Why I Hate Designing Websites

Don’t get me wrong, I love designing websites, but providing the service to random strangers is what I hate. While talking to Erik (kartooner.com) about why we do what we do, and building standards-compliant designs, I realized a few things about my attitude about designing websites for pay.

I killed Designtopia, my site offering my web design skills as a service, because I got sick of people telling me to use marquee or blink text which are a usability nightmare for any website design, or to do anything outside what I know is the right thing to do with designs. I got sick of people emailing me and telling me to use a bright green font on a white background, which as you probably know, is very, very difficult to read.

I’m very picky, and I don’t want to make non-standards compliant or unusable website just because they pay me to. My goal is to make the web a friendlier place, not continue to facilitate 1995-like conventions that hurts the web, more than anything else.

Too many people think that because they paid you to do a design, gives them the right to email you everyday and make you do small changes on the site that you don’t like, that’s not what I do as a web designer.

You don’t tell a plumber who comes in how to fix a toilet, and you don’t tell a cabinet maker how to do his job either, so why do these people feel they can tell you what to do with their site? They don’t know better, they don’t know about usability, typography, whitespace, etc. As web designers, we’re trained in what works for a website the best, what will produce the best results, and what will help companies the most for their business. We employ tricks and semantically-correct conventions to ensure search engines like Google understands the content and gives a thumbs-up, thereby giving the site a better ranking and more exposure.

This is why I hate designing websites for random people. I’m lucky in that the past couple of projects I’ve worked on with Erik were with people that understood our talents and let us do what we do best. That’s why I figure as long as I stay amongst people who love standards-compliant designs, and work with people that want us to do our best, I’ll love designing websites.

Wikipes and The Host

The worst feeling for any website developer/designer/whatever is to be working on the site, and then it suddenly goes down. Now you’re sitting there, stuck, not able to do anything but wait for the site come up. Imagine that it is late in the night, in fact it’s very early in the morning, and you need to get some sleep. When you wake up, will you remember where you left off, what will be broken, will people see a site that won’t work and never come back?

That’s what happened last night, so here I am, up early to make sure Wikipes is okay and finish what I was doing – updating the site with better code. However, the site isn’t up, and I got an email from my host that said this:

Unfortunately, I’ve had to disable your domain’s web services. It was causing the web server it’s on to crash. Unfortunately, we cannot provide a quality product to the rest of our users when this happens. I’ll re-enable the domain in a few hours and see if that helps.

No explanation as to what caused the crash (too much traffic, maybe?) It has been beyond a few hours, it’s been over 4 hours now. Suffice to say, I’m not a happy camper right now.

Update: Got a response from the host, which clarifies the situation a bit:

I’m reenabling your domain name. I’m not sure what it was, but your site would spawn and open several hundred apache instances, until apache reached it’s child process limit of 256. Once that happens, no new websites can be served. That then kills the server. I also noticed that several php scripts you were running were using a fair amount of CPU. That usually means the code you’re using isn’t as efficient as it could be. Unfortunately, we can’t really help with that at all.

Why, Oh, Why …

Why does my roommate always ask me to cook dinner when I’m too tired to cook? Is it female intuition to get you to feel annoyed? She wants me to make meatloaf. I hate meatloaf, don’t know how to make it, and to add insult to injury, she doesn’t eat beef so I have to use ground turkey. Turkeyloaf, anyone?

Sony Really Does Suck

If you haven’t yet, read about my Sony (mis)adventures with their so-called customer support when my 27″ Sony WEGA TV decides to hardly work for me. Sony finally got me a new TV to replace the old flaky one, which died again 3 days ago, and wouldn’t turn back on. It took them months to finally send me a replacement.

Two guys delivered the TV in an uncovered truck, and when I was signing the papers, I asked them what took them so long to get the TV to me, because they called me last Wednesday and told me that I’d have it by Friday, and a whole week later, on a Saturday, they deliver it to me.

They said that one of them had to go to South Florida to make a delivery, and another said his truck was broken down and he had no way of getting it to me. This is the uncovered truck, mind you. How do you have a delivery/repair business if you use an uncovered pickup truck is beyond me. Further proof that I live in Redneckville.

Suffice to say, I don’t intend on ever buying a Sony product. Not with this kind of “support”. I use that term in the most loose term.