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Dave Shea : Comments

By Meryl K. Evans

February 23, 2005


Piero Fissore

February 24, 2005 12:46 AM

I started painting web sites in 2001: font tags, tables for layout, non-sense markup, css what?, pop-ups, fat imgs, useless things in pages, and so on.
Then I met Zeldman on my way, while I was reading the Tim Berners-Lee’s book. “Stop right now!”, I said.

So – thanks to – I met all of you, fantastic designer, and I get the meaning of design. No school, no courses: from my desk here in Udine (Italy) I could learn about web standards and start to develop my projects long this way.

Now, at the age of twenty, I’d like to say thanks to all of you for your hard work. I’m trying to spread the message trought my italian web friends.

So, the point is: thanks!


February 24, 2005 7:11 AM

Great interview.

Dave says a lot of great things about why standards based sites all look the same. However, there is a serious consideration missing… budget.

Standards, templates, cms… as these tools become more popular and people realize they can get “more website” for less $, the competition becomes fierce.

This is especially true for small business sites (I’m talking mom and pop less than 500k in rev per year) who need to be on the web but don’t want to spend more than 2, 3k at best.

Its very difficult to deliever both stellar content and/or stellar design at those prices, especially if the client needs to reserve some of that budget for maintaining the site over the course of a year.

The majority of css zen garden sites were made by artists who were not accountable to anything but the beauty of the design. Take those same artists, tell them they must produce a design for $500-$600 plus meet specific business requirements and the results will be different. I’d bet still great, but not zen garden great.

So you end up with a lot of similar looking sites because they are fast, easy to create, and sigificantly better than “fast” sites of 2 or 3 years ago.

And for the record, I am so thankful to Dave for making the garden and that the artists were only accountable to the beauty of the design. I would not what the garden any other way. I’m just adding my two cents on the current “bland” state of standards based sites.

Dave Shea

February 24, 2005 11:04 AM

Thank you both!

les, good points. When working for clients, the budget often influences the end result. The Zen Garden works well because it’s purely about scratching a design itch, so it’s not necessarily going to reflect the realities of day to day work.

Still, there are plenty of creative examples of actual client work showing up on and, so it all depends on your clients.

Adam Bouskila

February 24, 2005 1:36 PM

Once again, a great interview. It was very interesting to read.

Both, Molly and you are an inspiration to me, so thank you.

Angela Wilson

April 9, 2005 4:51 AM

That is awesome interview! Thank you very much for it.

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