Everything Easy is Hard Again – Frank Chimero


222 bookmarks. First posted by vernalkick february 2018.


This past summer, I gave a lecture at a web conference and afterward got into a fascinating conversation with a young digital design student. It was fun to compare where we were in our careers.
4 weeks ago by pitiphong_p
Everything Easy is Hard Again via Pocket
IFTTT  Pocket  read 
4 weeks ago by moritzwade
To test how much complexity comes along with my limited needs, I wrote down the technical requirements of my web design practice. It’s not a long list:

simple, responsive layout
web fonts and nicely set text
performant, scalable images

All of these have been more than met for at least five years, but the complexity of even these very fundamental needs has ballooned in the last few years

[...]

All of that bundled together is the popular way to work in 2018. But other people’s toolchains are absolutely inscrutable from the outside. Even getting started is touchy. Last month, I had to install a package manager to install a package manager. That’s when I closed my laptop and slowly backed away from it. We’re a long way from the CSS Zen Garden where I started.
html  css  javascript  typography  design  philosophy 
9 weeks ago by brandon.w.barry
Websites complexity turtoise
10 weeks ago by erikberndt
Design and writing by Frank Chimero
web  design  complexity  css  article 
11 weeks ago by e2b
So much of how we build websites and software comes down to how we think. The churn of tools, methods, and abstractions also signify the replacement of ideology. A person must usually think in a way similar to the people who created the tools to suc…
development  design  webdev  web  PrivacyKit  PrivacyKitForBusiness  NeverEndingGuide 
11 weeks ago by loughlin
A web designer reflects on how knowledge about the web fades and reemerges in cycles. He also argues that code has become less accessible and wonders how this affects young designers. (Source: Frank Chimero)
11 weeks ago by brianaf
RT : A really interesting read:
Everything easy is hard again, by .
from twitter_favs
12 weeks ago by stevelacey
“If knowledge about the web deteriorates quickly, it’s worthwhile to develop a solid personal philosophy toward change and learning.”
web  time  progress  work  learning  technology  change 
12 weeks ago by colm.mcmullan
This past summer, I gave a lecture at a web conference and afterward got into a fascinating conversation with a young digital design student. It was fun to compare where we were in our careers.
Archive  design  development 
12 weeks ago by rboulton
This talk was given on October 12, 2017 at Mirror Conf in Braga, Portugal, and again on February 9, 2018 at the Awwwards Conference in Berlin. This past summer,…
12 weeks ago by studiomohawk
As someone who has decades of experience on the web, I hate to compare myself to the tortoise, but hey, if it fits, it fits. Let’s be more like that tortoise: diligent, direct, and purposeful. The web needs pockets of slowness and thoughtfulness as its reach and power continues to increase. What we depend upon must be properly built and intelligently formed. We need to create space for complexity’s important sibling: nuance. Spaces without nuance tend to gravitate towards stupidity. And as an American, I can tell you, there are no limits to the amount of damage that can be inflicted by that dangerous cocktail of fast-moving-stupid.

The web also needs diligent people so that the idea of what the web is and what it does remains legible to everyone. This applies to being able to read the systems and social environments the web creates so we know what’s real and what’s not, but the call for legibility should also humbly apply to writing legible code and designs systems that are easy for nearly anyone to interpret thanks to their elegance. That important work has a place, too.

It’s by keeping our work legible that we keep the door open to the next generation of our co-workers. What works for them also works for us, because whether you are just out of school or have twenty years of experience, you’ll eventually end up in the same spot: your first year of making websites.
design  development  work  uxdesign  ux 
12 weeks ago by laurenipsum
Lessons learned on the unnecessary cycle of complexity in web development, as acquired by someone rebooting a design studio in 2018.
design  development  web  javascript  css 
12 weeks ago by sudocurse
Methods that were once taboo are back on the table. For instance, last week I was reading a post about the benefits of not using stylesheets and instead having inline styles for everything. The post made a few compelling points, but this approach would have been crazy talk a few years ago.

So much of how we build websites and software comes down to how we think. The churn of tools, methods, and abstractions also signify the replacement of ideology. A person must usually think in a way similar to the people who created the tools to successfully use them. It’s not as simple as putting down a screwdriver and picking up a wrench. A person needs to revise their whole frame of thinking; they must change their mind.

In one way, it is easier to be inexperienced: you don’t have to learn what is no longer relevant. Experience, on the other hand, creates two distinct struggles: the first is to identify and unlearn what is no longer necessary (that’s work, too). The second is to remain open-minded, patient, and willing to engage with what’s new, even if it resembles a new take on something you decided against a long time ago.
Frank.Chimero  WA  WAS18  via:asfaltics 
12 weeks ago by disegno
Another excellent essay by Frank Chimero. This encourages me to make websites again. I get down on the fact that I don't know all the latest tools, and the fact is, I probably don't need to.
webdesign 
12 weeks ago by gravel
Methods that were once taboo are back on the table. For instance, last week I was reading a post about the benefits of not using stylesheets and instead having inline styles for everything. The post made a few compelling points, but this approach would have been crazy talk a few years ago.

So much of how we build websites and software comes down to how we think. The churn of tools, methods, and abstractions also signify the replacement of ideology. A person must usually think in a way similar to the people who created the tools to successfully use them. It’s not as simple as putting down a screwdriver and picking up a wrench. A person needs to revise their whole frame of thinking; they must change their mind.

In one way, it is easier to be inexperienced: you don’t have to learn what is no longer relevant. Experience, on the other hand, creates two distinct struggles: the first is to identify and unlearn what is no longer necessary (that’s work, too). The second is to remain open-minded, patient, and willing to engage with what’s new, even if it resembles a new take on something you decided against a long time ago.
Frank.Chimero  WA  WAS18 
12 weeks ago by asfaltics
Frank Chimero
Weekly  Design 
february 2018 by dorsch500
Everything easy is hard again
from twitter
february 2018 by Rude
Design and writing by Frank Chimero
productivity  design  programming 
february 2018 by vanadium
The web industry excitedly says that we should "move fast and break things". But perhaps we should be brave enough to suggest that we "go slow and fix things.” 💖
web  theeternalrecurrance  publishtobuffer 
february 2018 by sonniesedge
I'll need to re-read this. Main points - slow is good. So is simple. Oh, and, use the right tools for the job.
design  web  frank 
february 2018 by djtrischler
Web development is hard.
softwaredevelopment 
february 2018 by raygrasso
Everything Easy is Hard Again via Instapaper http://ift.tt/2siYqkp
february 2018 by jurvis
"I thought it would be useful remind everyone that the easiest and cheapest strategy for dealing with complexity is not to invent something to manage it, but to avoid the complexity altogether with a more clever plan."
webdesign  designthinking  design  history  worldwideweb 
february 2018 by garrettc
A wonderful essay from Frank Chimero based on a recent talk he gave around the current state of the web. As always, Frank gets to the heart of an issue and covers it in an informative, captive, and witty way.
newslettered  news  296  headline  podcast 
february 2018 by justinavery
The complexity was off-putting at first. I was unsure if I even wanted tackle a website after seeing the current working methods. Eventually, I agreed to the projects. My gut told me that a lot of the new complexities in workflows, toolchains, and development methods are completely optional for many projects. That belief is the second thread of this talk: I’d like to make a modest defense of simple design and implementation as a better option for the web and the people who work there.
frank  chimero  web  complexity 
february 2018 by fjordaan
I go through this with all of my clients: Don’t solve problems; eliminate them.
via , by…
from twitter_favs
february 2018 by jitendravyas
Everything Easy is Hard Again – Frank Chimero
from twitter
february 2018 by brandizzi
Everything Easy is Hard Again – Frank Chimero
from twitter
february 2018 by pdudits
web design is needlessly hard
web  design 
february 2018 by Perfectturmoil
In one way, it is easier to be inexperienced: you don’t have to learn what is no longer relevant. Experience, on the other hand, creates two distinct struggles: the first is to identify and unlearn what is no longer necessary (that’s work, too). The second is to remain open-minded, patient, and willing to engage with what’s new, even if it resembles a new take on something you decided against a long time ago.
dev 
february 2018 by jbragland
"The web needs pockets of slowness and thoughtfulness as its reach and power continues to increase. " Anytime Frank writes, it is so wonderful.
design  thinking 
february 2018 by glass
Everything Easy is Hard Again
from twitter
february 2018 by nn
I had fifteen years of experience designing for web clients, she had one year, and yet some how, we were in the same situation: we enjoyed the work, but were utterly confused and overwhelmed by the rapidly increasing complexity of it all.
webdev  work  process 
february 2018 by mirthe

The new methods were invented to manage a level of complexity that is completely foreign to me and my work. It was easy to back away from most of this new stuff when I realized I have alternate ways of managing complexity. Instead of changing my tools or workflow, I change my design. It’s like designing a house so it’s easy to build, instead of setting up cranes typically used for skyscrapers.


My web design philosophy is no razzle-dazzle. My job is to help my clients identify and express the one or two uniquely true things about their project or company, then enhance it through a memorable design with a light touch. If complexity comes along, we focus in on it, look for patterns, and change the blueprint for what we’re building. We don’t necessarily go looking for better tools or fancier processes. In the past, I’ve called this following the grain of the web, which is to use design choices that swing with what HTML, CSS, and screens make easy, flexible, and resilient.

It seems there are fewer and fewer notable websites built with this approach each year. So, I thought it would be useful remind everyone that the easiest and cheapest strategy for dealing with complexity is not to invent something to manage it, but to avoid the complexity altogether with a more clever plan.

As someone who has decades of experience on the web, I hate to compare myself to the tortoise, but hey, if it fits, it fits. Let’s be more like that tortoise: diligent, direct, and purposeful. The web needs pockets of slowness and thoughtfulness as its reach and power continues to increase. What we depend upon must be properly built and intelligently formed. We need to create space for complexity’s important sibling: nuance. Spaces without nuance tend to gravitate towards stupidity. And as an American, I can tell you, there are no limits to the amount of damage that can be inflicted by that dangerous cocktail of fast-moving-stupid.
web  css  history  2018  js  npm  complexity  mustread  frankchimero 
february 2018 by WimLeers
One of the best pieces I've read on the future of web development from
from twitter
february 2018 by fendmark
Design and writing by Frank Chimero
development  webdev 
february 2018 by tedw
By Frank Chimero - Feb 9, 2018 (originally Oct 12, 2017)
articles  development  design 
february 2018 by mycotn