Part two of a Summary of Erik Fadiman’s Opening Lecture to His Web Design Bootcamp 2012
Simple is good. We are not just visual designers, we also build systems. It’s important to design within the realm of what you can build. There’s so many new things coming onto the scene that if you are a designer who doesn’t code his own stuff, you’ll realize quickly what you ask of your developer is sometimes more than just a click of a button. A good principle of design: streamline everything.
One of the ways the industry accomplishes this is by keeping down file size. If you have a “small” site, it uploads fast and renders easily. This happens by changing your original images into .jpegs, .pngs, and .gifs. These are your files streamlined, colors simplified and sometimes detail lost. It’s directly related: more information, higher resolution, bigger file. It’s about finding the balance between small file and high fidelity.
There are many things that you don’t see in Web. Html, Hyper Text Markup Language, is not a programming language. It’s the bones of your site. Underneath (I envision it as underneath, but it could be projected invisibly above) the site, there is a series of tags that help describe the content in words. Semantic mark-up language has been the latest shift in this language. It helps the blind (and computers) find your site better. Using the right words in your html creates what is called “Search Engine Optimization” or SEO. Html is like the “Hello, My name is” name tag on your site. The nicer it is, the more Google wants people to find you (if they are looking for you).
Web Design is an evolving field. You would think that means that things get more complex. What you find is that things must be pared down to their basic elements. The Internet is a constantly changing place. Formatting to fit new mediums, such as the up and coming mobile devices gives designers an age old challenge of offering accessibility to everyone while creating progressive enhancements. We might be in this world of apps and tags, pokes and .pngs, but not everyone is, but they’re catching up. Or rather, the Aol users, and Internet Explorer-ers are slowing dying off. Some of them are dropping out while others are upgrading.