The article, Understanding Web Design by Jeffrey Zeldman sounded like an angry blog entry. It began by criticizing those who are supposed to understand and teach web design, but don’t seem to understand the web, let alone web design. I found this article hard to follow and often felt like I was reading Zeldman’s complaints about co-workers, managers, journalists, and so on, rather than reading an informative article. One paragraph did give a definition of web design and there were some links to other information, but overall I thought this article went nowhere. As I was reading it, I was wondering, what is the point?
John Allsopp’s A Dao of Web Design was insightful and much easier to understand. It provided a new perspective on web design. Instead of focusing on all of the web’s limitations, he encouraged designers to embrace the differences and stop trying to “control” all of the variables of a website. He described it as adaptive web design. No matter how much we want it all to be “just so”, there will always be factors beyond our control when others view our websites on different browsers , so we as designers need to adapt, as well. Break away from old “rituals” that worked in print, but aren’t necessary for the web. We need to design our sites to the best of our abilities to serve the needs of the users and then step back and let it go.