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<Why Programmers Suck at CSS Design ⁄ >




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If I had a dime for every time I heard a web programmer apologize for the way his/her pages looked before revealing them, I certainly wouldn't need to work anymore.

As with color picking, I think that programmers tend to avoid doing certain things not because they are inherently bad at it, but because they don't know how to proceed. They find themselves in an uncharted and foggy territory, without a map, no sense of direction, and with a limited ability to know if they're getting any closer to where they want to be. Also, when they talk to people that don't share such problems and find it all too natural and obvious, it's hard for the two to communicate in terms that make sense to a programmer.

There is a general tendency to believe that programmers can't style things because they have no style themselves. Yet, all of them will be able to tell you very quickly which one of two designs they like the best, even if they generally can't verbalize why. This seems to be an indication, at least to me, that some aesthetic sense is inherently present in all of us; what's different is the ability to turn vague notions and gut feelings into actions and reusable procedures. And that's where the problem is.



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