A while back, there was a brief discussion over at Alen’s Pixelpusher, about feeling good about your website design. I’ve been thinking about it the past couple of days, when I realised I’m not enjoying the design process of a new site I’m working on. I’ll share a tip or two with you which might help you work with more ease and personal satisfaction.
I believe it is very important not to put your work under too much scrutiny. If you analyse every detail and look at it too closely, you won’t be able to see it properly. All things tend to become blurry if you’re too close to them. You will grow tired of your design, and may eventually completely waste a perfectly good idea. I know I’ve done it on too many occassions.
Try to keep distance. Throw your idea onto a paper, or make a rough sketch on your computer. Then, allow some time to pass without working on it. After that, try and add to the original idea. I’ve learnt this method gives me the opportunity to see my work from a whole new angle, under a different light.
Don’t Work When Tired or Fed up With Work
I know, sometimes we have to work, even when we badly lack sleep. The tip is, don’t work when you’re deprived of sleep or simply tired, unless you absolutely have to. It’ll only result in a waste of time. You won’t get any real work done, and you’ll still be tired.
Don’t start a project when you’ve bumped into a big creative wall. This is where you need to call a time out. Take a short break and do other things you enjoy doing.
Your First Idea is Often the Best One
It is often the case that your first idea is the best one, or at least a good one. Try not to think too much about the design at the very beginning of the project. Keep in mind to allow things to “go with the flow”. If you do decide to drop the initial idea and go for another, save your work. It may come in handy at some point in time.
Content First, Design Later
I’m repeating the same mistake over and over again; I start with the layout, then code to adjust to it. It really should be the other way around; the layout design should come later in the process and made in such way to go along with the content.
You should try and code as much XHTML (and include as much content) as possible before doing the layout. This will save valuable time. Making the web graphics first is a risk — anything in planning of the site can change, resulting in adjustment of the graphics or even making them from scratch.
As we all know, content is king, so dance to it’s tune.
Give it Your Best Shot
I cannot feel good about my work if I don’t put a lot of time and effort into it. Everything stops making sense if I don’t give it a good shot. Make sure you gave your best, or you may regret it later. The project will be a reflection of your skills. It will serve as a reference to your future employers. If you give it your best shot, there will be no room for regrets.
That’ll do it for this set of tips. Feel free to comment on them and add yours.