Frank Chimero really nails something I’ve been feeling for a while now but have been unable to put into words (emphasis mine).
Illegibility comes from complexity without clarity. I believe that the legibility of the source is one of the most important properties of the web. It’s the main thing that keeps the door open to independent, unmediated contributions to the network. If you can write markup, you don’t need Medium or Twitter or Instagram (though they’re nice to have). And the best way to help someone write markup is to make sure they can read markup.
Learning to code through reading source was how I get started. The first site I ever built is still out there thanks to archive.org, and I delight in showing the ramshackle beginnings of my career to new students at Codebar and Code First:Girls.
Frank continues (again, emphasis mine).
As someone who has decades of experience on the web, I hate to compare myself to the tortoise, but hey, if it fits, it fits. Let’s be more like that tortoise: diligent, direct, and purposeful. The web needs pockets of slowness and thoughtfulness as its reach and power continues to increase. What we depend upon must be properly built and intelligently formed. We need to create space for complexity’s important sibling: nuance.
As Jeremy has said in Resilient Web Design:
Here’s a three‐step approach I take to web design:
- Identify core functionality.
- Make that functionality available using the simplest possible technology.
I continually go back to these three rules. I want to build things that others can learn from.