When we use the right tools, we can achieve incredible things. When we use the wrong tools, or use them incorrectly, terrible things can happen.
That’s how Marta Armada sees web design. Using the right tools is as important for building skyscrapers as it is for building websites.
“If you’re not careful, the tools that we use can take control over our work, and over us.”
—Marta Armada, Swwweet
Web designers use many different kinds of tools, from computers and text editors to frameworks and content management systems.
Marta is an interface designer at Swwweet, a Barcelona-based web design studio and in her upcoming WebVisions Barcelona talk, “One Size Fits None,” she points out how many designers are turning to frameworks like Bootstrap to get the job done, and in the end, many of the sites they build look exactly the same.
“I really don’t want to be part of this ‘bootstrapification’ of the web,” she said. “I think we can do much better than that.”
Sure, Bootstrap can be a handy tool for prototyping, but maybe let’s just throw down here and now and say that it shouldn’t be the only tool in a bag of tricks.
To grid or not to grid?
Marta also argues that we should move beyond the 12-column grid when designing sites. The problem with grids, she says, is that we don’t think about what we have to design – we think about the structure first and end up fighting against the grid.
Design around the content, not against the content, she says, and don’t think too hard about the solution before thinking about the design problem you’re facing.
“The next time you’re starting a new project, make sure you’re picking the right tools for the right reason, which is building amazing websites,” she said.