Author

Jeffrey Zeldman

Designing and blogging since 1995, Jeffrey Zeldman (@zeldman) founded A List Apart in 1998 and Happy Cog™ design studios in 1999; co-founded the web design conference An Event Apart; co-founded and publishes A Book Apart—brief books for people who make websites; wrote the industry-changing front-end bible Designing With Web Standards, now in a third edition coauthored by Ethan Marcotte; teaches in the MFA Interaction Design program at School of Visual Arts NYC; and hosts The Big Web Show, an internet radio spectacular. More.

Also from this author

Nothing Fails Like Success

Money and tech have a complicated relationship. We trained our users to expect things for free. Quickly we realized that wasn't a sustainable business model, so we sold their data and served ads, which invites its own problems. Now, we're trying to undo this tangled web. How do we get back to a democratized web? Our own Jeffrey Zeldman invites us to discuss how and to #LetsFixThis.

The Cult of the Complex

’Tis a gift to be simple. ALA’s Zeldman bemoans our industry’s current fetish for the needlessly complicated over the straightforward. Escape the cult of the complex! Get back to improving lives, one interaction at a time.

We’re Looking for People Who Love to Write

Publishing on A List Apart isn’t as easy-peasy as dashing off a post on your blog, but the results—and the audience—are worth it. And when you write for A List Apart, you never write alone: our industry-leading editors, technical editors, and copy editors are ready to help you polish your best idea from good to great. Come share with us!

A List Apart volunteer update

A few days ago, we announced a reimagined A List Apart, with you, our faithful readers of nearly 20 years, contributing your talents. The response from this community was humbling, thrilling, and, frankly, a bit overwhelming. If you volunteered to help A List Apart and haven’t heard back from us yet, here’s what’s up.

New A List Apart wants you!

As A List Apart approaches its 20th anniversary—a milestone in independent, web-based publishing—we’re once again reimagining the magazine. We want your feedback. And most of all, we want you. We’re getting rid of advertisers and digging back to our roots: community-based, community-built, and determinedly non-commercial. Find out how you can help!

Another 10k Apart: Create a Website in 10 KB, Win Prizes!

In 2000, Stewart Butterfield launched the original 5k competition to celebrate the merits of simplicity and brevity in web design. Ten years later, An Event Apart joined forces with Microsoft to launch the first 10k Apart, adding progressive enhancement, accessibility, and responsive design to the mix. Now, An Event Apart and Microsoft Edge are back with an even tougher challenge: design a compelling experience that can be delivered in 10 KB or less and works without JavaScript.

Looking for Love: Standing Out from the Crowd of Web Job Seekers

You have a solid resume, but can’t seem to connect with the right job. Maybe it's not you. Jeffrey Zeldman suggests reconsidering your career niche or refocusing your work persona. It could open fresh hiring tracks just waiting for the right candidate—you.

If Ever I Should Leave You: Job Hunting For Web Designers and Developers

At the start of your career, you’re excited to have any job—but at some point you wonder if there’s a better job out there for you. Is it youthful restlessness, or are you learning to recognize the warning signs of career stagnation? There’s no sure-fire way to tell—but if you’ve stopped growing or feeling any passion for the work, it’s probably time to let go. So how do you find a better job without making it worse with your current colleagues and in your bank account? Jeffrey Zeldman has some tried-and-true tips to make your transitions smoother.

No Good Can Come of Bad Code

More than a decade after we won the battle for web standards, too much code is still crap. Dr. Web is back to answer your career and industry questions. This time out, the good doctor considers what you can do when your boss is satisfied with third-party code that would make Stalin yak.

15 Years Ago in ALA: Much Ado About 5K

15 years ago this month, a plucky ALA staffer wrote “Much Ado About 5K,” an article on a contest created by Stewart Butterfield that challenged web designers and developers to build a complete website using less than 5K of images and code. As one group of modern web makers embraces mobile-first design and performance budgets, while another (the majority) worships at the altar of bigger, fatter, and slower, the 5K contest reminds us that a byte saved is a follower earned.

The Love You Make

What's the best way to present your work on the web? It's not just about your portfolio pieces—it's also about cultivating your voice. Jeffrey Zeldman explains the importance of speaking and writing publicly as you build your online presence.

Help! My Portfolio Sucks

What if a lot of your past work reflects times when you satisfied the client, but couldn’t sell them on your best ideas? How do you build a portfolio out of choices you wouldn’t have made? Our very own Jeffrey Zeldman answers your toughest career questions.

Valediction

When I first met Kevin Cornell in the early 2000s, he was employing his illustration talent mainly to draw caricatures of his fellow designers at a small Philadelphia design studio. Even in that rough, dashed-off state, his work floored me. It was as if Charles Addams and my favorite Mad Magazine illustrators from the 1960s had blended their DNA to spawn the perfect artist.

The Doctor Is In

Where should new web designers go to get started? Find out in this first edition of Ask Dr. Web, where A List Apart’s founder and publisher, Jeffrey Zeldman, answers your questions about web design.

“Dear FCC,”

Every voice counts! Please share your thoughts with the FCC before they vote later today to destroy net neutrality. This is an issue of justice and access. Save our shared web and help ensure that others can access it.

Global Accessibility Day

Today, 15 May, is Global Accessibility Awareness day. Please see if there is a live accessibility event near you. And take an hour of your day to experience accessibility online.

The Death of the Web Design Agency?

In The Pastry Box Project today, Greg Hoy of Happy Cog talks honestly about why the first quarter of this year sucked for most web design agencies (including ours), assesses the new and growing long-term threats to the agency business model, and shares his thinking on what we in the client services design business can do to survive, and maybe even thrive.

Style Guides On Parade

If you loved this week’s “Creating Style Guides” piece by Susan Robertson, you’ll thrill to Susan’s follow-up posting, on her personal site, of style guide links galore!

Ten Years Ago in A List Apart: CSS Sprites – Image Slicing’s Kiss of Death

Rereading this seminal 2004 article from the comfort of today’s privileged position, it’s easy to miss how new and revolutionary Dave Shea's thinking was. Today we take sophisticated CSS for granted, and we expect our markup to be just that—clean and semantic, not oozing behavior and leaking layout. But in 2004, removing all that cruft from HTML took courage. And it was an act of absolute wizardry to conceive that a grid of images in a single master GIF or JPEG could replace all those http calls and subfolders full of tiny images thanks to CSS’s hover property and cropping ability.