The first website I saw was in 1993 back in the good old days, when sites were scrabbled together by programmers who had no sense of design or layout but still were the only ones who knew the black art of HTML. I started learning it back then because I knew that something big was about to happen and I wanted to be in on it. I designed a few sites that were in my opinion stretching the technology, a technology that was already quite old as it was meant to be for text transfer.
Nowadays websites have such a huge variance in terms of their capabilities you have such a huge choice in multiple flavours, HTML, flash, XHTML, CSS etc etc place your favourite acronym here. Well I've gone back to designing sites after a long hiatus as I got bored with having to constantly scan through tedious amounts of code looking for that tiny bit of text that was screwing things up for the rest of the site - I will never have the patience to be a programmer, if my lack of patience hadn't got the better of me I'd probably be a very rich man by now.
The thing thats got me at the moment is pretty much the same issue I had back then, standards and the lowest common denominator -design by committee - a term of reference most designers dislike with a passion.
After having dreamweaver on my machine for the last couple of years I finally took the plunge a few weeks back to dive into the world of website design again, and nothing much really has changed. As a designer you still need to account for that one person that doesn't have the latest version of Flash, Internet Explorer or doesn't have a massive monitor capable of displaying huge resolutions, or even worse doesn't have a mac!
It really is disconcerting when you design the whole site up, it looks fabulous on your powerbook works a real treat and then you get your trusted but extremely dusty PC out and the site looks like a dogs breakfast. I really would've thought that all of this would've been sorted out by now, but alas no it would seem the joys of non-standard standards still plague us to this day. After a number of patches, fixes, searches on the web and what little I have of my hair left pulled out I've managed to get a semi close approximation on the PC as it looks on my Mac, but as a standard - this should really be ... well, standard?
While on Facebook the other day I did come across what seemed to me to be a fabulous idea. As I am an army of one I tend to need as much help as I can get from other designers, production managers, producers etc etc. and since my patience level for programming is so minimal I spotted an ad for a company in the States that takes your psds, cuts 'em up and marks the whole design up in HTML for you and for a minimal cost.
I haven't used them yet but I think its a great idea, get someone who's good at this stuff to take the worry, pain and misery out of marking up your sites for you, woohoo, get me back to designing again, none of this "<!-if IE><ink rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="resources/style_iecss" /><![endif]--><meta name="verify-v1" content="/EFcT4EIghj5LgO8Ln1gepcsuRhZQjq5ADOuAwYde4U=" />"
rubbish, I am more than happy to spend my time in Photoshop getting things to look how they should rather than spending 10 times that trying to figure out why my headings are all over the place and my video isn't working on Internet Explorer. Good on you guys for coming up with this service I think you're gonna make an absolute packet!