Craig Butcher

Front End Web Developer

Designing websites

As I have started working in web design back in 1997, I self taught myself how to build HTML pages with the infamous inline elements and everything was captured into <table>, <td>, etc. The Internet boom happened around 2000 onwards and I ceased web designing until 2007 when I picked the first edition of "Designing with web standards" written by Jeffery Zeldman.

What made me return back to website designing was the method I have originally done back in the late 90s was designing in the browser, a belief in accessibility that applies to everyone (adults, children, able bodied, disabled, blind, deaf, etc) and a new look unique way of presenting the content.

I prefer designing websites on paper first. When was the last time you broke out your artistic stride and seeing what you can conjure? Draw out the framework on paper, is it a static page, is it animated, does it make a brew for the web audience?

From paper to designing the framework in the web browser is considered as best practice for you to visualise what happens next. For designing graphics, I recommend using the up and coming Pixelmator because I believe that Photoshop no longer has the market in this area.

Designing a website in Photoshop is tedious, slow and unimaginable where working in the browser enable you to play and design using the latest web technology. Did you know that amazing stuff happens when you play?

Clients want to see a realistic demonstration rather than a static image. They want to know how each click/tap works, the page download, how does it look on the iPad, the list goes on as there are so many factors that you can take back to improving the website. It is a playground for the clients to give us, the web designer/developer, the feedback we need.

With inspiration exhibited from many web designers such as Andy Clarke with Hardboiled Web Design and the ever so useful 24 ways website. I believe the method I'm using will continue to develop over time and improvising what I can do with the technology.

I know many people probably will not agree to what I am saying here because of this technique. I know I will get told x and y because it is not possible but you know what?

Then how come this simple formula is working for me?

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