Matt Gifford aka coldfumonkeh | Consultant Developer
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Web Designers working with Print Designers

Nov 28, 2008

I found this on twitter, courtesy of Andrew Duck, who found this gem on

If you're a web designer working alongside print designers with little to no web design/dev knowledge, how is your experience?

Teeth-grindingly annoying.

Print-turned-web designers:

  • Learn the medium you're working in. A five minute video of even the best print advert makes for a lousy TV advert. Likewise, techniques and habits refined by years of print design are often sub-optimal or flatly counter-productive when applied to the web.
  • For the love of god, give up on pixel-perfect positioning and learn to appreciate flow layout. Sure, it makes design harder... but if you think designing flow layouts is hard, think about us poor schmucks who have to implement the damn things. And if you think flow layouts are ugly, let's see how good your precious pixel-perfect design works when I do something freakishly unusual like resize my browser window.
  • Print pages are Things To Look At. Web sites are Things To Use. Prioritising aesthetics over usability or functionality is like putting a car steering wheel in the middle of the dashboard "because it looks nicer there". You think it's pretty and a real design coup, but everyone else is laughing at your idiocy (... or swearing at it if the design ever gets into production). Incidentally, I swear if I get one more design through with a "button" image but no pressed button image (or "link" style but no "active/hover/visited" link style) I will personally bite off your head and defecate into your body-cavity. You have been warned.
  • Conventions are not boring - conventions are your friend. Putting light-switches near doors is a convention. Sure, putting them square in the middle of the ceiling is innovative, but then so is cheesegrating your knees (hey - do you know anyone who's done it?). Innovative means "nobody else is doing it". Accept the possibility that nobody else is doing it because it's a fucking stupid idea.
  • I don't want to "explore the interface". I want to get in, do my shit and get out again. If you think forcing users to explore the interface is such a good idea, try ripping the labels off all the cans of food in your cupboard. A couple of meals of cat-food, chilli and peaches should demonstrate exactly how "fun" this is.

Been there. Done it. Bashed head against desk many times. I am not alone.

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