Web design, especially as it pertains to CSS is very much like OZ….whoops that was another article ... I meant to say very much like a Harley Davidson. Both are easily customizable, and if done with taste and flair can create a beautiful piece of art.
Take for example a new Harley. You can buy one factory spec, drive it off the lot, never do a thing to it (other than regular maintenance) and it will always be exactly what it is…a Harley Davidson motor cycle. On the other hand, you can buy a new Harley, drive it home, break out the wrenches, get some feedback from other Harley enthusiasts and then go to work customizing/personalizing your ride.
The same could be said for a web site. It can be built to factory spec (in this case W3C specifications), never do a thing to it (other than regular updates) and it will always be exactly what it is supposed to be…an accessible no nonsense web site. On the other hand, you can build your new site, break out the any one of the many wonderful CSS manuals (Eric Meyer, Monsieur Zeldman), get some feed back from other CSS/design enthusiasts and then go to work customizing/personalizing your site.
Using an image as an hover underline (as long as it’s tasteful) is no different than putting a killer set of aluminum wheels on a brand spanking new Harley Davidson Softail. It’s called customization. And that’s a good thing….when done properly. Unless of course your a dick-head scooter boy and all of this is completely foreign to you.
Now a “Hack” on the other hand would be akin to putting a Kawasaki front end on a Harley and trying to make it fit. That would be a Hack. But only people who knew what they were talking about would get that. Any body else would be…well…just a scooter boy. And that’s OK too. Just don’t come to a site that is clearly devoted to people who study this shit for breakfast and try and tell them what they are doing is a hack. It’s not a hack…it’s customization.
I say well done Stuart. Thanks for sharing.