Be True to Your Craft

Let’s play a little game. We’ll take a professional, then we’ll give them a tool we know they’re good with.

Carpenter? Hammer. Surgeon? Scalpel. Chef? Knife. Painter? Brush. Sculptor? Chisel.

That wasn’t so hard. Let’s narrow it down to the designer spectrum.

Print designer? Photoshop. User interface designer? Photoshop. Web designer? Photoshop.

Wait a minute there. So let’s get things straight: is Photoshop that good, or do we have a problem with our tools?

As designers, we take a message and do our best to communicate that message as clearly as possible. There is something that needs to be done, and we find a way to do it in such a way that it will be quick, easy, and (hopefully) enjoyable.

As web designers, we apply our knowledge and skills to one monstrous medium: the web browser. We shape it with HTML, CSS and Javascript. You do not build a website in an image editor. If you drew a statue and had someone else chisel the stone, who would be the sculptor? It is for this reason that a proper web designer should know how to code.

I am lucky to have entered web design during a period where everything is falling into place. “Code versus Photoshop” debates now favor code, and responsive web design is quickly becoming a standard. There has never been a better time to design for the web, and it can only keep getting better.