Some people see Web design as a job, but for many of us, it's an obsession. There are many signs that you are addicted to Web design. How many of these signs do you experience? And what other signs of design slavery do you exhibit?

Working on a Project Non-Stop

Getting sucked into a project is a serious issue for most designers. We want our work to look good. No, we want our work to look perfect, and that often means working non-stop for sometimes days on end just to get that box moved over 1 millimeter in IE 5 on Windows, but staying in the current place in Firefox 3.

If you've been skipping food and showers to get a design just right, you may be a slave to Web design.

Working on a Project Because You Can

Many designers love to design so much, if they don't have something to do, they'll find something. Redesigning Web pages for the fun of it, reworking your current website every week, or offering to build or redesign your friend's site - when they are a Web designer too are all signs of this.

If you find you can't stop designing, you may be a slave to Web design.

Analyzing Fonts and Typography on Road Signs

Typography is huge on Web pages, and some really great designs get that way not because of layout or colors but because of typography. So most Web designers are fascinated by type.

If you find yourself analyzing a shop sign not for the content of the text but to determine the font family, weight, and leading, you may be a slave to Web design.

Which is More Important, the Page or the Person?

While many Web designers don't do a lot with their personal sites, because they're too busy with jobs, it's easy to get addicted to the sites you build for your friends and family. In my house, the conversation at dinner often revolves around whether we've gotten a good photo for Jaryth's photo blog for the day.

If you think more about the sites you build or maintain for people and less about the people, you may be a slave to Web design.

Collecting Colors

I'm always on the lookout for a great color palette. I find myself taking photos of textures and colors just so I can remember the exact combination. I have even been known to scan things like stuffed animals so I could get the exact match of a color onto my Web page.

If you find yourself wondering what the RGB or hex code of a color is, you may be a slave to Web design.

How many browsers do you have?

Good Web designers test their designs in lots of browsers. In fact, we're always looking for ways to get older versions of IE onto the same machine so we can test. And many designers have multiple operating systems on one computer, just to test their sites in Windows, Linux and Macintosh browsers.

If you have more than 5 browsers on your machine, you may be a slave to Web design.

All photos are potential stock photos

Before I was a Web designer, photos were just memories. They were a way for me to record my life and the life of my family. Now, my photos become fodder for my sites. My dogs star in examples, my cats get chopped up into picture pieces for image maps, and I'm sure my son will soon grace my sites. And any photo that isn't of an animal or person is eventually pressed into service if it's at all decent. Even if they are just used for placeholders to show clients where a photo could sit.

If you view your photos as a source for your designs and sites, you may be a Web design slave.

Viewing HTML Source Code

It is a very rare person who views the source code of Web pages, except Web designers (and Web developers). In fact, it can be an almost voyeuristic thrill to figure out how a singular design was built in the HTML. And if you can then incorporate it into your own designs, that's even better.

If you regularly view the source of Web pages, you may be a Web design slave.

You'd Rather Use Dreameweaver / KompoZer / BBEdit

I've been working on a calendar for some friends and they have always used Word templates for the calendar in years past. So that's what they want to use this year too. So as I help them I find myself thinking constantly, "If I were using Dreamweaver this would be done by now." and "I could design this layout in my head in a real layout tool." and "HTML is way easier than this!".

If you find yourself using a Web editor for things you used to use Word or PowerPoint for, you may be a Web design slave.

What Other Symptoms of Web Design Slavery Are There?

The more symptoms that you exhibit, the further down the path to slavery you have progressed. Luckily, being a Web design slave isn't all that bad. Many of us have lived with this affliction for years (or it's sibling "Web Development Slavery") without noticeable harm.