50 Designers x 6 Questions

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Some months ago we’ve selected 50 prominent designers and design companies, contacted them and asked to answer five design-related questions, sharing their knowledge and experience with fellows developers. 35 designers have responded then. For each of 5 questions we’ve received 5 precise answers. The result was 35×5 professional ideas from some of the leading web-developers all around the world.

Good news — planning the celebration of our 1st anniversary, we’ve decided to do some more math. We’ve selected 6 questions, which main purpose was to give fellows designers more insights in practice, and in the experience prominent designers gained during their work over the last 5-10 years.

So this time we wanted it to be not about useful coding suggestions or clever CSS-techniques, but about the practical knowledge and personal experience developers would share with us and our readers.

What are the things you should know before starting designing / programming? What things should you be aware of? How to get your project done? In fact, we wanted to take a close look at some practical answers to these questions – from the worlds’ best designers.

First Three Questions

Since we’ve received many answers, we’ve decided to divide the article in two parts; as you might suggest, each part will cover designers’ answers to three (out of six) questions.

Here are the first three questions we’ve asked. As in the first survey, one single text line would have sufficed.

  • What is one typical myth about web-development (which is not true)?
  • What is one bulletproof method to get over creativity block?
  • What is one thing you wish you knew before you’ve started programming/designing/… ?

50 Designers x 3 Questions

In August we’ve contacted over 70 renowned designers, and asked them even more — six — questions. 65 of them agreed on answering the questions in time, however not all of them managed to send the answers till the deadline.

This time over 50 world leading designers, developers and experts have participated, however, not everybody answered all six questions. So the result is ca. 300 professional suggestions and facts one can learn only from his/her own experience.

We’d like to thank all designers and developers who participated in our survey and/or were willing to take part it. Among them are Eric Meyer, Shaun Inman, Veerle Pieters, Carole Guevin (Netdiver), Jakob Nielsen, Patrick Griffiths (HTMLDog), Oliver Reichenstein (Informationarchitects.jp), Meryl K. Evans, D. Keith Robinson, Jonathan Snook, Jina Bolton, Daniel Mall, Cameron Adams, Andy Rutledge, Carolyn Wood (Digital Web Magazine), Andy Peatling, Andy Budd, Christian Montoya, Garrett Dimon, Jason Beaird, Luke Wroblewski, Mike Davidson, Richard Rutter, Dan Rubin, Matt Brett, Paul Boag, Roger Johansson, Russ Weakley, Mark Boulton, Jesse Bennett-Chamberlain and many more.

35x5: Reloaded

Thank you!

  • Please feel free to post your own ideas, suggestions and tips in the comments.
    Share your knowledge with fellows developers!

So, let’s move to the answers, shall we?

Summary

1. One typical myth about web-development (which is not true)

  1. It’s simple, and anybody can do it.
    Myth: Web development is for boys. Truth: Web development is for Spartan warriors. People still underestimate the amount of effort that goes into creating a great site or application. The various components are easy, but putting them together in the right way takes time and experience.
  2. Successful web sites can/should be designed completely in a couple of days.
    In reality you can’t get a site fast, cheap and good. You can’t have all three. The fact remains, that even when using open source frameworks to build sites, a truly custom design integration into a customized or even standard CMS is not a task that can be done properly in just a few hours.
  3. Accessible web pages are visually dull.
    This is a myth that has been battled against since people started to think about web accessibility. Unfortunately it is still perpetuated by accessibility consultancies tasked with designing websites, but who don’t employ actual designers.
  4. Visual design deserves more time and effort than the content.
    The content is where it starts and is the reason for the design to exist, yet, so many designers still view copywriting and content creation as “not my job”. On projects where there’s a dedicated copywriter, that may work. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
  5. Standards-compliance guarantees a good web site.
    There are many young developers out there caring so much for code that they seem to forget everything else, while to be true, a good designed website (form & function) with bad code still works better than a bad designed with an awesome code.
  6. Design and best design practices are expensive.
    It can only be true if you haven’t yet learned how to develop accessible sites with web standards, in which case it’s time to start reading.
  7. One aspect of web design is dominant over all of the others.
    Usability is often seen as reining supreme. Although it is incredibly important it needs to be tempered by business objectives, technical constraints and even accessibility considerations. Some see design as more important than anything, others well written code. The truth is that web design is about balance.
  8. Absolute separation is possible.
    In reality proper use of semantic (X)HTML and CSS completely abstracts the presentation of a site from its content is impossible.
  9. Feature X is “not possible.”Just because it hasn’t been done, doesn’t mean it’s not possible. We’ve got dozens of tools (HTML, CSS, Flash) at our tooltips — don’t let anyone tell you that it can’t be done. It just hasn’t been done yet.
  10. IE is an absolute nightmare to develop for.
    It requires a little perseverance to get it there 100%, but with a little compromise (graceful degradation), you can have it looking pretty much (95%?) the same as it does in other browsers.
  11. The “necessary” abundant use of hacks.If your HTML is well structured and you understand how CSS is supposed to work as well as how it does work in different browsers, you need few, if any hacks.
  12. Keeping the various layers of a website is too difficult and requires too much effort for very little return.
    If you start with a strict focus on keeping all the layers (database, server-side code, html, css, javascript) separate that in the long run you will save yourself a lot of time developing and prevent a lot of headaches too.
  13. Internet Explorer 7 is an improvement over IE6.
    Microsoft was going to deliver a product that would make our lives as web developers easier, but its done nothing but add more garbage to the pile.
  14. Developers can’t be designers, designers can’t be developers.
    It might seem there is a clear divide between the two, however there are people out there who have no problem being both. CSS/XHTML is a great middle point, from there you can progressively go either way.
  15. “Un-design” sells.Whomever suggested that should retire. Ideas sell. Ideas that look great sell more.
  16. Bad ideas are useless.
    Every idea — no matter how dumb — is a potential breakthrough or could lead to a breakthrough. You’ve got to document those bad, random ideas. Plus, you get to save them and revisit them for future inspiration.

2. One bulletproof method to get over creativity block

  1. Change the perspective: go away.
    Go someplace “different” from your usual haunts, away from places where you take every object, interaction or decoration for granted. Step away from the computer. Go for a walk, head to the gym, or just sleep on the problem. You’ll come back refreshed and with a new outlook on the task at hand.
  2. Get inspired.
    Be a continuous feedback loop. That means continuous input: reading books and blogs, attending talks and conferences, using the medium you design for. It also means continuous output: writing books and blogs, speaking at conferences, designing.
  3. Listen to music.
    Listen to music. Music is an equal blend of emotion and analysis. If you let yourself be inspired by it, you’ll often be astonished at the results.
  4. Observe the world.
    Take a deep breath, stand up from your computer, and go somewhere you’ve never been before — a cafe, an exhibition … Prague. Go lie down in the park and just stare at the world. Let your mind truly relax and forget about things like the bills, and the rest of it all — suddenly your creativity will kick into overdrive.
  5. Do something entirely different.Do something else entirely. Look at things that have nothing necessarily to do with web design. Get inspiration off-screen.
  6. Seek for a new approach.
    Sketch as you go, start over, beat favourite sites in simplicity, consider what would other designers do, refresh your canvas, observe other people using a similar service you’re designing.
  7. Put creative work on hold.
    Put the task or project down and either take a break from work altogether or perform some tasks that require no creativity (like bookkeeping or organization tasks) and distract your conscious mind from the challenges.
  8. Communicate.
    Go off the grid. Talk to human beings. In person. Do something out of the ordinary, out of character. Give your brain a chance to regroup and hit it with some fresh stimuli.
  9. Train your creativity.Force yourself to *do* something creative every day. It can be anything: writing, drawing, shooting photos, etc. The idea is to get into the habit of being creative every day.

3. One thing I wish I knew before I’ve started programming/designing

  1. Professional skills.
    Grids, working with frameworks, formalized design training, semantic markup, removing the unnecessary, design & art history classes, web standards, networking, macrotypography, everything.
  2. Personal skills.
    Good writing, ability to communicate, ability to learn, ability to focus, ability to organize, ability to run things, ability to say “no”, ability to solve problems. Also: know your capabilities, know how to find the right idea and be satisfied with your work.
  3. Your workspace / equipment matters.
    Make sure your work environment is exactly how you want it.
  4. You’ll become less creative.
    The more time you spend at the computer, the worse you’ll become.
  5. You’ll become more technical.
    The job will become more technical and less creative from time to time.
  6. Web is a dynamic medium.The creative process is much more difficult for a medium with so many unknown variables.
  7. Clients never want something fresh.
    Often when clients say they want something new and fresh and different, they don’t. The reality of “new and fresh and different” can be very frightening to the average business person.
  8. There are many designers, but only few masters.
    There are a lot of people in this field, but the vast majority are not great at what they do. If you can be great in at least one area, you’ll set yourself above the crowd and will have no problem finding working.
  9. Browser war would never stop.The browser war and the mindset that lead to them will always be a problem. Even though the first two wars were the result of Netscape followed by Microsoft, the stagnation and resulting fallout (legacy incompatibility and proprietary additions to markup) will always be present.
  10. Knowing that you can make a career out of it.
    “I wish I knew that this was going to be my career. I would have taken it more seriously when I first got started, and probably would have been further ahead.”
  11. Knowing that everything you do is wrong.
    There is no right way to do things, and when you think you have it figured it all out, everything changes.
  12. Knowing that designer’s work is sometimes terrible.
    Even the best designers have days where they think their work is terrible.
  13. Knowing how much fun it is.
    Developing websites is really hard work, and it’s not always really fun. But in general working on different projects with clients in TONS of different industries always keeps the job fresh and full of new challenges.
  14. Knowing that you won’t be able to switch off.
    “Someone should have told me that I can’t switch off. I know it sounds trite, but being a designer is *who I am*, not *what I do*. Two completely different things.”
  15. Having a mentor.
    “I wish I knew someone that could have helped me learn what I know now. I ended up figuring all this out from miscellaneous reading, online and off. Sure it’s fun to learn things yourself, but having someone there to tell me what’s the best way to do things, and more importantly WHY those are the best ways, would have saved me lots of headaches and mistakes.”

Overview of the answers

1. One typical myth about web-development (which is not true)

There are dozens of myths about web-development; all of them are usually based upon humans’ intuitition, but doesn’t hold in reality. These typical misunderstandings usually confuse both beginners-developers during their work and clients willing to get an effective and visually appealing web site. It’s time to debunk some of them. Let’s take a look at some of the wide-spread myths about web design and web-development – myths prominent web-developers had to cope with.

1.1. Myth: web-development simple, and anybody can do it.

  • Myth: Web development is for boys. Truth: Web development is for Spartan warriors.
    [Oliver Reichenstein, Informationarchitects.jp]
  • That web designers spend most of their time snowboarding. This may have been true in 1998, but it is far from the truth now. Most of us are chained to our computers 16 hours a day knee-deep in responsibility and to-do lists. Or is that just me? I hope not. I’ve never been snowboarding.
    [Simon Collison]
  • Easter bunnies are amazing at CSS. No, really. They’re absolutely amazing.
    [Jina Bolton]
  • That it’s a simple process. More often than not I’m surprised by developers and designers who don’t understand everything that (should, at least) go into planning and preparing for a website. Through measurable goals, IA, copy-writing, launch, evaluation and every step in-between, there should be some sort of plan and process.
    [Steve Smith]
  • People still underestimate the amount of effort that goes into creating a great site or application. The various components are easy, but putting them together in the right way takes time and experience.
    [Andy Budd]
  • Anybody can do it. All you need is to buy the tools that the “pros” use. Aka “Why should I pay you, when Dreamweaver costs less, and I can do it myself?”
    [Nathan Smith]
  • You can build websites without having any knowledge of code. You can, but you’ll run into trouble quickly and when you don’t know what’s causing it you won’t be able to fix it. By understanding the underlying technique you also are in a better position to grasp semantics.
    [Veerle Pieters]
  • That it’s easy.
    [Dan Rubin]
  • The intention of Tim Berners-Lee when he invented the ‘hyperlink’ was to make sure that vast bodies of research work (documents) would be easier to drill down by reinforcing and expanding the presupposed affirmations by hyper linking them. This way researchers would/could find more meaning and sense of the chaotic sources, thus enhancing endlessly their value.Keep in mind that the key word here is content. When the World Wide Web became (graphical interface over the Internet), visual communication was done through ‘tables’ which were extensively used for presentation of content. With the rise of the W3C recommendations and theorganization of the ‘web’ professions all deemed tables.. failing this primal directive of this principle of content ruling over presentation. CSS was then crowned the ‘way’ to go.

    Fine, but didn’t take into account the difficulty of creating complex user interfaces, how alieniating it would be for ‘designers’ to break the layout in lines of code, get absolute positioning, float content and dealing with lack of browser support. Tables were complex but in comparison, infinitely simpler.

    My myth busting: creating a website using CSS is easy.

    [Carole Guevin, Netdiver.net]

1.2. Myth: successful web sites can/should be designed completely in a couple of days.

  • The biggest myth is that you can get a site fast, cheap AND good. You can’t have all three. You can get it fast and cheap (but it won’t be good), good and fast (but it won’t be cheap), or you can get it good and cheap (but it won’t be fast). That’s the designer’s triangle of truth.
    [Larissa Meek]
  • That the best approach is to throw something up as quickly as possible and see if it sticks. In fact, you can save large amounts of money by only launching things that have a better chance of succeeding because they have already been refined through several rounds of user testing, including paper prototyping which can be done in a day.
    [Jakob Nielsen]
  • Professional web sites can be designed and built in just under a couple weeks (or similar timelines). While yes it’s true that a site design could be done a matter of days and CSS/XHTML can be generated in a heartbeat using the various HTML editors on the market. The fact remains, that even when using open source frameworks to build sites, a truly custom design integration into a customized or even standard CMS is not a task that can be done properly in just a few hours. Often times clients of any size seem to discount the effort required to design, produce and implement and custom design into a system that they can easily maintain and support on their own.
    [Frederick Townes]
  • Myth is that there’s a point when you are done designing. Because we are designing for people and people are “time bound entities moving from cradle to grave” (to quote Bruce Sterling) people’s problems are always changing. So really, design is never done.

    [Luke Wroblewski]

  • That web design is finished with an image comp. Many design shops and ad agencies still believe this and pass on comps to their coders to flesh out. The truth is that there are more decisions to be made in the XHTML/CSS stage about layout, color and typography than in Photoshop.
    [Jason Beaird]

1.3. Myth: Usability + CSS are boring, visually appealing designs are effective.

  • Usable websites have to be simple and boring.
    [Lucian Slatineanu]
  • That CSS-driven designs are all boxy and boring. You’d think that one would have died years ago, but I keep on seeing it.
    [Eric A. Meyer]
  • Accessible web pages are visually dull. This is a myth that has been battled against since people started to think about web accessibility. Unfortunately it is still perpetuated by accessibility consultancies tasked with designing websites, but who don’t employ actual designers.
    [Richard Rutter]
  • The view that visual design deserves more time and effort than the content. I don’t know if I’d call it a myth, but it’s definitely a common misunderstanding. The content is where it starts and is the reason for the design to exist, yet, so many designers still view copywriting and content creation as “not my job”. On projects where there’s a dedicated copywriter, that may work. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
    [Garrett Dimon]
  • A nice looking site is a successful site.
    [Jason Santa Maria]

1.4. Myth: Standards-compliance guarantees a good web site.

  • That programming with webstandards automatically generates good websites. There are many young developers out there caring so much for code that they seem to forget everything else, while to be true, a good designed website (form & function) with bad code still works better than a bad designed with an awesome code.
    [Markus Stefan]
  • The myth that by writing valid, standards-based code, you are automatically creating accessible, SEO friendly sites.
    [Mike Davidson]

1.5. Myth: design and best design practices are (too) expensive.

  • “Web Development is far too expensive. Even I can do a neat little page with Microsoft Word. Why should I pay x thousand Euros for a professional designed website?”[Wolfgang Bartelme]
  • That it costs more to do things right, i.e. follow best practices. In my opinion it can only be true if you haven’t yet learned how to develop accessible sites with web standards, in which case it’s time to start reading.

    [Roger Johansson]

1.6. Technical myths.

  • Myth: one aspect of web design is dominant over all of the others.The most common example of this is with usability. Usability is often seen as reining supreme. Although it is incredibly important it needs to be tempered by business objectives, technical constraints and even accessibility considerations. Some see design as more important than anything, others well written code. The truth is that web design is about balance. It is about making the different aspects (development, usability, accessibility, aesthetics, business objectives and content) work together in harmony. No one aspect can reign unchecked.
    [Paul Boag]
  • Myth: absolute separation is possible.
    I’ll have to quote Jeff Croft on for this one…”One of the hallmark attributes of web standards-based design is the concept that proper use of semantic (X)HTML and CSS completely abstracts the presentation of a site from its content. One key real-world benefit of this separation is that come redesign time, one only needs to change or replace the CSS stylesheet, and needn’t lay so much as a finger upon the hallowed grounds we call markup. I’m here to say that this mantra isn’t much more than a fairy tale.”I’ve thought this for awhile, but didn’t have the guts to say it publicly in fear of being flogged.
    [Jesse Bennett-Chamberlain][Myth that] absolute separation of structure, presentation and behavior is possible.
    [Shaun Inman]
  • Myth: feature X is “not possible.”

    As web developers we need to remember that just because it hasn’t been done, doesn’t mean it’s not possible. We’ve got dozens of tools (HTML, CSS, Flash) at our tooltips — don’t let anyone tell you that it can’t be done. It just hasn’t been done yet.
    [Kyle Neath, Warpspire.com]

  • Myth: IE is an absolute nightmare to develop for.
    I don’t mean to ruffle too many feathers here; but it’s really not that bad. Sure, it requires a little perseverance to get it there 100%, but with a little compromise (graceful degradation ;-), you can have it looking pretty much (95%?) the same as it does in other browsers. For those things that are just impossible to do reasonable, compromise and do something slightly different for IE.
    [Oliver Beattie]
  • Myth: the “necessary” abundant use of hacks.It still comes up. If your HTML is well structured and you understand how CSS is supposed to work as well as how it does work in different browsers, you need few, if any hacks.
    [Patrick Griffiths, HTMLDog.com]
  • Myth: keeping the various layers of a website is too difficult and requires too much effort for very little return.
    I know from my own experience building websites alone and on teams that if you start with a strict focus on keeping all the layers (database, server-side code, html, css, javascript) separate that in the long run you will save yourself a lot of time developing and prevent a lot of headaches too.
    [Christian Montoya]
  • Myth: Internet Explorer 7 is an improvement over IE6.
    We all had high hopes that Microsoft was going to deliver a product that would make our lives as web developers easier, but its done nothing but add more garbage to the pile.
    [Matt Brett]
  • Myth: “JavaScript is not a serious language.”

    It might not be the most elegant language but it’s extremely powerful. The fact that it can used by novices and gurus alike (in obviously different capacities) makes it very flexible. It’s ability to power PDFs, web pages, desktop widgets, and web servers has definitely shown it to be a flexible language.
    [Jonathan Snook]

  • Myth: CSS = Design.
    CSS is *not* the same as design.
    [D. Keith Robinson]
  • Myth: testing on Mobile Devices requires a separate site.
    The need to create a separate site or use special code to for a site to work on mobile devices.

    [Meryl K. Evans]

  • Myth: development process is a wholly internal one, unaffected by outside circumstances.
    The idea that the web design and development process is a wholly internal one, unaffected by outside circumstances. The truth is, web professionals get their ideas from the same places that anybody else does: anything from the way their favorite coffee shop operates, to an impressive service offered by their home city. Web professionals are more connected than we think.
    [Phil Renaud]

1.7. Developers can’t be designers, designers can’t be developers.

  • You’re either a designer or a developer. It might seem there is a clear divide between the two, however there are people out there who have no problem being both. A great example is Shaun Inman. CSS/XHTML is a great middle point, from there you can progressively go either way.
    [Ian Main]
  • Web developers don’t understand design, and vice versa. It can be true, but it’s not always the case. You should consider that maybe a developer or a designer started off as something else. And even if they haven’t, the good ones usually know at least a little bit about the other side of the fence, so don’t count them out entirely.
    [Patrick Haney]
  • One person should do one job. I think that having individuals whose knowledge and skills span across different areas (e.g. programming *and* design) produces a much more balanced result. That isn’t to say that one particular person doesn’t have ownership over their particular area. But when everyone can contribute to different areas of a project, you get a much more informed and coherent whole.
    [Cameron Adams, Themaninblue.com]

1.8. Human factors.

  • Myth: college degree should be demanded for web-developers.

    Employers should demand a college degree of some kind from the people they hire to create websites.
    [Carolyn Wood, Editor in Chief of Digital Web Magazine]

  • Myth: there are no women in web design.
    I’ve heard it said that there are no women in web design. I attended An Event Apart in Chicago this past week and can say that that certainly isn’t true.
    [Ryan Masuga]
  • Myth: client constraints and complaints always result in a compromised, inferior design.
    [Carolyn Wood, Editor in Chief of Digital Web Magazine]
  • Myth: I can help you get to the top of Google!
    Don’t get me wrong, I am always learning about SEO and reading those blogs, but my focus is primarily on coding an SEO-friendly site. Past that, it’s simply not what web developers do. I personally consider them to be two very different worlds. Most people that say they do development and SEO are probably not that great at either, simply because you can only be an expert at so many things. We work with an outside company that is fabulous to handle SEO for our clients, and I am thrilled to not have to worry about it.
    [Nick Francis]
  • Myth: Graphic Designers = Excellent Writers
    [Myth that] Graphic designers should be great writers, too.
    [Carolyn Wood, Editor in Chief of Digital Web Magazine]
  • Myth: Number of validation errors correlates with your gender.

    The myth that the total number of validation errors in your code is inversely related to your degree of manliness/womanliness.
    [Mike Davidson]

  • Web developers cannot program VCRs.
    Web developers cannot actually program VCRs. That’s the Webmaster’s job.
    [Craig Saila]

1.9. Usability Myths

  • Users don’t scroll further than the fold. There was an interesting article written about this quite recently: Blasting Myth of the Fold.
    [Andy Peatling]
  • Where do you start… My favourites have always been: – “content must be above the fold”, – “content must be accessible within three clicks”, – “external links must be pop-ups”. All of them are myths that have caused far more harm than good.
    [Russ Weakley]

1.10. Underestimating the power of ideas.

  • [Myth that] “Un-design” sells. Whomever suggested that should retire. Ideas sell. Ideas that look great sell more.
    [Daniel Mall]
  • [Myth that] Bad ideas are useless. Even after you arrive at a what feels like a good solution, you’ve got to push yourself to keep thinking. Every idea — no matter how dumb — is a potential breakthrough or could lead to a breakthrough. You’ve got to document those bad, random ideas. Plus, you get to save them and revisit them for future inspiration.
    [Bill Keaggy]

2. One bulletproof method to get over creativity block

How to get started? How to get things done till the deadline? What is a bulletproof method to get a new creativity spark? World leading designers not always know the answer, and many answers are quite obvious — however, not all of them.

2.1. Change the perspective: go away.

  • Go someplace “different” from your usual haunts, away from places where you take every object, interaction or decoration for granted. Ride your bike or take a walk through back alleys, unfamiliar neighborhoods or industrial areas. Bring a few old magazines picked up at a flea market or yard sale (maybe circa 1920s-1960s) and take a break to page through them. Make notes. Sketch. I am always surprised how much inspiration I get from things completely unrelated to the problem I am trying to solve.
    [Bill Keaggy]
  • Go for a walk outside. My office sits a block from a river, and if I just can’t think of anything to do, taking a walk along the bank clears out my head every time.
    [Steve Smith]
  • Get out more. There’s beautiful design all around us that we take for granted every day; we just need to open our eyes a little more when searching for inspiration.
    [Oliver Beattie]
  • Spend time in nature. Alternately, simply wandering around the city without any particular destination does wonders.
    [Adam Greenfield]
  • Step away from the computer. Go for a walk, head to the gym, or just sleep on the problem. You’ll come back refreshed and with a new outlook on the task at hand.
    [Andy Budd]
  • In my case stepping away from the computer is often the answer. Sometimes I believe that computers literally suck the creativity out of us. I find going for a walk, flicking through a magazine or visiting a gallery far more stimulating than surfing the latest web design gallery. I believe looking beyond web design for inspiration does more to aid innovation and creativity than anything else. I don’t believe there is one bulletproof method of overcoming creative block. We are all different and our creativity is expressed and stimulated in different ways.

    [Paul Boag]

  • Take a walk. For me, getting away from the screen can be very refreshing. Have you ever had a problem that you can’t fix, walked away from it, and then come back and fixed it straight away? Same principle.
    [Andy Peatling]
  • Walk away from your computer and leave your PDA at home – sometimes all you need is a new perspective.
    [Larissa Meek]
  • Replace your current environment/surroundings with something new and fresh. If that means changing your location, do it.
    [Dan Rubin]
  • There are no bulletproof methods, but one that often works for me is going for a walk outside.
    [Jason Santa Maria]
  • The 11th hour is surprisingly effective at inspiring some unique work. Often though, the first thing I do is create a skeleton template and begin hacking at it for about half-an-hour. If that doesn’t work, I’ll grab a coffee down the street.
    [Craig Saila]

2.2. Change the perspective: do sport.

  • Go for a long walk, better still, a run. Having to focus on something else for a while will get the creative juices flowing again.
    [Mark Boulton]
  • Sport as a displacement activity. Go to the gym, go for a run, go for a swim, or in my case I go for a bike ride. Half an hour’s normally enough to empty the mind of panic and fill it with that spark you need.
    [Richard Rutter]
  • Don’t leave one screen to go sit in front of another and watch TV. Go workout, take a run. Or do some errands. Just do something active for at least an hour that does not require you to think about work or look at your crackberry.

    [Nick Francis]

  • What helps for me is to do some sport to clear my head or to leave the office and go out in nature to sit their for awhile. Both things aren’t bullet proof.
    [Veerle Pieters]

2.2. Get inspired: read and look around.

  • Be a continuous feedback loop. That means continuous input: reading books and blogs, attending talks and conferences, using the medium you design for. It also means continuous output: writing books and blogs, speaking at conferences, designing.

    [Luke Wroblewski]

  • Get up and leave your computer. If you are looking for a good book on inspiration, I’d recommend Curt Cloninger’s “Hot-Wiring Your Creative Process”. I hate the title and the cover, but the book’s a gem.
    [Carolyn Wood, Editor in Chief of Digital Web Magazine]
  • Look through galleries of design online, in books, or in real life.
    [Mike Davidson]
  • I find that music, art, and design magazines are very inspiring, so that’s where I always turn.
    [Jina Bolton]
  • Research. Two places I like to look for inspiration: magazines and architecture. Make a trip to the bookstore or to the library and just flip. Look at how they present information and structure the design. Then, integrate those elements into your own design.
    [Jonathan Snook]
  • Looking around websites, design books, magazines. I have a wide range of website screenshots that I look through before starting design projects. Some would call this “stealing”. I prefer the term “inspiration”. :)
    [Russ Weakley]
  • Collect inspirational design and go back and look through it. There’s a reason I started my Web Design Inspiration set on Flickr a while back, and it wasn’t for fame or fortune (I’ve gotten a tiny bit of the former, but I assure you, none of the latter). Sometimes, when I need some ideas, I’ll just browse through all of those screenshots I’ve taken, and something will just click. When you look at inspirational design, it makes you want to go out and create something cool.
    [Patrick Haney]

2.3. Listen to music.

  • Pick up a guitar and strum a view chords (at least this works for me). You might instead want to take a short walk or have some diner but the point is: stop working. Even just 5 minutes of doing something totally different gives the distance you need. Coming back to my Mac it’s often clearly visible what to do next.

    [Markus Stefan]

  • Listen to music. Music is an equal blend of emotion and analysis. If you let yourself be inspired by it, you’ll often be astonished at the results.
    [Daniel Mall]

2.4. Observe the world.

  • Go lie down in the park and just stare at the world. I find that once let my mind truly relax and forget about things like the bills, calling my Mom back, and the rest of it all — suddenly my creativity kicks into overdrive.

    [Kyle Neath, Warpspire.com]

  • Go somewhere that you can observe creativity in a different aspect than your day-to-day environment. For instance, go to a museum or a attend a play. Gain an appreciation for artfulness beyond the confines of your profession, and this will breathe new life into your work.
    [Nathan Smith]
  • Take a deep breath, stand up from your computer, and go somewhere you’ve never been before — a cafe, an exhibition … Prague.
    [Cameron Adams, Themaninblue.com]

2.5. Do something entirely different.

  • Drop what you’re doing and find a happy place. Whether it’s listening to music, reading a book or playing a video game. Whatever will get your mind off of work temporarily and give you time to yourself that you thoroughly enjoy. When you sit back down in front of the screen, you should feel refreshed and ready to jump back in.
    [Matt Brett]
  • Take a long shower and get yourself a cup of coffee… just do something completely different.
    [Wolfgang Bartelme]
  • Do something else entirely. Look at things that have nothing necessarily to do with web design. Get inspiration off-screen. I have a quarter-sized basketball hoop in my office, and if I’m stuck on something, I’ll shoot hoops and let my mind wander and quite often something useful will pop in there at some point.
    [Ryan Masuga]
  • Just do the complete opposite. Don’t fall into the trap of following current trends or gallery websites. To maximise creativity and different thought patterns, find other sources that may inspire or invoke an idea. Such sources could be simply taking a walk, photography or looking through different types of magazines.
    [Ian Main]

2.6. Seek for a new approach.

  • Sketch as you go.Take some pencil and paper, go somewhere you feel comfortable, and brainstorm ideas. Sketch as you go. I usually come up with my best ideas when I am far away from a computer screen.
    [Christian Montoya]
  • Beat favourite sites in simplicity.
    Copy your favorite website and beat the original in simplicity.
    [Oliver Reichenstein, Informationarchitects.jp]
  • Start over.
    If I’m stuck on some element of a design, chances are that I’ll agonize over the element for hours when it’s really something else in the design that isn’t working. Continuing to try to make it work at that point is like putting lipstick on a pig. When I get to that point, it’s best to just start over with a blank canvas.
    [Jason Beaird]
  • Consider what would other designers do?

    Something that I’ll do is think to myself, “what would ___ (insert favourite designer’s name here)___ do in this situation? How would they handle the design of this nav? Would they use 2 or 3 columns for this layout? When I start asking those questions, ideas immediately start coming to mind and ideas start flowing.
    [Jesse Bennett-Chamberlain]

  • Design from the inside out.
    [Lucian Slatineanu]
  • Observe other people using a similar service you’re designing.
    Watch a few people using a competing or similar service to the one you’re designing. Users have an infinite capability to astound you with unexpected behaviors that will give you ideas for things to do on your own project.
    [Jakob Nielsen]
  • Refresh your canvas.
    Design Slumpbusting
    My favourite one from that article: “Lose the lorem-ipsum: Looking at a page template that has the same mundane text on it that you’ve seen on a bajillion other page-templates over the years will lead you to think that your page will be no better than mundane, either. When context is lacking, content is king.” [Phil Renaud]

2.7. Put creative work on hold.

  • Just get something down without worrying whether it’s perfect or a great start. Once you erase a blank canvas, it gets easier to move forward.
    [Meryl K. Evans]
  • Put the task or project down and either take a break from work altogether or perform some tasks that require no creativity (like bookkeeping or organization tasks) and distract your conscious mind from the challenges. Later return to the task, make a simple list of objectives and start working again to address the creative problem by creating elements that solve the respective problems (divide and conquer).
    [Frederick Townes]

2.8. Communicate.

  • Go off the grid. Talk to human beings. In person. Do something out of the ordinary, out of character. Give your brain a chance to regroup and hit it with some fresh stimuli.

    [Shaun Inman]

  • Definitely getting up on one’s feet, making a cup of tea, and gathering colleagues or the client team together and getting it all out into the open. A creative block is nearly impossible to shift if one works in a vacuum, so throw sketches, wireframes, magazines and books onto a big table, and open a discussion about the aims and objectives. The very, very last thing I think anyone should do is browse the web when struggling with web design or development inspiration. Get away from the screen and find it elsewhere![Simon Collison]

2.9. Train your creativity.

  • Force yourself to *do* something creative every day. It can be anything: writing, drawing, shooting photos, etc. The idea is to get into the habit of being creative every day.

    [D. Keith Robinson]

  • I can’t say what will work for others, but what works for me is lots of hard exercise. The longer I try to get “into” a creative project, the more I dwell on detail and begin to miss the forest for the trees. Technical design elements are not creativity and I like to step way out of the creative process into a very physical process in order to get back into creative thinking from the outermost extremity and with the right perspective.
    [Andy Rutledge]
  • Hah! You’re asking the wrong person. I would like to have something that works every time, but I don’t. What I try to do when I get a creativity block of some kind is force myself to just get started. That often helps.
    [Roger Johansson]
  • In case of doubt, jump! Hey, I don’t say it’s easy (I near panic every time), but since we are problem solvers, there is a moment when we temporarily become the ‘problem’ because facing this new challenge.Start working! That’s it! And everything we did in preparation (research, brief objectives) will start to fall into place.. at some point. But if you freeze and stare… good luck. NOTHING, will be the end-result.
    [Carole Guevin, Netdiver.net]

2.10. Relax.

  • Do something relaxing. “Relaxing” is different for everybody, but for me that creativity block is usually self-imposed because I’m trying to hard. My best ideas never come to me when I’m looking for them. They just kind of sneak up on me when I’m doing something else.
    [Garrett Dimon]

3. One thing I wish I knew before I’ve started programming/designing

Before starting to learn the basics of design and web-development, it’s nice to have a basic idea of what you need to learn properly and what you should prepare of. 50 things you should know before starting programming / designing.

3.1. Professional skills.

  • Grids.
    Planning a design based on a grid helps create a structure that flows from page to page while keeping a set plan fixed when building upon or updating the design. Khoi Vinh has a great presentation on how to set up grids step by step.
    [Ian Main]
  • Working with frameworks.
    Building sites on systems or frameworks. I used to hand-make every website, until I found WordPress. Then I moved to ExpressionEngine, which I now use for all my projects. Developing on a system allows you to do so much more than you could just cobbling together 3rd-party scripts on your own.
    [Ryan Masuga]
  • Formalized design training.
    More formalized design training. I’ve picked up what I know just based on analyzing what I see but it would have been infinitely more helpful to understand what it all means. I still think I have plenty of growth left in me in both programming and design. That’s half the fun of it![Jonathan Snook]
  • Semantic markup.
    An understanding of semantic markup. The concept was brought to my attention after years of hacking sites together using tables and spacer gifs. If only I had known! [Russ Weakley]
  • Removing the unnecessary.
    The power of “removing the unnecessary” so the necessary can speak.
    [Luke Wroblewski]
  • Taking more design history classes.
    I wish I paid more attention in my design history classes.
    [Jason Santa Maria]
  • Taking more art history classes.

    I wish I had taken more art history classes in college. I truly believe that the more you understand the history and genealogy of visual communication, the more successful sources of inspiration you’ll have as a visual designer.
    [Jason Beaird]

  • Web standards.
    I wish I’d known about web standards and CSS when I started, partly because I could have written “Designing With Web Standards” instead of Zeldman, but mostly as it would have saved me considerable time from 1999 to 2002 when I was lost in table layouts and font tags, thinking there had to be a better way.
    [Simon Collison]

    I wish I had grasped the potential of web standards sooner. I remember hearing about CSS back in 1998 but I simply didn’t get it. I didn’t understand its power. As it was I didn’t adopt standards properly until 2002 by which time I was running my own business. Moving an entire company from table based design to CSS is a time consuming and expensive business and it definitely impacted our bottom line. Of course I am glad that I made the transition because the sites I work with now are much easier to maintain and adapt. Ultimately it has made us more profitable and competitive. I just wish I had made the switch on somebody else’s dime and not my own!

    [Paul Boag]

  • Networking.
    I wish I knew the importance of networking before getting out of school. Idealistic young people generally think that their work will be enough to get them jobs, but in the end, it’s almost always just people connecting people.
    [Mike Davidson]
  • Macrotypography.
    [Oliver Reichenstein, Informationarchitects.jp]
  • Everything.
    When I first started trying to make websites I wish I understood then that everything: the design, the copy, the markup, the interactive elements and everything else are all interrelated and must be mutually supporting. Took me a while to catch on.

    [Andy Rutledge]

    Everything.
    [Andy Budd]

3.2. Personal skills.

  • Good writing.
    The importance of good writing. I should have taken more writing classes at university.

    [Jakob Nielsen]

  • Ability to communicate.
    I wish I knew more about process, and relating effectively with clients. What may be obvious to me, in the context of ideas floating in my brain, might not be readily evident to those I am speaking with. As designers, we need to know how to communicate verbally as well as visually. So much of the day-to-day activities revolve around making sure people understand one another, and that doesn’t just take place on a computer monitor.
    [Nathan Smith]
  • Ability to learn.
    Don’t just fix. Learn. For example, today’s brilliant workaround just means the problem will still be there tomorrow (but at least I can get some sleep now). It’s really a matter of looking at your career not as a never ending work grind, but as a constantly evolving education.
    [Bill Keaggy]
  • Ability to focus.
    Focus, focus, focus. Being aware of other technologies, techniques etc is advantageous and helps with problem solving skills (among others), but focusing on building a primary skill set makes it easier to get results with that toolset and gives confidence to move on to develop more skills from there; as opposed to studying every technique out there and really not spending as much time as possible defining ones skill set. The learning process never ends, so best to start by polishing your strengths and then moving on.
    [Frederick Townes]
  • Ability to organize.
    That’s really tough to nail down to one thing, but I’d say it’s the value of investing time in organizational skills. A lot of people view organization as something you have or don’t have, but in reality, it’s a skill like any other. If you work on it and spend time on improving it, the payoff is incredible. The more time I invest on my organizational skills, the more benefit I see.
    [Garrett Dimon]
  • Ability to run things.

    That in the real world, we sort of run things. I went through early college thinking that designers didn’t make much of a difference. I learned my lesson :)
    [Phil Renaud]

  • Ability to say “no”.
    I wish I knew how to say “no” to prospective clients. In my first few years of business I was too afraid to offend anyone, and ended up taking on way too much work, to the point where my personal life and creativity suffered.
    [Jesse Bennett-Chamberlain]
  • Ability to solve problems.
    Programming, design, project management, they’re all the same — they’re about solving problems. Which one you do just depends on what you enjoy, so don’t worry about labels, just do what you enjoy.

    [Cameron Adams, Themaninblue.com]

  • Know your capabilities.
    You have to know what you are capable of. When I started out, I thought I was could design websites easily, and I took on some projects that were way out of my league. If I had known my own abilities better, I would have saved myself a lot of embarrassment.
    [Christian Montoya]
  • Know how to find the right idea.
    I wish I knew how long it would take to find just the right idea.
    [Larissa Meek]
  • Be satisfied with your work.
    You’ll always look back and think you could have done something differently on a project. I think this is simply down to the pace in which the web industry moves. Tools and techniques are always changing. As long as you did the best you could at that point in time, be happy.
    [Andy Peatling]

3.3. Details of the process.

  • Your workspace / equipment matters.
    It may not make financial sense to buy that $2500 MacbookPro — but if it’s going to make you love your equipment, it’s going to drive your creativity and productivity to new levels. Make sure your work environment is exactly how you want it.
    [Kyle Neath, Warpspire.com]
  • You’ll become less creative (sometimes).
    The more time I spend at the computer, the worse I become at both. I typically start both design and programming on paper. If you can problem solve on paper, pixels don’t stand a chance.
    [Daniel Mall]
  • You’ll become more technical (sometimes).
    That my job would become more technical and less creative from time to time. Nowadays you need to be a bit of chameleon and sometimes I wish I could draw all day.
    [Veerle Pieters]
  • Web is a dynamic medium.
    How much more difficult the creative process would be for a medium with so many unknown variables. As a designer, I really appreciate the constraints of print now that I’ve been working with screen design for so long.
    [Dan Rubin]
  • Clients never want something fresh.
    Often when clients say they want something new and fresh and different, they don’t. The reality of “new and fresh and different” can be very frightening to the average business person.
    [Carolyn Wood, Editor in Chief of Digital Web Magazine]
  • Being a ‘web designer’ is obsolete.

    You are either a user interface (experience) designer or one of the many sub-divided professions related to building a website.
    [Carole Guevin, Netdiver.net]

  • There are many designers, but only few masters.
    There are a lot of people in this field, but the vast majority are not great at what they do. If you can be great in at least one area, you’ll set yourself above the crowd and will have no problem finding working.
    [Matt Brett]

    How easy it would be to learn, and how difficult to master.
    [Eric A. Meyer]

  • Browser war would never stop.
    When I started designing for the Web I programmed my first HTML-Dummy and it looked great. When I was nearly done, someone showed me a software called Internet Explorer. We opened it and everything I had done was messy. We closed it, laughed and wondered on how someone would really use a „browser“ like that. Needless to say, that a few years later IE was market leader. So if i knew that in my little world the browser wars would never stop – nowadays optimizing websites for IE 5.5, 6, 7, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and so on – i’d probably be a carpenter today … ;-)[Markus Stefan]

    The browser war and the mindset that lead to them will always be a problem. Even though the first two wars were the result of Netscape followed by Microsoft, the stagnation and resulting fallout (legacy incompatibility and proprietary additions to markup) will always be present regardless of which company is responsible, be it Microsoft, Netscape, Mozilla, Apple or Opera.
    [Shaun Inman]

  • Knowing that I could make a career out of it.
    Like many people, when I first started designing websites, it was just a hobby. It would have been interesting to realise earlier that I could make a career out of it.
    [Richard Rutter]I wish I knew that this was going to be my career. I would have taken it more seriously when I first got started, and probably would have been further ahead. ;)

    [Jina Bolton]

  • Knowing that everything you do is wrong.
    That there is no right way to do things, and when you think you have it figured it all out, everything changes.
    [Craig Saila]
  • Knowing that designer’s work is sometimes terrible.
    Even the best designers have days where they think their work is terrible.
    [D. Keith Robinson]
  • Knowing how much fun it is.
    How much I would enjoy it! Developing websites is really hard work, and it’s not always really fun. But in general I feel that working on different projects with clients in TONS of different industries always keeps the job fresh and full of new challenges. I also learned very quickly the value of a team. I work with two guys that compliment me perfectly, and I would encourage those just starting out to always be seeking people that are better than you to work with.
    [Nick Francis]
  • Knowing that you won’t be able to switch off.
    Someone should have told me that I can’t switch off. I know it sounds trite, but being a designer is *who I am*, not *what I do*. Two completely different things.
    [Mark Boulton]

3.4. Having a mentor.

  • The importance of having a good mentor.
    [Lucian Slatineanu]
  • I wish I knew someone that could have helped me learn what I know now. I ended up figuring all this out from miscellaneous reading, online and off. Sure it’s fun to learn things yourself, but having someone there to tell me what’s the best way to do things, and more importantly WHY those are the best ways, would have saved me lots of headaches and mistakes.
    [Steve Smith]
  • If you don’t have an in-depth background in graphic design, develop a personal or professional relationship with a very well-trained, accomplished, strict, fussy, totally honest graphic designer.
    [Carolyn Wood, Editor in Chief of Digital Web Magazine]
  • Knowing people you can learn from.
    I wish I had known Apple stock would hit $130! Honestly though, before I became a designer, it would’ve been nice to know that there were so many other great designers out there doing great things. I didn’t truly discover this until I went to SXSW in Austin, TX in 2006, where I met some amazing people, some of which are my good friends now. There are so many people out there to learn from, there’s no excuse for not getting better at what you do.
    [Patrick Haney]

↑ Back to top

Co-Founder of Smashing Magazine. Former writer, web designer, freelancer and webworker. Sven is now writing Science Fiction Stories.

  1. 1

    Amazing read. Sure did shake up my thoughts and gave a fresh prespective to things.

    Thanks.

    0
  2. 2

    Great post!
    Thank you, Smashing Magazine!

    0
  3. 3

    Juan Manuel Lemus

    September 5, 2007 3:04 am

    WOW!. Smashing Magazine is inspirated and come on reloaded!

    Yeah!

    0
  4. 4

    As usually. Great stuff. Thanks.

    0
  5. 5

    Wow, awesome article. Thanks a lot!

    0
  6. 6

    Who are some of these designers? I’ve never heard of 90% of them, and when checking out their portfolios, they are not very impressive. I would take any advice from most of them

    0
  7. 7

    Eivind Ingebrigtsen

    September 5, 2007 3:25 am

    Smashing!

    0
  8. 8

    Daniel Anderson Tiecher

    September 5, 2007 3:30 am

    This article took a lot of time to read, basically because I always ended up visiting all the authors’ sites… But it was no wasted time at all. Definately a great read. You guys rock!

    Before I forget: An enormous thank you very much from Brazil for all the people who participated in this article! I learnt a lot from it.

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  9. 9

    Great article once again – thanks!

    0
  10. 10

    Amazing article! Thank you.

    0
  11. 11

    Wow, Thanks!! It’s nice to see some of these pro’s having (had) some of the same insecurities I do!

    0
  12. 12

    Wow nice post, going to have to print this one out for several reads on the john :o

    I found this funny:
    “Myth: Graphic Designers = Excellent Writers”

    Who the hell ever thought that? LOL! Don’t get me wrong but some of us are good writers, but I know a lot that use Word for spelling and grammar like me.

    0
  13. 13

    Very nice reading indeed. Thank you.

    0
  14. 14

    Now I feel like a pro.
    Especially with the stuff along the lines of how fast designs should be and also when they talk about how serious of a job it now is.

    0
  15. 15

    Hello,

    We would like to do an interview with you about your blog for
    http://www.BlogInterviewer.com . We’d like to give you the opportunity to
    give us some insight on the “person behind the blog.”

    It would just take a few minutes of your time. The interview form can
    be submitted online at http://bloginterviewer.com/submit-an-interview

    Best regards,

    Mike Thomas

    0
  16. 16

    This was a very helpful post; it reinforced some things I already know and practice and also taught me quite a few new things.

    0
  17. 17

    Another great, entertaining and inspirational read!

    0
  18. 18

    cool, these people are just like me after all ;)

    0
  19. 19

    Larissa is HOT!

    0
  20. 20

    Phew! I took almost an hour to read this one. cool. you guys rock. thanks a lot. got a couple of useful tips.

    0
  21. 21

    Thank you =)

    I have been burned out on a project I started a while ago. This was a good article to read to get me inspired again.

    0
  22. 22

    Another Nice article.though very long…

    0
  23. 23

    Nice Article.Got to know some good insider views about web development and designing.

    0
  24. 24

    Sounds interesting :)
    I like those answers >

    0
  25. 25

    The inside view is terrific, helps growing more ideas for the next project.. Thanks.

    0
  26. 26

    Nice. How about this though?

    Myth: It can’t be done.

    Truth: It can’t be done for that budget.

    0
  27. 27

    man, if you invited 30 good people in what they do, why you ask them crap like “web-development simple, and anybody can do it” ?

    c’mooon

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  28. 28

    answers are quite universal truths. will try to adhere.

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  29. 29

    nice reading, keep post!

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  30. 30

    Thank you authors & designers, for all the effort you put into this! It’s fun to read, very informative, and I feel fresh inspiration in my belly.

    0
  31. 31

    @Ryan Masuga

    The ratio of women to men at AEA was about 1:10. This is a pretty sad reflection of the entire industry (not AEA.) So yes it is a myth to an extent, but there’s still a pretty pathetic disparity.

    0
  32. 32

    IE is a nightmare to design for. I literally spend hundreds of hours a year fussing with IE-specific issues. How much more could I get done if I didn’t have to?

    0
  33. 33

    IE coding confuses me every day….

    nice article, great work !

    0
  34. 34

    one of the best posts, truly brings some fresh perspective in looking at things from your worktable to design methods and to people around you. thankx a lot guys. keep up the gud work.

    0
  35. 35

    Is it just me or does Jesse & Shaun look like they could be brothers?

    0
  36. 36

    Great read! Congratulations on year one!

    0
  37. 37

    im somewhat new to the design industry, are the designers showcased here considered by most to be among the top designers around? just curious…

    0
  38. 38

    Wonderful post! Love the myths, at the end of the day, you should really think for yourself.

    0
  39. 39

    Great article, I would have to disagree with myth 1.7 though. Designers do not make good developers and developers do not make good designers. Having an understanding of each other is possible and does smooth the process; but understanding is not the same as doing.

    I know Roger Johansson asks are we designers or developers ( http://www.456bereastreet.com/archive/200708/are_we_designers_or_developers/), which brought back a lot of responses of different outlooks so I’d put the split here:
    Developers ensure a program (not a website), can be run by thousands of concurrent users, that the various databases and webservices all run smoothly to give a set result. Designers ensure that the users would want to in the first place!

    Obviously there are far more roles than could be involved, but if we are saying just the two then never the twain shall meet IMHO.

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  40. 40

    I really like this article, I can relate to many areas.

    I am a female, I am a developer AND designer, and do both equally as well.

    I find it frustrating for people to think that I can do/fix everything – just because I manage certain systems does not mean I can/will manage the other outsourced ones :)

    I have to agree that knowing people that you can learn from is one of the most important things in life.

    i will definetly be reading this again over the weekend, and finding ways of improving my workflow :)

    0
  41. 41

    Very interesting article (again)!

    Thanks!

    0
  42. 42

    Larissa is TRYING to look hot with the classic over the shoulder pout crap. If you are lacking in skill, make up for it by distracting your audience by showing your tits or trying to look hot by covering up mostly all of your face with hair and pouting lips. She may as well have put this photo on her myspace with dripping eyeliner.

    The guys are mostly “here’s a photo, ok lets get to work and deliver”. Larissa is “i can’t contribute in an intelligent way so…um…look! don’t you want to have sex with me?”

    nice try larissa but no cigar. (except the one you look like you are about to smoke in cock form).

    0
  43. 43

    I thought she kinda looks like Amy Winehouse.

    0
  44. 44

    Reassuring and inspiring – thanks for this!

    0
  45. 45

    Woah, ‘Nice Try’ seems a little bitter..

    Great article, so much to get through though!

    I’ve picked up some useful tips, so thanks again SM!

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  46. 46

    Like a typical design book, 8 pages worth of content stretched to 33 pages with big font sizes and line height. PLEASE create a print version with reasonable sizing. I love your articles, but I don’t want to print out 33 pages. I know, you want me to read this online, but my specific job situation requires me to sit for long periods of time without a computer.

    0
  47. 47

    I just recreated your print.css to meet my needs, and it’s readable, accessible, and 12 pages (not 33). Why your current way better?

    0
  48. 48

    I like this website. This website helped me with prayer learning. Good job. Thank you. Please provide more French prayers. Bye-bye.d

    0
  49. 49

    >> Internet Explorer 7 is an improvement over IE6.

    IE7 fixed a few bugs and added anti-aliasing

    0
  50. 50

    Amazing i must say!!!

    0
  51. 51

    Cool. I love it, it lighted my thought.

    0
  52. 52

    Really love to read this, great article!

    0
  53. 53

    Great article.. We had a good discussion over these points in my company!

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  54. 54

    How do you get in contact with some of these developers is there a website you can direct me too?
    Thanks
    Mike

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  55. 55

    I don’t think it is true that you can not be a designer and developer. You can be good at both, both are somehow related to each other.

    0
  56. 56

    This is an absolutely amazing article, Ive got another 7 tabs open here with more articles like this. I’m having doubts about my own career in web design and this just picked me right up again, I’m not sure if I’ll even need to read them now. Thank you Smashing Magazine, you probably just saved what is going to be an adventurous career for me.

    0
  57. 57

    It’s really inspired
    knowledgeable
    please share us more and more this kind of knowledge and inspiration to us
    Thank you so much

    0
  58. 58

    Surprisee Dude , i love with ur web blog. LOL Please come to my blog

    0
  59. 59

    Very nice article. Great work!!! you guys are rocking.. Thanks

    0

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