San Francisco, California

End of year optimism

Over on CSS-Tricks, Chris asked a ton of web designers and developers what interested them this year when it comes to building websites and the results are lovely! The overwhelming amount of positivity and charm in these posts reminds me of the Old Web when we all felt like that we were contributing to something grand together, as Eric Bailey writes:

In addition to being responsive, the web works across a huge range of form factors, device capabilities, and specialized browsing modes. The post you are currently reading can show up on a laptop, a phone, a Kindle, a TV, a gas station pump, a video game console, a refrigerator, a car, a billboard, an oscilloscope—heck, even a space shuttle (if you’re reading this from space, please, please, please let me know).

Every article in this collection stands up on the tips of its toes and boldly states why the web is worth building and preserving for the future. But this makes me wish that I had written something a bit more positive for my own end of year thoughts, where I wrote about restraint:

The true beauty of web design is that you can pick up HTML, CSS, and the basics of JavaScript within a dedicated week or two. But over the past year, I’ve come to the conclusion that building a truly great website doesn’t require much skill and it certainly doesn't require years to figure out how to perform the coding equivalent of a backflip.

What you need to build a great website is restraint.

Even though I stand by what I said in this post, I think that writing with great doses of negativity is real easy. And that’s because it’s also the cheapest way to fame and success; there are endless articles dunking on JavaScript or how weird and dumb CSS can be. And I sometimes fear that I’ve contributed to that discourse to some degree perhaps.

We all have a responsibility to be kind and useful with our writing.

And that’s because with every sentence we type—every character and punctuation mark even—is an opportunity. That relentless, un-ending pessimism we see can be washed away by our charm and enthusiasm, one key at a time.