Turning inner space into outer space

December 18, 2016

Three steps to freedom in web design

One of the coolest things about Resilient Web Design is that it is a web book. Yes, entire book with chapters and an index, created first and foremost for the web. It looks good and reads great on any device.

But a book is nothing without content, and this one delivers. Mostly, Jeremy Keith presents a history of web design, but along the way we learn about the founding principles of the web and the philosophy they infuse in everything we do today.

It’s taken awhile, but we’re finally reaching the point where it’s considered normal to design a website so that anyone, armed with any device, can use it. Knowing the history of the web, it’s easier to understand past mistakes. It’s also easier to understand why we need no longer repeat them.

Keith’s big takeaway is his three-step approach to web design:

  1. Identify core functionality.
  2. Make that functionality available using the simplest possible technology.
  3. Enhance!

In many cases, the simplest technology might be nothing more than semantic markup. If someone can visit your site and get want they want with no CSS or JavaScript, count that as a victory for the web.

I would be tempted to go one step further. Before you even think about design, create all your content — or at least get it close to what you want. Then mark it up. Then design it.

Following this approach, by the time you reach Keith’s Step 3, you can go nuts.