33 comments

  • Denis RojcykDenis Rojcyk, over 5 years ago

    If your manifesto can stretch to hundreds of characters per line it's broken.

    28 points
    • Bevan StephensBevan Stephens, over 5 years ago

      The proliferation of tools that transform web pages for readability, on the one hand, and ad- and javascript-blockers on the other point to a general dissatisfaction with the status quo.

      People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

      5 points
    • Bryan CoreyBryan Corey, over 5 years ago

      Exactly the point I came here to the comments to make. Well played.

      1 point
  • Jim SilvermanJim Silverman, over 5 years ago

    Professionally, I am an evolutionary biologist by way of computer science.

    Please, tell me more about CSS, typography and "visual clutter"

    21 points
  • David ÖhlinDavid Öhlin, over 5 years ago

    This comment from the post on Hacker News reflects my opinion on this pretty well:

    Computer scientist, it may come as a surprise to you, but there are competent people outside of your field of expertise. You're not a genius, and everyone else isn't stupid. If a designer (or whoever decides) chooses to have custom fonts, client-side scripting or custom style sheets, it's because he weighted the downsides of said choice and still opted for it. If he did not, or he is not aware of the downsides, then it's a matter of incompetence, not web design. So, your pseudo-manifesto should be anti-incompetence, not anti-web-design. Being "anti-web-design" only tells us that a) you know nothing about design (you don't have the smallest idea regarding methodology or even simply what a designer actually does); and b) it's no more than a rant - all your valid points (which are a few) are obscured by the arrogant and oblivious attitude.

    16 points
  • Russ BrownRuss Brown, over 5 years ago

    I agree broadly with the overall sentiment but this is naive in the extreme.

    15 points
    • Andrew ZimmermanAndrew Zimmerman, over 5 years ago

      It is interesting reading the comments on this article compared to the ones from Frost's "Death to Bullshit" post.

      0 points
      • Russ BrownRuss Brown, over 5 years ago

        Yep, the same frustration expressed via someone in the industry vs someone outside the industry.

        3 points
  • Zip ZapZip Zap, over 5 years ago (edited over 5 years ago )

    body { max-width: 700px; } could be great also :)

    better

    14 points
    • David ÖhlinDavid Öhlin, over 5 years ago (edited over 5 years ago )

      width: 47em has been commented out from the css..

      2 points
    • ╯‵Д′)╯彡┻━┻ ., over 5 years ago

      I'm styling this with a Chrome addon called Styler. Author makes a good point about sites which can be customized easily. I love that about sites like craigslist, reddit, hackernews, etc. They don't suffer from 'div soup' https://s3.amazonaws.com/f.cl.ly/items/3l1j1c0l3N403r1l0O0s/2015-08-28_16-35-12.png

      0 points
    • Andrew ZimmermanAndrew Zimmerman, over 5 years ago (edited over 5 years ago )

      I interpreted the author's writing to suggest that your decision to force a max-width of 700px to be a questionable decision because you are asserting you know how the user will interact with the page.

      Your max-width may indeed be a good solution for most people, but what about people that want to view text at twice the size as default? Your decision will affect that user who may prefer to have their browser expanded full-screen (approximately 60% of my internal users do this despite the content being limited to max-width 940px) for some reason.

      In the case of the author's page, it may be annoying to resize your browser window to a comfortable reading width, but how wide that comfortable width is should be made by the user, not the designer.

      I read the article to be emphasizing accessibility and putting the user in control. Your example is exactly what the author decries.

      I do understand the desire and thought behind your example. I assume you want to increase usability by dictating line width in order to improve readability. But your decision in this case also affects the design for things not in a single column of text.

      If you are concerned about accessibility and having the user control their experience, you should be conscious of how your design decisions affect everybody, not users [just] that resemble your preconceived biases.

      0 points
      • Michael AleoMichael Aleo, over 5 years ago

        it may be annoying to resize your browser window to a comfortable reading width, but how wide that comfortable width is should be made by the user, not the designer.

        We should make every website in Times New Roman, black text on white background, and let users create their own user sheets to meet their personal preferences.

        Or... not.

        6 points
      • Laurens SpangenbergLaurens Spangenberg, over 5 years ago

        Having a website which calls for websites to focus more on content yet cannot honour it's own is hypocritical. It pretty much violates the first rule of The Elements of Typographic Style where "typography (which can easily be called design) exists to honour content."

        A massive text width (I'm on a 27 inch iMac) makes this website incredibly difficult to read without re-sizing my window.

        While this website may be more accessible to desktop users who can control the text width by re-sizing their browser window, it's actually less accessible to others. Mobile users don't have the option of resizing windows, nor do some niche devices such as those Windows 10 TV sized devices, or game consoles.

        If accessible is the reason behind having no set text width, he has failed.

        1 point
  • Account deleted over 5 years ago

    Pseudo intellectual haterade.

    9 points
  • Trev MorrisTrev Morris, over 5 years ago

    Who hurt you?

    So lets stifle creativity, kick the designers out, remove the opportunity for income (granted I hate ads, -who doesn't?- but they have a place), and stop experimenting.

    Play it safe, by all means, hire a good team, make sure your users will be comfortable - User-test your site, but in no way should we stop exploring methods of conveying our message.

    Also 60 words per line? I had to shrink my browser to read your 'Manifesto'..

    6 points
  • Daniel WearneDaniel Wearne, over 5 years ago

    Everyone's entitled to their opinion, but working in a team with this guy would be like pulling teeth. The web is a complex and fast evolving landscape, you have to be a little more open-minded than this.

    5 points
  • Bevan StephensBevan Stephens, over 5 years ago

    Professional design is about balancing user needs AND business needs.

    While I agree that lot's of the things mentioned are annoying and mostly done badly. We can't just say NO to our clients business needs, we have to offer a solution.

    Don't get me wrong I will always fight for the needs of the end user, but this sort of extreme idealism isn't very helpful to anyone.

    4 points
  • Jonathon HalliwellJonathon Halliwell, over 5 years ago

    Is this satire?

    Kappa

    3 points
  • Kenneth T, over 5 years ago (edited over 5 years ago )

    Your manifesto is not anti, it's pro

    Web design is actually all about making sure users can access your content, without JavaScript, without CSS, without plugins, without custom fonts, —heck, without your website, but that’s another story— ...

    Misconception

    Design in the digital industry somehow got away with neglecting the technical side of the discipline. This fed the misconception about what web design actually is. The same misconception that led you to write anti and not pro.

    Enhancing is OK

    There’s no harm in using CSS/JS/… to enhance your design, as long as you don't neglect the implications. So, go on and write some CSS for your blog to make it readable.

    2 points
  • Mikus RiekstinsMikus Riekstins, over 5 years ago

    Closed as soon as lost the line I was at. And who said design means scripts, tracking and advertising?

    1 point
    • ╯‵Д′)╯彡┻━┻ ., over 5 years ago

      Well now then, all you have to do is resize the browser window and read on an enfeebled mobile sized screen

      0 points
    • Andrew ZimmermanAndrew Zimmerman, over 5 years ago

      Design is "purpose, planning, or intention that exists or is thought to exist behind an action, fact, or material object." so, yes, design does include scripts, tracking and advertising, not just visual style as seen by the end user. It also includes what is being said and how the medium is being used to communicate the action, fact or object.

      That said, it is no longer 1994 when I started building websites nor 2013 when this was written.

      0 points
  • Dean HaydenDean Hayden, over 5 years ago

    Possibly the most miserable thing I've read this year. Sour sour bitter post devoid of any joy, insight or usefulness.

    0 points
  • Alec LomasAlec Lomas, over 5 years ago

    If you are trying to make a web application, just stop. Build a native application. It's nicer for everyone.

    Unless, of course, you can't afford to develop for more than one platform. Then, it's only nicer for a subset of 'everyone'.

    0 points
  • Oscar von HauskeOscar von Hauske, over 5 years ago (edited over 5 years ago )

    If you make it past the hubris in this "Manifesto" there are some interesting points (which might be obvious to some but not all):

    -Some users want full control -The web is too bloated -Privacy is an issue -Advertising is an issue

    Nothing new, but these are definitely interesting challenges

    0 points
  • Duncan RussellDuncan Russell, over 5 years ago

    5) No frames, multi-columns or other visual clutter

    I remember back in the super-past when people used to moan about sites where the content area wasn't 100% of the width.

    I refused to do it then because I like to be able to read.

    But I do sympathise with the sentiment that a lot of the web's problems aren't inherent to the framework – and instead have been created by bad design, heavy scripting and bloat.

    0 points