With revamping my website, and starting a blog(!), I figured, why not lay out some of the values that guide my design work. This is by no means exhaustive, just a handful of principles that I hold close.
- Sweat the details. Craftsmanship imbues objects with durability, purpose, and the capacity to create joy. The position of the text block, choice of typefaces, margin size—when selected with intention and respect for the work, these things elevate the aesthetic experience of reading. By attending to the littlest details with care and humility, we create objects that are pleasurable and memorable to hold, flip, scroll, click, or swipe.
- Maximize access. Don’t make things that are flashy, gimmicky, or that otherwise require the latest device or an ultra-fast connection to experience. Good design, whether for pages or screens, is not exclusive. Information is consumed through myriad mediums and devices by people of all abilities and technical proficiencies. This variability is to be embraced, not treated as an inconvenience.
- The medium is the message. Print offers possibilities that publishing on the Web doesn’t. Like the feeling of paper between your fingers. But publishing in hypertext opens other, novel possibilities. Like living, collaborative documents. With every project, we should think about how to maximize the possibilities of the medium for creating, distributing, and displaying information.
- Contribute to the intellectual commons. Open source and open access recognize the fundamentally collaborative, scaffolded nature of knowledge production, and seeks to further it. Whenever possible, we should license our work liberally for others to use and build upon.