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The unbearable likeness of web design

Why do so many websites look the same? In order to answer this question, we’ll first look at trends in web design over its short history, and examine how modern tools and practises have contributed to a more homogenous-looking internet. We’ll examine the web design process from two perspectives—the designer’s and the developer’s—and discuss how the blurring of those roles impacts design. Along the way, we’ll discuss the various merits of following or bucking trends. Finally, we’ll offer some constructive advice to help you—whether you’re a designer or not—add an individual touch to your design work.

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The unbearable likeness of web design

  1. 1. @sarahsemark ·
  2. 2. do websites look the same? why
  3. 3. anyway? how did we get here A HISTORY OF WEB DESIGN
  4. 4. the dark ages
  5. 5. tables to infinity!
  6. 6. rescue CSS to the
  7. 7. lookin’good web design starts
  8. 8. where are we now?
  9. 9. designvs development
  10. 10. It’s easy 
 to build a website 
 that looks good…
  11. 11. great …but it’s hard 
 to build a website 
 that looks
  12. 12. the designer-developer CONTINUUM
  13. 13. constraintsare holding us back
  14. 14. should we follow?
  15. 15. HECK YES! • established patterns • increased usability • aesthetics are temporal
  16. 16. HECK NO! • doesn’t account for needs • hard to distinguish • aesthetics are temporal • drive new trends • meaning disappears
  17. 17. how do we soFIX THE PROBLEM?
  18. 18. with pattern & texture play
  19. 19. get creative with typography
  20. 20. break out of the grid
  21. 21. add dynamism with movement
  22. 22. inspiration shop around for
  23. 23. experiment! go forth and
  24. 24. thanks • Geocities screenshots: • Internet archives: • Designer vs developer infographic: Shane Snow, designers-vs-web-developers-infographic • Icons from • Packaging design from • Lettering work by Tobias Saul, • Bloomberg Businessweek layouts by Braulio Amado amado-bloomberg @sarahsemark ·