I read a post at Whitespace today. It’s about why Scrivs uses web standards and cares about things such as Information Architecture and accessibility when designing websites; whilst most of the web designing population still knock up any old rubbish in Dreamweaver or Frontpage. For each argument for standards, he could put up another against. Seems like there is some kind of balance here? I don’t think so.
With many things, there is an easy, hackish way to do a job that just gets it done. Not perfectly, but in a way that looks okay. If you are willing to take more time to learn the proper technique, your finished item will be better in some way; perhaps more robust, more beautiful or just more rewarding. I believe that web design is at this level.
There are hackish people who just produce something quickly, that just pleases them, without thought towards how people will actually use the site and the message they are trying to put across. These are the people who don’t even bother to learn the basics of CSS: “font tags have suited me fine, I’m going to stick with them. So there!” Then there are the in-betweens; a good medium between the idealistic point of view and the pitfalls of the real world. Some are more towards idealistic, others towards old methods they are used to. Finally there are the people who push boundaries, fully idealistic and hopeful that the real world will catch up with them.
The in-betweens are seeing the value of using things like CSS, valid XHTML and not just pushing something out the door that looks okay. The real world is our target audience at all times; sometimes getting tangled up in idealism just muddies this issue. I design using CSS and (attempt to) use valid markup because I find it easier to do, now I’ve taken the time to learn it. That’s the sole reason: ease of use for me.
I believe the in-betweens find this too and have realised that taking some time to learn the better way to do something will result in more time to create and less time to mess around with the mechanisms. As more large sites convert, maybe the hackish self-called designers will come around to this viewpoint too, making the web a better place to browse and easier to use in general. Which can’t be a bad thing.