I work with five designers and a couple have basic HTML knowledge. One can kinda sorta do key framing in Flash. Everything web is my responsibility. And I have a thing where I like to challenge myself and do something new on nearly every project I work on. Sometimes I do something that I just learned and sometimes it’s something I’ve been working a while on and I’m excited to finally have figured it out. After a while, seeing all the glazed over eyes as I tried to explain the amazing thing I did, I realized that A. most people don’t understand what web designers and developers really do and B. they don’t care. I’m a person that’s loves learning how they did things in movies and when I see a website that does something I’ve never seen before or does it a new way, I enjoy picking it apart, figuring out what does what. And it’s taken me a while to realize that this isn’t how most people think.
When the average Internet user comes to the site, they don’t care about anything that’s going on behind the scenes. Only a very small group of us do and I don’t even think that includes all of the people out there that call themselves web designers. There are people out there building websites the same way they did 15 years ago. I’ve started building every new site in HTML5 and using CSS3 as much as I can instead of using images. Why do I do this? I can get the same result building a site the way I did 3 years ago and my bosses wouldn’t be any less happy with it. But I have a need to deliver a website that is built with the latest technology. I have to challenge myself or else the job will get boring. I don’t build sites in HTML5 for the clients, 90% of them haven’t heard of HTML, much less HTML5. I did it because I want the people that know to look under the hood of my sites and know it was built by someone who knows what their doing. And I did this stuff for fun before I was being paid for it and I want to keep it fun.
If you’re the only one that’s going to know the amazing things you did to make your site, why bother going to that extra effort? For me, as I’ve said before it’s the challenge but I think there’s also some pride in there. I want to build the best site I can. I want to impress those web design gurus out there that will probably never visit those sites. Most nights at home, I’m learning, messing around and building things that have no practical function, I’m building them to see if I can. I think the CSS Fail Whale is a good example of something that was built just to see if it could be built by someone that enjoys they’re work. I’ve spent time looking at the CSS and I’m sure people like me have, but does this interest any non-web people? I’m pretty sure they’d ask, “Why didn’t you just use a picture?”
So everyday I go to work and try to build something new, using things like HTML5 and CSS3. Because I doing something I love and I want to be great at what I do. I’m just lucky enough that I get paid to do it and now I’ve finally learned it doesn’t matter to me if anyone else gets what I’m doing.