You are here: Home / Dog Blog / Archives

Artistic Developers

Friday 16 January, 2004 ( 4:41PM GMT)

Web standards are technical and yet a great number of web designers at the forefront of standards advocacy are expert graphic designers.

The professional set up that I have most regularly come across is a graphic designer who will mock up a web page in Photoshop and a coder who will then take that mock-up and turn it into a functional web page using HTML and CSS.

This seems to make sense. I have some vague recollection from studying psychology years ago that people do tend to have either technical or artistic brains. And in fact casual observation reveals that I can fit most of the people I know into vaguely artistic or technical groups.

Obviously, things aren't as black and white as one person being 'artistic' and another 'technical' - there are grey areas, but I think it is certainly rare to come across a person who has a good (as in professional standard) eye for design and a detailed grasp of web technology.

Jeffrey Zeldman, Doug Bowman, Dan Cederholm, Andy Budd and Dave Shea to name just a handful could all work as graphic designers, but they all have a deep understanding of the technology behind the graphics and they are all regular contributors to the web design and development community.

The future of web development is being lead by artists.

I don't think it's a bad thing. But it is intriguing.


Comment 1

you may be right, but i think that those who also understand the technology will have the upper hand. why hire two ppl to do two jobs when one person can do both?

So said jen on Friday 16 January, 2004 at 5:36PM GMT.

Comment 2

you got it wrong... they are technical people with a deep understanding of the design process ... :-D

So said on Friday 16 January, 2004 at 7:09PM GMT.

Comment 3

I personally think that web designers who code type people do have a very distinctive style which is alot different to your average graphic designed kind of site. I think really it is due to the fact that alot of graphic designers still have not dropped the notion that web design is akin to print design but technically minded designer seem to have made web design distinctly different.

On the whole, I think this is a good thing but the disadvantage is that designers with ideas and creativity and less knowledge of the normal restrictions of the technology can sometimes push it in new and exciting ways. Zeldman, Dave Shea and that school of designer come up with brilliant state of the art site that use web technology in the best way but without crazy designers making mad stuff the web could be a bit uniform.

So said Dan W on Saturday 17 January, 2004 at 1:49PM GMT.

Comment 4

I have always refused to code things any graphic designer has fixed in some static programme. I'm convinced that you have to think html and css from the beginning of the creating process. I don't kmow if the common opinion, that most people are either technical or creative. Or if this differentiation is only in society, so that you rarely have the opportunity to develop both at the same time.
Anyway, it's a matter of time to have professional skills in both areas! That is my experience as I develop both sides.
Last, what makes me sick with websites today is the all standard portal type structure almost every site comes along! And that might be the tribute to the separation of artistic skills from technical skills. Technicians always want the same "as ever", to speak provocantly. To adapt something new i takes time to cinvince - but, in the end, they see the difference and advantage! In the beginning, it was hip to do designs based on images or stories, and we had the famous David Siegel bible "killer websites", who himself now does the all standard table style layout as everybody.
Last, we have the guru to simpliness, Jacob Nielsen, and all that pofessional power together makes the web all boring! no distinguishing one from another, back to "only information matters", though we know that 80% of decisions are made from the guts, so why don't adress them any more?

So said Gertrud on Sunday 25 January, 2004 at 8:43AM GMT.

Comment 5

New website designs come about from the fusion of creative design and technology. Without these two elements working together, brainstorming, pushing ideas around on paper and pushing the boundries of the medium, the web will become a dull and templated world.

Below is some excerpts from Edward De Bono -

There is the notion that if you are weak in a certain direction then you will try harder to develop those aspects at which you are weak. But does it work? It is possible that you sink ever deeper into the classification box and take comfort in this. So if you are not creative you leave creativity to others and build, for example, on your judgements strengths.

Anything that insists on 'what is' can have a restricting effect on 'what can be'. A person classified as not naturally creative can develop a powerful creative skill - if suitably trained.

After the Renaissance and in the Middle Ages, 'thinking' was largely the domain of theologians. The Church also controlled education through schools and universities. The 'thinking' that concerned theologians was very much the thinking of analysis, definitions, words and argument. There was a need to preserve the faith and to prove heretics wrong. As a result there was no emphasis at all on constructive and creative thinking. Religion does not seem to need constructive and creative thinking.

So it is hardly surprising that, to this day, thinking is very limited. That is why we are so poor at conflict resolution and at problem solving where the cause of the problem cannot be removed. Design and value creation are indeed done by individuals but these aspects of thinking have never become part of the intellectual culture. 'Creativity' is seen merely as artistic expression.

Sadly, there is very little insight into this glaring deficiency.

So said aaron on Tuesday 13 April, 2004 at 10:04AM GMT.

Comment 6

I think there people who understand both technics and design process. It seems to me that it depends on the dominant brain hemisphere. The right hemisphere is responsible for creativity, the left one - for logics etc.

So said Andy on Monday 7 June, 2004 at 5:35PM GMT.

See Also

^ Top

SiteGround: Fast, reliable, recommended hosting.