Your resource on producing a pretentious web page
The pretentious web page designer:
Make your site look exactly like alistapart.com
and nearly every Movable Type page on the planet.
I find it odd that people who are supposedly so well-endowed with artistic talent and creative prowess would strive to make their sites look like everyone else's. The fixed-width CSS box thing is a bit old now. Yes, I understand the need for accessibility requirements. Yes, I know CSS is powerful -- I'm not saying don't use it. If CSS is so great and powerful, you should be able to do something interesting with it.
Put your page into a 400-pixel column,
right in the middle of my screen.
This also falls into the get-creative-or-get-a-new-occupation category. I guess this makes your text wrap more frequently so the page appears meaty to the casual observer. Or maybe this is a throwback to the journalist who writes for newspapers and has to deal with two inch columns. Maybe they are catering to that 0.3% of people who still use 640x480 resolution on their monitors. Whatever, it is getting really old.
Refer to your source as "markup"
Not "code" or "html"
Not sure why this is so in vogue. It serves no purpose other than to identify oneself as a pretentious "designer." It provides no descriptive amplification, it is simply elitist garbage. "Certainly no designer would work with 'code' or 'scripts', that stuff is for programmers -- Geeks."
Use muted, earthy colors, and very few of them.
And whatever you do, for GOD'S SAKE, don't use black type. Use gray type.
I'm not advocating a page that looks like a circus clown exploded but color can add a lot to a page. You "designers" should not be afraid to use color. And the inexplicable lack of contrast is not only getting old and annoying, its getting hard on my eyes.
Put lots of validation links at the bottom of the page
This not only tells people you are good at "markup,"
but tells them that you are stupid enough to believe they care. I've noticed recently the ugly little W3 icons have frequently been replaced with simple, unexplained chunks of text. Even more pretentious. The fact that your page validates should be self-evident to anyone who is a geek enough to care -- certainly to anyone who would care to check by running it through the validator.
Make Snide Comments about Microsoft Products
Adding comments like,
"This page written to render correctly in standards compliant browsers like Firefox..." is not only pretentious, but does absolutely no good. Think about it. People who care about such nonsense are already using a Mozilla-based product. People who don't care, have no idea what you are talking about. You are only impressing yourself and the other pretentious dolts that view your site. If you are a capable designer, you should be able to make your page render correctly in any browser, including the one used by 90% of the world.