The Web Dogma 10 years on: tarnished or timeless?

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The Web Dogma was first conceived in 2003 as a set of usability best practices that transcended fashion and technology. Today, these guidelines are used by thousands of designers and studios the world …

The Web Dogma was first conceived in 2003 as a set of usability best practices that transcended fashion and technology. Today, these guidelines are used by thousands of designers and studios the world over. But as we enter a new age where "responsive design" and "mobile first" have become the watchwords of a new generation, has the Web Dogma stood the test of time? The answer may surprise you!

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  • 1. The Web Dogma – 10 years later Trancendental? Time-tested? Tarnished? Trash? Eric Reiss Big Design 19 October 2013 Dallas, TX
  • 2. The Hives - Sweden
  • 3. (Texan)
  • 4. But online, some fashions change… “Links should be blue and underlined” “Flash is 98% bad” “Text should be no more than 10 lines”
  • 5. Do design rules stifle creativity? You tell me....
  • 6. My questions back in 2003: Is fashion avoidable in a design philosophy? Does technology always drive design?
  • 7. dog·ma noun 1 : a tenent or code of tenents
  • 8. My concept Create a set of best practices that transcend both technology and fashion
  • 9. 1. Anything that exists only to 1. satisfy the internal politics of the site owner must be eliminated.
  • 10. Photo: Lynn Boyden
  • 11. SE
  • 12. Ten years ago: It was about fighting internal politics. Today: Same same. Plus even more lawyers and sex.
  • 13. 2. Anything that exists only to 1. satisfy the ego of the designer must be eliminated.
  • 14. The Afterlife: http://heaven.internetarchaeology.org
  • 15. Ten years ago: It was about improving usability by reducing the effects of designer ego. Today: Same same. Plus even bigger egos. And even more arrogance.
  • 16. 3. Anything that is irrelevant 1. within the context of the page must be eliminated.
  • 17. Ten years ago: It was about feng shui. Today: Same same. Plus eliminating dark patterns.
  • 18. 4. Any feature or technique that 1. reduces the visitor’s ability to navigate freely must be eliminated.
  • 19. Ten years ago: It was about navigation. Today: Same same. Plus ergonomic and paywall issues.
  • 20. 5. Any interactive object that 1. forces the visitor to guess its meaning must be eliminated.
  • 21. Ten years ago: It was about eliminating guesswork. Today: Your guess is still as good as mine.
  • 22. 6. No software, apart from the 1. browser itself, must be required to get the site to work correctly.
  • 23. Ten years ago: It was about eliminating extra software Today: Less of a problem today, but still there. The problem has moved to mobile, where services require proprietary apps for nonresponsive sites.
  • 24. 7. Content must be readable 1. first, printable second, downloadable third.
  • 25. Ten years ago: It was mainly about getting rid of PDFs. Today: Same same. Adobe has more clout than I do.
  • 26. 8. Usability must never be 1. sacrificed for the sake of a style guide.
  • 27. 2009 2010 2012
  • 28. Ten years ago: It was about getting ad agencies to understand. Today: Smite them down, oh Lord. Let the geeks inherit the earth!
  • 29. 9. No visitor must be forced to 1. register or surrender personal data unless the site owner is unable to provide a service or complete a transaction without it.
  • 30. Ten years ago: The marketers were gathering unnecessary data. Today: Same same. Plus inconvenience at the touch of a finger!
  • 31. 10. Break any of these rules 1. sooner than do anything outright barbarous!
  • 32. George Orwell Author: Animal Farm, “1984”
  • 33. Ten Sixty years ago: George was damned smart. Today: George’s intellect is timeless.
  • 34. Does the Web Dogma still work? I leave that up to you to decide.
  • 35. But one thing is beyond discussion: If we do not demand better websites, we will never get them. Don’t just prevent bad things from happening, you can make wonderful things happen.
  • 36. Thanks!
  • 37. Eric Reiss can (usually) be found at: The FatDUX Group ApS Strandøre 15 2100 Copenhagen Denmark Office: (+45) 39 29 67 77 Mobil: (+45) 20 12 88 44 Twitter: @elreiss info@fatdux.com www.fatdux.com