In the Observer today, John Naughton wrote a thought-provoking piece on why he thinks graphic designers are ruining the web.
John’s central argument is that websites have got more bloated and slower to download, which has created a bad user experience for users of the web. And he places the blame at the doorstep of web designers and web agencies around the world, keen for their “pixel perfect” designs to showcase the web.
I totally agree with John’s sentiment that web pages have become more bloated of late. And I totally agree that slow, bloated web pages create a bad user experience. However, I don’t lay the blame purely on the door of web designers. And a lot of us are doing things to improve this situation.
The rise of mobile is also forcing our hand, where fast websites will have more success with users. Even Google now uses page speed as a contributing factor to its famous page rank algorithm.
I hope John can see there are designers and agencies out there who really do care about this stuff and are working hard to make the web a better place for everyone. Pixel perfect web design is dead, web speed is important and John’s right in his introduction when he states the web pages are “simple pages of text marked up with some tags”. Websites might have got more complicated, but ultimately they’re still just a bunch of web pages with hyperlinks that should work on whatever device the user accesses them on.