Web Dogma

It’s been a while since I’ve read Boxes and Arrows, it’s a very good collaborative blog about information architechture and related jiggery pokery. One thing caught my eye today:

Dogmas Are Meant to be Broken: An Interview with Eric Reiss

It’s a set of ‘rules’ for web design in the spirit of Lars Von Trier’s Dogma Manifesto.

My first thought was that it was going to be a load of luddite nonsense that would get in the way of innovation and advancement. But then I saw this and was encouraged:

The trick with doing a dogma for the web was to avoid the “rules syndrome” (For example, Links should be blue.) for best practices that were liable to change as technology changed. How do you do a set of rules or guidelines that would prove helpful despite the technological advances and would also be relevant as fashion changes?

Cool, I thought. Then I saw the manifesto and thought doublepluscool:

Web Dogma ‘06

  1. Anything that exists only to satisfy the internal politics of the site owner must be eliminated.
  2. Anything that exists only to satisfy the ego of the designer must be eliminated.
  3. Anything that is irrelevant within the context of the page must be eliminated.
  4. Any feature or technique that reduces the visitor’s ability to navigate freely must be reworked or eliminated.
  5. Any interactive object that forces the visitor to guess its meaning must be reworked or eliminated.
  6. No software, apart from the browser itself, must be required to get the site to work correctly.
  7. Content must be readable first, printable second, downloadable third.
  8. Usability must never be sacrificed for the sake of a style guide.
  9. No visitor must be forced to register or surrender personal data unless the site owner is unable to provide a service or complete a transaction without it.
  10. Break any of these rules sooner than do anything outright barbarous.

For a fuller explanation of each of the points visit: Dogmas Are Meant to be Broken: An Interview with Eric Reiss