Web Design Vs. Print Design: A Review

Fifteen years ago, there were no web designers. The very first web designers in the early days of the web were “traditional” graphic designers that migrated their skills from print to the new media.  So a lot of web design today is influenced by print design philosophies.

However, it’s easy to take from granted the differences between print and the web for the designer. Here are some of the key differences revisited:

  1. The Web is Dynamic – the key difference between the two media is that designing for the web means designing for content that will change based on the reader’s interaction. Printed content and design, obviously, will stay the same for eternity.
  2. Authoring is different – Making web pages can literally be done on notepad for the HTML, CSS, and Javascript stuff. But there are key tools available from image editors (Adobe Photoshop/Fireworks, Mic), editors (Adobe Dreamweaver), and even rich media (Flash) that give the web its interactivity. Print folks have Adobe InDesign, and even Microsoft Word. Also, designing for print operates better in a WYSIWYG environment.
  3. As far as standards go, the web has a long way to go – From the browsers, to the mark-up standards, and design standards the web is a mish-mash compared to print.  If I ask you what the standard for rich media on the web, you’ll probably say “Flash,” but open web standards advocates will point to something else.

As web design matures and print media finds a way to arrest its steady decline, designers will probably dabble on the media more often. Appreciating the difference between the two media could probably go a long way.

4th Mini Web Design Conference

The Philippine Web Designer’s Organization (PWDO) will be holding the fourth (yeah, it’s already the fourth!) iteration of the <form> + function() & .class Mini Web Design Conference this coming March 18, 2009, 8pm at the G2VC Bar in the Orient Square, Pasig City. (If you’re not familiar with the place, you can check out the map).

Here’s the list of speakers for that day:

Web Accessibility with Assistive Technology
Rene Orense
Project Officer, Web Developer
http://www.atriev.org.ph

Finding Your Soul Mate!
Luis Buenaventura
Software Architect
http://syndeolabs.com

Top 5 Internet Marketing Mistakes Companies Make
Regnard Raquedan
Consultant
http://www.raquedan.com

Branding and Design
Elymar Apao
USAP Philippines
http://www.jozzua.com

Web Standards (specifics to be announced)
Aja Lorenzo Lapus
Student at University of Santo Tomas
http://www.ajalapus.com/

Leveling Up Your Photoshop Skillz
Marco Palinar
http://site-guy.com

Javascript/AJAX/DOM
Ta Tuy Duc
http://acc.vn 

We also have to thank the sponsors for the event:

Ely Apao
http://www.jozzua.com/

Marc Villanueva
Sheero Media Solutions
http://sheeromedia.com/

I’ll also be raffling off a Web Development book, courtesy of AUGPhil.

If you’re interested in attending, you can sign up using the online registration form.

See you there!

Working with Drupal

I’m doing my MBA internship here in Infosys in Bangalore, India and my 2-month project here involved architecting and building a throw-away prototype of a system to be developed in the future. I was tempted to develop it from scratch using some PHP framework (like CakePHP or CodeIgniter) but I decided to create it with Drupal, after sifting through several resources and reviews. I took some time to evaluate if Drupal could create what I wanted to achieve based on requirements documents and while I wasn’t yet 100% sure of the fit, I went ahead with Drupal in the interest of saving time. (Yes, I have a tight deadline).

So far, I’ve been living off modules developed by the Drupal community for version 6 and I would say that 60% fo the functionality I need is already out there, with minimal customization. My strategy so far has been “DBA”– Don’t Build Anything— meaning I’m trying to avoid writing code and always look for some module that approximates what I need. This is the really the first time I appreciated the open source community effort for its effect on my actual work. (I’m not counting the WordPress community becuase I’ve used it primarily for personal purposes.) I also saw this class site from the Univesity of Michigan on Drupal that is extremely helpful– with slides and screencasts to boot!

I’m also at that point that I’ve exhausted the available modules out there and I may start to hack and write code for a Drupal module. My issues really stem from altering the workflow of the base package by adding layers and layers of moderation and review. (I absolutely welcome any suggestion in going about writing a workflow module.) My only nitpick about Drupal is its rather unique user interface– too unique that it takes a lot of getting used to and for some reason, my installation in my test server is terribly sluggish.

I personally am optimistic that I’ll achieve 100% of the funtionality that I need and if there’s anyone out there who can give nice resources for Drupal, I’d be very thankful. :)