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The Other Side forums - suitable for mature readers! _ Daily life _ Personal Website

Posted by: BigMistake Dec 20 2011, 07:54 PM

Hey guys,

I've got a few spare minutes so I wanted to ask for some advice. As some of you may know I'm studying International Game & Architecture Design. This means that in a few years when I'll graduate I'm supposed to like, work. Of course getting work is easier if you have a good resume and webpresence. A few days ago I bought a domainname that I thought was totally awesome (arrowtotheknee.nl) and started working on a design for my personal website, which I'll use to put stuff that I make online so people can look at my work and think "Hey, we want to hire this guy!". Now I've never done something like that before, so I was wondering if anybody had advice on how to make it look professional and fun at the same time.

Posted by: CrazyFooIAintGettinOnNoPlane Dec 20 2011, 08:16 PM

Animated gifs and marquees.

*nods*

what do you have so far?

Posted by: Mata Dec 20 2011, 08:22 PM

At the moment the trend is for simple designs with easy navigation. Facebook is the classic example. Keep images simple. Don't use flashy animations where they don't need to be used (expanding a window plane is fine, a pane bouncing open and closed a few times before settling would be bad).

Work out your message - what do you want people want to understand from your site? Who is your target audience? Are you trying to build a following of non-gamer types who want to be entertained (such as I did with this site) or are you solely aiming your information at potential employers?

Bear in mind that trends of web design change - curved corners were all the rage eight years ago, now they look dated. The Facebook style will also probably age too, but keeping your design simple and clear will help avoid this.

Posted by: BigMistake Dec 20 2011, 08:48 PM

QUOTE (CrazyFooIAintGettinOnNoPlane @ Dec 20 2011, 09:16 PM) *
Animated gifs and marquees.

*nods*

what do you have so far?


I was totally going to go for that!

Anywho, I was thinking about doing something a bit artsy like http://www.outkastedmedia.com/, and maybe even try my hand at Flash or the like. I'll probably do some sketches the next few weeks and upload those. But I'll try to keep simplicity in mind smile.gif.

Posted by: LoLo Dec 20 2011, 10:53 PM

Google design blogs and look to see if they have anything on well designed web sites. http://www.designshard.com/inspiration/25-examples-of-clean-and-well-designed-web-sites/ Or simply google "well designed web sites" to look at examples.

Clean and simple is a good look, but when you're marketing yourself for desingy type jobs, it needs to have a little twist to it. Research places you want to work for, look at their web sites and use those for inspiration (don't copy, but be inspired).

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0321344758/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=theothersid0c-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=19450&creativeASIN=0321344758 is a great book, anyone thinking of designing a web page should read. I suggest you take a look.

Posted by: BigMistake Dec 20 2011, 11:23 PM

QUOTE (LoLo @ Dec 20 2011, 11:53 PM) *
Google design blogs and look to see if they have anything on well designed web sites. http://www.designshard.com/inspiration/25-examples-of-clean-and-well-designed-web-sites/ Or simply google "well designed web sites" to look at examples.

Clean and simple is a good look, but when you're marketing yourself for desingy type jobs, it needs to have a little twist to it. Research places you want to work for, look at their web sites and use those for inspiration (don't copy, but be inspired).

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0321344758/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=theothersid0c-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=19450&creativeASIN=0321344758 is a great book, anyone thinking of designing a web page should read. I suggest you take a look.


Thanks Lo, I'll give those a go. Might even be able to get that book!

Posted by: CrazyFooIAintGettinOnNoPlane Dec 21 2011, 12:51 PM

QUOTE (Mata @ Dec 20 2011, 08:22 PM) *
At the moment the trend is for simple designs with easy navigation. Facebook is the classic example. Keep images simple. Don't use flashy animations where they don't need to be used (expanding a window plane is fine, a pane bouncing open and closed a few times before settling would be bad).

It makes me sad that easy navigation is considered a trend. And is there ever a good reason for resizing a window pane? I find it really annoying when a website tries to take over the job of the browser. Nowadays it seems like the trend is to do this with overlays instead of popping up new windows, but it's still just as annoying because it takes away the choice to view something in a new tab, new window or current window. With google+ I often end up closing the main tab by accident after viewing images in full, because I forget how I got there and the original isn't visible any more. Grrrr.

My advice:

If web design has nothing to do with the jobs you're applying for, you can probably get away with something quite simple.

You can reasonably assume that potential employers will be viewing the site on a monitor with a large resolution, using a relatively up to date browser.

I'd avoid flash unless you are very good at it. Definitely do not design the entire site in flash, this will only incite rage in the user.

You should make sure any "fun" additions don't distract from using the website. The primary focus should be your portfolio/CV. You could maybe add in something like little animations in response to mouseovers and stuff but I'd keep it subtle.

Make sure any text is readable. The text on the site you linked to is too small imo. Can't really comment on the artsyness as it doesn't fit on my screen sad.gif

Posted by: Mata Dec 22 2011, 08:29 PM

Sorry, stupid mistake on my part - I was more meaing 'simple visuals' than 'simple design'. Easy, clear, and clean boxes. Usability is the key - work out what people want and give it to them as easily as possible.

Flash is good for small elements, but I absolutely agree with Crazyfoo'. don't do the whole thing in Flash.

Posted by: Witless Dec 23 2011, 03:39 PM

If your plan is to advertise yourself, then on your home page make sure the latest stuff you have done is right there on the first page people see. Not to be cynical, but a lot of people have turbo short attention spans want to be able to see your stuff and what you're doing as easily as possible without having to figure out which link is what will lead them to what stuff.

Also, yes, clean and simple is good.

Also read http://theoatmeal.com/comics/design_hell

Posted by: Mata Dec 23 2011, 11:35 PM

That link explains quite nicely why I moved on to doing much more animation and game development for clients than making websites - clients still have stupid ideas regarding the games, but they tend to be easier to shoot down in flames. There is money in web design, but it's often hard fought for.

Posted by: BigMistake Dec 24 2011, 12:36 AM

QUOTE (Mata @ Dec 24 2011, 12:35 AM) *
That link explains quite nicely why I moved on to doing much more animation and game development for clients than making websites - clients still have stupid ideas regarding the games, but they tend to be easier to shoot down in flames. There is money in web design, but it's often hard fought for.


Reminds me of this image we had in Project Management, warped expectations all around tongue.gif


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