Resilient Web Design

Title: Resilient Web Design
Author: Jeremy Keith
Author's Background: Web developer; Homebrew Website Club organizer in Brighton, UK; works at Clearleft, a design agency in the UK



Design adds clarity. Using colour, typography, hierarchy, contrast, and all the other tools at their disposal, designers can take an unordered jumble of information and turn it into something that’s easy to use and pleasurable to behold. Like life itself, design can win a small victory against the entropy of the universe, creating pockets of order from the raw materials of chaos.

JavaScript gave web designers the power to create websites that were slicker, smoother, and more reactive. The same technology also gave web designers the power to create websites that were sluggish, unwieldy, and more difficult to use.

This doesn’t mean that web designers shouldn’t use JavaScript. But it does mean that web designers shouldn’t rely on JavaScript when a simpler solution exists.

Here’s a three-step approach I take to web design:

  1. Identify core functionality.
  2. Make that functionality available using the simplest possible technology.
  3. Enhance!

Identifying core functionality might sound like it’s pretty straightforward, and after a bit of practice, it is. But it can be tricky at first to separate what’s truly necessary from what’s nice to have.

Further Reading