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For the past few days, I've been obsessed with the design of the sites that I visit. Umm... ok! Maybe for the past few months, but I have been. The jarring designs and colours really do hurt the eyes and make me want to keep pummeling 'Esc' until every facet of the site has stopped loading. A site which I found via the comments in Bloggeratto is probably one of the perfect examples of really what not to do! (Bad Design)

Simplify

I've mentioned it before, and I'll gladly do it again. Whenever you start planning your blog/site's design, start simple. The easiest mistake to make is find a million pictures to fill up every nook and corner of your page. It works only if you're someone like Doug Bowman, but if you're him, chances are you'll have much better tricks up your sleeve! :P I know that designing a site is probably not the most exciting part of the deal for most people, but once you get the hang of it, if you have the eye for good looks and you know what you're doing - any of those, and you'll enjoy creating the look of your site. After all, what good is your site if it doesn't look/do anything different.

I read somewhere that Google's minimalistic look started a revolution which had people running helter skelter to make their look as simple as they could. I'll agree that Google did start something of a deviation from the norms, but to attribute it to Google would be wrong. Minimalism has always been known to attract. The simplest of things, though the most complicated to make, has pulled it the majority. Gaby's comment states an interesting survey result, and should confirm what many people have sub-consciously noticed. People might evolve, tastes might differ, but what is aesthetically pleasing will remain common. Black (only for text), White, Green, Blue are colours which will always soothe the eye, whereas Red, Yellow, Pink (the bright ones) and many others are ones which will hurt the eye and make it hard to read things, eventually pushing away viewers.

Minimalism

Minimalism really does work, everywhere it is used. It follows from the simple theory that 'the mind accepts simple things faster'. Don't let your viewer's do the hardwork. Put in a few more minutes and simplify whatever you're doing, be it anything - computers/non-computers related. But when it comes to designing, it's best to stick to the 'black on white with light background colours' formula. Remember, the look should shift attention to the content, not away from it.

I've listed below a few sites which pull off the minimal look brilliantly. Have a peek, and see if you get any ideas!

Minimal Sites

Bloggeratto
ParticleTree
Phydeaux3


6 Comments

http://fouroughfour.blogspot.com/ design has changed and that should be noted, the new design even if it look really rough it is way better from where it was whne i first looked at it.

that blog killed every one of my browsers...it should also be noted that my browsers are modded to the max for speed and this blog killed them all..

so, hence my little fit in the comments when it was posted.

Haha! Yes, that's why I put it up here! I didn't load it when I put up the post. It crashed my browser the last time, so precaution this time.

However, the new design is as bad, so I guess the link stays as it is!

well, thanx 4 the link....

Ah! I'm sorry if I came across rude Milo my friend! No offence intended? :)

You can always change the look to not make it so heavy on the browsers and people with 3rd world PC's like me! :)

Hey Aditya, (yes I'm still around :-) )

Thanks for mentioning phydeaux3 as a minimalist design (better than being the bad example..poor milo). Much credit goes to the drunkey love wordpress theme that I took it from, although I have chopped it up a bit.

An excellent post. I think that's the biggest mistake the new bloggers make, as soon as they learn to copy/paste some new code, or to tweak some css, start to use every trick in the book.

For people who are somewhat artistically/design challenged (like ME), knowing when to STOP is the hardest thing. That may even be what makes someone artistic, the knowing when to stop.

It's a constant struggle for me (since I have no real design skills at all) to keep from going too far. And sometimes I still do, but eventually I usually realize it later. :-D Although sometimes I don't.

And I hate to mention this, but I suppose you'd want to know. You may want to check the link for Bloggeratto at the end of your post...I don't think it's going where you want. :-D
    Anonymous phydeaux3, on Fri Jun 02, 06:49:00 PM  

Haha! My bad! Fixed the link! :P

Calling yourself artistically challenged Kirk is taking modesty to a whole new level! Phydeaux3 is a beautiful piece of work, with the whites and greens really soothing the eyes after a long day of coding. Ofcourse, I'd visit it much more if you updated it more! :P (2-3 weeks and counting if I'm not wrong)

Knowing when to stop is not what's required. Better than knowing when to stop, is to just understand what looks good and what does not. For example, I was trying to add a green blimp to the search keyword box. That in tandem with the yellow blimp of the search results gave quite a siezure inducing effect, so I let it remain as it was.

Such sensibilities, I'm sure, come with experience which most of these new time bloggers lack. We can't blame them, the internet can be a very exciting place for newbies! Enough fireworks to keep people busy! :P




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