Saturday, November 01, 2008

Open Source Web Design

Maybe everyone else on the planet knew about OSWD other than me. Regardless, here goes...

My brother-in-law, Matt Wagner, recently asked me to help him with his Web site. This was an interesting proposition, because I have not invested that much time learning about proper Web design (I never had to - I'm a database guy and we always had Carl and Marc for that kind of stuff). So I took this as an opportunity to actually learn something and I embraced the challenge. My brother-in-law already had his domain name, and he had a rough idea about the layout and the content that he wanted to put on his Web site, but he didn't know the first thing about HTML or how to propagate this information out to GoDaddy.

The last conversation I had with Carl was a week ago and I wanted to get his feedback about what I had done with Matt's Web site. Here is what pointed Carl to. I was so proud of myself, having figured out how to make some practical use of styles and also my over-the-top use of the effects from MooTools. Let me tell you - Carl laughed and laughed. He said the colors were odd, there was no contrast with the font and the background, the effects were funny, and he encouraged me not to use Serif fonts ("just not in style"). He also told me, with a chuckle, that I should start practicing jQuery and forget MooTools.

Carl did point me to the Open Source Web Design site and told me to pick one. For someone like me, who is artistically and graphically challenged, this site is a wealth of excellent templates and ideas. Needless to say, my second attempt at this, which we're continuing to iterate upon, is much, much better.

3 comments:

HunterX said...

Great..
Good idea from carl..

Mikael said...

Easier still is to get a Mac (if you don't have one already;-)) and then buy RapidWeaver for $45. Done.

Style and content separated. Edit your own styles or use one of many...

Andrew Roxburgh said...

I've used the very same template for a website for a customer of mine. See www.quarterswokingham.com.

I've found OSWD an excellent resource for website design inspiration.