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Graphic designer rudely wastes 280 minutes of my life
2011-08-31: I've just taken on the maintenance of a nice looking website.
And it's just taken me and a graphic designer 280 minutes in total to change a headline.
Websites are supposed to be text. If this were text, it would have taken me seconds.
Clearly someone somewhere thought the text wasn't pretty enough, so the designer of the day played a popular trick. It's possible to create the headline of a website in text, just like Google wants, then offset it 3 miles to the left so it will never be displayed, and put a graphic in its place. We see the graphic, Google sees the text, everyone's happy.
A year down the line, the graphic designer is off 3 miles to the right and the website comes to me for maintenance. What font is that? What colour is that? There are no comments in the code to tell me what's going on. I need the original multilayered graphic file from the designer before I can start. The headline Google sees is different to the headline we see on screen.
The font he's used isn't owned by my graphic designer, $199 to buy it.
And when it's all done, it's not as usable. If I'm partially sighted, I can't make a graphic bigger so I can read it. As a web developer if I want the graphic more than 250 pixels wide, I can't, so I have to find a short headline that doesn't quite describe the content.
That's seriously annoying. For Internet marketers, headlines are key. When you land on a page, the headline is powerful in deciding whether you stay or leave. 250 pixels. About 11 letters.
So, graphic designer. You, for your love of prettiness, tied my hands. It looks nice, but it doesn't work. You wasted my time. You disrespected people who aren't as visually able as you. You made a webpage with limits.
Don't get me wrong. I love design. I just don't like it taking precedence over usability and maintainability.
That pretty headline doesn't look so pretty in red on your P&L.
Here's what I aim for.

By John Allsopp
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