Wednesday, June 22, 2005

How I realized I wasn’t really a Web designer
One day I heard a very funny radio ad in which a bubbly but utterly incompetent caterer raved to her soon-to-be-wed clients about her vision for their reception: ‘And for the main course: meatloaf with hearts on it, in ketchup!’

My first Angelfire pages were a little like that, not AOL 1-2-3 Publish ‘Pictures of My Kitty’ bad but rather like, if you watch ‘King of the Hill’, Peggy Hill’s overestimation of her skills, be they speaking Spanish or being a sculptor! (She’s comic relief right out of Chaucer or a mediæval morality play.)

Was reminded of that recently as I’ve been editing and pruning/purging those four- and five-year-old pages.

There’s a difference between knowing a little HTML and being a designer!

Among the lessons learnt:

• Don’t publish anything and announce it all over the Internet until you’re absolutely sure of what you’re doing.
• Frames suck.
• Less is more, or like the late Gerard Bugge* said, ‘KISS (keep it simple, stupid)’.

Still, I’m grateful that some people paid me to make simple pages and even maintain a well-designed/well-made site (designed and made by somebody else).

*Sorry, but he had similar problems making and maintaining Praise of Glory: a site with lots of interesting content hampered by design, programming and technology that are behind the times (to be fair to us both the latter two have changed so quickly!). Somebody may be keeping this site up as a memorial, which is great because there is good stuff there.

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