Web Designers

There are too many web designers who don’t know web design.

You wouldn’t hire an electrician to wire your house based on how “pretty” he could make the wires look, safety hazards be damned. You would want someone who knows about wire insulation and other concerns to make sure your house doesn’t burst into flames.

Bad coding isn’t as big a risk as that, but people who hire these “web designers” should hire them based on more than how a site looks. But they don’t, since they don’t know what to look for in regards to good coding (standards and accessiblity and all that).

You’d want to hire a licensed electrician rather than some guy who just shows you pictures of wires he installed. Why then, do so many people hire designers based on screenshots of previous sites they designed?

Okay, okay, I know *why* they do. After all, they’re hiring them to design their website. But unless they have a seperate developer, that designer is going to be doing the coding for their site and you often have no idea of how well they do that.

It just bothers me since I try to keep up to date on “web design developments” and take issues such as standards and accessiblity in mind. I read books and websites on those subjects. But there’s still so many “designers” that make a pretty picture in Photoshop (usually not a legal version either), use the slice tool, and then save it as HTML and images, usually in the default option of tabular HTML. If people want to do that on their own sites, or for their friends, I don’t care about that. I just hate when they market themselves as “web designers” and do that for a profit. And as I said, the clients who use them don’t know any better.

  • I know what you’re saying all too well. Coming from being employed on the development end of the spectrum where we often have to deal with a designer… It’s really shameful how badly some of the design specs I’ve received are coded and how much time is wasted on the development end to make a spec into a site coded with web standards in mind.

    The worst is when you run into things that are easy to do with tabular based layouts but are difficult or damn near impossible with CSS/XHTML based ones which have to deal with default code spit out by a CMS which cannot be changed. Things like making it look identical on every browser known to man… Things like vertical alignment.

    Why is this the worst? Designers know just enough HTML to think they know what they’re talking about better than you do. When you tell them something is impossible or not as easy as they think it is, they accuse you of lying. It is so goddamned frustrating.

  • [quote post=”1400″]Things like making it look identical on every browser known to man[/quote]
    The book I’m reading now, Transcendent CSS, is based around the idea that sites don’t have to look the same on every browser. The way he explains it makes sense, but I’m not used to thinking like that!

  • Amen!!!!! I run into this all the time at work, our designer spits out html pages because it’s ‘faster’ for him to do it than for me to code it. But, usually, later on I have to go in and edit the files. It is a pain to edit lots and lots of nested tables when I could have just built it out myself!

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