ones they already have aren’t being read or looked at? "

less content - less information - ignorance is bliss ?

27 Mar 2004 | JF said...

less content - less information - ignorance is bliss ?


Better writing so less "content" is required. A lot of people/sites pile on the content cause they have a hard time getting to the point. Too much filler.

27 Mar 2004 | Jason said...


I couldn't agree with you more. I work for the Federal Government as a contractor and all I keep hearing is Web Standards this, CSS that. And I can't preach enough of Usability this, Human Factors that.

I get so sick of my clients being worried what shade of blue or purple to use on Tier 37a/z-89 to meet their ego of having a web page that "they designed" on the web. The last time I checked, I'm the person they hired to take care of that and when I give you suggestions, it's not to crush your ego, it's to help the user on the other end that pays their tax dollars to get the information they paid for.

I'm finding more and more that when I give them suggestions on better User Experience additions to the site, they say, "It's not important" or "How will that benefit the overall design?" Of course, when I explain, they just look at me with this dumb founded look and ask why we can't have cool psychedelic tiled backgrounds.

Just last week, I made some changes to the site via static and dynamic pages that would better help the user without telling my client (still in redesign phase). We'll see if I still have a job Monday.

I won't mention what agency this is, but they are big, and they affect your life more than you think.


27 Mar 2004 | Boyd Pearson said...

Better writing so less "content" is required. A lot of people/sites pile on the content cause they have a hard time getting to the point. Too much filler

How do you know what is filler? One web site user may need 10 point by point instructions on opening a can of beans and another user may not. Is not accessibility about catering for ALL.

30 Mar 2004 | andzel said...

quite right. first think about "what", then about "how". this is the way to smart design. or, the other way around: if i works, its okay, if not, its no good design. it even maybe smart technics, but who cares, in this case? ;-)

31 Mar 2004 | Robert said...

Absolutly right. This new CSS only thing is just another "Thing to be sold" to stupid people aka Managers" so you can justify your web designer job. "We´re doing web business and our content/our apps are crap but hey let´s change the design and everything will be fine and the money will roll in".

Just another fashion thing.

Design should be usable and appealing. The technic behind is absolutely second !

31 Mar 2004 | Max said...

I hear your frustration, but you should recognize that CSS is
a still a "new toy" for a lot of people -- that's why I think there's what seems to be an "idee fix" on it right now...

This temporary CSS madness is really a good thing --- those who know how to make a good UI are going to make one more easily, and those who don't may eventually figure it out after they regain conciousness.

That being said, I sometimes wonder about UI fixation, too.
It seems to me that how a person relates to an interface is based mostly on two things:

1) Experience
2) Habit

I mean, most people use windows. Are all these "people" getting all this "work done" because of the marvelous UI?
No. They have adapted themselves to the UI for the most part.
Really -- is a fishing pole good UI? Why do we use QWERTY keyboards? It's not because these keyboards are a good interface with which to enter words ...

Don't get me wrong. UI consideration is valid and important.
But it can be a distracting obsession along with other distracting obsessions.


01 Apr 2004 | Jens Meiert said...

You're absolutely right. Nonetheless, the coronation is to unite code esprit, validity, accessibility /and/ usability. Along with a well thought architecture.


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