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Graphic designers are ruining the web

John Naughton writing in the Observer about how ‘Graphic designers are ruining the web’.

Personally, I’m a minimalist: I value content more highly than aesthetics. The websites and pages that I like tend to be as underdesigned as they are cognitively loaded.

I agree to some extent, which should come as no surprise to people who know me in my role as a content strategy consultant. But look at the site Naughton holds up as a paragon of content over design, the home page of Peter Norvig. I’m calling bullshit on John Naughton’s assertion that “It’s as easy to navigate as anything produced by a web-design agency for £100,000 plus an annual service contract”. Look at that site and tell me that even a tiny bit of design nous wouldn’t make that page more useful by presenting the content in a more findable and readable way.

How many more times do we have to say this? It’s not a case of content or design. You need content and design.

17 year old Romany boy writes an open letter to Channel 4

I am writing to you with the hope that you will stop ruining my life. While you’re obsession with my ethnicity is flattering, it has become somewhat apparent to me that you might have gotten the wrong end of the stick. This is sort of awkward for me, because I don’t want to be the one to break it to you, but your documentary, ‘Big Fat Gypsy Weddings’, is unfortunately a work of fiction.

Channel 4’s not-so-brilliant move on viral video clips

Not very long after the Charlie Brooker Sun video went viral, Channel 4 got it pulled from YouTube. We were exhorted to retweet a link to the Channel 4 site instead. It’s an interesting decision they made – to trade off masses of publicity for their show against getting ‘official’ clicks on their own site.

Thing is, I’m not going to retweet the link because this is what I see when I go to Channel 4’s page:

I can understand Channel 4’s CorpThink about copyright and not getting the whole YouTube-viral vibe. But asking people to retweet a link to a page that relies on a plugin for a proprietary format? Did it really not occur to them to encode the video in a format that would be playable everywhere?