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  1. #1
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    Before you is my home/portfolio site in all it's 'glory'. I'd like to redesign it, but keep the generalized color scheme and font choices (I don't want to change my business cards/invoice letterhead if I can help it ). Before I can do that, though, I'd like to get a feel for what works (if anything), what doesn't (be brutally honest), and maybe some suggestions on how to improve.

    I know that my content is poor. I wrote it in about 10 minutes in order to get the site online so I could qualify for a free year's worth of VPS hosting. I haven't touched it since, but I'm not concerned about it, as it's just writing. The visual nuts-and-bolts of the layout itself is what concerns me, as that's where I have the most trouble.
    Moderator at PHPFreaks

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  3. #2
    Senior Member DanExcell's Avatar
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    When designing web pages there is a right way and wrong way to do things. The issue with your design is that it lacks consistent 10px gutters on the sides which makes it look home made and not clean. Furthermore, you need proper spacing with your text (line-height) and never use #000 (black) for your paragraph text unless it's a hover effect. You can start off with http://www.gridsystemgenerator.com/ for your layout.

    A great deal of new designers do not have a clue about the 960 grid system, which is why they are new. I have used it to design my own grid system over the years. This would really help your design.
    I have gotten into the habit of not judging other designers/developers work, but this is my Microsoft Meandering time so I'm MEANDERING...

    Oh, almost forgot: spammers are gender-less parasites...

  4. #3
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    What would proper spacing/line-height be in this case? And why is black bad for text? I think most of the sites I've ever been to have used black for text on a white background (including here).
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  5. #4
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    I don't know why some people dislike black text. However, rather than using black use some very dark color that's pretty much black but not quite. It does look a little bit better

  6. #5
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    I should add, I'm not trying to be difficult. I just have no background in graphic design at all. Like I said in my introduction thread, I'm a programmer, so I think along those lines. I'm not all that interested in how to do something. I can find tutorials on how to create various layouts and widgets.

    I'm interested in the why. I want to know why, for instance, gutters need/are suggested to be a certain width. Why certain fonts work and others don't. It's the thought process that I need to learn, the little rules of thumb. I want to get the reasoning behind layout choices, so I don't merely echo what I see in a tutorial. I don't want to take someone else's existing work, tweak a couple things, and then present it as my own. I have no problem using a grid, or a framework, but wholesale borrowing is ultimately unsatisfying to me.

    Put in programmer speak, I want to learn the semantics, not the syntax. That's why I'm here: to bounce ideas off of real professionals and try to figure out how you all think. So, when I ask my no doubt asinine questions, it's in the hopes of seeing the process, the algorithm that led to that ultimate decision.
    DanExcell likes this.
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  7. #6
    Senior Member DanExcell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinM1, post: 234033

    I'm interested in the why. I want to know why, for instance, gutters need/are suggested to be a certain width. Why certain fonts work and others don't. It's the thought process that I need to learn, the little rules of thumb. I want to get the reasoning behind layout choices, so I don't merely echo what I see in a tutorial. I don't want to take someone else's existing work, tweak a couple things, and then present it as my own. I have no problem using a grid, or a framework, but wholesale borrowing is ultimately unsatisfying to me.

    Put in programmer speak, I want to learn the semantics, not the syntax. That's why I'm here: to bounce ideas off of real professionals and try to figure out how you all think. So, when I ask my no doubt asinine questions, it's in the hopes of seeing the process, the algorithm that led to that ultimate decision.
    At first I thought you and S.Nose were knit picking, but now that you clarified your intentions, I will elaborate. Designing layouts is all about details, and consistency.Their are no rules that states you cannot use #000 fonts on a white background, from a designers perspective (non-programmer) it's just something I have picked up on over the years from more experienced designers, developers and my college instructor that has a Nazi like conviction towards web design.

    I like to use a 1000px grid, because that is my preference, most people use 960px as I have in the past and just did a while ago. The 10px gutters lends conformity to the layout; Your text is not flushed against the border and neither are your images or videos. Example: this is an old framework I developed as a jig to jump start all of my designs - http://route19designs.com/DP-Menu based on my version of the 960 grid. Take a close look at the spacing of the borders and the text along with containers. Once the design is complete and all of the borders are removed or altered, everything is uniformed and evenly spaced like my new version http://route19designs.com/R19DZiGNS.

    That is the consistency aspect of it. You do not need to be a graphic artist or typography expert to design a well structured layout.
    I have gotten into the habit of not judging other designers/developers work, but this is my Microsoft Meandering time so I'm MEANDERING...

    Oh, almost forgot: spammers are gender-less parasites...

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    I'm a bit confused, but I wasn't trying to rude in any way... I'm not the best designer in the world exactly either so I understand your situation

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    Question: If pure black text on a white background is a questionable decision, is the inverse - pure white text on a black/dark background - also questionable? Would a very light gray/off white be better in general?
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  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinM1, post: 234170
    Question: If pure black text on a white background is a questionable decision, is the inverse - pure white text on a black/dark background - also questionable? Would a very light gray/off white be better in general?
    True white and true black are not a good idea... just a bit off is fine though...


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