Saturday, September 04, 2004

The Web Is Not Print

I get this so often from badly guided designers, I just had to clear it out.

Your site cannot look the same across browsers. Live with it.

And why should it? The web is not print! You don’t have control over the size of the screen, like you control the dimensions of a book. You don’t have control over the colors the user can see, like you control the printers’ color depth. You don’t know if the user can display images at all. Hell, you don’t even know if your user “sees” your web page in the first place! We just have to face it. The web is a different medium, and has to be treated differently.

This has been said before, and I shall repeat it: Content is King. No one will stay at your webpage if it has nothing that’s useful to your user, just because it looks good. And you can completely forget about a repeat visitor. On the flip side, a bad looking page can still attract large crowds if their content is valuable.

It doesn’t require genius to figure this out, but you should really be more worried about the content on your page. Making it look attractive is a good thing to add on, but is only secondary.

Don’t ever again tell me that you want a web page that looks the same in all browsers. I make good web pages now, not just good looking ones.


Abhishek Mishra said...

This is a great way to think about design and cross browser compatibility. We still have to battle with IE6, but now I feel enlightened - Design is not Print!

Rakesh Pai said...


It's been over 5 years since I wrote this post, and I'm surprised at how pertinent it still is.

It's surprising to know that big designers are still talking about this kind of stuff. I don't understand why people don't get it.

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