Perfection, When Is It Worth It?

Perfection, When Is It Worth It

The comedy of my pursuit of perfection probably began years ago.  However, I learned from developing websites that I could waste a great deal of time trying to perfect things that just have no point at which they become perfect.

When I began to learn to edit my websites, I studied website coding.  I learned that website coding must be perfect.  If it is perfect, it works correctly.  If it is not perfect, it does not work correctly.  Website coding includes multiple languages that need perfect grammar.  The syntax of website languages is different from the syntax of other languages.  You can publish grammatical errors in English.  However, in HTML (hypertext markup language) and other web publishing languages, syntax errors create glitches in the publication of the website.  Sometimes a web developer (who is really a code writer) can use hacks to work around mistakes.  Sometimes a mistake may get past one web browser.  However, the hacks and mistakes will fail in another browser.

On the other hand, a website is art.  The art contains the content and services readers use in the websites.  The appearance of a website has no perfect model.  Here is where the comedy of my perfectionism came into play.  Perfecting code made sense to me.  Not perfecting websites was confusing to me.  I was perfection’s fool.

Some websites are beautiful in their simplicity.  Google is an example of a beautiful yet simple website.  Other websites are beautiful in their complexity.  Yahoo is an example of a beautiful yet complex website.  It contains the following things and more:

  • A page full of dozens of pictures and headlines
  • A sidebar menu
  • A crossbar menu
  • A column of popular information such as weather, sports, comics, sports box scores, featured videos, games, etc.
  • Flash ads
  • A center column with forty or fifty pictures and links
  • Multiple search engines for general search and for custom search

When I began to work on my websites, I found that I was in a confusing place of creating art in languages that are exacting in their requirements.  I continued to change the look of my website, often reacting to things that I saw on other websites.  I struggled to get past the idea that there is no perfect-looking website.   I went through countless revisions to develop the perfect look.

Then I realized that the purpose of a website is to serve the website visitor.  I finally settled on simplicity that served that purpose.  The folly of my pursuit of perfection ended.  When I have a new service to offer, I will make a small adjustment to my website for the service, but nothing more.  Therefore, website development was my awakening to the confusing trait of perfection.  Some things such as computer languages require perfection.  However, the appearance of a website does not require perfection.  Websites are the best when they help the website readers find content and services.

Image: SEOplanter/Flickr
Websites:  JayWren.com – Job Blog, SeeWhoIshHiring

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