3 July 2007 @ 7pm



I’ve been really impressed with Joshua Porter, the Director of Web Development at User Interface Engineering. (A quick nit to pick: the UIE website uses the design form of the “tag cloud” / clump of words in the top right of the page. Just the other day, I was thinking about that form and how bad it is for conveying information, as it de-prioritizes the content: you have no idea which of the words is most significant. The text with the highest contrast? The largest text? It feels kind of “public service anouncement-y.” Odd, that a usability site would utilize that design form. I digress.)

Anyway, Joshua Porter consistently writes interesting, informative posts on his blog, Bokardo. He just posted one this morning, GrandCentral is People-Centric, where he gives a really nice nuance to a previously oblique opinion I had: that constraints are a good thing.

First, though: a preamble.

As David Heinemeier Hansson noted in his post, What if I actually like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript?, “As a web developer, I’d like to confess my deep appreciation of the restricted canvas that we get from the basics of the web.” I was totally on-board with this. I mean, my job as a front-end developer consists of working with a fairly specific toolbox. And, honestly, it’s really nice. The constraints of CSS and web standards are comforting.

But then Joshua makes this point, in GrandCentral is People-Centric: “Some people laud those who can design within constraints. But the best designs bust through the right constraints, work only with the absolutely necessary ones, and provide people-centric services.”

As Joshua notes: the trick isn’t knowing how to work within constraints. It’s knowing which constraints to embrace and which constraints to completely throw out the window. Thanks for that clarity, Joshua.

No Comments Yet

There are no comments yet. You could be the first!

Leave a Comment

“a _________ killer” Raising a Pint to Laura