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This is How You Design a ‘Mother Effing’ Website – Excerpts

Barry Smith describes himself as a mild-mannered guy who doesn’t curse at all. In fact, at one job, his coworkers had a running bet to see who could get him to swear. Little did they know, all they had to do was ask him what pisses him off about Web design.

Smith is the Web designer and developer behind the funny, informative and f-bomb-riddled site motherfuckingwebsite.com that made the rounds of Twitter last week. The site features lightweight, simple and responsive design, and “it’s fucking perfect” – just ask him. It captured the imagination of many because it’s a tongue-in-cheek reminder that sometimes Web design goes way too far. (Target’s drop-shadow-infested new site, anyone?) For example, if you were ever confused about responsive design: “Responsive means that it responds to whatever motherfucking screensize it’s viewed on. This site doesn’t care if you’re on an iMac or a motherfucking Tamagotchi.”

What are the worst design trends?
I am tired of the giant pages that spread their information across several full-screen sections but only have a few lines of content. It could have easily fit in one screen. I mention it in MFW  — and I’ve totally built them recently.

What are the biggest lies you hear about Web design?
That being a Web designer is only related to visuals and Photoshop files. I like what Ethan Marcotte said: “The worst thing to happen to accessibility and performance was calling them anything other than Web design.”

Are agencies full of it when it comes to building sites?
No way. As a lot of people who read MFW pointed out, you have to do what the clients say. I’d say that most of the fecal material in our sites today comes from clients who don’t understand. Mike Monteiro would say, it’s our job to make them understand, though, so we’re not completely absolved.

Why are there poorly designed websites in the first place?
We all make mistakes; we all have short deadlines; we all have unreasonable clients. I would say a great deal of it has to do with not being willing to be honest with yourself early on. For example, you might receive an error only when you do a very specific sequence of actions. You might justify to yourself and say, “Well, they’ll probably never do that, or at least not often.” If we’re honest and say, “No, it’s broken,” we’ll make better websites. Because, trust me, the client and users will find those faults. Look at the healthcare exchange sites that the Obama administration is getting hammered for. Somewhere along the line, someone was in denial and thought that the problems they noticed wouldn’t actually be a big deal.

 

Full article:  by Saya Weissman in DIGIDAY