Something happened yesterday that really frustrated me. 37signals launched the re-design of their site and almost immediately, a blog post appeared (from someone who I respect) that said:

Dear 37signals — You can have this one for free. – Love [named removed] 🙂

a:hover {opacity: 0.75;}

The boys at 37signals have clearly forgotten they are designing for an interactive medium and have instead redesigned with a great looking site that’s about as flat and static as you can get.

Want to know why he said that? Because they didn’t have a hover state on their links. No “Hey guys, great re-design. Have you noticed you don’t have a hover state on the links?” or “Love the new design, only one small tweak would be to add a hover state on the link.”

It’s the smug elitism that bothers me. The celebratory negativity just isn’t adding anything.

It’s as if we’re all just waiting to attack instead of encouraging creativity and *politely* mentioning tweaks that could be considered.

I’m fairly thick skinned and I can take negative comments, but a lot of creative people can’t. They would rather not blog/tweet/etc than be publicly criticized. I think we should, as an industry, consider that we’re stifling creativity and innovation by the band-wagon bashing that often occurs when folks launch something new.

Tipster beta

We recently launched Tipster and while it was in beta I saw this Tweet:

“lol at … its now up again and yes I agree its particularly pants”

Not sure what the yardstick was for measuring it and concluding it’s “particularly pants” but the comment isn’t helpful whatsoever. If it is “pants” why not give us your idea for improving it? We built Tipster in three days in Django, for fun, and the first thing someone does is laugh at us. What does that say about our industry?

We should all welcome constructive criticism, but I just don’t understand the point of purely negative commentary.

If there’s one thing that’s going to kill the creativity and fun of web design and development, it’s people ripping each other apart for a bit of a laugh.


If we could offer constructive criticism, instead of quick-fire negativity, then we’ll see a lot more innovation and creativity – because people aren’t afraid of launching something new.

There’s a great piece in the NY Times on this very subject. I highly recommend a quick read.

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