Had dinner last night to celebrate the B&A nomination with staff memebers George Olsen, Erin Malone and Brenda Janish (and special friends John Z and Lou R). We didn’t think we’d win– we’re up against the onion after all– and so we toasted each other and ignored the 9 p.m. announcement time blithely. But after dinner, we all got struck with curiosity (and perhaps a tiny bit of hope) and trotted over to a local Internet cafe. The Webby Awards: 2003 Winners announcement told us what we already expected… and we all felt the slight let down of seeing we didn’t win. But it’s hard to feel too bad when you are competing against professional magazines and formal nonprofits.
Then Brenda once more said what we had all said at various points during dinner… “How did we get nominated?”
And none of us could figure it out.
Everyone says, “It’s an honor just to be nominated” but for us it really was… our tiny zine, the equivalent of a garage band, was up against the equivalent of a bunch of studio produced records… and that alone was startling and satisfying — and a bit perplexing.
I mean, B&A is a magazine for specialized geeks… designers who aren’t into pretty pictures as much as they are into the underlying structure of design. Thus our site is waaaaay less accessible to the general public than any other design site that is replete with gorgeous layouts and colors. Our site is kinda text heavy. and the articles are things like The Sociobiology of Information Architecture and Six Tips for Improving Your Design Documentation.
Then again, if anyone has the foolish notion designers are idiot savants who take a product plan and say “ugh, i go photoshop now” Boxes and Arrows quickly shows that design is a cerebral process. And somehow, miraculously, the editorial team at B&A keep finding and refining articles from some of the brightest minds in interactive design today.
When it started, I said I’d be happy if we managed to keep it going for six months (as my team likes to tease me about continually). Now it’s been a year and a half, the webbys noticed us, and who knows, maybe a few folks clicking through the nominees got a new insight into what it means to design.
I’m honored just to be nominated.