The Seven Habits of Effective Web Sites - HTML with Style | 3
They say the first step is to admit you have a problem. Unfortunately, there is a whole crowd of people who will tell you, while you're still of an impressionable age, that Web design is easy. You watch in amazement as the most technically unsavvy of your peers use FrontPage to churn out page after page of their children's birthday party snapshots and long-winded poetry for their homepage, and you think that maybe you can try it. So you go down to the local computer store, feeling like a fish out of water, and ask the salesman with the unsettlingly visible pearly whites to supply you with a program that "makes Web pages."
As you proceed to the checkout, clutching the shrink-wrapped box and looking around in horror to make sure nobody you know is witnessing this act, you pay for it using your hard-earned cash. If only your parents knew you'd end up like this. "Thanks," you say to the salesman as you hurry towards the exit. "I only want to play around with it, you know." You watch in horror as his smile grows another couple of inches. "Sure. That's what they all say. See you next time" he sneers. "There won't be a next time!" you shout, amazed at the sound of your own, snivelling voice. "Whatever you say, sport. I'll keep these copies of Photoshop and Flash handy just in case, though."
You go home and knock together a home page. When a person you barely knew in high school e-mails you, all excited about how he's finally able to keep in touch with you through this wonderful Internet thing, you decide that maybe it's time to make a page devoted to your stamp collection. Then your aunt Marge calls you up and asks you to help her put her geranium pot business on the Web. Before you know it, you've quit your day job and printed a bunch of business cards that say "Web Designer" (oh, I'm sorry, I meant "Enterprise E-commerce Solution Provider") on them.
Before you take out your flamethrowers, let me point out that I'm not trying to knock anyone who started making Web pages after playing around with them at home. As a matter of fact, that's more or less how I came into this business, a bit over five years ago. The problem with making a Web page is that, on the surface, it is incredibly simple. The deeper problem is that making a good Web page is a very, very complicated affair.
Produced by Stephanos Piperoglou
Created: September 18, 2000
Revised: September 20, 2000