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Frustrated? No.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012 07:56 PM

A couple weeks ago Jeffrey Zeldman wrote an article about responsive design and where breakpoints can be set in the underlying media queries. The article discusses the difficulties with the fact that there are literally hundreds of screen resolutions across a myriad of iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices. There isn’t a set group of width breakpoints to set your media queries at for altering your site or apps layout and design.

If you haven’t read it yet, take a few minutes today to do so. It’s a really useful article. (And let me quickly say I’m not harshing on Zeldman in this article. I love and respect what he has done for the industry. I’m making a bit of a side point in part to remind and excite myself.)

At one point in the article Zeldman says, “This is a frustrating time to be a web designer, but it’s also the most exciting time in ten years.” and earlier “In the short run it’s going to be hell…But it is the short run.”

While he does give the caveats of it being the short run and the most exciting time, I have to ask, is this really a frustrating time to be a web designer? I think it’s just a time to be a web designer. Because it’s always been like this: the browser wars, poorly supported CSS, poorly supported media, bandwidth holding us back, tables and floats fighting an inefficient battle to accomplish our layout desires, Flash, and a lot of little bugs and quirks along the way (actually, things are so quirky out here that there’s an industry term around it!).

So is it really frustrating? Isn’t it just what it means to be a web designer? I’m not saying there isn’t room for improvement. We should always be trying to better ourselves and the industry. But it’s what we do! We live out here, on the edge, pushing technology forward and making it better. For those of us who thrive on that and want to keep making things better, there will never be a time where it all makes sense and is easy. But I don’t think we want that. We’re striving for perfection and there’s a lot of philosophical debate on whether the attainment of that is possible, but the fight for it is worthwhile.

In the end, I’d like to just make a minor modification to Zeldman’s words: This is the time to be a web designer, it’s the most exciting time in ten years. And you know what, we’re constantly getting better so it will continue to be the most exciting time to be a web designer!

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