Website design, looking for inspiration.
So I'm taking the leap into trying to design a website for my photos and was looking for inspiration of any sites you guys really like. I'm mainly trying to make something simple with a few different galleries and a viewer for photos maybe a little flash. Any links would be great thanks.
John: click on the Links tab above, and browse through the web sites of APUG members. You will find some fine examples.
I like mine, but then again, I am prejudiced. A few thoughts on how you should proceed.
1. Web site design is 90% thought and 10% software. Before you even think about writing code, consider what you want your website to do for you. Simple question? Yes. Difficult to answer? Yes. Unless you answer this question definitely and completely you are wasting a lot of your time. In short, you have to know what you want before you start your design. If you can't be specific in what you want, how will you know when the design is complete. This part is really, really important if you are going to hire someone to do this work for you.
2. Once you know what you want your web site to do for you, then figure out how the users will navigate through the website. Big pieces of paper, sticky notes with arrows connecting them is a good idea. Draw yourself a map of your website. Take your time with this. This is very important. Klunky site navigation is one of the big things that will drive people away from your site.
3. Get feedback all the time from all sorts of people. You probably don't want photographers to help you. You want people who think differently than you to look at your thoughts on the paper. Pay attention to these people. You will be amazed at how many people think differently than you do.
4. You will find image preparation for the website is a huge, huge part of the job of setting up a website. Photoshop! (Ah ha ha ha ha ha! I said Photoshop on APUG!) You will have to learn how to do scanning (an art in itself) and image manipulation in photoshop (Ha! I said it again!) and a whole bunch of new skills to make your images ready for your web site. Do not underestimate either the cost, time or skill involved in this endeavor.
5. You cannot afford to hire someone to do this work. Even if you can, you can't afford the upkeep. The web demands constant, new material for everyone to look at. See 4, above. You will also probably have to learn something like dreamweaver to at least maintain your website. We have all seen web sites that have a total of twelve images. These are web sites that people paid to construct rather than do it themselves. These people also didn't think about learning how to update their site. Don't you be one of these people.
6. Your web site will suck. It will suck really bad through the first four generations of design and construction. It will then start to suck less and less until the level of suckiness is something you can live with. Google search for an article "Your website sucks". This article was written by a photo editor. It is filled with great tips on how not to make your suck right away.
Best of luck to you.
This is what I do. I start with the emotion I want to convey with a website. Is it supposed to be funny/silly, serious, sophisticated, cheap/cheesy, or edgy..... based on what sort of emotion I want to evoke in the viewer I will chose a color pallet for the site. Usually 3,5, or 7 colors. I think about the colors for the link text, menu, background all of that. Once I have a color pallet nailed I decide on a menu or navigation layout. After I have a wire frame layed out then I can block the color in just to see if it is achieving my goals. From there I take it into photo shop for final design and then code it.
Hope it helps.
Thank you for your sound advice regarding setting up your own website. I've downloaded it for future reference.
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)