Web design contrasted with graphic design

From Joshua Porter’s “Do Canonical Web Designs Exist?” (Bokardo: 14 November 2007):

… web designers necessarily approach design from a different perspective than graphic designers.

Graphic designers can judge by looking. Web designers cannot. Web designers must judge by doing (or observing others doing). The problem is that too many people judge web designs without actually using them. Instead, they look. When you use the shortcut of looking, you tend to judge what you’re looking at: the visuals. But when you use something, your relationship to that thing necessarily changes. I wonder how often Armin uses Google.

That’s why web design is different. Peer production, in particular, is extremely different. When I buy a book on Amazon, when you buy a book, we change the way the site works for someone else buying books, which is in turn changed by the reviews we write afterward. Is this not amazing design?