It's got to be Perfect . . . no really it has

It always seems nowadays everyone online is attempting to make their own web pages or presence by one means or another. Whether they are just editing social media site templates or actually prepared to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty trying to learn to code/scripting.

However, once you sort-out the dabbling wannabes from the actual passionate Web Designer/Developer you’ll find out can be one of the most demanding jobs out there today. The job itself is not an easy one nor is it one to be taken lightly. There is slightly more to it than using a WYSINWYG tool and pre-built JavaScript animations, etc.

The quality Web designer may have to be very particular about; content, code, scripting, design and layout, web accessibility and usability to name but a few…

But, let me pose these questions: [I]

Have we become so obsessed with maintaining protocol and adhering to standards that we have lost sight of the ‘enjoyment’ factor?[/I]

Is there a chance some of us can become so transfixed on maintaining an unrealistic level of perfection for ourselves that in turn makes us burn out and lose passion for our work like we once had?

I also suspect many people have also had awkward clients or had to do some retrofitting and the original site was so damn convoluted. That they have lost the spirit to maintain their usual high standards and cut corners.

Have any of you also fallen into that trap, or cut your losses and done a slightly substandard piece of work. Due to horrendous project constraints place upon you maybe by a boss or the client?

Personally, I’ve always been able to be practical and maintain a high standard. Albeit I have the luxury of being very specialised so can chose when to code or not.

Come on fellow SPF members; let’s hear and share with each other your experiences and thoughts upon this subject of getting things ‘just right’ - I am all ears. :slight_smile:

I suspect some people have. I mean, heated debates over a tag? Really? Or do they enjoy this obsession? Tough question.

Personally, I’m not a perfectionist and I don’t get obsessed over standards. They are there to make the work easier, not vise versa. You must also settle your priorities. If what client asks clashes with standards, client requirements supersede the standards. However, I think, it’s the job of a professional to find a compromise between the two.

It doesn’t have to be perfect, it has to work, first and foremost. Blind faith in standards but inability to create a fully functional product as per client requirements does no service to the developer nor the standards themselves.

Cross-browser compatibility is the big reason. Agreement on what to implement and how.

As things are now, not all browsers implement the same features or do it in the same way. The box model? CSS3? various HTML tags either not in a spec or dropped from a spec (button, blink, marque, comment, wbr, etc.)

Some good points were raised in your response Saul.

World War III, seems to occur here and on other forums sometimes if people mention terms. Like HTML5, which of course as we know is still ‘non normative’ and not really ready with it being experimental. So you’ll get a plethora of fan boys using meaningless markup, deceiving themselves into thinking they are future proof or it is somehow better. So maybe those guys do like heated debate?

It is true you have to make some ‘comprises’ and as a general rule I prefer to educate such people of common pitfalls such as TABLE layout, etc. There are also those that complain their pixel-perfect designs are several pixels out on one browser compared to the other when the average user doesn’t even care so long as it doesn’t look noticeably broken.

Yes, I agree Adam it all adds to the fun or complications or workload depending upon how you interpret things.

That’s because those who are smarter than the rest don’t have to worry about minor problems :stuck_out_tongue: (yep, I finally got to see your IQ in facebook)

I am a perfectionist but the truth is that I love learning but I hate to be forced into it. I wish I could know everything without having to spend hours and hours studying but…

Having said that, getting it perfect just for the challenge that it represents is cool. Suffering a heart attack because you don’t know how to do it that’s not cool. At some point you have to draw the line and relax.

If it looks nice and clean in all browsers, and the differences are not major, that should be OK.

So the challenge is the aspect that you like molona but not so much the idea of going around in circles if you haven’t quite mastered the task at hand.

Though it doesn’t sound like you are foolish enough to think the web is print. Not worth too much fretting over and ‘having kittens’ if the website or whatever you have developed is doing its job and more-or-less how you wanted it.

Actually, this is very well expressed. Facing the challenge will force you to do an effort and learn more, and that means that you’ll be better next time. But running around like a headless chicken makes no sense at all.

Well, thank you :smiley:


Everything in life is a compromise, so is webdevelopment.

Ninety-ninety rule - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Even if you want your projects to be perfect, your client wouldn’t be happy to pay that90% you needed for little things he might not even notice.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you don’t have to follow standards. A shortcut might save you some time/bucks now, but could cost you (or your client) dearly in the future.

Guido, I have seen similar to that rule before and there is some truth. It’s typically true that a lot of clients don’t understand actually what you job role might involve or how that: “Can you just make a little change here or there?” question could become a headache.

Though like you say, you should try ‘start as you mean to go on’ with a project if at all possible and do a good job to help prevent future spiralling costs with maintenance, etc.

I like to make everything as perfect as possible. When I can’t, I look at why I can’t. If it’s something outside of my control, I just let it go. If it’s something within my control, I take it as a learning experience to figure out what I’m not doing right and see how to make it better.

My code is constantly evolving. I’ll write something, come back to it a year ago, and it’ll be completely different to the approaches I’m now taking. I keep thinking that eventually it’ll stop, but it hasn’t yet (and I’ve been doing this for over a decade now =p).

However, I always favor cross-browser compatibility over new things like HTML5/CSS3. I’ve finally decided to axe explicit support for IE6, but I still support everything else, so I try to use the most flexible approach (my IE-only rules usually account for less than 10 lines on most sites =D).

Regarding arguments over specific tags and the like… I kind of like those. =p Some (okay, many) often get out of hand at some point, but I like taking a closer look at something I may have taken for granted all these years.

Strive to do the best you can really is a good philosophy Christian and developing or honing your skillets is necessary if you are to progress.

The in-depth debates on semantics are fine assuming as they don’t get into ‘mudslinging matches’ or totally off topic or the participants learn something. I’d have to agree using normative markup languages is a good approach.

I often wonder this from time to time. I see people here on the Forums debating code practice back and forth, getting heated over accessibility issues and I wonder, jeeze some people need to settle down and take a breather but it’s interesting what Saul mentions in his first post in this thread. Perhaps it is enjoyment and a passion for those individuals to make people see and understand the correct way of doing things, and that it’s not just good enough to settle for a quick fix. I think people can become very obsessed with maintaining standards, myself included, but I believe if you want that job to be professional on completion, you need to maintain a high level of work ethic otherwise there’s no point in applying yourself.

I believe if you have a correct balance in place you’ll be able to maintain your preferred level of perfection whilst still being realistic about what you can and can’t do. I’ve seen a lot of people put themselves under a lot of strain and stress because either their friends meet a certain target or code/design in a certain way - the need to conform will always be present but I think it’s ultimately down to the individual to be their own person and actually enjoy what they do rather than try and be something they probably never will be! Being so focused on perfection can be damaging to what you love to do and unless you give yourself a break at times, at least for me, things would never get done. Personally, I think I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to perfection. I’ve got to have it right or it’s not worth doing - but sometimes 99% right is OK too :wink:

This has happened to me a few times, but again I have to echo what Saul says, business is business and the client gets what the client wants. :confused2

I work as an in-house graphic designer and everyday my work gets judged by a lot of people, some with a bit of design sense while others without much. After being in the design industry for some time I have come to realize that perfection is a relative ‘feeling’. What might seem perfect to me might not seem perfect to another person…it might not even seem perfect to me after some time. Perfection is a feeling that changes from person to person and from time to time.

A lot of people confuse perfection with closure. Making sure that the edges of the text-boxes in your comp line up is not a sign of obsession with perfection, it is just an effort to attain closure while testing 41 shades of blue to find the perfect shade is.

Rather than trying to attain perfection I try to attain closure in every work I do which means that if I have 5 minutes to create an artwork and send it to the printer I will spend the last one minute pre-flighting the files.

I am not a perfectionist, and I am my own boss - the standards are there to help me, not to complicate things - it don’t need to be perfect, but it has to work, so I have a relaxed attitude towards it :smoke:

Is there anything you don’t have a relaxed attitude to? :stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t think so :lol: I have peace with myself, and are living my life the way i want - so i have a relaxed attitude to most things in life :smiley:

Yes, it’s getting things into perspective and so forth instead of worrying about things that don’t matter so much in reality. Obsession with perfection might be where we have to draw the line for our own sanity.

At least you are honest; I don’t think some people would say that they have had to compromise a lot. But would make you believe they are always ‘prefect’. So that’s good you are aware you like to do a high standard of work whenever possible. :slight_smile:

Yes, I agree peoples view can vary quite a lot and so can standards or opinions on various types of work and as you develop your own ideas can change.

At least you seem to be happy in your work have found your level of work standard and don’t stress if the outcomes are pretty good in your own opinion.