I was out today doing a little bit of Christmas shopping and decided to pickup the latest copy of the ‘net’ magazine. I like to see if they have anything good to say, usually I’ll find at least one pretty decent article which might offer up something innovative and interesting. This copy however was quite a disappointment… Have a look:
You might be thinking, "Wow, I ought to pick up a copy too!" – Well, don’t; there’s nothing interesting in there at all! In fact, just by the cover, this magazine could quite easily have been a copy from 12 months ago (apart from the ‘2009’ bit) and nothing inside the magazine is particularly thought provoking or innovative either. Just for this post’s sake we’re doing to ignore the ‘iPhone’ nonsense on the front-cover because I don’t see platform specific development as of a prime importance.
I’m not normally one for making a big deal out of nothing (okay… that’s a lie) but this magazine and in fact, many recent publications (web and paper) scream 2007 at me.
I don’t know how popular these ‘web design’ magazines are but I’m guessing they’re quite successful considering that most WH smith stores seem to stock them. ‘Web Designer‘ is another top magazine in the industry, but I have to say it’s even more disappointing than ‘net'; not just this month but generally, the ‘Web Designer’ seems to be nothing more than a beginners resource, at best, it may offer the average amateur something inspiring to read but nothing past that!
You’ll have noticed the somewhat negative title of this post; pessimistic as it may seem, this is how I feel. I am proud to say that my skills have advanced leaps and bounds in the last year and I’m sure many people have had a similar experience but the collective web designer/developer consciousness seems to have stayed pretty still. Note that I’m not talking about the advance of any particular technology but rather the advance of our aggregate knowledge as web designers/developers.
In many ways this industry is one of the most fast-moving of them all but in other ways watching this industry progress is like watching paint dry!
I’m not trying to damage the impeccable reputation of the ‘net’ magazine but I feel that this month’s issue serves as a clear and obvious reminder of the sometimes stagnant state of certain portions of the web design industry.
Fortunately the one thing that made me buy this issue did make for quite an interesting read (the ‘2009 awards’). Although I don’t agree with their decision on a few of the nominees I still feel that they got it mostly right.
I am glad the BBC won the ‘Best redesign’ award – they definitely deserved it! One quirky award named the ‘Standards Champion’ went to the notorious Jeffrey Zeldman, who, to me, comes across as the beaten horse of web standards. All I ever see of him are those sinister-looking profile shots and the odd controversial blog post. A-List-Apart, one of his publications, does make for good reading sometimes but normally the articles seem a tad boring – probably because I’m only 18 and can’t be arsed! Not to mention the publication’s headlines seem totally incomprehensible when listed in my RSS reader!
So, obviously, I am a little bothered by what I see as a lack of progression. I think something needs to change, and soon, otherwise next December we won’t have progressed anymore!
One last thing, who the hell sends ‘reader questions’ into the mentioned magazines, don’t these idiots know how to use Google, IRC or an online forum!? One question was asking how to achieve transparency in IE; something which apparently is not well known to ‘web professionals’, seriously, what is happening!?