How Originality Kills You

April 8th, 2011

Sorry to burst your bubble, but trying to be original or as unique a snowflake as you can be isn’t going to get you anywhere.

Basically, don’t try to reinvent the wheel with your projects. You will probably be stuck on trying to create something completely original and totally miss the objectives of the design issue at hand. »

Why design education needs to change

March 8th, 2011

Most web design and “new media” schools teach tools, not design. Or to put it another way, they teach tools—not designers. This is something I’ve been mulling over for the past year or two and so I had a lot to spill in my comment on Les James’ post Pursuing the How Instead of the Why on Media Two Point Oh. Les’s post is one of a few recent readings* that put my dissatisfaction with my education into perspective. The following is basically the content of my comment: »

What makes a good web developer?

December 3rd, 2010

While the experience is still fresh in my mind, I will write a bit about what got me thinking “what makes a good web developer?” and answer that question.

Many times over the last two years I’ve had to work with the code of other developers. I always find something wrong with it, even beyond any specific issues I’ve been asked to fix. Does that make me the better developer? Maybe. I’d like to think so, and hope it’s not just ego. There are always a few ways to do something, but there is usually a better way or a best way, which is what I aim for. »

Don’t forget critique and review

May 8th, 2010

Over the last few years, my web design process has distilled into something that I would call efficient and effective. It usually goes something like:

  • Gather info and research
  • Content layout & site architecture
  • Sketch and wireframe
  • Photoshop!
  • Cut and code
  • Test and launch

That’s a pretty simplified version, but you get the idea. For a more detailed process, here are two outlines that I admire:

These are all good but I think they overlook an important step: critique and review. For example, Grip Limited includes a note on their jobs section (scroll down) about how important peer review / critique is in their process. »

Analogy for Web Standards

April 10th, 2010

I was watching an episode of Holmes on Homes today and found myself relating a lot of the things Mike says to my own profession. You may know that he likes to “make it right”. Well, so do I. And that’s why it disheartens me to see shoddy code on a site that someone paid for. »