Professional and ethical standards in web design


Professional and ethical standards in web design


Acceptable Practices of web designers: 

  • Finding ideas and being inspired from a variety of sources and using this inspiration to create an original work of art.


Unacceptable Practices of web designers:

  • Copying, altering, or reproducing someone else's work without permission, no matter how much you change it. Claiming it as your own. This is copyright infringement.
  • Following the coattails of the same or few select web designers (or any profession) persistently and deliberately staying abreast of their every move and repetitively reproducing quicker than a speeding bullet, too close for comfort, the same look and feel templates, or knockoffs. Slapping the copyright symbol on it, claiming it as your own, and selling it cheap undercutting the original designer. At the very least, this practice is unprofessional, unethical, and just simply plain wrong and shameful.


How to avoid an unethical or copyright infringement web design


web designer accountability:
It is your responsibility to be educated on copyright laws, professional standards, and ethical practices and adopt these as policy. In addition, if a client wants an exact replica of something it is your responsibility to educate them why you can't do this and if they don't come around decline the project. It is the web designers responsibility to have written proof of copyright from the original artist on all art a client submits to you that you did not create.  It is wrong to sign off responsibility to the client and work with this art without written Transfer Of Copyright from the original artist. Modifying or altering an image is infringing upon the copyright owner's rights unless expressed permission is granted...even if you signed off responsibility to your client with your terms of agreement.


client accountability:
Have your website design created from scratch custom made to order with your original ideas inspired the ethical way and then fueled by your designers creative input. Be careful you have selected a professional web designer, schooled and educated. If you are bringing art to the table you can expect to have written proof of copyright and the original art files. Don't ask a web designer to reproduce and exact copy of any inspiration. Familiarize yourself in copyright law, here is a resource:

©2006 Cathy Gonsalves.