March 7, 2007

I've worked on a few sites where the design and the content don't jive. In one case, the second level of a two-level horizontal navigation bar was sometimes used to display important news. What are you supposed to call that <div>? It's not a "navbar," but it's also not a "newsbar." You end up giving it a nonsensical or nonsemantic name—"navnews" or "topbar."

I've also worked on sites, even portfolio sites, where the content was an afterthought. In these cases, I've already worked out the semantic XHTML, taking care to use just enough, but not more, classes and IDs. I've hammered out the CSS to style all elements. And then I find out that there is a new type of content. And did I mention the looming deadline? So, the easiest option here is to add loads of classes and IDs to get everything looking pretty.

It's for these reasons that I enjoy reading articles like this, even if I don't program content management systems.

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A web designer/developer by trade, Brian lived in Japan for 5 years and likes to think he knows something about that. He's most recently into talking about design, culture, typography, and web technology.