W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webplatform@w3.org > December 2012

Re: Web design and UX concept pages

From: Chris Mills <cmills@opera.com>
Date: Tue, 4 Dec 2012 08:40:17 +0000
Cc: public-webplatform@w3.org
Message-Id: <3FD54F04-D3A2-4C99-BD50-45CE908562C1@opera.com>
To: Janet Swisher <jswisher@mozilla.com>
On 4 Dec 2012, at 03:00, Janet Swisher <jswisher@mozilla.com> wrote:

> I'm not a "UX guy", but I'll bite :-)
> 
> At the risk of sounding snarky, what is going to meet the needs of our users? What fits their mental model? (Keeping in mind that we are at best only a subset of our users.)
> 
> I suggest (having done zero specific user research), that users are likely to come to Webplatform.org looking for info about Web design and Web development. If they're looking for info on user experience (which is a much broader topic), they're likely to end       up on a different site. So, it seems reasonable to me to organize around "Web" topics, even while promoting user-centered design principles as appropriate within those topics. 
> 
> I agree that Web design encompasses not only visual design, but also design of structure, navigation, interaction, and, oh yeah, content. (Pretty much everything except design of back-end functionality.) Those are all general disciplines that can be applied in a context where Web technology has been chosen for implementation. 

Thanks Janet - this makes a lot of sense to me.

Seb, do you want to write a raw list of articles you'd include in the web/digital design concepts section, and I can help organise that into a solid structure, and I'll also submit a bug for this content area too.

> 
> (I had a rant in defense of user experience, but I deleted it as not actually relevant.)
> 

It's a shame; I would've loved to have read it, as it would've perhaps gotten me closer to understanding what it actually is. I have just never quite heard an answer that satisfies me. I understand that UX goes beyond the web, and is a bunch of principles and practices that can be applied to any number of different types of product/company, but even so, isn't UX or UCD that is applied to the web, basically just equivalent to web design? I'm not saying this to be inciteful or snarky; I just genuinely don't know.

> 
> On 11/30/12 9:22 AM, Chris Mills wrote:
>> I am personally in favour of having the main topic here as "web design", and treating UX as a subset of that, explaining what it is in the context of web design. I have never really understood why UX is a different discipline - it kind of encompasses graphic design, branding, prototyping, user science, etc. So I know it is more than graphic design. But then again, so is web design anyway. UX has always felt a bit "emperor's new clothes" to me, sorry to say!
>> 
>> So please, I'm calling on any UX guys on this list to put me straight on this matter, and help with speccing out the UX and web design material for WPD.
>> 
>> Chris Mills
>> Open standards evangelist and dev.opera.com editor, Opera Software
>> Co-chair, web education community group, W3C
>> Author of "Practical CSS3: Develop and Design" (
>> http://my.opera.com/chrismills/blog/2012/07/12/practical-css3-my-book-is-finally-published
>> )
>> 
>> * Try Opera: 
>> http://www.opera.com
>> 
>> * Learn about the latest open standards technologies and techniques: 
>> http://dev.opera.com
>> 
>> * Contribute to web education: 
>> http://www.w3.org/community/webed/
>> 
>> 
>> On 30 Nov 2012, at 15:04, Sebastien Desbenoit 
>> <Seb@desbenoit.net>
>>  wrote:
>> 
>> 
>>> Hi all!
>>> 
>>> We are currently working on the design and UX concept pages and it seems there are two different points of view.
>>> 
>>> Designing is conceiving a product for its users. It is a process where technical constraints, aesthetic and usability meet in order to serve a purpose for its targets. Design must focus on existing and future users. Web design is not just about graphics/aesthetics, rather it applies to all the overarching work going towards ensuring that the web project meets its purpose for its target audience.
>>> 
>>> However, web design has been used for years as a synonym for graphic design for the web, whereas it is actually much more than that. This misunderstanding leads to the apparition of the UX trend, imo: we need to take care of the whole visit of a visitor on a website, from architecture and aesthetic to copywriting and page load speed.
>>> 
>>> Taking care of the User Experience is serving a web project purpose by taking care of its targets and giving a good service from the technical side of things all the way to aesthetics and usability, but this sounds awfully like my initial , and IMO more correct, definition of web design.
>>> 
>>> But we hear UX gurus say « design is out, forget it and talk only about UX and its applications », on web platform it appears that  much of the content speaking about « design » has been deleted and/or flagged as a duplicate of the UX material (e.g. « designing for the web ») But I disagree with this.
>>> 
>>> So here's my question: do we choose to base our concept on design with an explanation of what UX is and how it relates, or do we talk only about UX? In my opinion, UX is a trend, design is not, so we should use the first option instead. Either that, or we work out what the real difference is between UX and web design, then go forward and create separate coverage for each.
>>> 
>>> Best regards, 
>>> 
>>> (Sébastien) Desbenoit
>>> 
>>> --
>>> 
>>> Sébastien Desbenoit - 
>>> http://desbenoit.net - http://twitter.com/desbenoit
>> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> Janet Swisher
> Mozilla Developer Network
> Technical Writer/Community Steward
Received on Tuesday, 4 December 2012 08:40:56 UTC

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