What is it about the craft of web design that makes a person good at it?
Is it the ability to make a website that people use regularly and like to use?
Is it the ability to put together colors and words on a page that are somehow appealing and attractive?
Those things matter, but what I would put forward is that it’s the ability to seize the vision of a business or individual and manifest it into a design that is actually art. Now this art doesn’t hang on a wall, but rather is interacted with and played with every single day.
Good art evokes an emotional response in the viewer and good web design is the same. When starting a new web design project I approach the owner of the site as a vessel of listening, I want to understand every nook and cranny of this person’s vision.
I put myself in their shoes and I look out towards the future and absorb their goals as if they were mine. Never is it about just getting the job done quickly or making money. Good web design his about the human. It’s about our emotional feelings when things work right and we don’t have to worry about them.
Websites are a lot like any other tool that we use regularly, they make our life so much better when they work right, and they can make our life so miserable when they don’t.
One thing that’s interesting about web design is that it blends several different mediums together. Not only is there a visual element of artistic expression going on, but there is a coding level of technical expertise in the back end that many don’t know about. There are things like performance, systems, platforms, best coding techniques and of course trends in taste to think about.
But in the best web designs, all those things fade to the background and you’re left with a simple: wow!
I love web design because it allows me to create art that is practical. A painting on a wall is timeless but a website is not. It’s a constantly changing and evolving document that can be one way now and another in a minute. It can look great to you on one screen here in Montana but look totally different to your friend who is in another country on a different screen.
Also websites are often perceived differently by different people. Sometimes I’ll put together what I think is the most beautiful looking website that will have modern features like a long form scrolling homepage that interacts and changes and is dynamic as you scroll down, and the new owner of the site will think, no I don’t like that, I don’t like the way that it scrolls on forever. And it’s back to the drawing board.
Such is the life of a web developer, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s a very gratifying job with its fair share of challenges and victories and rewards. I haven’t gotten very philosophical on this blog, most of its filled with technical jargon and practical tips, but every once in awhile it’s nice to reflect and look at what I’ve accomplished and what I’ve done.
This is my 194th post in this blog and as I continue to write here, it makes me reminiscent of days long ago when I first learned web design. Everything seemed so much more challenging back then, and the mountain of learning seemed so high to climb.
Now that I’ve reached a certain level of plateau in my career, executions are easily achieved and effortless in their motions. I’m very grateful for all the different people that I’ve had the chance to work with and who chose me to represent them online in digital form.
And thank you to the reader for following me on this journey. I couldn’t do it without all the support and love from all my clients and I’m very grateful for the opportunity to serve!