Hillman Curtis died recently.
Hillman passed away at home on April 18th at 6:03 pm in the presence of his loving wife, two children, his sister, sister in law and brother in law. He was 51 years old and died after a long and fiercely fought battle with colon cancer.
Like many other people whose sites I read and admire, Hillman Curtis played a key role in my early design career. At a time when I wanted to push interaction well beyond what HTML could do at the time - before CSS, before jQuery - Hillman’s seminal Flash Web Design not only taught me how to do the work but also educated me on why - the emotional reasons, the technological reasons, the human reasons. The book stayed with me for years, dog-eared pages and all.
Curtis’s influence manifested itself in my then-annual redesigns of phonezilla.net and my web exhibits: micro sites whose only purpose was to serve as a personal expression.
Curtis helped shape the early web when we were transitioning from CD-ROMs to this new, undefined frontier.
He is no longer here. But his influence and spirit continues to be a part of the consciousness of many designers.