from the

In order to make sure you build the right things,
it is important to ask the difficult questions from the start. Why are we building this? Which and whose problem are we solving? What kind of impact are we trying to have? Is this digital solution really the right one?

The more fuzziness we allow at the beginning, the more we challenge ourselves and the stakeholders involved, the easier the journey will be further down the line. By just ploughing on and postponing the tough discussions and choices, we risk finding out at some later point that we’re building something that serves the wrong purpose, has
too broad a scope or started from false assumptions.

So by all means, be the one who dives into the fuzziness! Everyone will thank you later.


The uglier
the baby, the

An ugly baby has all the right parts: 10 fingers,
10 toes, 2 eyes, 2 legs, ... It still needs to mature and is not perfectly proportioned yet, but you have an idea of what it will grow into.

That is exactly how you should look at the first work you share. Don’t get lost in cosmetic details, but look at the key features and evaluate them from a user’s point of view. Getting good and solid feedback on a first version will allow you to make the necessary improvements or pivots early on in your project, without impacting it too heavily.

The goal is to validate our assumptions, to experiment, to test with users what it is they really need, use and love. We don’t need masterpieces to do that. Quite the opposite. The rougher, the better. It will help us find out more quickly where we are wrong and where we are right, and to focus our resources on the essential questions.


do your best
to do as little
as possible

When it comes to digital products, the best ones are often those that prioritise simplicity. They try to do one thing exceptionally well. By adding more bells and whistles, we often complicate the user experience or distract from the product’s focus.

Before adding more features, more functionalities or more options, it is important to pause and consider: is this essential for the user? Does a majority of users need this? Will it slow down the performance or make the product less accessible?

In general, it is better to do less than to do more. Focus your attention on what matters most to the majority of the users.


the web for

The spirit and core ethos of the Web is that it should be accessible for everyone. Easy to find, easy to navigate, easy to read, easy to use, easy to understand. It should feel intuitive and effortless.

Making the Web for everyone means we should design it for everyone and test it with everyone. Not just people like us, but all kinds of people, with varying abilities, varying sensibilities, varying motivations.

A common misconception however is that accessibility issues only apply to people with
certain disabilities or those who are less tech-literate. Making something that is effortlessly easy to use
will benefit everyone, including people with perfect eyesight, perfect hearing, perfect motor skills and perfect tech literacy.


beyond the

Every project comes with a delivery date. However, our ultimate goal should not be to meet a deadline, it should be to build your final website. One that endures far beyond the end of the project. 

Delivering code that is clean and simple will benefit everyone who works with it in the future. Don’t write spaghetti code, as it will create problems further down the line, either for yourself or for others. 

We also need to consider how easy it will be to sustain and update what we’ve created, for instance in terms of content strategy. The product may look great upon delivery, but what will it look like 12 months or 10 years from now? 

Websites need regular maintenance in order to remain performant and relevant. They are living things, not static entities. 

We have a deadline, but the Web doesn’t. The Web lives on forever. Let’s think about eternity. 


stuff people
need, use
and love

Every digital solution is a hunt for the magic ingredient. What is it that people are really craving? What is it that makes them need, use and love something? 

This quest cannot be completed in isolation, it requires deep and sustained involvement from real users. They’ll tell us bluntly and frankly what they use and don’t use, what they need and don’t need, what they love and don’t love. It’s our job to keep honing in on that sweet spot, distinguishing between what matters and what doesn’t. This is 

If we do our jobs well and we find that sweet spot, we’ll end up with a product that people actually need, use and love. 


know your

The Web has evolved and transformed dramatically since it was invented. New frameworks, technologies and hypes pop up all the time. Some stick around, some come and go. We should avoid jumping on every hype, and instead work with durable technologies. It’s the only way to deliver products that last. 

We should also hone our skills and develop a deep understanding of the tools at our disposal. This requires regular training in order to keep up with the ever-evolving web and perfect our craftsmanship.


let's keep
the web

The Web at its core is a massive, global network
of links. It’s designed to be open, connected
and expansive. Every time we add something to the Web, we should think about the new links we can create, and how we can connect it to everything already out there.

How can we build upon things? How can we stimulate more connections?

This doesn’t just benefit the Web as a whole, but
it also benefits our own cause. Our digital products don’t exist in isolation. They are not closed-off islands. They exist amid an endless digital ocean, and the more we link, share, refer and connect,
the more relevant, findable and useful we become.

In our own small way, in everything we do,
we can choose to make the Web more open and more connected.


lean &

Much like an athlete, we perform better when we stay lean and light. When we are bloated and carry around too much weight, we’re slowing ourselves down. The same applies to digital products. In order to be ultra-fast, we need to remain compact.

When a site goes down due to traffic, the solution is not just to add servers. It’s finding out where
the problem lies and what we can change to allow more traffic with the current set up. Simply adding an endless amount of servers is not a sustainable approach to guaranteeing uptime.

By staying lean and light, we make sure we are solving any potential problems the right way: by making our products more streamlined.


the web
is built by

Designing and building remarkable digital solutions is a work of many heads, hearts and hands. Every facet is interconnected, every contribution matters. 

Building a great team is not just a matter of technical skills and expertise. Strategists, designers and developers need to be driven by the same goals and the same ethos. If they don’t share the same core beliefs and principles, chances are they’ll end up making different decisions, however big or small. 

Great teams thrive on a culture of honest and
open feedback, where things can be addressed
with candour and improved. Equally, it requires
a collective approach to hiring and personal development. This ensures teams get stronger and smarter over time. Because the Web is built by teams, not individuals. 



In order to maximise our productive work time,
it is critical to think hard about how we meet, discuss, brainstorm, communicate and give feedback. The better we can figure this out, the more productive we’ll be, and the better our output will be.

We live in a culture where synchronous live meetings are often the go-to solution for every issue. We believe strongly that a culture of conscious communication leads to better collaboration. Not every problem requires the same process or tool.

What if we applied all our creativity and inventiveness to the way we communicate and collaborate with each other? It would free up our calendars and our minds, and lead to a culture of focused, efficient and smart collaboration.

The Web is a gift
11 principles on how you can make the web a better place
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