Musings, Project Planning

Making better use of better tools

I got a lot of milage out of the phrase “this gig wouldn’t be any fun if it were easy” this year.

When I was in my early twenties and just learning carpentry, all of my tools were terrible. My hammer bent nails, none of my saws ever cut in a straight line, and my tape measure always managed to be off by just a little bit once everything was said and done.

Let’s be honest: responsive web design isn’t easy when you’re just getting started with it. It calls for some major changes in both thinking and process. You start out clumsy at first, like with any new tool; maybe you even find yourself cursing it out from time to time. Thing is, once you’ve struggled through it and you stand back to admire what you’ve built: yeah, maybe you can see a couple of seams and maybe you could have done a few things better, but you’ll know those mistakes before they happen next time. When we move on to the next job our tools seem a little lighter, sharper, and more accurate than they did on the last one, because we got better with them.

This year we all started getting the hang of an incredible new tool. Next year we’ll get even better with it.

We’ll probably still do a fair amount of cursing, though.
Mat Marquis, designer/developer, Filament Group, and technical editor, A List Apart

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