6 Replies - 2720 Views - Last Post: 11 December 2012 - 12:57 AM

#1 adn258  Icon User is offline

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I Absolutely Suck At Web Design But I Can Code; What Should I Do?

Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:31 PM

So sure I get help here from time to time but since I have previous coding experience and what not languages that I use a lot like PHP are generally not too hard for me to use when it comes to creating web sites.

The area where I struggle is WEB DESIGN i.e. making a visually pleasing web site. My friend is a video editor / partial graphic designer and he looked at one of my web sites a few days ago and his exact words were

"It looks like you can technically code anything but please get a graphics designer or someone to help you with layout because this looks absolutely dry and boring - awful".

There are worse looking sites but for some reason my sites are very technical and dry (there's not a lot visually). I've always just been horrible at art and design IN GENERAL.

A few of the things I've tried to use to remedy this problem include using the bootstrap famework. I love bootstrap and this helps a little bit but the site I showed my friend WAS BUILT ON BOOTSTRAP and he still said "this is very dry".

I simply don't know what to do about this problem. Using things like wordpress of course can solve this problem for some web sites but with other sites that you want to create your own dynamic code I can't use wordpress.

I'm fine using templates and maybe that's what I should do. Any ideas though would be great. Does anyone else have this problem?

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Replies To: I Absolutely Suck At Web Design But I Can Code; What Should I Do?

#2 Martyr2  Icon User is offline

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Re: I Absolutely Suck At Web Design But I Can Code; What Should I Do?

Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:41 PM

Well many companies typically hire both a designer and a programmer for websites. Designers design and programmers program. Sometimes it is rare you can find both skills in the same person. Your options are...

1) Use a system like Wordpress with a template
2) Get a designer who can design the front end for you
3) Purchase templates
4) Learn to design better


They are really your only choices at this point. It is ok to not be great at design. Sounds like you just need someone who can compliment your skills in that department.

:)
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#3 IJET  Icon User is offline

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Re: I Absolutely Suck At Web Design But I Can Code; What Should I Do?

Posted 08 December 2012 - 06:05 PM

I used to be in the same position because picking up HTML and CSS is rather easy. There are a ton of coders out there but very few A+ designers. Here are some good tips:

-Go to Google and find website galleries that display some of the best designs out there. Study them, don't copy 100%.

- Color schemes are HUGE in design. Example: if you want that retro look, you must absolutely use dull washed out colors. Also, on your images that you want to have that retro feel, applying some 3-5% noise is a nice touch. Get a grasp on how to incorporate the right colors into your design and keep it simple. Here is a link to a few color palettes I enjoy. You'll see what I mean how nice colors can be when used properly --> palette 1 palette 2

-Stay away from minimalistic designs for now, they will frustrate you to no end. If you're unsure what to put on a website, forget about this style. To pull it off, every element in your design & flow needs to be perfect.

- Learn about typography. Google has some okay open source fonts as does fontsquirrel. Some good free choices around the web are: Chunk Five, League Gothic, PT Sans, ULTRA, Quicksand, Comfortaa.

You mention bootstrap, but that means nothing. You can bundle all of the hottest JS scripts out there and your website will still be aweful. Study what other great designers have done and eventually it will start clicking. Some people get it right away while others struggle, but it is a skill that you can learn.

Templates aren't exactly against the rules, but it's definitely a short cut and won't allow for your personal style to show through. Since I am just throwing my opinions out there, I say avoid them!

This post has been edited by IJET: 08 December 2012 - 06:07 PM

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#4 JackOfAllTrades  Icon User is offline

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Re: I Absolutely Suck At Web Design But I Can Code; What Should I Do?

Posted 09 December 2012 - 05:37 AM

View PostMartyr2, on 08 December 2012 - 06:41 PM, said:

Well many companies typically hire both a designer and a programmer for websites. Designers design and programmers program. Sometimes it is rare you can find both skills in the same person.



THIS! We're looking for one at our company. So far, no dice.
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#5 adn258  Icon User is offline

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Re: I Absolutely Suck At Web Design But I Can Code; What Should I Do?

Posted 09 December 2012 - 03:57 PM

Thanks guys. It's good to know that I'm not abnormal because I don't know to design stuff artistically including the site and logo's but yet I can code.

I am imaging finding both for companies is a lot like finding a Jason Bourne from the Bourne series i.e. not easy.
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#6 creativecoding  Icon User is offline

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Re: I Absolutely Suck At Web Design But I Can Code; What Should I Do?

Posted 09 December 2012 - 07:40 PM

So if a developer were to also learn design would that make them a more desired person while at the same time boosting his/her pay? It seems like a very good option for a developer with extra time on his hands.
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#7 Lemur  Icon User is online

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Re: I Absolutely Suck At Web Design But I Can Code; What Should I Do?

Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:57 AM

I do both. I started as an Artist and learned code. One thing I will say is that most artists quite frankly suck at design as well. Why? There's a difference, and a stark one, between design and art.

Design can be learned. Much like programming there are very set rules that can be learned and applied. You don't need mad art skills to pull it off. Heck, my current portfolio uses no images at all and is made entirely in code. If you put that limit on yourself there's no breaking it.

Golden ratio, typography, rule of thirds, white space, all are very clearly defined. This isn't to say you'll pick it up in a week with these new found ideas, it takes work and a lot of it. The point is that knowing these rules will tremendously change your work for the better and set you on a path of improvement.
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