Six Apart thankful that Web designers aren't too bright

Hmmmm, if you need a bunch of new template designs for your blog business, but don't want to be limited to what you can pay for, what do you do? Oh, I know! How about commission perhaps hundreds of people to create hundreds of designs for your business and only pay for 8 of them. But then keep and use all of them! (Section E. Submission Agreements) Brilliant!

Even more brilliant is getting a couple of design and development application companies to throw in and help you lure dim witted designers to give away their work for free. And the few that you do decide to pay, you pay what you want to pay rather than what the designers would otherwise require you pay for their work. Wow, this is like shooting fish in a barrel.

Say it with me: Six Apart hates designers. And if you don't agree with that, the facts demand that you agree that Six Apart has contempt for designers and the design profession.

How about this: from now on no company should contract with any designer or design agency. Instead, every company, individual and institution needing design services should host a design contest. The rules for these contests should allow the possibility that one "winner" gets paid (whatever the host wants to pay) and the host keeps the non-winning entries as well, to use as desired in the future.

This way, designers need not worry about having a profession and don't need to worry about professional practice. Instead of hoping to become a design professional, we'll aspire to become design contest winners. So much better! No more complicated contracts. No more tedious discovery processes. Hell, we won't need to know beans about business! Perfect.

This way we can remove distractions like communication, usability, constraints, etc... and get down to the real business of design: sexy graphics! Forget the user audience, forget everything and everyone except the contest judges' preferences. Woo the judges and the rest will take care of itself. Then, maybe, if we win, we can auction our prizes off on eBay and get some cash to pay the bills.

This is the future of our profession if we leave it up to Six Apart, Adobe, Westciv, Slashdot, and the rest of the companies that have contempt for our profession. Is this the future you envision and aspire to? You are defined by the choices you make. What choices are you making now and what future are you creating with those choices? Design is synonymous with change. Isn't there something about all of this you'd like to change? What are you doing about it?

what now?

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This is the personal soap box and playground of Andy Rutledge, principal and chief design strategist at UNIT. A sampling of some of my previous Web design work can be found in my portfolio site.

There are no comments enabled on this site, but it would be wonderful to hear from you directly. Contact me at "andy [at] andyrutledge [dot] com".