The Cult of Userism…

I was a little shocked to read this article from Mr Zeldman regarding how web designers and developers go about building a system. He says that the question “what do users want?” isn’t asked enough. While I would agree with that, to a certain extent, I don’t believe it to be typical at all. After all, who are we building these systems for? The people that pay the bills, of course, but also the end users.

I couldn’t possibly dream of writing a system without putting myself in the driving seat, as it were. Designing for designings sake is nothing more than graphical masturbation, and developing for developings sake is … well, it’s just sad. Mind you, I shouldn’t be too surprised about Zeldman saying what he said in that article – he is known for having a cynical attitude towards design in general.

In other news… I had an interesting conversation with someone called Dave (I think) who I bumped into at my local bookshop. We (la inamorata and I) had just finished our very large and very fattening coffees, and I decided to look for a book about advanced DOM scripting. Dave was sat on the floor in front of the shelf I need to look at, and we got chatting. It turned out that he is a graphic designer with a particular passion for typography, who is starting to get into web design. Like a good web standards evangelist I encouraged him to learn about CSS, and gave him my card with a few useful web addresses that would help him. Hopefully he’ll be in touch, as I’m very interested in getting to know more designers/developers in the local area. Perhaps there’s a nearby group which I could join?

Anyway, because that’s yet another time I’ve passed on the same links to yet another person just getting into web design, I thought I’d put all these links into a useful reference page. So when my new website goes live – which shouldn’t be too long now – I’ll add a link here.