The pixel-perfect website

As outsourced freelancers we are always in touch with freelancing websites. And at least once a day somebody wants a pixel-perfect website. I’m sure you guys and girls working with designers have heard in the past few months: “Look, I’ve Installed Pixel Perfect addon for Mozilla and the website I designed and the website you coded are not identical”.

What do you want?

I’m wondering what people want. It’s a mistake thinking that what we want is what everybody wants. The user’s needs are not the designer’s need of a good looking website or the developer’s need of a fast loading, functional website. What do the people with the IDEA and the money to build a website want from the company making the website? Do they know what they need?

Why the pixel-perfect idea even came up? If somebody wants a pixel perfect website, does he/she wants it pixel-perfect in Mozilla, Internet Explorer, Opera, Chrome or Safari? For Windows, OSX or Linux? In all of them maybe? The fonts should render like Adobe Photoshops ones? How is the page suppose to look on a mobile device?

What do you need?

Forget about the developers and the designers and the people who think they are both. What do users need? Do they care somebody spent 2 or 3 extra hours just to make the site “pixel-perfect”? Do they care that these extra hours mean extra money invested in this? Does it worth it?

And if not, why do I continue to see people asking pixel-perfect websites? Why does it matter that the line-height is not perfect, or the font doesn’t look identical in IE and Mozilla? Is this what matters most? What shines? Who cares about the functionality, the load speed or the quality of the content of the website?

Who cares?

Does the user even care? Most of them scan the website without noticing the details, look for something in particular which mostly is content related and then go. Their frustration may come from other directions: the website lacks usability or accessibility, does not load fast enough, the content is not related to the user’s needs, the website is not mobile ready, etc.

So who cares for the missing pixels?

Check the Spanish version of this post:
El sitio web de píxeles perfectos