There are websites, and then there are websites

There are websites that express grace and charm; exemplify the beauty that is what they represent, whether people or products. Often both. The designer laid out the floorplan, laboriously crafted graphical elements galore and then assembled them into a proposal which awed (unbelievably gorgeous!) and shocked (the sticker price!). Retainer secured, they then proceeded to construct.

It took months to insert those graphics into the closed-source content management system the designer chose for the task. And many more months getting the server to boot thereafter.

“This image file must blend with that,” the designer says. “It’ll take no more than twenty-five hours to make it so, after we activate the responsive do-hickeys and modify the sliding whatchamacallits. Which will only take eighty hours. As a fallback we can spread our proprietary (read: built on the last client’s nickel) Javascript widgets across every HTML tag to make it work in IE6.”

“What about iPads and iPhones?” the customer sheepishly inquires.

“We’ll get to that, and it’ll only take an extra seventy hours. Meanwhile, it kinda-sorta renders on the Blackberry Curve right now.”

Two years and six million dollars later a website is launched. And the designer never even stepped foot into the client’s place of business to do it. Why not? Because they are designers. They don’t need to understand requirements such as internal user skills and/or information resources, target audiences, future business plans, and other such nonsense. Their work products are always stunning to the eye, and that is all that matters.

There are websites. Like the one just implemented above, which crashed weekly, resulting in perpetual additional billings to repair and eventually forcing the owner into involuntary bankruptcy. And then there are websites.

This is the latter.

MG signing off (because Paul “Bear” Bryant said small and fast beats big and slow any day, and the internet hadn’t even been invented yet)

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