Design View | Articles and opinion on design professionalism, technique and culture by Andy Rutledge

Web Design is Product Design

August 31, 2011

Debate is usually an indication of intelligent human pursuit. But not always. One issue for design students—this no-brainer, simplest of issues—has ever been kept alive within the inane realm of debate since it first arose. As such, it is an unflattering indictment on those who contest the simple fact that a web designer must craft markup and css.

A designer who does not write markup and css is not designing for the web, but drawing pictures.

Web design is product design. Drawing a picture of the product is not designing the product. Web design is experience design. Drawing a picture of on-screen content or mechanism behaviors is not designing the experience. The functioning html/css (and sometimes JavaScript) is the design.

Graphic design is often important in web design, but only as one component of web design’s requirements. If you stop at the .psd you’ve stopped well before midpoint in the design. The graphic designer who lacks html/css skill is insufficiently prepared as a web designer. A designer who lacks competence should address that issue rather than seek refuge within embarrassing debate.

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