Are graphic designers ruining the web?

Following on nicely from the post about ‘Distributed design’, the debate about responsibility for design takes another twist, in the form of journalist and academic John Naughton Guardian article.

News analysis – Are graphic designers ruining the web? | News | Design Week.

Apart from the rather-badly framed argument for his case, I think Naughton missed another point. It’s rather designers (or Designers, with a capital D and those with the understanding and skills required) who are actually saving the web from the kind of ‘bloatware’ that wayward briefs demand, undermining  positive on-line experiences with brands and businesses.

‘Distributed design’ also has to take it’s fair share of the blame here, making it ‘easier’ to add carousels, shadow-boxes, slideshows, bells, button-styles and whistles. The result is often more like the PowerPoint presentations derided by Naughton, that we’ve all been on the receiving end of. Which is where Designers need to exercise their expertise and save us from digital sporks and feature-overload.

The key to a good online experience, distributed-designed or deliberately not, is in understanding what the audience might demand and get the most out of. So, the home page of Peter Norvig, perfect as a referencing tool for a time-pressed writer. The home page of nicewebtype just so but more inspiring, as it should be, encouraging better and easier legibility and greater distinction.

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