The Beautiful Web

Last week I had an opportunity to give a talk about design to 25 people here in Columbia and then again the very next day in Atlanta to a group of about 100 web designers, developers, & marketers. Most of the talks that I’ve given in the past have focused on the contents of my book. As I was planning this talk though, I wanted to do something a bit different. So, in direct opposition to Andy Budd’s excellent post on improving your public speaking, I decided to prepare a brand new talk.

Instead of focusing on principles and theory, I explained how it’s sometimes necessary to “piss on the principles” using Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain as my soapbox. The problem is that designs based solely on principles are often very bland and uninspiring. They help us to achieve universally pleasing layouts, color schemes and typographic configurations, but without mixing in some individuality, everything starts to look the same. To sum it all up, The Beautiful Web is more than just “Principles of Design”. It’s about you: your personal experience & inspiration. Here are the slides:

You can read the notes for each slide at, but if you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably already seen most of them. A week before giving this talk I discovered keynotetweet, a little Applescript that automatically sends a tweet of any notes in an Keynote presentation wrapped with [twitter][/twitter]. While this probably just annoyed the majority of my friends and followers, it worked really well for sharing my presentation links and resulted in some interesting buzz about my talk.

2 comments on “The Beautiful Web

Interesting. I was wondering how you were managing to present while tweeting so regularly. I’ll have to check that out.

It really was a great talk Jason. Thanks for sharing the slides too, I think I enjoyed the slide designs as much as the talk itself.

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