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Graphic Designers are Allies, not Egotistical Enemies

From: Paul Davis <paul@ten-20.com>
Date: Mon, 01 Jan 2001 13:22:15 +0000
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Happy new year everyone!

Charles wrote:
You talk, Kynn, as if the Web were full of brilliant, dedicated graphic
designers working hard to make their sites as usable as possible (after all,
graphic design is about communication, and communication is about usability,
isn't it?). You talk as if most Web programmers were caring, knowledgeable
people who aren't afraid to learn new technologies and devote themselves to
doing so. Which Web are you looking at?

It is old ground I know, however I am not going to apologize for mentioning 
it again, that would weaken the argument.

The interesting factor is I feel we will never be able to see eye to eye 
here and agree a united front as we all see the internet as a different 
weapon, oops..... tool. The word 'communication' as in 'form of'  is too 
ambiguous in nature and therefore open to our own interpretation to suit 
our visions, needs and requirements. Information super highway is now an 
outdated concept in as much as the web is now so much more than that. Some 
see the internet as another source of direct information gathering. Some 
see it as a means to provide that info. Some see it as a means to service 
existing customer demands. Some see it as a way of accessing new markets. 
It  is a mixture of all of these and more. Where does the internet stop and 
the world wide web begin? Are they one and the same? In concept I think 
not. They are two counties within the same country. Is this getting too 

Personally speaking, (but would you believe an ex second hand car 
salesman?) I believe the internet is the most powerful weapon ever handed 
to a marketing department, but that is my view, however as a marketing man, 
the very last person I would want to design my site is a graphic designer. 
I believe he/she should be chained to his/her seat, one hand nailed to the 
desk and given strict instructions as to what he can do with his/her other 
one. In the days when I used to knock my head against brick walls for a 
living, all too often when talking to CEO's they would tell me that they 
had got their website covered and it was in the hands of their IT boys. 
AGHHH!! That's worse than a graphic designer....well almost.

(exit stage right all IT and graphic designers on this list)

The internet is a skill and technology in it's own right. When I asked 
those same CEO's if their IT boys also planned their magazine and TV ad's, 
and did their production boys have any internet access, (to which the 
general reaction was horror and belief they would run up huge phone bills 
and waste time accessing porn sites) and was marketing consulted or even 
involved? the answers to each question were usually the same. It seemed a 
crazy idea to stop all these people from daily routine working and waste 
time round the same table.....with an outsider. Very non productive. If I 
had the nerve to point out that a well designed website would never make a 
bad sales department good, but could make a good sales set up better, I was 
usually shown the door.

That is what we are up against, that is the level of internet comprehension 
out there. How can we convey a message when the messengers are gunned down 
in the doorways and foyers of office blocks?

I spent a large part of this holiday snowed in (in Wales), playing Doom 
(the old games are still the best) with some crazy welsh activists (don't 
ask) When I was asked the question " Paul bach, where's the 'any' key?" A 
classic I know, still over dinner that night they grasped the concept and 
power of internet accessibility far quicker than a certain CEO of a major 
multi-national I could mention. I still got asked however if before I went 
home I could just take a peek at their computers and sort out a few 
software/hardware problems they were having. The idea that I know a bit 
about web sites and the internet also meant to them I should be able to fix 
computers. Bios is a dirty word and no go area in my book.

All too often members on this list assume the world is up to their level of 
comprehension, that is because most of their world is. (Better that however 
than a condescending attitude.) Please take it as read.........It isn't. 
Nirvana is a state of mind not a dot com address.

err..happy new year again
Paul Davis

www.ten-20.com The UK portal site for disabled people and associated 
Received on Monday, 1 January 2001 08:20:45 UTC

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