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When the Right Tool for the Job is Wrong

CJ Chilvers
CJ Chilvers

Designing a website for my wife has me thinking about this essay from from a while back, It's OK Not to Use Tools by Jonas Downey, a designer from Basecamp. Jonas abandoned his fancy tools when he created a website for an animal shelter using plain old HTML and CSS, with friendly, clear writing:

"As builders, we like tools and tech because they’re interesting and new, and we enjoy mastering them. But when you think about the people we’re building for, the reality is usually the opposite. They need simple designs, clear writing, less tech, and fewer abstractions."

It's way too easy for style to get in the way of the message.