While on my daily comb through the internet for new and interesting design news, I came across this site.

Pulled off the first few lines of the website, it can be summed up with this:

“We’re bombarded by more information than ever before. With the rise of all this information comes a rise of the amount of bullshit we’re exposed to. Death to Bullshit is a rallying cry to rid the world of bullshit and demand experiences that respect people and their time.

It shows a blank, design-less website with the option to “Turn Bullshit On”. Once you do that, it bombards the user with all of the unnecessary and unfortunate effects that are commonplace the world of web design: sliders, social media pop-ups, background advertisements, and a horrendous black and white text theme.

As bad as it, I urge you to check it out for yourself.

It’s abrasive, loud, and a strain on the eyes. Even worse? It looks outdated.

We designers hate things that look old (unless it’s an old-timey “hipster” style of course). As a designer we are constantly pushing towards whatever’s new, always trying to predict where the web world will go. We immerse ourselves in future tech and shake our heads over old, trendy technology that died an undignified death (parallax anyone?).

As I looked at the simplicity of the basic design (pretty much no CSS styling at all), I thought to myself “That’s what people need. Pure, simplistic elegance. From now on my site designs will reflect best practice and strip away all of the bullshit.

Except it doesn’t work like that in the real world.

I could explain minimalistic design, simple branding, and the elegance of white space until I’m blue in the face. While some clients go for that style (bless their hearts), 90% will not. Many people who have invested in a website want to make sure that the user clicks something. Why invest their hard earned money into a webpage that doesn’t look like it will “engage” the user?

Business owners want their site to suggest that they:

  • Offer an excellent service or product
  • Have fair rates
  • Work their ass off to ensure clients and purchasers are happy
  • Are a person with social media, and they want to communicate with their users.

But, this is often confused and translated into a “bullshit-filled” site.

“BUY MY THINGS, IM DESPERATE! PLEASE DON’T LEAVE! TALK TO ME ONLINE. BE MY FACEBOOK FRIEND!!” It’s the online equivalent of a pushy salesman at a mall kiosk who walks up to you with a new phone case claiming “You just gotta see bro!”

So what can we do? No one wants to be the mall kiosk salesman raving and shouting, but you also don’t want to look like your site doesn’t have any edge or customization.

This is where, as a designer, it becomes our job to mitigate the bullshit.

We need to take the client’s lofty ideas, streamline them and create something that showcases best practice, but also creates enough of a visual impact that it keeps the site owner happy.

My advice to designers? Get off your high horse. In a perfect world everything would be as simple as possible. Websites would have no styling they didn’t need. Everything would look like a Google or Apple product. But that’s not your job.

Your job is to give the client the best possible solution to their needs. They need a site that reflects their brand. If that brand pertains to drop shadow, you f*cking put drop shadow in. Just as your clicking through the effects window in Photoshop, remind yourself you are doing it for them, not for you. Whisper your apologies to the design world and make it happen.

Here are the leading take-aways from deathtobullshit.com that designers need to always keep top-of-mind:

  • Learn to compromise.
  • Listen to the needs of your client.
  • Put them in the right direction and set them up for success.
  • Mitigate the bullshit.
  • Bite the bullet and fill it with drop shadow (if needed).

While the site might not impress your designer friends, you’ll have a happy relationship with a client which is always a good thing. And who knows, maybe you can completely cut the bullshit with the launch of a version 2.0.

Want more design tips? Just ask. Trust us, we’ll get right to it.

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