Finally, the rocketship to Mars that I’ve been building for months has taken off. By rocketship I mean this website redesign. It wasn’t easy but it was fun. I started working on this design since February this year and I ‘m really glad that it’s over. Well at least for now. If you want to find out how I came up with the design, read on.
At long last, I have finally updated my website with the new design. I’m calling this new design “Stage 7” because there were 7 stages and it was the 7th stage that I finally stopped and finalized the design. If you are a new visitor to this site, you probably won’t even notice it at all. But to give you a brief history, this site used to wear the Una WordPress theme, my first free WordPress theme and it has served me well.
So what took me so long to build and launch this new design? It’s not really because of the lack of time or inspiration. In fact I do have a lot of free time for this project. But everytime I finish the design, I take a good look at it today and decide that it’s cool but the next day when I take a look at it again, I have changed my mind about it . I’ve learned the hard way that as a web designer, the hardest client to please is yourself. To prove it to you, I’ve gone through many design revisions before I finally came up with this and to be honest, I’m still not fully pleased with what I came up with. But I decided to stop tweaking the design and finally convert it to code, because if I continue on revising the design, I will not be able to finish anything at all.
Below you will see the evolution of the design in 7 stages:
Stage 1: It started out as a light colored theme. I kinda like this layout. In fact, I’m converting this to a WP theme sometime soon.
Stage 2: This one looks similar to the first one, except images are added on the blog section of the page. Another great WordPress theme idea, I guess.
Stage 3: I woke up one day and I told myself, I wanted that kind of look. Looks good to me but I got tired of looking at it.
Stage 4: This one looks grungy, the kind of look that I’m going for but I hated the colors.
Stage 5: I love this design. But before I can convert it to code, I kinda changed my mind again. I’m gonna inherit this look on some of my future projects so it won’t be wasted.
Stage 6: I’m almost there. I thought I was aiming for grunge but at this stage, I knew what I wanted. I wanted something that looks neat and textured so I got rid of the grunge parts and came up with this.
Stage 7: This is the final design and I think I’m really happy about it. I love how it eveolved from Stage 1 to this. I didn’t see that coming. At least this was a great learning experience for me.
Because I don’t want to go through piles of stages on my future projects again, I created guidelines for myself. If you find these guidelines useful, you may use it at your own risk. :)
Always ask other people’s opinion about the stuff you are working on
I guess this one is a very important thing to remember. If you can’t please yourself, the best way to move on with your design is ask other people’s opinion. Remember that you are not only pleasing yourself but other people too who will be viewing your design.
Do not overdo it
Sometimes when you are working on something interesting, like a personal blog or website, you tend to get addicted to it that you don’t want to stop working on it. You want to put everything into it but most of the times, that’s not really cool. Like for example, you are working a website and you have finished laying it out. You see an empty space on one of the columns and you decide to fill that up with some design or something to fill up the space. Sometimes, spaces are good. It gives the eye some area to rest. Sometimes, you need to pause for a while and take a walk to clear your mind.
This one is very important for me because most of the times I get really disorganized. I start the project with a list of to-dos and I end up losing and not following what I wrote.
Keep it Simple
Simplicity is beauty. So don’t make it too complicated.
Well that’s it. This post has to end somewhere. Everytime I’ll be working on a new project I’ll be going back to these guidelines. This design has been tested to work great on all modern browsers except IE6. For all those folks who are still using Internet Explorer 6, please update your browser or just use a better browser.