A Day in the Life

“When people develop websites they talk about users. Users are weird creatures with strange intentions. They click everything, even where they are not supposed to. They rarely follow instructions. They are unpredictable. And yet we must love them. That is our job. Even when they are hard to love, even when they send us angry emails or tweet about how stupid we are.

When people talk about content they discuss readers. Readers are a known quantity. They start at the top of a page and go to the bottom, sentence by sentence. Sometimes they might skim, but often they’re fully engaged. They pause and think things through. They might even read the same section twice.

The reader is, of course, easy to love. Because the reader is us.”

– Paul Ford 1


This little shift is a butterfly. It changes everything. The guy or the girl is a reader... not a user! Maybe both but that’s not the point.

(If you think about it, ‘content’ doesn’t feel right either. Content is more user than reader. It’s the word shown to you when you learn about homophones. It’s a choice and you choose the other one.)

Content was at the Center of this project. The Client (there are so many words that could have been better) had already made her sitemap and detailed out the sections when she approached me. It’s nice when you work with smart people. It’s nicer still when they are smarter than you. This was one of those times. It made things much easier. The content was well written and intelligently organised 2. I could spend all my time presenting it.

The photographs were taken by Vinita Suri and Vikas Suri. It’s these little things that I think add personality to a website. A stock photo on the other hand goes a long way towards killing that spirit. I faded or blurred the photographs into the background so that the content could take center stage. It’s a lot of words. It’s probably something that a lot of people will claim that won’t work on the internet where users don’t read. I disagree.

The Gift

This was the second of two Community projects that I had taken up in 2012. Vinita Suri is someone I respect a lot and someone who makes the world a nicer place to live in for a lot of people.

In return I was gifted The Gift by Lewis Hyde and The Principles of Uncertainty by Maira Kalman. I’ve read the latter and it’s beautiful.