I’ve been wanting to write this article for quite a while. In fact I think the concept of the lazy web designer first hit me while working at Fortune Cookie some 5 years ago.
Originally they both designed using tables. We all did this because that was how it was done back then and it was painful. Painful to build, painful to design for and painful * 2 to update.
The normal designer would do it with a bit of moaning, but do it. The lazy designer on the other hand thought: “F*ck this! there must be an easier way!” and started exploring this new thing called CSS.
Suddenly the lazy designer could finish a site in half the time (and charge twice as much for speedy delivery) and be home in time for dinner… the normal designer kept moving along as they always had… until they realised that this CSS may just help out a bit.
However, by then the lazy designer had moved on exploring (and exploiting) online resources such as templates with grid guidelines, Tools for comparing screen fonts and jQuery code snippets… the normal designer started working later and later, having less and less time to explore and getting more and more stressed.
The lazy designer one day met a lazy developer, who had followed a similar path originally doing his own coding, but then moved on to use readily available CMS systems and so on and so forth. They both realised they weren’t alone and there was a whole segment of the industry build on being lazy. In fact, soon most of the normal web professionals had succumbed to stress and left the industry to become pea farmers, skiing instructors or institutionalised.
The lazy web professionals had overtaken the industry by just wanting to do things smarter and faster leaving room for beer-o’clock!
…not quite… if you are reading this it is highly likely you are a lazy web professional, or at least you were. Now, with only us lazy professionals left, how do we know we are still lazy? How do we make sure we are still being smart and effective?
Next time you need to design something, code something or pitch something. Stop and think:
- Can I do this much better by reusing what has been tried and tested?
- Can I use objects that are out there?
- Can I repurpose an idea for this client?
- Am I using the right tools? Would it be fast using something else?
- Can I do this much quicker and better by cheating?
No, I am not advocating that you shouldn’t apply some new creative thoughts behind your solutions, in fact I am advocating the exact opposite.
Being lazy/smart with the brick and mortar stuff gives you more time to think and come up with those vital bits of creative brilliance that makes your solution win for everybody and leave you time for other things…