Roger Black on Design.
July 20, 2000 10:03 AM   Subscribe

Roger Black on Design. MacAddict put up an interview with Roger Black from their August 2000 issue. There are a couple of interesting points as in his take on transitioning from print to web:
"I think that the main thing is pretty much to work as you would in print design. A good designer always focuses on the reader or the customer, the viewer, whatever the end-user is. You just have to do that on the Net the same way you do in print.... I do not believe that the technological hurdles are that big. It doesn't seem to me that big of a deal.... Most of the stuff we do on the Web is not particularly difficult. Almost anybody, particularly anybody under thirty growing up in our society has enough technological culture to work with it. Don't get scared. It’s not that big of a deal."
posted by leo (7 comments total)
A quote from the article: "Perhaps our most successful media job has been"

Ugh. MSNBC's design has kept me away from that site for years, with its banner ads in the middle of stories and unnecessary graphics. The front page looks like a plane ticket. This is what he brags about?
posted by rcade at 10:46 AM on July 20, 2000

I don't know. Looks fine to me. Wish I had a plane ticket that looked like that. Most of the plane tickets I get look like Excel spreadsheets.
posted by leo at 11:12 AM on July 20, 2000

WHEW! This thread wont be as bad as the Last Roger Black one (glad I missed it).

Maybe it's my original origins in print and ad layouts that I seem to understand where he's coming from. A monkey can make a web page... Internet Explorer comes with "FrontPage Express", Netscape comes with "Composer"... It's really not rocket science to make tables and add pictures and text.

Now if you want cross-browser compatibility, CSS, backend programming and interactivity(al la CGI, SSI, C++, etc)... that takes time to develop and learn. Having an eye for colors and layouts don't hurt either. But again, I don't believe there's a person on the planet that can't do it, if they really want to take the time and learn. (sorry professional folk!) :0)

As far as MSNBC.Com, their layouts are usually the most sought-after, inspired and (dare I say) ripped-off layouts in the design realm. I know one of their layouts (where the menu went up the left side and arched across?) was used all over (including XOOM).

Of course, a major turnoff is their Microsoft nepotism... but I guess that's where the "MSN" in comes from, huh?

Well, the "N" is kinda shared between the two companies, but you get my point, right?
posted by CyberPal at 9:34 PM on July 20, 2000

The "N" has a UN-mandated line of demarcation manned by blue-helmeted observers.

I dunno. MSNBC is kinda TV-like, but that's the intent and probably part of its success. I don't think they're going for the obscure European design awards, here.
posted by dhartung at 11:53 PM on July 20, 2000

A monkey can make a web page...

Anyone can design a print publication, too -- fooling around with the basic features of desktop publishing software isn't any more complex than fooling around with a Web editor.

Personally, I think that becoming a good Web designer is much more difficult than becoming a good print designer. You don't have WYSIWYG, the Web is interactive, the audience sees your work on widely different software and platforms supporting different HTML, CSS and scripting, and you constantly have to keep up with new browser upgrades, new technology, and new content delivery methods.

After fumbling my way around both mediums, redesigning a college newspaper and publishing Web sites for four years, I think the Web is far more challenging. I don't see where Black is coming from, unless he's trying to coax reluctant print designers into trying Web design.
posted by rcade at 7:41 AM on July 21, 2000

I haven't read the full Black piece, since it's being blocked by the Evil Corporate Firewall. If he's saying that the technological challenge of HTML isn't too high for somebody who understands graphic design, I'd say he has a point. As someone who has come to web publishing from the technology side, I find creating an attractive, useful layout much more complicated than coding that layout into HTML. If he's saying that web pages should be designed in exactly the same way as print pages, I'll have to disagree. Each medium has its own sets of limitations, advantages, and tradeoffs, although I wouldn't necessarily presume that one is inherently more difficult than the other.
posted by harmful at 8:06 AM on July 21, 2000

it's being blocked by the Evil Corporate Firewall

They block MacAddict but not Metafilter? Now which is more detrimental to productivity?
posted by daveadams at 9:25 AM on July 21, 2000

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