Loose notes from SXSW 2010 session: Is WordPress Killing Web Design
Good question – I’ve been asking myself this lately. Unfortunately the session quickly devolved into a lot of platitudes and stating of the obvious. Yes, design has been commoditized and is no longer an “elite” activity. Yes, your site is as creative as you make it, it has nothing to do with the CMS you use. All pretty much goes without saying. Took notes for half an hour, then headed to the HTML5 discussion… which was full and not allowing more people in.
We’re not just talking about WP – we also mean Drupal, Joomla, Movable Type, all of them. But we don’t want to let facts get in the way of a good panel title.
People confessing they use WordPress… “It’s almost like an AA meeting.”
Is creativity stifled when people use tools like this? People never ask how they’re going to put it together, how they’re going slice up the design.
“I’m going to design a site” is one mindset…
“I’m going to design a WordPress site” is another.
No need to be a slave of the tool you’re working with.
“The two most dangerous things in the world are handguns and content management systems.”
If anything’s killing web design it’s lack of imagination. Need to move away from the “paper behind glass” mentality.
Hacking themes can be a great way to learn HTML/PHP/CSS – there’s an approach to it that isn’t over-reliant… just a kick-start.
If fonts get any bigger, I’m going to need a bigger monitor. Is what what we want? It’s not what I want…
It’s like a lowest common denominator path on the way from newbie to veteran — everyone has to pass through this WordPress phase. People think of it as a safe solution – it makes them look good with very little effort.
Why aren’t people switching their themes every week? No one’s going to die. Be more playful. If you want to think of design as a constraint, then it’s a constraint. If you think of it as a chasm, it’s a chasm.
[… left early … ]