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Web design still sucks (or maybe I do)

I decided once again that I need a new blog layout. It'll be coming in a day or two. This current one is too big and clunky. I was looking over my previous layouts from over the years, just now. So much time I've spent making those things, and then I throw them away and make a new one. I need to resurrect a few old ones and find some kind of Wordpress theme-switcher so people can use whatever they want. Or just write a few lines of Javascript myself that does it.

Web design still makes me sad. If for no other reason, than that I'm bad at it. I've read many times that programmers don't make good interface designers. It's probably true in my case. And I googled for "programmer blog", and looked at a few of the syndicated blogs I read, and (no offense to anyone reading this) they aren't top of the list in artistic flair. Though they do tend to be pretty functional, meaning not too hard to navigate and fairly easy to read, which is good. But they're on par with mine in the looks department.

I can't seem to move past doing things really really simply. My designs tend to be monotone. I pick a color and then reuse the heck out of it. Usually I end up resorting to black and grey and white. I think back to art classes where we studied color theory and complimentary colors etc., and I've tried to do that before, but I can't make it work. I've also looked read articles on typography, whitespace utilization, page flow, serif vs. sans serif fonts, and so on and so forth. But that kind of academic knowledge doesn't really help me draw a nice picture, at the end of the day. I don't think you can learn to create art by analyzing it scientifically, which is probably what I'm doing.

When I design a layout my primary concern ends up being that my HTML looks nice, and the website itself looking nice is next on the list. I pick a color, and when I need another color, I do some kind of transformation on the hexadecimal color code. I usually pick symmetric color codes or colors with easy codes like #333333 or #aabbdd, so that it's easier for me to code with them. I pick layout sizes that are even 100 or 50 pixel increments. That's the kind of thing that really screws me over when I try to make a layout, I think.

In any case, sometimes it's still fun to dabble in the horrifying world of graphic design.

June 28, 2007 @ 12:32 AM PDT
Cateogory: Programming

5 Comments

numerodix
Quoth numerodix on June 28, 2007 @ 2:30 AM PDT

I liked the last one better :/

Brian
Quoth Brian on June 28, 2007 @ 3:02 AM PDT

Me too, I've come to realize. I'll turn the old one back on for a day. :)

Dan Fego
Quoth Dan Fego on June 28, 2007 @ 9:29 PM PDT

It puts my mind a slight bit at ease knowing that I'm not the only one who feels that way about web design, in terms of code first and looks second, etc. If you ever find a way around the block, make sure to let us know! And a small tip on this design: add a little gold (#c90, for example), and it will really liven it up. There's a phpBB theme called "subBlack" that is dark like this, but features that as well. And tan text (#ffc or #ffd I believe).

Brian
Quoth Brian on June 29, 2007 @ 1:22 AM PDT

Yeah, I may add some color later. For the links maybe. I want to try out monochrome for a while.

Apparently a good way to design a website is to do a mockup (in the GIMP I guess) first and then design your site to match the mockup. I tried that many times and failed. Wish I knew what else to try. I made this layout same as always, just started coding.

Davide
Quoth Davide on June 29, 2007 @ 8:32 AM PDT

Oh, in my opinion black background is a little noisy to reading... Anyway is pretty simple, I suggest some vectori icons.

(Sorry for my english)