An Event Apart: Understanding Web Design

In Jeffrey Zeldman's talk at An Event Apart in Boston MA 2014, he reminded us as designer, it's our mission to explains our work to our colleagues, especially our boss. Without their understanding, it's impossible to achieve design that delights user experience.

Web design is about people

  • Clients think of website differently. They think of website as commercial and marketing platform and most agency think like that. They only care if works is effective. They know nothing about web, but they affect and shape what we think about things. 
  • When the agencies that judge our work don't understand it, how can our clients and our teams? 
  • When the director/clients dont understand design, it’s impossible for us to achieve design that delight.
  • People hire you because you understand Web design and they don't. But this is also your greatest weakness. Our partners need to understand what we do so they give us the autonomy to do our best work.
  • When the person who hire you don’t understand what you do, it becomes impossible for you to achieve.
  • .net magazine award is where we talk about what's important on the web. But your boss is never gonna know about this.
  • Web 25th Who explains our work in public, but Who speaks for us? Who is highlighting our work and explaining why its excellent to others? Nobody.
  • Facebook drop html 5 and make their iPhone app faster. Facebook approached mobile as a technology problem, when it was really a design problem

Judging Web Design

  • Instead of amulate desktop experience, we need to make sure we know what users want to achieve, and focus on that
  • Figure out what users wanna do, anything that get in the way of users is bad design
  • We don't design for browsers. We design for people. Layout is always the servant of purpose.
  • We naturally get excited about technology. Its great to think about what we can do with the new tech. But we don't make things accessible to get a godl star, we do it for people.
  • We’re paid to think about the users, deliver the complexity instead of thinking about code
  • Web design is service design.
  • It is more like type design (it enables others to tell their story). It is more like architecture (people take over the space and make it their own).
  • When designing, steps away, let the content create the meaning
  • not being innovative for the sake of innovations, not being innovative because it has to be functional. For example, people complains columns for years, but it works for newspaper, newspaper all have columns!
  • Design details create harmony 
  • a great website guides you subtly toward your heart's desire (a lot of way finding, a lot of design)
  • It can be invisible or in your way
  • Does design have to be totally original? it’s not true, it depends

Spread The Word

  • represent the profession: opportunity of presenting your job
  • don’t wait to be asked(don’t just execute)
  • if they don’t invite you, ask to participate, polite but persistence
  • Reasons that might be wrong for us, but right for the listener  
  • We don’t care about people who use kiosk, who is blind (don’t buy TV). Make it accessible, everyone can make it be found in google
  • your job is to find the reason your boss to care about
  • evangelist than super star
  • we can progress so others can enjoy the work