When did “design” become a dirty word?


Fast Company’s design blog, Co.Design, let me go all Thinky McThinkersons in response to an essay on The Atlantic that was making the rounds earlier this week. That piece somewhat incoherently argued that because web design is mostly annoying, users are better off without it. Or something. In any case, I disagreed.

Obviously Dylan Tweney is a smart, techsavvy dude and not an idiot. (I think I pitched him once upon a time, and he was really nice about the fact that he had no budget for freelancers.) He just seems fed up with the state of web design, and sees content-friendly tools like Readability as a revolt against it. And I’m right there with him! But Readability is design, too. It’s better design — for a specific kind of use that more and more of us consider important. That’s what the web needs, not “more” or “less” or “un” design.

Anyway the best part of writing this article was that I had an excuse to interview some really cool people. [Hey Jason and Scott, let’s keep in touch, eh? just kidding. …no, I’m not.]


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