The process of making a website used to be like an assembly line. It was a series of hand-offs with each team member contributing his/her part before giving it up to the next person. Like a game of telephone, the same content was passed from person to person, and, at each step, it took a slightly new form. What started as a glimmer in a client’s eye became a sitemap, then a wireframe, then a Photoshop file, and eventually it became code that went to live in its final resting place, the browser.
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In 1998, I built my first website. I hadn’t gone to college yet, and my professional goals had little to do with pursuing web design and a lot to do with playing in a rock band. While my peers were mowing lawns, washing cars, and frying things, I was curiously learning about HTML and attempting to share my efforts with the world. As my skills got sharper, I quickly realized that there were businesses out there that would actually pay me to do this… and it certainly beat having to get an afterschool job.