Contemplating New Design

Not that original a subject, but I figured I might at least talk about it, and solicit some advice.

Due to a number of reasons I’m looking to update the look of Aarrgghh!.

  1. It’s not looking good cross-browser these days.
  2. Dave Konopka just did a redesign that looks awesome.
  3. I’m spending a fair amount of time dealing with a redesign of a site here at work.
  4. I do this about every 6 months or so anyway, to keep my skills sharp.
  5. I might add a little Ajax-y stuff to practice it.

My process until now has been very haphazard. I basically go to CSSZenGarden, WebdesignFromScratch, and OpenSourceWebDesign, and browse. I shop for little things I like from various examples there, and try and tie the whole thing into one design.

This tends to leave me with a site that mostly works, but doesn’t really feel right, but I put up with it until I decide to do it all over again.

So instead, I’m going to take a longer look at all this. Then, I’ll actually try my hand at wireframing before even look at design.

Anybody got any advice out there?

6 thoughts on “Contemplating New Design

  1. Sometimes I go to 99% of their stuff is total crap (and waaaaaay too busy), but every now and then you see something that just clicks, or you see a great color palette. To me, sometimes the hardest part is just coming up with a color palette that is simple enough yet satisfying enough.


  2. I often have a go at Open Source Web Design ( ) for inspiration. Once I find something I like, I begin to customize and who knows what i’ll end up with. I just don’t like starting with a blank slate.



  3. Thanks for #2 – glad you like the design. I’m a big fan of mocking up before hitting html. I do a lot of free form sketching on paper to work through initial ideas. Then I move to a graphics app. Sometimes I pick a display font, or sometimes colors if I don’t have any previous logo or other visual element to work with — just something to set the tone on the screen. It helps me to lay out five, maybe seven column lines to guide the process. I find that helpful in establishing a balance, but also in finding subtle ways to break out of boxy design.


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