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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    26
    Member #
    14800
    I know HTML, CSS, some PHP, and some Javascript. I can code a website. I even know my way around Gimp 2 fairly well. I can't seem to create beautiful, visually stunning web sites like I see other members create. I have searched the internet but I haven't found anything that has given me information on how to take my designs to the next level. Could anyone offer any websites, books, or help for this problem?
    Thanks
    Need help with your tennis game, then visit this Tennis Forum.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Steax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Bandung, Indonesia
    Posts
    1,207
    Member #
    14572
    There are 3 main elements that come into a site's deisgn - ease of use, up-to-date, and personality (in my opinion).

    Ease of use has to do a lot with usability. Designs that work can be more beautiful then one with stunning images but is hard to use (i.e, small textual images, etc). This is why a lot of sites use text for their navigation system and such, not images - not only because text is easy to use, people are used to having the same kind of font everywhere around the web, making them feel more "at home". It's also why icons are used sparingly and not every other thing uses a new icon where people need to learn what it is.

    It's on this point where a lot of sites make (a kind of) mistake - they prefer to have extensive cool image stuff, to the point where there's a lot of visual noise and it becomes uncomfortable.

    Proof of use: Open up Word or something, and notice that in its menus only some tools have icons in them. Or, some applications use no icons at all, yet you have no trouble using them. This is an example of visual noise. It's better to use no imagery when possible.

    Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take out.

    Up-to-date is about keeping your site up to your user's expectations. For example, people looking for a forum on web design won't come to a site looking like it came from 1995. You have to smartly look at other sites and determine what aesthetic tools you need to capture your users. Does so also makes sure that when people come, they will see something unique to your site and think "aha! I know this thing! This is the place for me!" sort of thing. This includes stuff like camera images for photography sites or landscape banners for CGI websites, or it can also be more practical stuff like providing an attractive sample article on your front page.

    Personality has the function of making your site different from all the others. Almost every imaginable topic on the net has hundreds of sites on its tail. Your job is to make yourself look different - make people remember your site. This does not only cover aesthetic stuff, but also content. WDF, for example, shows sample posts from its forums on the front page. This gives the instant impression of an active and friendly community.

    --

    As you can see, a site's design isn't going to be effective just on the resources you use. Instead, you have to tailer your creation to it's purpose.
    Note on code: If I give code, please note that it is simply sample code to demonstrate an effect. It is not meant to be used as-is; that is the programmer's job. I am not responsible to give you support or be held liable for anything that happens when using my code.


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