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RE: [css-d] What happened to design?

Sent by Dickens, David on 25 January 2002 18:06

I hate to have this be my opening email to this group be on this off-ish
topic, but the purpose of CSS is at stake here.  I'm not a friend of Tim
B-L, but I'd like to think that the purpose of CSS was to royally scr*w
those of you who think that a design you came up with in Photoshop is a good

While it is possible to do what you've done before (think background images
absolutely positioned) with new technologies, I hope you get the
not-so-subtle message that you're designs weren't all that exciting to begin
with.  I really believe that we've really doped ourselves up on the notions
that we are all the Picassos of the web.  Give me a break.  Even print
layout folks at your local newspaper don't get so ga-ga over themselves.

This isn't art, it's design.  Most architects don't get to make the Getty
museum.  They make factories, warehouses, and apartment blocks.  Most
engineers don't make the Golden Gate, they make the 101-405 interchange
(representing LA here *grin*) and runoff embankments for landfills.

If we all stop making ourselves and our "artful" designs the center-piece of
the web and concentrate on the INFORMATION (this is a text-based revolution
after all), the CSS will follow on its own.  And no, it won't always be
ground breaking, but which one of you have done ground breaking things in
the rest of your lives?

I'm not Jacob Nielson (heck, I think his site is horribly designed), but I
realize that form must follow (and serve) function.  I've never seen a web
design that made me think I'd found the new Picasso, and I doubt I ever
will.  If you want to see what amazing design I've created, well, you won't
find one.  I'm not claiming I'm better at this than everyone else.  I'm
claiming that no one is so good at it as their egos would appear.

"Ooo, I invented a cool swirly thing... "

Gawd, save us from the people who are still enthralled by the latest
incarnation of the blink tag (aka flash).

David Dickens 
Network Services Manager 
Pepperdine School of Law Library 

Make definite assertions. Avoid tame, colorless, 
hesitating, non-committal language.
-- William Strunk, Jr. "The Elements of Style"
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