Designing in Public

Hats off to Dave Shea for his redesign of Mozilla.org (publicly released beta). Nice, clean design and structured markup. It’s a great contribution to the project.
Also of interest are Dave’s notes on the response of the beta, and what’s left to tackle.
In general (and as Dave mentioned), thick skin is needed when designing a popular site (like Mozilla.org). Validation, accessibility, design choices, browser quirks — just a few of the hurdles to leap over when redesigning any site — but are then magnified ten fold when dealing with something larger than your average personal site or weblog.
The reality? Getting everything 100% “correct” is hard stuff.
Feedback is important and necessary, and trying to break a design — turn it on its head and shake out the bugs — can be invaluable. But what’s important is this: when all is said and done, any attempt in making gains in validation, accessibility, markup structure, etc. make the web site better than it was. And if you fancy yourself a web designer, your first gesture should be a tip of the (Red Sox) cap to anyone who dares.

6 Comments

  1. Scrivs says:

    Well I was going to write something like this, but since you took care of it all I can say is that I give mad props to Dave. He is making the world a better place by actually giving Mozilla something presentable. And in the amount of time he had to work that is simply amazing. I have no doubt he could have done better if given more time, but as he said in the real world we are not always given the amount of time we would like as designer. Again, hats off to Dave and every other designer helping to make the web better for all of us.

  2. Keith says:

    I guess there are many of us who are thinking the same thing on this. It takes some guts to put yourself out there like that, and as I’m sure many of us know, it can be pretty hard when the flames come in.
    Personally, and for the record, I think Dave’s done a great job.

  3. Matt Burris says:

    Well said, and it’s something I’ve been wrestling with for my site, 3DGPU.com. We probably don’t get near as mucha s Mozilla does, but we do average 1.8 million hits a month, and when something doesn’t work, I get a ton of emails about it. Trying to get our site to work on most browsers and platforms is quite difficult, especially when I can’t have everyone who contribute to the site to learn XHTML.
    My hats off to Dave for tackling this massive undertaking.

  4. buyot says:

    Go go Dave!!! Clean and nice!! I’m loving it!!! Yeah, it’s quite difficult to be detailed on any site design and making it structured as well. But with you, Dave, Dan, Zeldman & others around, pushing XHTML & CSS as the way to go in the future of webdesign, I know I can learn more from you guys. Cheers!!

  5. kazi says:

    Thank you Dave for a nice looking site

  6. Dave S. says:

    Thanks Dan! Thanks all!