Ethan Marcotte now blogs at Unstoppable Robot Ninja.

Weblog entry:

Let’s be reasonable

Maybe I am developing issues with how we communicate because in a sense it is hurting this little design world. All the praise without constructive criticism causes too many heroes to be formed. Too many people begin to emulate others. Not enough original thinking occurs. Not enough questions are asked.

Paul Scrivens, Let’s Be Honest

I think it’s worth remembering that the design world, such as it is, can look after itself. That’s not to say that critiques shouldn’t be published — however, open discussion of a design’s faults are rarely a worthy substitute for providing a better design. Greg Storey and Adam Greenfield have put their money where their mouths are on this front: they saw some imperfections in an existing model, and have tried (successfully, I’d argue) to move the design forward.

But in this case, I don’t think we’ve the right to bring any one designer’s work forward; I’m not suggesting that Paul redesign Jeffrey Zeldman’s or Dan Cederholm’s work, for example. That would be, in a word, "stupid"; "offensive" might be another. But in the circles we’re all travelling in, our designs themselves make for a fine dialogue. We see a node of design inspiration we like, we adopt it, establish a trend. If it sounds Darwinian, that’s because it is — and, I think, the best way to keep the design world healthy, thriving, and moving ahead.


Hooray, technical difficulties.

There’s a WordPress issue that’s currently preventing old comments from displaying correctly. Sorry for the inconvenience, but hopefully we’ll be back online soon.