Don’t get me wrong, I love designing websites, but providing the service to random strangers is what I hate. While talking to Erik (kartooner.com) about why we do what we do, and building standards-compliant designs, I realized a few things about my attitude about designing websites for pay.
I killed Designtopia, my site offering my web design skills as a service, because I got sick of people telling me to use marquee or blink text which are a usability nightmare for any website design, or to do anything outside what I know is the right thing to do with designs. I got sick of people emailing me and telling me to use a bright green font on a white background, which as you probably know, is very, very difficult to read.
I’m very picky, and I don’t want to make non-standards compliant or unusable website just because they pay me to. My goal is to make the web a friendlier place, not continue to facilitate 1995-like conventions that hurts the web, more than anything else.
Too many people think that because they paid you to do a design, gives them the right to email you everyday and make you do small changes on the site that you don’t like, that’s not what I do as a web designer.
You don’t tell a plumber who comes in how to fix a toilet, and you don’t tell a cabinet maker how to do his job either, so why do these people feel they can tell you what to do with their site? They don’t know better, they don’t know about usability, typography, whitespace, etc. As web designers, we’re trained in what works for a website the best, what will produce the best results, and what will help companies the most for their business. We employ tricks and semantically-correct conventions to ensure search engines like Google understands the content and gives a thumbs-up, thereby giving the site a better ranking and more exposure.
This is why I hate designing websites for random people. I’m lucky in that the past couple of projects I’ve worked on with Erik were with people that understood our talents and let us do what we do best. That’s why I figure as long as I stay amongst people who love standards-compliant designs, and work with people that want us to do our best, I’ll love designing websites.