The role of graphic design on the web
Gerry McGovern claims that Graphic design plays a minor role on the Web. Well, it does, and it doesn’t. Graphic design is very important on the web, but I fully agree with Gerry that sometimes it is given too much importance.
Design awards, as Gerry mentions, usually give a much higher importance to the visual impact of the design than if the design actually does its job of communicating, making the site work. That is probably a result of the ad agency mentality that makes many visual designers create campaigns to win awards, not to help their clients sell their products or services.
Having worked closely with ad agencies in various forms for several years, it is my experience that it is quite rare to see a designer from an advertising agency really “get” the web. Most of the time they try to turn the web into print or TV. There are exceptions, of course, and those designers who embrace the web and understand that it is a different medium from print or television tend to make excellent web designers.
(via Mark Boulton: Gerry McGovern’s clear lack of understanding)
Update: Jonathan Snook has further thoughts on the matter: The Value of Graphic Design.