Understanding Web Design

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Today Zeldman published what will go down in history as one of his best posts ever.  Like Donald Norman harping on unusable designs that "probably won an award", or Bill Buxton emphasizing that aesthetics is only a small part of design, Zeldman says that many traditional print designers miss the point when they critique web site design.

Here's an excerpt:

"Efforts to avoid boxiness have been around since 1995; while occasionally successful, they have most often produced aesthetically wretched and needlessly unusable designs.  The experienced web designer, like the talented newspaper art director, accepts that many projects she works on will have headers and columns and footers. Her job is not to whine about emerging commonalities but to use them to create pages that are distinctive, natural, brand-appropriate, subtly memorable, and quietly but unmistakably engaging.

If she achieves all that and sweats the details, her work will be beautiful. If not everyone appreciates this beauty—if not everyone understands web design—then let us not cry for web design, but for those who cannot see."

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