Do you think laying out very attractive websites is a talent

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realitysucks
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31 Aug 2012, 7:37 pm

I know my html, css, js but somehow my websites never get that really professional touch. I see other sites and I'm baffled sometimes at why they need so much CSS, and would have difficulty creating such a complex design.



Hermes9
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31 Aug 2012, 10:33 pm

Remember that web design is just that: design work. There is a technical element, but really.. It's an art. It's moot to know everything about HTML and CSS, etc, if you don't have the artistic talent to be creative.

And this is the story of why I gave up on web design... I'll stick to the technical element of web stuff -- The back-end networks, server farms, etc... :)

Besides, web development in a professional sense puts you in constant contact with picky people... No fun!



eric76
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01 Sep 2012, 2:57 am

I like them clean and simple. Few pictures and absolutely no plugins. Plugins drive me bananas.



realitysucks
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01 Sep 2012, 8:30 am

Hermes9 wrote:
Remember that web design is just that: design work. There is a technical element, but really.. It's an art. It's moot to know everything about HTML and CSS, etc, if you don't have the artistic talent to be creative.

And this is the story of why I gave up on web design... I'll stick to the technical element of web stuff -- The back-end networks, server farms, etc... :)

Besides, web development in a professional sense puts you in constant contact with picky people... No fun!


True, you can be great at knowing the syntax of English, rules of grammar, etc. but that in no way makes you a writer.

I feel guilty having to buy templates though......



SpiritBlooms
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01 Sep 2012, 9:11 am

It's not so much a talent as it is based on concepts that can be learned. The same concepts as traditional paper layout and design, learning what leads the eye in rather than out of a layout, and so forth. There's also a lot to be learned from art composition and color theory. These are all technical aspects of design that can be learned.

http://www.outfront.net/tutorials_02/design/layout.htm
http://websitetips.com/layout/



BlueMax
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01 Sep 2012, 9:55 am

Like many other things - how it LOOKS is almost as important as how well it functions. Nobody wants a car, toaster or website that's ugly as sin... or looks great but doesn't work.



TallyMan
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01 Sep 2012, 11:43 am

BlueMax wrote:
... or looks great but doesn't work.


I've noticed that some of the worst sites belong to the biggest companies. They are so bloated with graphics and a multitude of technologies they are almost un-useable. The EDF site in France is a good example of this. When I pay my electric bill online it take around ten minutes to accomplish this task due to the maze of slow (graphics heavy) screens that have to load first. Plus they have so many different pop ups and a "helpful" avatar that is more annoying than the old 'Clippy' in Word. "It looks like you are trying to pay your electric bill - would you like me to get in the way and annoy the crap out of you first?". Then it triggers Firefox's security with "click hijacking alerts" which are completely bogus - just EDF's crappy user interface.

The French Orange internet site is almost as bad.

Another bad example is the French employment site "Pole Emploi" unless you wait for every screen to finish loading every graphic none of the clickable links work. One appalling bug means that if you click the help button on the site during the registration process you lose everything you've typed in and it logs you out too!

Another bad one is Yahoo webmail. It is really slow and crap. There have been times I've created a new email, typed in the subject line and a sentence or two of text and it wipes the lot doing some sort of page refresh after what it belatedly considers is the page finishing loading.

You know a site is bad if you have to go make a coffee while waiting for it to load and you've drunk it all by the time you've finished the "simple" task you visited the site for.



Robdemanc
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06 Sep 2012, 3:02 pm

Try to think like a user. Or a customer etc. Websites should be easy to use and intuitive. If you have ever liked graphic art then I don't see why you cannot design a decent website.



ZorgsMan
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07 Sep 2012, 9:38 am

If you're trying to design a site it's best start in photoshop. Translating a design from photoshop to css is actually not that hard. The trick is to do everything on paper first, make notes on the sizes and css layout things that you need to use. The CSS part is then only coding what you already figured out (you'll be amazed how quickly your css file grows but the structure is simple).
As far as making attractive websites go: if you look at good looking websites they tend to use the same techniques. For example, it makes a world of difference to use very light gradients (for example, blue to a little darker blue). If you start looking for it you'll see it everywhere. Another thing is to use a very limited palette. Only two colors max that complement each other. For example, on facebook almost everything is either white or blue or a shade of blue (white and blue is very popular, orange and blue is also a common combination, red and white can also work).
Another thing is to just Arial for everything unless there's a good reason to switch fonts. It looks good at most sizes and everybody has it.
You really don't have to be a designer to make something look good. Designers strength comes in when it's supposed to be something unique and iconic. The rest of us just copy bits and pieces ;)



BlueMax
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07 Sep 2012, 2:24 pm

For a business, it needs to be clean, classy, practical, fully functional, logical and FAST.

If you can't use it on dial-up internet, it's too clunky for business.



muntanmion
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08 Sep 2012, 8:57 pm

I work with graphic designers, who work on everything from web desgin to print publications to presentations, and overhear the meetings they have with corporate clients and small business people. Design is an entire career in and of itself, where you are dealing with stuff like typography, photos, layout, navigation, color, aesthetics, interactivity and user experience on top of The All-Important Content and management of back-end web services, CMS, hosting, coding, scripting, security, etc. It's almost impossible to be on top of all of that, unless you have magical savant powers.

I personally find design very difficult and maddening, which is why I do more complementery things like manage archives, photo retouching, etc. If I ever do a website for myself again, I'm going to use something pre-organized for me like a WordPress blog with a well-designed theme.


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