Eight Signs That Your Web Designer Is Full Of Baloney
I’d have to say that from my point of view from within the industry, some of the world’s biggest, most over-inflated egos belong to web designers. If you get one even half the time that has their head fastened firmly on their shoulders, you’re lucky. And I’m not just talking about penny-ante freelancers you hire on a bid site; I mean big, professional companies with clients on every continent still send out designers who blow half the rules on this list. We all go on about the many kinds of rotten clients and clueless users there are out there, but how about the people who claim to be professionals – notice nobody dares to criticize them?
1. Doesn’t know the difference between ‘web design’ and ‘graphic design’.
Yes, web pages are partly visual in nature. To run it past that point any farther is to risk having your site drawn – literally – by a third-tier Photoshop-slopper who will then cut the image of the page into chunks to display on your site. Went out of vogue in 1998.
2. Spends more than five minutes discussing fonts.
Helvetica. There, we’re done. There’s about ten fonts out there that are safe for all platforms and browsers, only three of which should even be considered for the web page’s main body content. For some bizarre reason, “web typography” has become the domain of the most stuck-up, overbearing divas to ever walk on water, all of whom demand that a chorus of cherubs scatter rose petals in their path wherever they go. And they have no shame in making the most pompous ass of themselves possible, for basically making what should be a one-minute decision accessible to any two-year-old who can chew with his mouth shut.
3. Hangs the moon and stars on Adobe software.
Anybody who raves about Adobe’s “high-quality” software is to be regarded with suspicion. Adobe is a ruthless monopoly who drove everyone else out of business; they are the standard today for this reason alone. True designers use Adobe if there’s nothing else around.
4. Designs for Internet Explorer ONLY.
Yes, these people still exist. They’re dying out, but not quite fast enough.
5. He insists on using nothing but minimalist elements on pure white background, or he walks.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, black text on white space is popular. But it’s not the case every single time. Some sites do better with a black background, some do better with more visual input, some do better with more style and pizazz to them. Some sites are better off looking like a space ship or an old movie theater or a hacker terminal. Anybody who insists on making every site be a clone of the first one they teach you to do in design school is an insecure coward who can’t do anything else.
6. The first sentence out of his mouth contains the phrase ‘intuitive interface’.
Like web typography, ‘interface design’ becomes a deadly sin if you over-think it too much, and more than five minutes is ‘too much’. There are books and blogs and magazines and videos devoted to nothing but yapping on and on about interface design, and we know precisely zero more than we did know before they all started talking about it.
7. He’s critical of Google, steers you to Bing.
Shill. Stay far away. Even people who work for Microsoft use Google over Bing.
8. He does not have a concept of ‘character encoding’.
So he puts Unicode elements on a page declared to be Western ISO 8859-1. He pastes your Norwegian text into a page using Western Windows-1252. When you ask him about character encoding, he goes “What?” No, really, when you go to a web page and see those black diamonds with a question mark in them or those square blocks with a four-digit number in them, and the rest of the web looks normal and you’re looking at a page that should be in your language? That’s the web designer’s fault.
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