So I read this arti­cle today from 2007:  A Web­s­mas­ter’s 19 Commandments

And while it has some great points, I dis­agree with some of it:

First, I don’t like how he keeps putting down “Design­ers” and “Cre­ative” peo­ple. I am a designer/creative and even I know the dif­fer­ence between print/web (see #6) and I know that the media is vast­ly dif­fer­ent and needs to be treat­ed as such. That is why I try and find an actu­al web com­pa­ny and work with them to bridge the gap between design/functionality and to ensure that the user “does” some­thing (See #15).

I agree with #2. That’s a no-brainer.

#7 is so true. Con­tent is KING!

Noth­ing bugs me worse than #10.

I had to relin­quish font down­loads in #9…it nev­er worked well and even the new­er “Web Font” solu­tions don’t work all the time. It’s not worth the has­sle for me or the end-viewer.

I know one major web­site I use a lot that could use the info in #12 and #13. Their drop downs are insuf­fi­cient and they have so much info/PDFs online that even when you use the “search” but­ton it does­n’t work right. They need bet­ter drop-downs and a bet­ter indexed site.

I dis­agree with #17, I believe the new HTML5 does video cross plat­form now with­out need­ing flash? Was­n’t that the whole Apple/Adobe fight? I could be wrong…I hire oth­ers for my web cre­ation now…while I han­dle the design aspect.

My old web­site used #18…I learned that the hard way.

Bot­tom line, I think you can mar­ry cre­ativ­i­ty with functionality/content, it just needs the right set of peo­ple to pull it off. Its rare that I have ever seen a suc­cess­ful major web­site that did­n’t use the best of both worlds (designers/web… peeps and even con­tent managers).

He is wrong in #4, of course adobe lis­tens to “design­ers” and a host of oth­er peo­ple. Sor­ry, but some­one needs to be in charge of uphold­ing the brand and mak­ing sure that any com­mu­ni­ca­tion that is being made con­forms to that…and usu­al­ly its designers/content managers/marketers that are involved to ensure that.

Also, it’s not that design­ers are try­ing to make a site “pret­ty”, its that they are try­ing to make some­thing that is aes­thet­i­cal­ly pleas­ing to the view­er that:
  1. won’t dri­ve them away from the gar­ish col­ors and font choic­es the com­pa­ny made,
  2. make sure it upholds the brand and upholds the mission/values of the com­pa­ny, and
  3. uses the tools we have learned from design to shape the view­ers thoughts/projections about the com­pa­ny and product.
That is what we design­ers do. Whether its print, web,or any oth­er media.
The prin­ci­pals of design that we learned, taught us that if we use these col­ors, and these tech­niques and these ele­ments that a per­son will think this way, and if we change it like so, they’ll think that way.
It’s all about mar­ry­ing what they’ll see to, hope­ful­ly, what they’ll feel.
Most times it takes a designer/creative to do that suc­cess­ful­ly. I’m not bash­ing web­mas­ters, but their minds are more analytical/logical, that these kinds of con­cepts can be hard for them to implement.(Although their are those out there that get it and can pull it off).
That is why I always think that when peo­ple are mak­ing a web site, that they should have at least three things:
  1. a con­tent manager;
  2. a graph­ic designer;
  3. a web coder/web master.
These three will work in tan­gent to ensure that:
  1. their con­tent is king;
  2. the site is pleas­ing to their audi­ence and sub­tly guides them to what the client needs them to do; and
  3. works on cross plat­forms, has no cod­ing issues and “just works”.

There are always oth­er peo­ple that can get involved if need­ed on a larg­er project: SEO rpoviders, Art Direc­tors, Mar­keters, eCom­merce man­agers, etc. But for a basic site, those three above should be it…and some­times #1 and #2 is the same per­son. Some­times #2 and #3 is the same per­son, but they need to know their “stuff”.

2 thoughts on “Websites…A disagreement

  1. So here’s my ques­tion — how would some­one get work as a copy edi­tor for web­sites? (or proof read­er) That’s my pet peeve — if a site does­n’t use gram­mar and punc­tion prop­er­ly, let alone spelling, I won’t buy from it. Part of me has a desire to reach out to sad, sad sites and offer to help them; unfor­tu­nate­ly, all too often, they refuse to see that they have prob­lems. Check out if you want to see an exam­ple. Love their prod­ucts but I can’t spend much time on the site because it makes my eyes burn.

    COPY is CREDIBILITY, folks!

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