Appreciate Your Craft

Walking through a shop full of guitars, something catches my eye. I pick up a guitar off its stand and strum a few chords to get a feel for it. I take a close look at the details that matter to me—the wood, build quality, body shape, fretboard, pickups, finish, and a ton of other things.

Australian Blackwood

I’ve been playing guitar most of my life so I have an appreciation for the details of the art. This routine is the mark of someone who loves the craft, but it doesn’t just apply to musicians.

Go into a photography shop and you’ll see photographers trying out cameras, lenses, and tripods. Walk through a sporting goods store and you'll see people trying out baseball gloves, hockey sticks, and golf clubs in a fake driving range. Have you ever taken a car on a test drive?

When trying something new, we want to know what it’s like in use and we want to find out how it's built. That's our nature.

As designers and developers, the same is true about websites. When visiting a new site, we’ll click around, view its source, and we’ll pay close attention to design decisions. If you love responsive design, one of the first things you’ll do is resize your browser to see what happens.

There’s an increasing amount of designers and developers who are complaining, saying it's petty and stupid to check if a site is responsive as quickly as we do. They'll say “Why can't we just use the site and be happy?”

That’s harmful. It ignores the fact that this is our craft. It’s what we love. Guitarists spend time to get to know a guitar, so why shouldn’t we do the same with websites?

Wonder isn’t just the sign of someone who appreciates a craft, it’s what pushes it forward.