2014 — Year I
Four years ago, I started my career in design as a Web Designer. Around that time, web was everything design to me. CSS was design.
font-family was design. I believed making web pages look good was the job of a web designer. If what I made didn’t look good, why would they hire a web designer?
I spent hours lurking online, searching for a perfect combination of hex codes. A perfect combination of
sans-serifs. Serifs were never an option. For no specific reasons, I considered them ugly back then.
I spent countless hours inspecting the elements on other web pages. Firebug was a thing then. When I first discovered it, I felt like I had unleashed the magic fountain of creativity. Everything that I needed to know to make a web page “look” good. Layout? We can
float it. Colour? We can copy the hex codes. Typography?
font-family for the win.
Observing and copying from others helped me to somewhat understand and feel those invisible and unintuitive details that made design “look” good. Yet, I couldn’t pinpoint what those nuances were.
Back then, I didn’t believe in having reasons. If designers needed a reason for design, what were engineers for?! Designers were artists. Artists needed no reasons.
I took offence when people didn’t like my design. I hoped they would develop some “taste”. How can they not like it? It’s a piece of art. I would hear “but Kamal, I can’t read that text, it’s so light and small.” And I would reply — “Really? I can read them fine. We need smaller text to have more whitespace.”
When I think about it now, those people were my stakeholders. Aligning them should’ve been part of my design process. We needed usability and function but I was favouring minimalism.