AEA Notes – Understanding Web Design

This week I’m attending An Event Apart web conference. The following are my notes from Jeffrey Zeldman’s talk entitled, “Understanding Web Design.”

  • Clients want to know the work they are paying for is valuable. The trouble is that hardly anyone gets what web designers and developers do. Clients don’t understand the value of our work. It’s up to us to act as our own evangelists.
  • When your team doesn’t understand the importance of what you do or know how to evaluate your work, it’s not possible to create things that delight or achieve business objectives.
  • Understanding the business of a client is a vital way to help them value what you do. Communicate your understanding of what the client does. When they believe you get what they do, the details of what you don’t matter. They’ll value what you do and trust you with their business.
  • Random fact: the web turns 25 this year.
  • Anything that interferes with the user experience is extraneous and is bad web design. Look for ways to remove needless complexity from the user experience regardless of device.
  • We don’t design for browsers. We design for people to make sure they have a good experience.
  • Web design is the creation of digital environment that facilitate and encourage human interactivity.
  • The secret of design is details. Layout is the servant of content.
  • Great web design makes interaction easy.
  • A good site guides you subtly toward your heart’s desire.
  • Great design can be invisible or it can be in your face but it .
  • It always delights and engages.
  • We are all evangelists. Represent the profession with class. Don’t wait to be asked. Always show something better than what was asked for. Be assertive and volunteer.
  • Put yourself in the listeners/the client’s place in order to communicate what we do in a way they’ll understand.