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Jeff Croft on Web Design

Published by Chris Coyier

I would say my biggest pet peeve related to the industry would be people focusing on technology instead of design, standards instead of users, and validation rather than innovation. Web standards and best practices are noble goals, but all too often in our community people forget they are a means to an end, not the end itself.

Well said, Jeff.

From a post about web design pet peeves.


  1. Standards are an elitist's pursuit. But the *true* elite find a balance between standards and a good user experience.

  2. Sorry to differ, but I don't think web standards are a noble goal. In my opinion, they are more of a precondition for good web design, not a goal. This off course only confirms that they are nothing more than means to an end, how Jeff puts it.

  3. You just made my day. I sometimes get tired of folks flaunting their technical skills to puff themselves up instead of focusing on making useful, useable, pleasing sites. I hope they're just youngsters who will get a clue in due time. Maybe it's natural for web developers to pass through a phase where they're caught up in playing with the technology for its own sake.

  4. I think what he is saying is if you have 8 hours to work on a project, that time is better spent thinking about your users, their needs, their experience, rather than heads-down fixing validation errors. If that validation error is hurting user experience, then by all means, get to it!

  5. Permalink to comment#

    This quote makes sense but please support this quote with some example.

  6. Well said indeed, it bugs me when people put things like AJAX and effects into sites just to say they used Javascript. If it aint broke, don't fix it. You can create just as good a site using XHTML, Photoshop and CSS. And spending more time on this (the WAY the content is presented, rather than by which method) should make for a better user experience, which is, after all, the main aim of a website – to serve users.

  7. OK, Lets compare building a website to building a chair. A carpenter can make a chair pleasing to the eye and to the touch, comfortable to sit on but still poorly crafted (weak connections, wrong screws, cheap materials, what do I now, I'm not a carpenter…). In that case it would still be considered a sub-optimal piece of work. The same applies in any craft, and I think it holds true for web design, too.

    Now if out of time or budget constraints the carpenter or the web designer has to resort to delivering sub optimal results, that's a different story.

  8. Permalink to comment#

    Development pet peave: Contextualizing an app built from another culture to work with people in my culture.

  9. Simon B
    Permalink to comment#

    Well said. Am I mistaken, or does Jeff's site have brown text on a brown background? Not to criticise, but if this is the case and not just a browser error I am having here, I don't think it is very user friendly. Anyway, some good points made.

  10. I definitely agree that it's a balance of accessibility and end-user experience. We need to think of validation as a part of functionality, and something that affects the user's experience, but I think ignoring one for the other, in either case, is bad. A site can validate marvelously but be difficult to navigate or poorly designed, and not interesting enough to hold a user's attention. Conversely, a great looking site may not validate at all, and may prevent users from correctly accessing information. We need to design and develop with both in mind.

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