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My Design Philosophy

Change. It's inevitable.

On the Web, and in technology in general, things change more quickly than anywhere else it seems. So, how do you keep up?

Be flexible.

Embrace the fact that your audience will change, the devices they use to view your site will change, and the tools at your disposal will change.

Always strive to create sites and content that are scalable and flexible to this ever-changing reality.

Notice and evaluate trends.

When I began designing Websites in 2002, the idea of every site having interactive and flashy content (usually with the use of Flash) was the going thing. I have watched as that trend moved on to full Flash sites, which then was quickly squashed by the popularity of the iPad®. And that's just one of the many trends I watched with some amusement as it seemingly changed with the direction of the wind.

Web design trends can be a bit like fashion trends — some are functional, some are totally illogical, some are classic and tend to come back around, and others are one-hit wonders.

It's important to watch trends and evaluate them based on what is logical and what is right for your audience. A fresh, trendy look can be vital in increasing and keeping your audience, but it's not always the most important thing.

Every now and then, go back to the basics.

When I first learned to write the code for Websites, I used plain Microsoft® Notepad. If I made a mistake, I had to sift through the code with no color-coded hints to point the way and refresh the page in the browser. Nothing was pre-generated for me. I wrote everything myself. (Well, I did copy that long doctype that would mess everything up if it was wrong.)

I'm thankful I started that way. I still try to write everything by hand in one form or another. I may use new tools to cut down on retyping the same colors and measurements every time I need them, but I inspect the output because I never trust a machine to correctly write code for me. I don't like to use pre-generated templates unless it's really necessary.

It also gives me perspective. It's easy to get caught up in adding all the bells and whistles that we can now and forget that a Website ultimately has one purpose: Communicate a message to a (hopefully) vast audience.