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The Employable Web Designer
June 28, 2008 1:07 AM   Subscribe

The Employable Web Designer ― Andy Rutledge at Design View constructs a list of suggestions to help aspiring designers better craft their own preparedness and, if necessary, adjust their degree plans toward a more effective and responsive result in the web design field. (previously)

It is important to note that tools do not make the designer.
posted by netbros (39 comments total) 43 users marked this as a favorite

 
He missed out Sheesh.
posted by davemee at 2:15 AM on June 28, 2008 [7 favorites]


Oh, come now. It wasn't that bad.

With 12 years in the field, I can tell you that most of what he listed is genuinely a good idea to be proficient with, but on differing levels. Half of what he lists is applicable primarily to managers and freelancers, and the other half applies to all web programmers but is often not emphasized in a Comp Sci degree.
posted by mystyk at 2:23 AM on June 28, 2008


Want to know what has worked for me?

A...I...D...A.

Attrition--have they shot down your ideas?
Indifference--have their revisions killed your enthusiasm?
Delay--is there an interesting game to play instead?
...and Alarm (fuck, that deadline just blew past, didn't it?)

And with 20 years in the field, yeah, his list isn't bad. Unless you're phenomenal and can prove it, don't expect more money than I make straight out of school, either, you smug little git.
posted by maxwelton at 3:15 AM on June 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Adding in to the existing comments, artistic fundamentals is something entirely skipped in most Computer Science programs. It's funny to see this on the list presented here, yet missing in spirit from virtually every "Web Designer" job out there (except for the jobs that want one person to be the magical combination of a graphic artist and an application coder - like a unicorn).

But then again, if you want to be a visual designer, Computer Science is not (strictly) the right program for you. It's probably too intense and irrelevant for your career needs.

Actually, if you want a stable career, get out of the trades and focus on management. I'm not saying that you have to be an office drone with zero technical prowess (it will be important for you to understand the technology you oversee, if not directly work with it). There is a high demand for effective and highly competent leaders, especially in the tech field and in the creative universe. Project managers, client managers and senior salespeople make a lot of things happen, are as important to the process as any coder/illustrator/tinkerer, and make more money than anyone else in the office. Plus, people in those professions eventually end up either in the executives' offices or running their own startups. Something to consider when laying out your coursework.

Don't expect anyone in the education field to help you with this. Comp Sci professors have no idea about marketing, advertising, communications, and productivity applications. They're too busy trying to teach you how to write a parser in Solaris assembler code. If you focus only on that, you'll always be serving someone else who needs things built, at their convenience.
posted by brianvan at 3:21 AM on June 28, 2008


I've met quite a few web designers who can neither draw, nor have great computer skills. They are all absolute pants, who make shit websites using the default assets that come with Flash, and have all ended up working in cubicle farms.
posted by autodidact at 4:01 AM on June 28, 2008


Adding in to the existing comments, artistic fundamentals is something entirely skipped in most Computer Science programs.

Here is the basic flaw: anyone can learn rogramming. Artistic fundamentals, on the other hand, cannot be taught, only improved on. The very idea that a code monkey can be taught how to think creatively like an artist is absurd.

Until "web design" moves out of "computer science" and into hands of artists and graphic designers - to people with a natural talent for design - web design will continue to suck.
posted by three blind mice at 4:41 AM on June 28, 2008


anyone can learn rogramming programming.

Spelling remains a challenge for some of us...
posted by three blind mice at 4:42 AM on June 28, 2008


Here is the basic flaw: anyone can learn rogramming. Artistic fundamentals, on the other hand, cannot be taught, only improved on. The very idea that a code monkey can be taught how to think creatively like an artist is absurd.

Is that you, Bizarro Paul Graham?
posted by mhoye at 6:00 AM on June 28, 2008 [4 favorites]


Artistic fundamentals taste and cleverness, on the other hand, cannot be taught, only improved on. The very idea that a code monkey anyone can be taught how to think creatively like an artist is absurd.

FTFY
posted by blasdelf at 6:15 AM on June 28, 2008


The list didn't emphasize communication enough. Now that I've been through a bunch of web design jobs and worked with various groups over the last 13 years, I've realized the people that got the farthest had the best natural eye for design, but also they were really good and attentive at writing email to other staffers. Heck, you could be a so-so programmer and a marginal designer and get really high up in big companies if you just know when and how best to talk to others (usually over email, but face-to-face as well).
posted by mathowie at 6:33 AM on June 28, 2008


I hate to break it to you, three blind mice, but there are a whole hell of a lot of people who can't be taught to program. A lot of them emerge from bachelor's or even master's degree CS programs. And they all seem to interview where I work.
posted by jepler at 6:38 AM on June 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


...and Alarm (fuck, that deadline just blew past, didn't it?)


"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by. "
posted by Webbster at 7:09 AM on June 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


anyone can learn rogramming

Sure, anyone can learn (p)rogramming. But not everyone can do programming. Just like anyone can learn math, or biology, or law, and yet we are not a nation of doctor-lawyer-mathematicians. Know why? Because knowing is bupkiss. Doing, on the other hand, is a whole 'nother matter. Doing successfully even harder. And doing, successfully, repeatedly... well, that's the hardest part of all.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:19 AM on June 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


three blind mice:
Here is the basic flaw: anyone can learn programming.

Anyone can learn color theory, the fundamentals of type, and some basic rules of proportion and layout. These skills are not even remotely as hard as many designers would like to think; four or five good books and you can get them down pat. Having learned them, you can churn out crap to almost-competent screens, but you won't be a great or even good designer. That comes from drive, experience, a commitment to lifelong learning and yes some bit of natural talent.

Similarly, anyone can indeed learn to program. They will churn out utterly shit to almost-competent code (depending on whether they kept reading after "A Beginners Guide to PHP"), that will almost certainly be impossible for anyone else to read, understand or fix when it fails catastrophically and brings down the server / gets pwned / loses the 2Q results. To become a good programmer, you need drive, experience, a commitment to lifelong learning and some bit of natural talent.
posted by xthlc at 7:27 AM on June 28, 2008 [5 favorites]


It is important to note that tools do not make the designer.

When hiring designers, one of my favorite things to do is to ask them to design something using only a pencil or Pagemaker. The look on their faces is priceless.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:57 AM on June 28, 2008


Do it because you enjoy it, and everything else falls into place.

Richard St. John's 8 Secrets to Success (video)
posted by kindel at 8:34 AM on June 28, 2008


I have to agree with xthlc. So many assume that artistic ability has to be innate, but its all based on principles and skills that can be taught. Natural talent helps, sure, but it does in any field.

Web design is weird. It falls in that weird space between artistic and technical. Having just the mind to learn both can be difficult. Hey left brain! Enjoy some right brain activities for a while!

To top it off, there seems to be confusion of where the line is drawn for the developer/programmer to start. I just recently went through this looking at various "web designer" salary surveys. Some consider it strictly the design end - creating the overall look and feel in your graphics programs, and that's it. Others consider it all the way from design creation to programming/scripting. Then there is myself, who designs, does xhtml and css, and hands the dynamic stuff off to developers, which seems to be what the article describes.

I think the author is spot on though. It seems obvious, but I've known so many designers that fail to grasp these things. I work with 25 other designers/producers (which is our web design-lite title) and about a gajillion web programmers - it amazes me how many don't understand things like writing search engine friendly html or considering the usability of a page. Sure, we have people that are specialists in that in other departments, but very few of our web builders understand when our SEO team asks for changes, they're not trying to ruin your design.

And while I've turned this into a rant, let me continue. Communication! So many designers do not understand how to communicate why they've designed something they did. How can you explain to a client why your design will suit their needs if you can't? Or if they're asking for something that is just a bad idea, they lack the ability to explain why it would cause problems to the client. As an example, I just had a designer bitching to me about how a client was asking to use a really ugly photo. Upon looking at it, I realized the problem was that the photo was clearly out of date, old hair styles, pants jacked up to the chest, etc. . . I suggested she ask the client if she could replace it with a similar but more modern photo and explaining at what points that image fails. She ends up sending them an email saying its ugly and of course the client who suggested it disagrees!

I suppose, a lot of this is self evident for any field. Learn your craft, learn business skills, learn how to communication, and learn the skills that aren't directly related to your daily job duties but what can effect your job.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 8:37 AM on June 28, 2008


Here is the basic flaw: anyone can learn programming.

If that's true, why do I encounter so many art-school "web designers" who have zero comprehension as to the limitations of HTML/CSS/PHP/JS/etc.?

They make these real nice pictures, but then they have no idea how to make them into web pages other than by slicing them up and laying them in a table. Or they just throw it in Flash, but they have zero concept as to how to make Flash accessible (despite everything they've done from Flash CS2 onward to bake in accessibility).

The best web designers I know either began as web geeks and then got some art school, or they're classical web generalists who had solid fundamentals and eventually faked their way through design. Every once in a while you see a Richard Rutter, someone who started in design and then learned (and understood) why The Web Is Not Print, but I still see so many designers unable to grasp that The Web Is Not Print.

Thing is, though, all that "design training" three blind mice is ranting about? Anyone can learn that, too. I'm entirely self-taught (being an old-school web generalist from the days of Mosaic, y'all), but in order to improve my skills I had to read a ton on typography and color theory. Thing is, because I already had years of experience, it just augmented my skills. I would never call myself a designer, but I know enough to carry on a conversation with a real designer without sounding like a complete imbecile, and I know enough to shut up and let them talk.

And see, that's what makes a good web designer -- someone who can not only communicate their vision, but can also get the client to communicate their vision too. They know what questions to ask. They know to ask them. They know to anticipate, but in doing so not look like they're wasting the client's time on pointless things.

But most of all, they understand the tools and they understand the issues. When someone says "accessibility," they don't poo-poo it, they say it's important and demonstrate how their design is accessible. When someone says "usability," they don't wave their hands like it's magic, they show the hard data from usability tests and card sorts and other research (especially if it's the client doing the work).

That's what I'm looking for -- someone who is well-rounded and has applied them effectively. And if they're not, they're eager to BE well-rounded and want to apply ALL their skills.
posted by dw at 8:53 AM on June 28, 2008 [4 favorites]


I've done the whole thing, from picking out the colors and creating a look to the installation of the OS on the server on which the site would be hosted, and while most web designers do not need that full range, I completely disagree with the separation of design from the code. You know, that whole "I made this in Photoshop, make it into a website" thing.

After all, you don't have someone who doesn't know the first thing about construction, materials strengths, and whatnot draw you a building they'd like to see, then hand it to a construction crew. Yet that happens so often in web design it's not even funny. "Oh, umm, where's the handicapped access? And I know you don't like them, but we really do need columns in here. Yes, it breaks the design, but otherwise the whole floor comes crashing down."

Granted, I have done a lot of fancy dancing, but some designs (and requested "behaviors") do not easily lend themselves to things like accessibility (We just want a pulldown, no button, so when they select something, it just goes there. Fine, but what about your users without Javascript?) or search engine optimization. (Oh, you want the top to be a lot of pictures, and the actual words at the bottom? Welcome to the hell of positioning, because search engines rank text further down in the HTML as less important.) There's only so many times you can explain that CSS is not so hot at vertical alignment, and that you don't have variable names for colors before you just want to throw the whole thing into tables and put it up on Geocities in its full blinking, popup-laden glory.
posted by adipocere at 9:00 AM on June 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


If that's true, why do I encounter so many art-school "web designers" who have zero comprehension as to the limitations of HTML/CSS/PHP/JS/etc.?

They make these real nice pictures, but then they have no idea how to make them into web pages other than by slicing them up and laying them in a table. Or they just throw it in Flash, but they have zero concept as to how to make Flash accessible (despite everything they've done from Flash CS2 onward to bake in accessibility).


Same reason so many comp-sci web designers can't design for shit. They're not taught it. Which is kind of the point of the article. You really need to learn all these aspects if you expect to do well in the field, and you may need to do it inspite of your schools programs. Some will lean more towards the design side, some the markup/scripting side. But its still a balancing act, and if you can't do both, at some point you're not going to get where you want to be in your career as a web designer.

I think the reason there are so many "generalists" from the old days that do well is that many of us didn't go to school for it, we dove in and figured out for ourselves that we need to learn a little bit of everything to succeed. In essence, we created our own coursework, and we created it based on real life/work experiences. That's how I did it, that's how many others I know did it. And the traditionally trained web designers either in comp-sci or art school that do well learn this on the job and quickly learn what they're missing. The others, on both the technical and artistic side, fail. I can't tell you the number of programmers who I work with that look down their nose at designers, yet can't write an XHTML standard complaint page to save their lives.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 9:22 AM on June 28, 2008


IMO, any list of things you need to have a passing understanding of in order to practice web design in which neither the word server nor the word network occurs once is more a list of things you need to have a passing understanding of in order to make multimedia CD-ROMs in 1992.

It's a good list otherwise (other than "branding", which can probably be expressed in a single sentence and which most media-savvy college kids probably already understand intuitively these days) but that is a hell of an omission. A designer who can't think about the aspects of the interaction which can be improved by specifying operations on the server side is partially disengaged with the problem.
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 9:22 AM on June 28, 2008


Here is the basic flaw: anyone can learn programming. Artistic fundamentals, on the other hand, cannot be taught, only improved on. The very idea that a code monkey can be taught how to think creatively like an artist is absurd.
Having had to clean up the ass code written by 'creative types' who thought that 'anyone can learn to program,' I have to chuckle.

Anyone can learn to program, anyone can learn artistic fundamentals. Girls can learn math and boys can cook, too! That doesn't mean that each person has the same natural inclinations, and natural talents and interests that lead them to develop skills in a particular direction, but this "anyone can do X, it takes a GIFTED person to do Y" crap is and always will be conceit.
posted by verb at 11:36 AM on June 28, 2008


Having had to clean up the ass code written by 'creative types' who thought that 'anyone can learn to program,' I have to chuckle.
In the interest of fairness, I've also had to clean up the hellish designs foisted upon clients by programmers who thought they could design...
posted by verb at 11:37 AM on June 28, 2008


Artistic fundamentals, on the other hand, cannot be taught, only improved on.

Well, thank you, Three Blind Mice. I will now go and burn all my attempts at learning to draw, create music, or in general be creative. It is obvious to me now that someone on the internet thinks I'm nothing more than a mechanical tool and should only speak in a robotic monotone for the remainder of my days. I will remember that the fact I have never tried to show any attempts at art I do to someone is not the fact that I don't do it well and that a lot of people think that 'creative criticism' means 'tearing someone's work down', but that I am nothing more than a mechanical drone unfit for service in Sector 7-G.

I go now to my place in existance, to toil mechanically until such time as I am called upon to mechanically process your corpse into a small box for internment.

<>
posted by mephron at 12:01 PM on June 28, 2008


(there's supposed to be the word SARCASM between those angle-brackets.)
posted by mephron at 12:02 PM on June 28, 2008


Lets see, how does the cliche go? Ah, yes....
"As a newly minted design graduate, I'm really getting a kick out of these replies."

Theoretically, I'm this guy's ideal entry level candidate.
- Professional Interaction Skills? Yes, I can do that well.
- Foundational Craft? I like to think so, yes.
- Business Understanding? My degree is in marketing as much as design.
- Technology and web craft skills? My portfolio site is in my profile.

Now, I know the obvious risks of claiming any skill while writing on metafilter; but my own horrific ignorance and glaring deficiencies aside, my point is that I'm still unimployed.

Yeah, these are the things Andy Rutledge thinks I should know, but if these are really the skills an employer is looking for, I should have been able to con someone into hireing me by now.
posted by Richard Daly at 1:15 PM on June 28, 2008


Yeah, these are the things Andy Rutledge thinks I should know, but if these are really the skills an employer is looking for, I should have been able to con someone into hireing me by now.

A) You just graduated, be patient.

B) At least in my area, most employers are looking for experienced designers right now. I'm sure in any market, you're going to find at least a portion of employers that want you to have real world experience. Sucks being a graduate.

C) Your site doesn't show any real knowledge of usability. I had to randomly click around to figure out where to go, and where I wanted to click, the text on the right, doesn't do anything.

D) You've got a non-traditional resume.

E) Your code is atrocious. Yes, you look to be using divs over tables, but that's about all the good I can say about it. No self closing br tags, no semantic html, mixing presentation and content. CSS classes and ids relating to the attribute they use, not describing what they are.

F) Check your spelling. If you had any communication with employers with your spelling, that's bound to turn them off.

I don't mean to pick on you, especially since you're expertise seems to be in graphic/print design and not web design. However, this just serves as a perfect example of what is being discussed here. You've got some design chops, but are lacking in other areas that are equally important to employers looking for a web designer.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 2:14 PM on June 28, 2008


Part of the problem, too, is that traditional print-oriented graphic designers are being forced into web design simply to be able to keep paying the bills. Thus, you have an influx of people who have had to pick-up some basic web skills on-the-fly just to remain conversant, let alone be able to actually do the work. Unfortunately, as many have observed, this results in a lot of either bad design or horrid code. Often both.

Personally, I'm not sold on the ultimate efficacy of the jack-of-all-trades designer/developer, but that's certainly the requirement for most any graphic design job that gets posted anymore.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:55 PM on June 28, 2008


Personally, I'm not sold on the ultimate efficacy of the jack-of-all-trades designer/developer, but that's certainly the requirement for most any graphic design job that gets posted anymore.

I'm certainly not sold on it. A jack of all trades may be good for smaller scale projects, but when you get into large agency projects you really need to divide the labor. The best web-focused designers I know can barely markup a lick of HTML, and that's fine. They have little to no experience with scripting and certainly do not know how to program. So what can they do?

They can design award winning web sites, year after year, because they are allowed to focus on their craft. Sure, some of them do motion graphics, 3D, or packaging design too, but their bread and butter is web design.

They certainly understand some of the limits of the medium, but when they do concept work they always ask the folks that are actually building the site if x is possible. Luckily the folks building the stuff are equally skilled in their own disciplines, so from that they have learned how certain technologies fit together and how it impacts a project.

Overall, the blog post gives a good outline for the ideal. Building all of the skills that are mentioned will require years of professional experience, so any aspiring web designers out there need to get crackin'.
posted by ryoshu at 3:32 PM on June 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


If that's true, why do I encounter so many art-school "web designers" who have zero comprehension as to the limitations of HTML/CSS/PHP/JS/etc.?

Because they should be teaching these things at art/design school instead of teaching art/design to computer "science" students.

As some football coach once said "You cannot coach speed."

Computer "scientists" will never be graphic designers, but most if not all designers can learn enough HTML/CSS/XML to make due.
posted by three blind mice at 3:34 PM on June 28, 2008


Well, we've hit the "repeat your baseless assertions" point of the discussion, so I think we can safely move on to the next thread.
posted by verb at 3:57 PM on June 28, 2008


Computer "scientists" will never be graphic designers

Computer scientists often move into the fields of interface design, information design and UI work instead of going into graphic design. I'm sure if I ask around I can find some CompSci people that do really good graphic design. There might even be a few here in the blue.
posted by ryoshu at 4:07 PM on June 28, 2008


As some football coach once said "You cannot coach speed."

Yes, but I've seen plenty of players in my time who think speed is enough. They never learn how to catch or run a complex route. Worse still, they outrun the QB's arm, leaving them vulnerable to interceptions. Or if they're running backs, they get to the line too quickly, smack into their own line, and go nowhere.

OTOH, I've seen some receivers with mediocre speed last for years in the NFL. Why? Because they have skills besides speed. They can catch in traffic. They can improvise on busted plays. They run routes and run them crisply. They know how to create separation. Or they're like Steve Largent or Jerry Rice -- endurance runners with the ball.

My point is this: You can't coach artistic talent. But I've seen some very talented artists who are awful web designers because they don't get the web. They don't understand how the medium works. They create sites that aren't semantic, aren't usable, aren't accessible. In some cases, they're worse than the ones the life-long Java programmer whipped out.

And most of these talented artists couldn't program their way out of a paper bag. I'm sorry, but it's true. A programming mind is not an artistic mind. Rarely you get a visual thinker who can do both, but you don't know how many people I've heard over the years say they can do one but not the other. And usually it comes down to understanding CSS on a deep level that most designers are not willing to acquire.

Honestly, if you think designers can grok HTML/CSS/PHP/JS easily, then you've never been in the trenches with these guys. There's a good reason why large web design houses have things broken between design and development -- knowing enough of everything to get by is hard. And in the good design houses, you have someone on either side who knows CSS backwards and forwards and has the ability to say, "No, that won't work" and suggest an alternative. I'm surprised how many old web generalists I've known have now found themselves in the creative director chair just because they know enough of each to get by.

So, yeah. Design is hard. Development is hard. CSS is hard. Don't gainsay that by suggesting any of it is easy. If it were, then Zeldman lionizing hand-coding HTML would sound like some nutjob lionizing farming before the seed drill.
posted by dw at 4:08 PM on June 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


They certainly understand some of the limits of the medium, but when they do concept work they always ask the folks that are actually building the site if x is possible. Luckily the folks building the stuff are equally skilled in their own disciplines, so from that they have learned how certain technologies fit together and how it impacts a project.

See, that's the thing -- great web designers work with great web people. This comes back to the need for communication skills as a designer. Back to the "you can't teach speed" thing, a speedy receiver is useless if he can't get along with the QB or learn how to catch his passes. It's not about hucking the ball up there and hoping the wideouts catch it. It's about timing, it's about touch, it's about the arc of the ball. And a good receiver practices continually with his QB. And that receiver is also relying on the RB selling the play fake, or the other receiver on his side peeling the FS off the double team, or on the guards and tackles maintaining the pocket long enough for the QB to throw.

A good designer has skills. A great designer has people.
posted by dw at 4:16 PM on June 28, 2008


Computer "scientists" will never be graphic designers

No, but they're making twice as much as interaction designers and usability consultants, so why would they want to do graphic design?

but most if not all designers can learn enough HTML/CSS/XML to make due.

If this were true, then the web wouldn't be filled with inaccessible, unusable crap that was very pretty and obviously done by a graphic designer.

Again, CSS is hard. I know hardcore programmers who won't touch the stuff. And that doesn't even take into account dealing trying to support IE.
posted by dw at 4:25 PM on June 28, 2008


Happy to see with 12 years of professional web and graphic design under my belt, I'm still employable! Now, to the eternal debate between developers and designers.

If a designer is not willing to a) learn, or b) understand and turn to the project's advantage, or at least c) gracefully give in to, the restraints of the medium he's designing for, he's, simply put, a stubborn designer. (And consequently, not a very good one).

A few enlightened folks out there are actually pushing the media a bit over what are their supposed limitations, and those are small but precious advancements for the craft as a whole. And notice: I'm not even talking about "web".

If this were true, then the web wouldn't be filled with inaccessible, unusable crap that was very pretty and obviously done by a graphic designer.

Usability is at the basis of design. Any design. So is accessibility. The signage system of an airport, a newspaper, your car user manual have to have usability and accessibility WAY higher than your average website. Guess what? They're done by graphic designers.

Inaccessible, unusable websites are not the designers' fault. They're the bad designers' fault, because if you're designing something (again, not talking about the web specifically) that's impossible to understand or navigate, then you're not doing design, you're doing decoration, which is per se a respectable activity, but a wholly different thing altogether.

And, CSS are hard? Why? Is there someone even thinking to go back to table layouts like we were in 1998 (cringe)?
posted by _dario at 5:54 PM on June 28, 2008


Finally a thread where I can use my MFA for something besides a dart board. (I kid, I had it laminated and I use it as a placemat at the dinner table)

The design examples you mention here is what, at great risk of personal peril, I will call true scotsman graphic design. (signage, newspaper, etc)

These things are systematic, solve actual real-world problems*, and generally do something.

The design concepts I've seen from big wig design agencies always look like illustrations in which the illustrator was forced to drop in some menus or buttons against their will. I think this particular problem plagues the entire field. Most "designers" are actually just frustrated artists whose parents guilted them about never finding a job.

This is why you get pretty photoshop pictures which will never ever work as a web site.

* I had soooo many art profs who spoke about 'solving problems' in your work, it made me want to yarf. Deciding if blue is the right color for your expression is not a problem. It's an option. Silly artists.
posted by device55 at 7:59 AM on June 29, 2008


Deciding if blue is the right color for your expression is not a problem. It's an option.

True. But designing the graphics for a set of controls so that the important ones are emphasized properly, that the logical groupings are obvious, and that it's clear at a glance what all of those controls will do -- for example -- is a design problem, not just a bunch of artsy-fartsy options.

It's a shame that so many people -- designers and non-designers alike -- confuse "design" with "decoration," and you're quite right that too many real-world web designs are just decoration with some widgets on top. But that's the fault of bad designers, not of design as a profession.
posted by ook at 10:37 AM on June 29, 2008


[Richard Daly: not to pile on, but you should really consider rewriting those descriptions on your portfolio -- most of them read like "deliberately obscure art student", not "responsible businesslike designer". Instead of talking about what fun it is to ink a fish, or cracking wise about freedom fries, talk about how each design meets the client's needs, and how each design expresses what it needs to express about that client.

The description of the oil bottle labels is almost perfect (though "stoic" isn't how I'd describe those colorful labels). The rest need a lot of work. ("It's The Balm" is especially bewildering -- other than being a terrible pun, what is it supposed to mean? Who's it supposed to appeal to? And what's it supposed to communicate? If anything it reads like a pro-war message, not anti-war as in your description. Muddled != intriguing.)

And ditto most everything clever-name-here said re mystery navigation, the nonstandard "resume", and your html.]
posted by ook at 11:02 AM on June 29, 2008


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