Tiffany B. Brown

“Real Design” versus “Web Design”

From Typography on the Web: Questions for Jeffrey Zeldman — Part 2

But for the first 15 years or so, there was a definite ghetto perception in many design quarters; designers who could code, and who were willing to work in a medium limited to five or six system fonts, were perceived to be working outside of the real design field. (Design respect was reserved for people and agencies that did one-off Flash sites driven by a print or animation aesthetic, and with little to no concern for usability and accessibility.)

You can see this tension if you look at older lists from the Communication Arts Interactive Annual issue. They were usually aesthetically beautiful, but ugly as f*ck in terms of usability and utility. This, thankfully, is changing. And Zeldman is one of those folks leading the way.

Also see: Typography on the Web: Questions for Jeffrey Zeldman — Part 1

2 Responses to ““Real Design” versus “Web Design””

  1. Mary Baum says:

    I’m a reformed GoLive user, so I understand where that sentiment comes from, kind of. And I still put a premium on how stuff looks. But the whole time I was using GoLive, and building sites that were little more than collections of graphics and image maps, I also had the wit to know that my attachment to the look of type over searchability and usability was going to have to change, sooner rather than later.
    Real web development wasn’t something to look down on or snicker at. It was something to learn and aspire to.
    These days I code CSS by hand, perhaps halfway decently. But I hardly think that makes me a developer.

  2. Mary Baum says:

    I’m a reformed GoLive user, so I understand where that sentiment comes from, kind of. And I still put a premium on how stuff looks. But the whole time I was using GoLive, and building sites that were little more than collections of graphics and image maps, I also had the wit to know that my attachment to the look of type over searchability and usability was going to have to change, sooner rather than later.
    Real web development wasn’t something to look down on or snicker at. It was something to learn and aspire to.
    These days I code CSS by hand, perhaps halfway decently. But I hardly think that makes me a developer.