Whoops, I did it again. I let a long-simmering annoyance with some quirk of current web design spill over into a rant that the kind folks at awesome web design rag A List Apart, enablers that they are, were kind enough to publish. Some will call it obvious, but if it was so obvious, it wouldn't be such a frequent problem.
But as a designer, I'm tired of hearing clients and associates ask, "What would Google do?" as if every move they make is pure gold. When it comes to visual/exerience design, Google does just about everything wrong, starting with their user-hostile homepage.
So I wrote a little something for the new web design magazine, Vitamin. It's intended to be opinionated, so it's okay if you have a different opinion. That's the thing about old friends - you're allowed to squabble every once in a while.
I recently had the good fortune to work with a client who asked me to, in addition to doing my usual experience design / visual design thing, also write much of the text that appeared on the site. And it made me realize that I've often done this for clients - it just wasn't an official part of the process. It was more like, "well, somebody had to write it, and I knew what it needed to say, so I just kinda did it."
Having a client actually encourage me to use my words in addition to my pixels renewed my appreciation for the role writing has in designing good experiences online. Words are how we think, communicate, and create experiences every day. A designer without words is like a car without an interior: nice to look at, but I'd hate to have to drive it.
So I wrote an article for venerable web magazine A List Apart on this topic. If you, or someone you know, designs experiences for a living, give it a read and let me know what you think.
And for anyone who missed the end of the story, yes, we were married, and every day I'm grateful.
Speaking of Heather, she's been doing fabulous stuff over on her site lately. If you haven't visited in a while, you're in for a treat.
Also, my dog is cuter than yours.
A couple bits of me out there in the ethernet....
The Campfire Makes a Comeback
A great story in SF Station by Nirmala Nataraj about the storytelling revival that's been going on the last 30 years. In some ways, Fray is a rebellion against traditional, fictional storytelling, but I'm almost relieved the story didn't get into that.
Google is Cool
A story I wrote for AlterNet about everbody's favorite search engine. It's a decidedly non-geeky article, written for the normals who are wondering why everyone's been so preoccupied with the company lately.
I've had the pleasure to contribute to two other sites recently, and it's really so much more fun than talking to myself here.
I've been reading TeeVee for years - it's the best writing about the idiot box anywhere. So what a pleasure it is to see a little something I wrote published there. It really is a shame their standards have dropped so much over the years, but their loss is my gain. Or something.
Exercising the other side of my brain, I contributed a few photographs to the newly relaunched Photojunkie Magazine. I was thrilled to contribute to the collaborative photo essay: Everything Old is New Again.
Yay for collaboration!
This section is called Just a Thought. It's a blog where I post little pieces of what I'm thinking about at the moment. This page shows thoughts about Elsewhere, including:
In ALA: Where am I?
8 August 2006
What Would Google Do?
15 May 2006
Calling All Designers: Learn to Write!
9 May 2006
Putting the "purpose" in repurpose
27 September 2004
15 May 2004
Plays Well with Others
14 April 2004
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Working the web since 1995, Derek Powazek is the creator of many award-winning websites, a couple of which still exist. Derek is the cofounder of JPG Magazine and the CCO of 8020 Publishing. Derek lives in San Francisco with his wife, two nutty Chihuahuas, a grumpy cat, and a house full of plants named Fred. More »
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In ALA: Where am I? 8 August 2006
What Would Google Do? 15 May 2006
Calling All Designers: Learn to Write! 9 May 2006
Putting the "purpose" in repurpose 27 September 2004
Elsewheres 15 May 2004